Geometric Skinning with Approximate Dual Quaternion Blending

Ladislav Kavan
Trinity College Dublin
Steven Collins
Trinity College Dublin
Jiří Žára
Czech Technical University, Prague
Carol O'Sullivan
Trinity College Dublin

A comparison of dual quaternion skinning with previous methods: log-matrix blending [Cordier and Magnenat-Thalmann 2005] and spherical blend skinning [Kavan and Žára 2005]. The proposed approach not only eliminates artifacts, but is also much easier to implement and more than twice as fast.


Skinning of skeletally deformable models is extensively used for real-time animation of characters, creatures and similar objects. The standard solution, linear blend skinning, has some serious drawbacks that require artist intervention. Therefore, a number of alternatives have been proposed in recent years. All of them successfully combat some of the artifacts, but none challenge the simplicity and efficiency of linear blend skinning. As a result, linear blend skinning is still the number one choice for the majority of developers. In this paper, we present a novel skinning algorithm based on linear combination of dual quaternions. Even though our proposed method is approximate, it does not exhibit any of the artifacts inherent in previous methods and still permits an efficient GPU implementation. Upgrading an existing animation system from linear to dual quaternion skinning is very easy and has a relatively minor impact on run-time performance.


Ladislav Kavan, Steven Collins, Jiří Žára, Carol O'Sullivan. Geometric Skinning with Approximate Dual Quaternion Blending. ACM Transaction on Graphics 27(4) [Presented at SIGGRAPH], 2008.  

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We wish to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments, Bruce Merry for discussion on Animation Space and Carlo H. Séquin for early insights into the topic. We acknowledge the support of the Higher Education Authority of Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland. This work has been partly supported by the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic under the research programs LC-06008 (Center for Computer Graphics) and MSM 6840770014.