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ASL Independent Study – Week 1, 9/11/13 to 9/18/13

September 18, 2013

Hi there!

I dedicated this week’s exploration into expressions to playing with Darwin’s six basic emotions. These were already built into the pre-existing database, but could use either more subtlety or intensity… or even both! There is still much work to be done, but I made a secondary version of each to begin with, and plan to make a third series that takes each into a different direction by blending the different basics.

The default affects included in the database:

The updated expressions:

For example, this week’s take on “surprise” is a more happy surprise – but there is also shocked/terrified surprise, which is where fear and surprise collide. I think of expressions almost like a color wheel in that case. These different emotions can overlap in places, and it makes a brand new compound emotion.

To make these emotions, I use a mirror to study my face and warp it in different ways until I settle into a face I feel I can model most accurately. Then, little by little, I tweak different areas of the face until it settles into something as close to my natural face as possible. The trick is to begin with the eyes and brow, as I feel they are the most expressive part of the human face – as it is said, the eyes are the doorway into the soul.

As a small bonus, I began playing with a “start up” expression as well, as it was noted in a fellow researcher when he would begin signing. This is simply an experiment, but if I can nail it correctly, it would be a fun addition to the usual motions of Paula’s automated signing.

Default versus “Startup” – VERY subtle!


Until next week!


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