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For questions about SmartBody and usage, please contact:

Ari Shapiro, Ph.D.

SmartBody is a character animation platform originally developed at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies.
SmartBody provides the following capabilities in real time:

  • Locomotion (walk, jog, run, turn, strafe, jump, etc.)
  • Steering – avoiding obstacles and moving objects
  • Object manipulation – reach, grasp, touch , pick up objects
  • Lip Syncing – characters can speak with simultaneous lip-sync using text-to-speech or prerecorded audio
  • Gazing – robust gazing behavior that incorporates various parts of the body
  • Nonverbal behavior – gesturing, head nodding and shaking, eye saccades
  • Character physics – ragdolls, pose-based tracking, motion perturbations
  • Online retargeting – motion is transferred in real time among characters
  • Autorigging and autoskinning – 3D humanoid models can be rigged automatically
  • Beahvior transfer – complex behaviors can be automatically transferred to new characters during runtime. As the database of behaviors grows, the capabilities of the characters will also grow.

SmartBody is written in C++ and can be incorporated into most game and simulation engines. We currently have interfaces for the following engines:

  • Unity
  • Ogre
  • Unreal
  • Panda3D
  • GameBryo

SmartBody is a Behavioral Markup Language (BML) realization engine that transforms BML behavior descriptions into realtime animations.

SmartBody runs on Windows, Linux, OSx as well as the iPhone and Android devices. A version of SmartBody for Flash can also be used. All the source code is available for download and is licensed under the LGPLv3 license.


SmartBody Team Lead Ari Shapiro, Ph.D.
SmartBody Team Andrew W. Feng, Ph.D.


Inspiration Stacy Marsella, Ph.D.


Past SmartBody Team Members Dan Casas, Ph.D.


Yuyu Xu


Marcus Thiebaux
Andrew Marshall
Marcelo Kallmann, Ph.D.
Major SmartBody Contributors Ed Fast
Arno Hartholt
Shridhar Ravikumar
Apar Suri
Adam Reilly
Teresa Dey
Interns Zengrui Wang

Tiffany Huang

Sahil Narang

Mohammad Adil

Alain Juarez-Perez

Eder Miguel Villalba

Chin Chye (Wayne) Koo

Muhammad Hadziq Bin Kuzairi

Yazhou Huang

Jingqiao Fu