Computational Science Technical Note CSTN-105


A Brief History of Motion Control in Animation


Archived November 2009, Revised August 2010.


Computerised actors using agent-driven models have been used heavily in entertainment (in both film and interactive games) and serious simulation for decades. Simulated environments have become more complex and approach the information "noise" levels of the real world. This presents the agent with more more decisions to make with more input variables. As graphical realism has improved, audiences now also expect the behaviour of the actors to be more perceptually convincing. The problem of navigating or steering actors through these simulated worlds has existed, albeit with differing requirements, throughout the history animation. We will look at some of the popular approaches to agent steering in entertainment, and also discuss some emerging technologies that make use of evolutionary algorithms.

Keywords: artificial intelligence; games; movie; simulation.

Full Document Text: PDF version.

Citation Information: BiBTeX database for CSTN Notes.

BiBTeX reference:

  author = {A. P. Gerdelan},
  title = {Behavioural AI in Movies and Games: The Last 20 Years},
  institution = {Computer Science, Massey University},
  year = {2010},
  number = {CSTN-105},
  address = {Albany, North Shore 102-904, Auckland, New Zealand},
  month = {August},
  timestamp = {2009.12.16},
  url = {}

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