Patents by Inventor Alexander P. Powell

Alexander P. Powell has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20180197318
    Abstract: Systems and processes are described below relating to evaluating a dependency graph to render three-dimensional (3D) graphics using constraints. Two virtual 3D objects are accessed in a virtual 3D space. A constraint relationship request is received, which identifies the first object as a parent and the second object as a child. The technique verifies whether the graphs of the objects are compatible for being constrained to one another. The first object is evaluated to determine its translation, rotation, and scale. The second object is similarly evaluated based on the translation, rotation, and scale of the first object. An image is rendered depicting at least a portion of the first virtual 3D object and at least a portion of the second virtual 3D object.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 12, 2018
    Publication date: July 12, 2018
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation L. L. C.
    Inventors: Alexander P. Powell, Esteban D. Papp, Alex M. Wells
  • Publication number: 20180189987
    Abstract: Systems and processes are described below relating to evaluating a dependency graph having one or more temporally dependent variables. The temporally dependent variables may include variables that may be used to evaluate the dependency graph at a frame other than that at which the temporally dependent variable was evaluated. One example process may include tracking the temporal dirty state for each temporally dependent variable using a temporal dependency list. This list may be used to determine which frames, if any, should be reevaluated when a request to evaluate a dependency graph for a particular frame is received. This advantageously reduces the amount of time and computing resources needed to reevaluate a dependency graph.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 12, 2018
    Publication date: July 5, 2018
    Inventors: Alexander P. POWELL, Alex M. WELLS
  • Patent number: 9892529
    Abstract: Systems and processes are described below relating to evaluating a dependency graph to render three-dimensional (3D) graphics using constraints. Two virtual 3D objects are accessed in a virtual 3D space. A constraint relationship request is received, which identifies the first object as a parent and the second object as a child. The technique verifies whether the graphs of the objects are compatible for being constrained to one another. The first object is evaluated to determine its translation, rotation, and scale. The second object is similarly evaluated based on the translation, rotation, and scale of the first object. An image is rendered depicting at least a portion of the first virtual 3D object and at least a portion of the second virtual 3D object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation L.L.C.
    Inventors: Alexander P. Powell, Esteban D. Papp, Alex M. Wells
  • Patent number: 9892528
    Abstract: Systems and processes are described below relating to evaluating a dependency graph having one or more temporally dependent variables. The temporally dependent variables may include variables that may be used to evaluate the dependency graph at a frame other than that at which the temporally dependent variable was evaluated. One example process may include tracking the temporal dirty state for each temporally dependent variable using a temporal dependency list. This list may be used to determine which frames, if any, should be reevaluated when a request to evaluate a dependency graph for a particular frame is received. This advantageously reduces the amount of time and computing resources needed to reevaluate a dependency graph.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation L.L.C.
    Inventors: Alexander P. Powell, Alex M. Wells
  • Publication number: 20180018804
    Abstract: A rail manipulator indicates the possible range(s) of movement of a part of a computer-generated character in a computer animation system. The rail manipulator obtains a model of the computer-generated character. The model may be a skeleton structure of bones connected at joints. The interconnected bones may constrain the movements of one another. When an artist selects one of the bones for movement, the rail manipulator determines the range of movement of the selected bone. The determination may be based on the position and/or the ranges of moments of other bones in the skeleton structure. The range of movement is displayed on-screen to the artist, together with the computer-generated character. In this way, the rail manipulator directly communicates to the artist the degree to which a portion of the computer-generated character can be moved, in response to the artist's selection of the portion of the computer-generated character.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2017
    Publication date: January 18, 2018
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation L.L.C.
    Inventor: Alexander P. POWELL
  • Patent number: 9786085
    Abstract: A rail manipulator indicates the possible range(s) of movement of a part of a computer-generated character in a computer animation system. The rail manipulator obtains a model of the computer-generated character. The model may be a skeleton structure of bones connected at joints. The interconnected bones may constrain the movements of one another. When an artist selects one of the bones for movement, the rail manipulator determines the range of movement of the selected bone. The determination may be based on the position and/or the ranges of movements of other bones in the skeleton structure. The range of movement is displayed on-screen to the artist, together with the computer-generated character. In this way, the rail manipulator directly communicates to the artist the degree to which a portion of the computer-generated character can be moved, in response to the artist's selection of the portion of the computer-generated character.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2017
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation L.L.C.
