My work at the MPI for Biological Cybernetics as a resercher and staff member lies at the intersection of applied computer graphics, computer vision, and psychophysics.
In the context of our institute, my role is similar to what a Technical Director (TD) does in the film and media industry: bridge the gap between art and technology, creativity and engineering, intuition and science.
My main areas of interest are in the field of 3D facial and body animation, general computer graphics and 3D animation, visual effects, 3D + 4D scanning, motion capture, imaging technology, virtual reality, visualization & realtime rendering.
I was part of the Cognitive Engineering group where we develop and use systems from Computer Vision, Computer Graphics, Machine Learning with methods from psychophysics in order to investigate fundamental cognitive processes. For this, we make use of our Face and Motion Capture facilities as well as the 3D face scanning systems in our department.
Recently I have started to investigate perceptual effects of avatars in computer graphics and virtual reality in collaboration with Betty Mohler, Michael Black, Javier Romero, Naureen Mahmood and Reuben Fleming (whose PhD I supervised jointly with Betty Mohler).
In addition to my research, I am also responsible for software licensing management at our institute.
Having received a Diplom (Masters degree) in Computer Science from the University of Tuebingen, I continued my interest in applied computer graphics at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Film Academy
in Ludwigsburg, where I specialized as Technical Director for Visual
Effects. Since 2003 I am working as Research TD at the MPI, developing
new methods for believable 3D facial animation. In 2012, I completed my
PhD in Computer Science on the topic of data-driven facial animation.