New research, though, is showing how an AI powered by a neural network could revolutionize the way player avatars animate realistically through complicated game environments in real time.
Phase-Functioned Neural Networks for Character Control is a fundamentally new way of handling character animation that will be presented at the ACM's upcoming SIGGRAPH conference this summer.
The most impressive bit of the demo comes at about 2:27, when the avatar moves over the rocky terrain "climbing, balancing, and jumping where required," as the narrator puts it.
In just a minute of watching, you'll see enough of these small, lifelike details to make the animation stand out.
"The weights of the neural network represent something like different components that make up a pose, and the input ends up producing something like a weighted sum of these components," Holden explains.
This leads to a much wider range of possible animation outputs than what has been directly recorded.