Interactive Character Animation Using Simulated Physics:
A State-of-the-Art Review

Thomas Geijtenbeek Nicolas Pronost
Utrecht University Utrecht University
Games and Virtual Worlds Games and Virtual Worlds

The yearly number of SIGGRAPH and EUROGRAPHICS publications on interactive character animation using simulated physics.

Abstract :

Physics simulation offers the possibility of truly responsive and realistic animation. Despite wide adoption of physics simulation for the animation of passive phenomena, such as fluids, cloths and rag-doll characters, commercial applications still resort to kinematics-based approaches for the animation of actively controlled characters. However, following a renewed interest in the use of physics simulation for interactive character animation, many recent publications demonstrate tremendous improvements in robustness, visual quality and usability. We present a structured review of over two decades of research on physics-based character animation, as well as point out various open research areas and possible future directions.

Paper :
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In Computer Graphics Forum (Early view published online: 12 September 2012 by Blackwell Publishing).
The definitive version is available at

You can also check out the page on commonly used optimization functions in physics-based character motion control.