There have been a number of projects and research efforts directed towards the creation of "virtual humans". Virtual humans have wide applicability in such areas as human-factors engineering, feature films, performance animation and multi-user virtual environments.

The Virtual Humans Architecture Group (V-HAG) is designed to bring together some of the key researchers in the field. The goal is to identify those areas where commonality across the various standards initiatives is needed, and then co-ordinate efforts to achieve a common standard in those areas.


The V-HAG is currently composed of:

Other members will be added as needed, in order to ensure that the V-HAG continues to represent the entire Virtual Humans community.


The aims of the V-HAG are straightforward:

  1. Compile a list of the major Virtual Humans implementations and standards along with an architectural overview of each. This goal should be completed by the middle of October of this year.
  2. Examine the different systems in detail, and identify those elements that they have in common. A document will be prepared which highlights not only these common elements, but also those unique features which each offers. This document will then be presented to the broader Virtual Humans community, to serve as a basis for further discussion. This goal should be complete by the end of November.
  3. Put in place a mechanism by which the entire Virtual Humans community can work towards building a specification for the interchange and interoperability of virtual humans and their sub-systems. This mechanism should be in place by the end of this year, and will center around the v-humans mailing list. The process will be analogous to, and modeled after, the one which was used to define the VRML specification.
The goal is to have a draft standard in place by early June, 1997.

Ways of Getting Involved

All members of the Virtual Humans community are encouraged to participate in the process in the following ways:

Existing Standards Initiatives

Here is a partial list of initiatives related to Virtual Humans:

Existing Virtual Humans Systems

Here is a partial list of existing systems that implement Virtual Humans:

Please contact me if you know of any other major standards initiatives or research projects that should be included in the list.

Last updated November 6, 1996