3-Dimensional Character Animations

Open Source HapFACS 3.0 software for realistic facial expression generation​ 


A selection of HapFACS characters with different facial expressions. Click on image to view sample dynamic expressions [2 min.]

Our HapFACS 3.0 open source software for facial expression generation based on Ekman’s (1992) Facial Action Coding Systems (FACS) – the current standard on facial coding of the human face – enables:

(1) researchers on 3-dimensional animated characters – without expertise in computer graphics nor in FACS – to design a set of FACS-based facial expressions a collection of virtual characters,  and to integrate their expressive avatars in their applications; and

(2) researchers on facial expression recognition to experiment with realistically generated expressions at the level of 49 individual Action Units (AUs), including bilateral (49 AUs) and unilateral (14 AUs). Over 20 research labs have used our open source software.


HapFACS short introduction tutorial [2 min.]

If you would like to download HapFACS 3.0 for non-commercial research purposes, please download and sign the HapFACS License Agreement, and email it to Christine Lisetti.  We will provide you with the code and a tutorial video. The video on the left shows you some of what you can do with HapFACS.  Note that HapFACS is supported under Windows operating systems only.  We hope HapFACS will help your research, but please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions:  Reza Amini and Christine Lisetti.

3D Virtual Avatars Signing in American Sign Language 


Virtual agent signing the word “me” (click on image to view demo [1.30 min]).

With funding from the National Science Foundation, and in collaboration with the Institute for Disabilities Research and Training (IDRT), we designed 3D Signing Virtual Agents that can dynamically sign in American Sign Language (ASL).  We generated signing animations on 3D characters during real-time motion capture of human signers ASL gestures and of their facial expressions.