Robert Schleicher

Robert Schleicher

Master's Thesis

Animation of 3D Human Surface Models for Biomechanical Analysis

Marlies Nitschke (M.Sc.), Jana Martschinke (M. Sc.), Prof. Dr. med. Jochen Klucken, Prof. Dr. Marc Stamminger, Prof. Dr. Anne Koelewijn, Prof. Dr. Björn Eskofier

09/2019 – 03/2020

Biomechanical parameters like joint angles or muscle activity are visualized by line plots or abstract stick figures since the beginning of biomechanics. Musculoskeletal simulation tools (e.g. OpenSim [1, 2] and AnyBody [3]) which were developed in the last years are using skeletons for visualization of human motion patterns. In OpenSim and AnyBody, muscle activations are illustrated as lines using directly the anatomically modeled muscle path [1, 2, 3]. Pronost et al. [4] developed a framework for volumentric muscle representation based on magnetic resonance imaging.
These visualization techniques are highly suitable for application in biomechanics and during algorithm development. However, when musculoskeletal simulation is used for user-centered product development [5] or for movement analysis in medicine, designer and physicians might prefer a realistic visualization. In computer graphics – especially in the field of statistical body shape reconstruction – a wide variety of research exists regarding a plausible deformation of human body shapes in motion. Shape completion and animation of people (SCAPE) [6] is a statistical model for human bodies that correlates body part deformation with the current pose. Realistic surface deformations – like bulging of the biceps when bending the arm – are obtained by registered body scans.

The purpose of this work is to animate a statistical form and pose model (SCAPE) for plausible visualization of simulated biomechanics. Furthermore, muscle activation should be encoded by coloring the skin covering the respective muscle. The framework should be able to handle musculoskeletal models and data defined in the format of OpenSim.


  1. A. Seth, J. L. Hicks, T. K. Uchida, A. Habib, C. L. Dembia, J. J. Dunne, C. F. Ong, M. S. DeMers, A. Rajagopal, M. Millard, S. R. Hamner, E. M. Arnold, J. R. Yong, S. K. Lakshmikanth, M. A. Sherman, J. P. Ku, S. L. Delp. OpenSim: Simulating musculoskeletal dynamics and neuromuscular control to study human and animal movement. PLoS Computational Biology, 14(7): 1–20, 2018.
  2. S. L. Delp, F, C. Anderson, A. S. Arnold, J. P. Loan, A. Habib, C. T. John, E. Guendelman, D. G. Thelen. OpenSim: Open-Source Software to Create and Analyze Dynamic Simulations of Movement. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 54(11):1940–1950, 2007.
  3. M. Damsgaard, J. Rasmussen, S. T. Christensen, E. Surma, M. de Zee. Analysis of musculoskeletal systems in the AnyBody Modeling System. Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory. 14(8):1100–1111, 2006.
  4. N. Pronost, A. Sandholm, D. Thalmann. A visualization framework for the analysis of neuromuscular simulations. The Visual Computer. 27(2):109–119, 2011.
  5.  A. Wolf, S. Wartzack. Parametric Movement Synthesis: Towards Virtual Optimization of Man-Machine Interaction in Engineering Design 15th International Design Conference, 941-952, 2018.
  6. D. Anguelov, P. Srinivasan, D. Koller, S. Thrun, J. Rodgers, J. Davis. SCAPE: Shape Completion and Animation of People. Proceedings of the SIGGRAPH Conference, Los Angeles, USA, 2005.