A phenomenological study of facial expression animation

Robin J. S. Sloan, Brian Robinson, Fhionna R. Moore, Kenneth C. Scott-Brown, Malcolm Cook

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper covers the findings of a qualitative study of facial animation, in which a cohort of student animators were tasked with producing spatiotemporally configured emotional expression animations. The timing of the upper and lower face regions within and between expressions such as happiness, sadness, and anger was explored by the animators, who sought to determine which configurations were the most and least effective in practice. The results showed that the student animators shared a degree of consensus when they discussed which configurations they found most authentic, and which configurations were the most clear. Configuration selection was dependent on the emotion or emotional transition being animated. These findings demonstrate that engagement with hand-key animators and practice-based research can generate results which would be of interest to the broader HCI community, in particular as regards the animation of interactive humanoid agents which exhibit believable changes in emotion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of HCI 2011 The 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction
PublisherBCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2011
Event25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction: Health, Wealth & Happiness - Northumbria University’s City Campus, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Jul 20118 Jul 2011
Conference number: 25th


Conference25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction
Abbreviated titleHCI 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityNewcastle Upon Tyne
Internet address


  • Facial animation
  • Emotional expression
  • Hand-key animation
  • Arts practice
  • Animated agents


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