Transcript-based computer animation of movement: Evaluating a new tool for nonverbal behavior research

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Transcript-based computer animation of movement: Evaluating a new tool for nonverbal behavior research

A new approach for the use of computer animation in experimental nonverbal research is intro- duced. The method was evaluated in a pilot study comparing video recordings of movement in dyadic interactions with computer animations based on transcripts of the behavior, to determine whether sim- ilar impression effects could be obtained. At the core of our development is a software tool allowing for the conversion of so-called position time-series protocols of movement into animation scripts for a professional computer animation platform. Our software combines computer-assisted movement transcription and editing with state-of-the-art 3-D animation technology. We present empirical evidence indicating remarkable overall correspondence between video recordings and computer animations. Due to the lack of facial activity in the computer animations, a decline in visual attention for the face area could be observed, which did not, however, affect the impression ratings.