For many application areas, where a task is most naturally represented by talking or where standard input devices are difficult to use or not available at all, virtual characters can be well suited as an intuitive man-machineinterface due to their inherent ability to simulate verbal as well as nonverbal communicative behavior. This type of interface is made possible with the help of multimodal dialog systems, which extend common speech dialog systems with additional modalities just like in human-human interaction. Multimodal dialog systems consist at least of an auditive and graphical component, and communication is based on speech and nonverbal communication alike. However, employing virtual characters as personal and believable dialog partners in multimodal dialogs entails several challenges, because this requires not only a reliable and consistent motion and dialog behavior but also regarding nonverbal communication and affective components. Besides modeling the "mind" and creating intelligent communication behavior on the encoding side, which is an active field of research in artificial intelligence, the visual representation of a character including its perceivable behavior, from a decoding perspective, such as facial expressions and gestures, belongs to the domain of computer graphics and likewise implicates many open issues concerning natural communication. Therefore, in this report we give a comprehensive overview how to go from communication models to actual animation and rendering.
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