    Inventor: Alexander P. Powell
  • Patent number: 9703469
    Abstract: A touch-sensitive surface for a computer animator to create or modify a computer-generated image includes processes for differentiating between click and drag operations. The included processes also beneficially reduce input errors. When a touch object (e.g., finger or stylus) touches the drawing table, information regarding the duration of the touch and the movement of the touch are used to determine whether the touch input represents a (graphical user interface) click or a drag operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2017
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventor: Alexander P. Powell
  • Patent number: 9183659
    Abstract: Search-based matching for multiple parameter sets in computer animation is disclosed. The search-based matching method can include receiving a selection of a first set of joint parameters in a first model to match to a second set of joint parameters in a second model, currently in operation, for an appendage of a computer-generated object. The method can also adjust the selected first set of joint parameters to match the second set of joint parameters. The method can further compare the adjusted first set of joint parameters to the second set of joint parameters. Based on the comparison, the method can switch from the second model to the first model and replace the second set of joint parameters with the adjusted first set of joint parameters. The method can then output the replacement first set of joint parameters for rendering the appendage of the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Paul Carmen Dilorenzo, Alexander P. Powell, Satheesh Subramanian
  • Patent number: 9135739
    Abstract: A system for performing graphics processing is disclosed. A dependency graph comprising interconnected nodes is accessed. Each node has output attributes and the dependency graph receives input attributes. A first list is accessed, which includes a dirty status for each dirty output attribute of the dependency graph. A second list is accessed, which associates one of the input attributes with output attributes that are affected by the one input attribute. A third list is accessed, which associates one of the output attributes with output attributes that affect the one output attribute. An evaluation request for a requested output attribute is received. A set of output attributes are selected for evaluation based on being specified in the first list as dirty and being specified in the third list as associated with the requested output attribute. The set of output attributes are evaluated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Martin Watt, Alexander P. Powell
  • Patent number: 9082223
    Abstract: Systems and methods for manipulating a virtual three-dimensional (3D) object in a virtual 3D space are provided. A representation of the 3D object is displayed on a display. A non-hemispherical arcball having a surface is determined. The non-hemispherical arcball is associated with the representation of the 3D object. A pointing device is detected at a first position and at a second position. The first position of the pointing device is translated onto a first location on the surface of the non-hemispherical arcball. The second position of the pointing device is translated onto a second location on the surface of the non-hemispherical arcball. A rotation of the representation of the 3D object is displayed on the display, the rotation based on a path of travel between the first location and the second location along the surface of the non-hemispherical arcball.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Morgwn Quin McCarty, Alexander P. Powell
  • Publication number: 20140267312
    Abstract: A rail manipulator indicates the possible range(s) of movement of a part of a computer-generated character in a computer animation system. The rail manipulator obtains a model of the computer-generated character. The model may be a skeleton structure of bones connected at joints. The interconnected bones may constrain the movements of one another. When an artist selects one of the bones for movement, the rail manipulator determines the range of movement of the selected bone. The determination may be based on the position and/or the ranges of movements of other bones in the skeleton structure. The range of movement is displayed on-screen to the artist, together with the computer-generated character. In this way, the rail manipulator directly communicates to the artist the degree to which a portion of the computer-generated character can be moved, in response to the artist's selection of the portion of the computer-generated character.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventor: Alexander P. Powell
  • Publication number: 20140267083
    Abstract: Systems and methods for manipulating a virtual three-dimensional (3D) object in a virtual 3D space are provided. A representation of the 3D object is displayed on a display. A non-hemispherical arcball having a surface is determined. The non-hemispherical arcball is associated with the representation of the 3D object. A pointing device is detected at a first position and at a second position. The first position of the pointing device is translated onto a first location on the surface of the non-hemispherical arcball. The second position of the pointing device is translated onto a second location on the surface of the non-hemispherical arcball. A rotation of the representation of the 3D object is displayed on the display, the rotation based on a path of travel between the first location and the second location along the surface of the non-hemispherical arcball.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DREAMWORKS ANIMATION LLC
    Inventors: Morgwn Quin MCCARTY, Alexander P. POWELL
  • Publication number: 20140267251
    Abstract: Search-based matching for multiple parameter sets in computer animation is disclosed. The search-based matching method can include receiving a selection of a first set of joint parameters in a first model to match to a second set of joint parameters in a second model, currently in operation, for an appendage of a computer-generated object. The method can also adjust the selected first set of joint parameters to match the second set of joint parameters. The method can further compare the adjusted first set of joint parameters to the second set of joint parameters. Based on the comparison, the method can switch from the second model to the first model and replace the second set of joint parameters with the adjusted first set of joint parameters. The method can then output the replacement first set of joint parameters for rendering the appendage of the object.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventors: Paul Carmen DILORENZO, Alexander P. POWELL, Satheesh SUBRAMANIAN
