National Research Centre for Computer Animation

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The National Research Centre for Computer Animation is a recognised centre of international excellence in computer animation, fusing technical developments in computer science with underlying artistic principles and practice of computer animation.

Since its establishment in 1989, the National Centre for Computer Animation has conducted research of international significance in computer visualisation, animation and visual effects. Recently, the centre has:

  • Received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in February 2012 for its excellent contribution to research and education in computer animation which is the most prestigious award for higher education in UK;
  • Been described by the NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) report, Next Gen. (2011) as ‘a global leader in education and research in computer animation and visualisation’;
  • Been awarded over £10 million in research funding from RCUK, EU and other funding bodies;
  • Secured and established a multimillion pound EPSRC-funded Industrial Doctoral Centre, known as the Centre for Digital Entertainment, in 2009 jointly with the University of Bath and successfully received a further EPSRC grant of a similar scale to extend this significant development to 2023;
  • Supported a fast growing postgraduate research student community.

Research Projects


  1. Hu, W., Wang, Z., Liu, S., Yang, X., Yu, G. and Zhang, J.J., 2018. Motion Capture Data Completion via Truncated Nuclear Norm Regularization. IEEE Signal Processing Letters, 25 (2), 258-262.
  2. Jiang, T., Qian, K., Liu, S., Wang, J., Yang, X. and Zhang, J., 2017. Consistent as-similar-as-possible non-isometric surface registration. Visual Computer, 33 (6-8), 891-901.
  3. Liu, Y., Yang, X., Cao, Y., Wang, Z., Chen, B., Zhang, J. and Zhang, H., 2015. Dehydration of core/shell fruits. Computers and Graphics (Pergamon), 47, 68-77.
  4. Xiao, J., Feng, Y., Ji, M., Yang, X., Zhang, J.J. and Zhuang, Y., 2015. Sparse motion bases selection for human motion denoising. Signal Processing, 110, 108-122.
  5. Yang, T., Chang, J., Ren, B., Lin, M.C., Zhang, J.J. and Hu, S.M., 2015. Fast multiple-fluid simulation using Helmholtz free energy. ACM Transactions on Graphics, 34 (6).
  6. Li, W., Zheng, A., You, L.H., Yang, X., Zhang, J. and Liu, L., 2017. Rib-reinforced Shell Structure. Computer Graphics Forum, 36(7), 15-27.
  7. Yang, Y., Zhao, H., You, L.H., Tu, R., Wu, X. and Jin, X., 2017. Semantic portrait color transfer with internet images. Multimedia Tools and Applications, 76 (1), 523-541.
  8. Zhu, X., Song, L., You, L.H., Zhu, M., Wang, X. and Jin, X., 2017. Brush2Model: Convolution surface-based brushes for 3D modelling in head-mounted display-based virtual environments. Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds, 28 (3-4).
  9.  Zhu, X., Jin, X. and You, L.H., 2015. High-quality tree structures modelling using local convolution surface approximation. The Visual Computer, 31 (1), 69-82.
  10. You, L.H., Ugail, H., Tang, B.P., Jin, X., You, X.Y. and Zhang, J.J., 2014. Blending using ODE swept surfaces with shape control and C1 continuity. The Visual Computer, 30, 625-636.
  11. Yang, T., Chang, J., Lin, M.C., Martin, R.R., Zhang, J., and Hu, S.M., 2017. A unified particle system framework for multi-phase, multi-material visual simulations. ACM Trans. Graph. 36, 6, Article 224 (November 2017), 13 pages.
  12. Yang, T., Martin, R.R., Lin, M.C., Chang, J. and Hu, S.M., 2017. Pairwise Force SPH Model for Real-Time Multi-Interaction Applications. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 23 (10), 2235-2247.
  13. Liang, H., Chang, J., Kazmi, I.K., Zhang, J.J. and Jiao, P., 2017. Hand gesture-based interactive puppetry system to assist storytelling for children. Visual Computer, 33 (4), 517-531.
  14. Song, D., Tong, R., Chang, J., Yang, X., Tang, M. and Zhang, J.J., 2016. 3D Body Shapes Estimation from Dressed-Human Silhouettes. Computer Graphics Forum, 35 (7), 147-156.
  15. Yu, H., Zhang, J.J., Lee, T.Y. 2014, Foldover-free Shape Deformation for Biomedicine, J. of Biomedical Informatics, Vol.48, pp.137-147.
  16. Yu, H., Zhang, J.J. and Jiao, Z., 2014, Geodesics on Point Clouds, Mathematical Problems in Engineering Journal, Vol.2014, Article ID 860136, 12 pages.
  17. Qin, Y., Han, X., Yu, H., Yu, Y., Zhang, J.J., 2016, Fast and Exact Discrete Geodesic Computation Based on Triangle-Oriented Wavefront Propagation, ACM Transactions on Graphics, Volume 35, Issue 4, Article No. 125 (Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH16, July 2016)
  18. Han, X., Yu, H., Yu, Y., Zhang, J.J., 2017, A fast propagation scheme for approximate geodesic paths, Graphical Models, Vol.91, pp.22-29.
  19. Qi, T., Feng, Y., Xiao, J., Zhang, H., Zhuang, Y., Yang, X. and Zhang, J., 2017. A human motion feature based on semi-supervised learning of GMM. Multimedia Systems, 23 (1), 85-93.
  20. Wang, Z., Feng, Y., Qi, T., Yang, X. and Zhang, J.J., 2016. Adaptive multi-view feature selection for human motion retrieval. Signal Processing, 120, 691-701.
  21. Ji, M., Feng, Y., Xiao, J., Zhuang, Y., Yang, X. and Zhang, J.J., 2015. Efficient semi-supervised multiple feature fusion with out-of-sample extension for 3D model retrieval. Neurocomputing, 169, 23-33.
  22. Feng, Y., Ji, M., Xiao, J., Yang, X., Zhang, J., Zhuang, Y. and Li, X., 2015. Mining Spatial-Temporal Patterns and Structural Sparsity for Human Motion Data Denoising. IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics, 45 (12), 2693-2706.
  23. Yang, H.J., Chang, J., He, D., Geng, N., Wang, M., Zhang, J.J., Jing, X. and Chaudhry, E., 2018. Realistic texture synthesis for point-based fruitage phenotype. Computers in Biology and Medicine, 92, 42-54.
  24. Dong, F., Zhang, J.J., Chaudhry, E., Yang, X. et al., 2017. Dr. Inventor, Promoting Scientific Creativity by Utilising Web-based Research Objects, Impact. 2017, 2, 40-44
  25. Chaudhry, E., Bian, S.J., Ugail, H., Jin, X., You, L.H. and Zhang, J.J., 2015. Dynamic skin deformation using finite difference solutions for character animation. Computers & Graphics, 46, 294-305.

Research Themes

3D Virtual Human Simulation and Animation, Virtual Reality, Medical Visualisation and Simulation, 3D Modelling, Character Animation, Cloth Simulation, Crash Simulation, Depth Camera, Face Tracking, Finite Element Fluid Simulation, Geodesic Paths, Geometric Modelling, Gesture Control, Hair Modelling, Locomotion, Mesh Deformations, Motion Capture, Muscle Modelling, Posing 3D Models, Sketch-Based Modelling, Skin Deformation, SPH-Based, Surgery Simulation, Triangle Meshes, Surface Blending, Solid Blending, Ordinary and Partial Differential Equation-Based Geometric Modelling, Motion Synthesis, Virtual Reality, Deep Learning.




Current PhD Students

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