el 16(11): e1

Research Article

Toward the Ideal Signing Avatar

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/eai.15-6-2016.151446,
        author={Nicoletta Adamo-Villani and Saikiran Anasingaraju},
        title={Toward the Ideal Signing Avatar},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on e-Learning},
        keywords={Sign Language Animation, Signing Avatars, Deaf Education},
  • Nicoletta Adamo-Villani
    Saikiran Anasingaraju
    Year: 2016
    Toward the Ideal Signing Avatar
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.15-6-2016.151446
Nicoletta Adamo-Villani1,*, Saikiran Anasingaraju1
  • 1: Department of Computer Graphics Technology, Purdue
*Contact email: nadamovi@purdue.edu


The paper discusses ongoing research on the effects of a signing avatar's modeling/rendering features on the perception of sign language animation. It reports a recent study that aimed to determine whether a character's visual style has an effect on how signing animated characters are perceived by viewers. The stimuli of the study were two polygonal characters presenting two different visual styles: stylized and realistic. Each character signed four sentences. Forty-seven participants with experience in American Sign Language (ASL) viewed the animated signing clips in random order via web survey. They (1) identified the signed sentences (if recognizable), (2) rated their legibility, and (3) rated the appeal of the signing avatar. Findings show that while character's visual style does not have an effect on subjects' perceived legibility of the signs and sign recognition, it has an effect on subjects' interest in the character. The stylized signing avatar was perceived as more appealing than the realistic one.