  • Publication number: 20140111441
    Abstract: A touch-sensitive surface for a computer animator to create or modify a computer-generated image includes processes for differentiating between click and drag operations. The included processes also beneficially reduce input errors. When a touch object (e.g., finger or stylus) touches the drawing table, information regarding the duration of the touch and the movement of the touch are used to determine whether the touch input represents a (graphical user interface) click or a drag operation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 18, 2012
    Publication date: April 24, 2014
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventor: Alexander P. POWELL
  • Publication number: 20140035908
    Abstract: Systems and processes are described below relating to evaluating a dependency graph to render three-dimensional (3D) graphics using constraints. Two virtual 3D objects are accessed in a virtual 3D space. A constraint relationship request is received, which identifies the first object as a parent and the second object as a child. The technique verifies whether the graphs of the objects are compatible for being constrained to one another. The first object is evaluated to determine its translation, rotation, and scale. The second object is similarly evaluated based on the translation, rotation, and scale of the first object. An image is rendered depicting at least a portion of the first virtual 3D object and at least a portion of the second virtual 3D object.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 2, 2013
    Publication date: February 6, 2014
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Alexander P. POWELL, Esteban D. PAPP, Alex M. WELLS
  • Publication number: 20140035931
    Abstract: Systems and processes are described below relating to evaluating a dependency graph having one or more temporally dependent variables. The temporally dependent variables may include variables that may be used to evaluate the dependency graph at a frame other than that at which the temporally dependent variable was evaluated. One example process may include tracking the temporal dirty state for each temporally dependent variable using a temporal dependency list. This list may be used to determine which frames, if any, should be reevaluated when a request to evaluate a dependency graph for a particular frame is received. This advantageously reduces the amount of time and computing resources needed to reevaluate a dependency graph.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 2, 2013
    Publication date: February 6, 2014
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Alexander P. Powell, Alex M. Wells
  • Publication number: 20130194279
    Abstract: A system for performing graphics processing is disclosed. A dependency graph comprising interconnected nodes is accessed. Each node has output attributes and the dependency graph receives input attributes. A first list is accessed, which includes a dirty status for each dirty output attribute of the dependency graph. A second list is accessed, which associates one of the input attributes with output attributes that are affected by the one input attribute. A third list is accessed, which associates one of the output attributes with output attributes that affect the one output attribute. An evaluation request for a requested output attribute is received. A set of output attributes are selected for evaluation based on being specified in the first list as dirty and being specified in the third list as associated with the requested output attribute. The set of output attributes are evaluated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 6, 2012
    Publication date: August 1, 2013
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Martin WATT, Alexander P. Powell
  • Patent number: 7937245
    Abstract: Embodiments are directed to modifying an existing scheme for providing translucent illumination in order to take account of subsurface scattering. The color of a selected point of a translucent object can be determined using existing methods. The existing methods need not take subsurface scattering into account. Then, a contribution to the color at the selected point due to subsurface scattering may be calculated. The contribution due to subsurface scattering may be calculated based on a photon map. Embodiments of the invention also include the use of different types of photon maps. In some embodiments, a standard photon map may be used. In other embodiments, a photon map may be defined in a manner similar to a depth map. Thus, the entries of a photon map may be defined in terms of an angle from a light source and a distance between an object's surface and a light source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2011
    Assignee: Dreamworks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Bruce Nunzio Tartaglia, Alexander P. Powell
  • Publication number: 20090254293
    Abstract: Embodiments are directed to modifying an existing scheme for providing translucent illumination in order to take account of subsurface scattering. The color of a selected point of a translucent object can be determined using existing methods. The existing methods need not take subsurface scattering into account. Then, a contribution to the color at the selected point due to subsurface scattering may be calculated. The contribution due to subsurface scattering may be calculated based on a photon map. Embodiments of the invention also include the use of different types of photon maps. In some embodiments, a standard photon map may be used. In other embodiments, a photon map may be defined in a manner similar to a depth map. Thus, the entries of a photon map may be defined in terms of an angle from a light source and a distance between an object's surface and a light source.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 2, 2008
    Publication date: October 8, 2009
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Bruce Nunzio Tartaglia, Alexander P. Powell