The Synthesis of Complex Shape Deployments in Sign Language

LREC 2020  ·  Michael Filhol, John C. McDonald ·

Proform constructs such as classifier predicates and size and shape specifiers are essential elements of Sign Language communication, but have remained a challenge for synthesis due to their highly variable nature. In contrast to frozen signs, which may be pre-animated or recorded, their variability necessitates a new approach both to their linguistic description and to their synthesis in animation. Though the specification and animation of classifier predicates was covered in previous works, size and shape specifiers have to this date remain unaddressed. This paper presents an efficient method for linguistically describing such specifiers using a small number of rules that cover a large range of possible constructs. It continues to show that with a small number of services in a signing avatar, these descriptions can be synthesized in a natural way that captures the essential gestural actions while also including the subtleties of human motion that make the signing legible.

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