Matrix palette skinning (also known as skeletal subspace deformation) is a very popular real-time animation technique. So far, it has only been applied to the class of quasi-articulated objects, such as moving human or animal figures. In this paper, we demonstrate how to automatically construct skinning approximations of arbitrary precomputed animations, such as those of cloth or elastic materials. In contrast to previous approaches, our method is particularly well suited to input animations without rigid components. Our transformation fitting algorithm finds optimal skinning transformations (in a least-squares sense) and therefore achieves considerably higher accuracy for non-quasi-articulated objects than previous methods. This allows the advantages of skinned animations (e.g., efficient rendering, rest-pose editing and fast collision detection) to be exploited for arbitrary deformations.
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We are indebted to Doug L. James and Christopher D. Twigg for their extensive support. We are grateful to Doug L. James also for providing the flag animation and for performing further tests with Skinned Mesh Animations. We also wish to thank Matthias Muller for the cow dataset, Robert Sumner for the collapsing horse and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. We would like to acknowledge the support of the Higher Education Authority of Ireland. This work has been partly supported by the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic under the research programs LC06008 (Center for Computer Graphics) and MSM 6840770014.