Building on an award winning track record of research in animation

The Virtual Humans group at UEA builds on an award winning track record of research in animation of Sign Language for Deaf people through Simon the Signer (Royal Television Society awards) and TESSA (BCS Gold Medal). The main contribution of the early work was to engineer systems using linguistic processing (teletext analysis and speech recognition respectively) to compose coarticulated sequences of motion captured signing data.

Recent work has seen significant developments in two principal areas: the development of a unique and ground breaking system for synthesised animation from HamNoSys, the internationally established notation for transcribing sign, integrated with a state of the art avatar animation platform that combines precise skeletal animation with accurate facial gestures. The synthesis system is being developed in conjunction with translation systems for sign language and also with natural language dialogue systems generating speech synchronised with realistic facial and manual gestures for cultural heritage applications.

This work has been accomplished within the highly successful EU Framework 5 projects, ViSiCAST and eSIGN, and the EPOCH Network of Excellence. Work continues under the Socrates project LinguaSign.

Avatar Research Platform



Linguasign Project






Multilingual Sign Language



BBC Jam Literacy



Synthetic Animation of Human Gestures



Virtual Humans Research