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Humanoid Animation (H-Anim)

0 Introduction

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cube0.1 Background

With the increased interest in 3D graphics over the past decade there has also been a steady emergence of character modeling software to create and animate 3D human figures.  During the same period a number of systems have also been developed for tracking the motions of a "real world" human being.  The prevalent obstacle encountered when using multiple of these software packages and systems is in the area of information exchange.  The lack of a standardized skeletal system within this community often forces animation houses and motion capture studios to develop their own proprietary solutions to help smooth the transitions between the systems and software they want to use.

This International Standard specifies H-Anim, an abstract representation for modeling three dimensional human figures. This International Standard describes a standard way of representing humanoids that, when followed, will allow human figures created with modeling tools from one vendor to be animated using motion capture data and animation tools from another vendor.

cube0.2 Design objectives

Three fundamental goals to help guide the development of the H-Anim Specification were established.  These goals are:


The features of an H-Anim human figure shall be implementable in any compliant browser.


No assumptions shall be made about the types of applications that will use an H-Anim human figure.


When in doubt, leave it out.  The human figure specification can always be extended later.

Using these three simple goals, a straightforward specification has been created that allows direct access to the joint hierarchy of the human figure as well as the vertices of the geometry that make up the individual body segments in a way that allows animations to be generated in a model independent manner.

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