Interesting Esoterica

Animating rotation with quaternion curves

Article by Shoemake, Ken
  • Published in 1985
  • Added on
Solid bodies roll and tumble through space. In computer animation, so do cameras. The rotations of these objects are best described using a four coordinate system, quaternions, as is shown in this paper. Of all quaternions, those on the unit sphere are most suitable for animation, but the question of how to construct curves on spheres has not been much explored. This paper gives one answer by presenting a new kind of spline curve, created on a sphere, suitable for smoothly in-betweening (i.e. interpolating) sequences of arbitrary rotations. Both theory and experiment show that the motion generated is smooth and natural, without quirks found in earlier methods.

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Other information

journal
International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques
keywords
B-spline,B├ęzier curve,animation,approximation,in-betweening,interpolation,quaternion,rotation,spherical geometry,spline
number
3
pages
245
volume
19

BibTeX entry

@article{Shoemake1985,
	abstract = {Solid bodies roll and tumble through space. In computer animation, so do cameras. The rotations of these objects are best described using a four coordinate system, quaternions, as is shown in this paper. Of all quaternions, those on the unit sphere are most suitable for animation, but the question of how to construct curves on spheres has not been much explored. This paper gives one answer by presenting a new kind of spline curve, created on a sphere, suitable for smoothly in-betweening (i.e. interpolating) sequences of arbitrary rotations. Both theory and experiment show that the motion generated is smooth and natural, without quirks found in earlier methods.},
	author = {Shoemake, Ken},
	journal = {International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques},
	keywords = {B-spline,B{\'{e}}zier curve,animation,approximation,in-betweening,interpolation,quaternion,rotation,spherical geometry,spline},
	number = 3,
	pages = 245,
	title = {Animating rotation with quaternion curves},
	url = {http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=325334.325242},
	volume = 19,
	year = 1985,
	urldate = {2011-01-12}
}