Open Access Articles- Top Results for Daniel Thalmann

Daniel Thalmann

Daniel Thalmann
Citizenship Switzerland and Canada
Fields Computer Science
Institutions Nanyang Technological University
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
University of Montreal
Alma mater University of Geneva
Doctoral advisor Template:If empty
Known for Virtual Human, Crowd Simulation, Virtual Rehabilitation
Notable awards Dr. Honoris Causa, Paul-Sabatier University, Toulouse, France 2002
Eurographics Distinguished Career Award 2010
Canadian Human Computer Communications Society Achievement Award 2012
Spouse Nadia Magnenat Thalmann

Prof. Daniel Thalmann is a Swiss and Canadian Computer Scientist and a pioneer in Virtual Humans. He is one of the most highly cited scientists in Computer Graphics.[1][2] He is currently with the Institute for Media Innovation, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Honorary Professor at EPFL, Switzerland.


After a Master degree in Nuclear Physics (1970) and a combined Certificate in Statistics and Computer Science (1972) both from the University of Geneva, he earned a PhD in Computer Science (1977) also from the University of Geneva. In his PhD, he worked very early on the concept of abstract machines for portable compilers and operating systems.[3] From 1977 to 1989, he was Professor at the University of Montreal, in Canada, where he started to work on Computer Graphics and Animation. Then, he came back to Switzerland and founded the Virtual Reality Lab (VRlab) at EPFL, Switzerland. He has been Visiting Professor/ Researcher at CERN, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Tokyo, and National University of Singapore. He is co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds,[4] and member of the editorial board of 6 other journals. Daniel Thalmann has published more than 500 papers in Graphics, Animation, and Virtual Reality. He is coeditor of 30 books, and coauthor of several books including 'Crowd Simulation' (second edition 2012)[5] and 'Stepping Into Virtual Reality' (2007),[6] published by Springer.


In the eighties, Daniel Thalmann together with Nadia Magnenat Thalmann became interested in the realistic computer modelling and rendering of the human form, in motion. In 1988, they directed the short film "Rendez-vous à Montréal," which is widely regarded as the first computer film to employ synthetic actors, in this case Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe.[7]

In the nineties, Daniel Thalmann focused his research on behavioural animation of Virtual Humans, introducing the concept of synthetic vision for Autonomous Virtual Humans,[8] and developing methods for realistic gait modelling.[9] In the late 1990s, he launched the first project on crowd simulation of virtual humans,[10] initiating a new field of animation that now attracts many researchers. Rendering of tens of thousands of agents, collision detection and generation of varieties of individual people became important issues. He also introduced, with Marcelo Kallmann, the concept of smart objects as objects that describe their own possible interactions.

Daniel Thalmann is also recognized in the area of Virtual Rehabilitation, a term he coined with Professor Grigore Burdea of Rutgers University (USA). He has also created with him the International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation and is a founder of the International Society of Virtual Rehabilitation.

Awards and honors

Daniel Thalmann received an Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa) from Paul-Sabatier University in Toulouse, France, in 2003.[11] He also received the Eurographics Distinguished Career Award in 2010[12] and the 2012 Canadian Human Computer Communications Society Achievement Award.[13]


  1. Google Scholar
  2. Microsoft Academic Research
  3. D.Thalmann, Evolution in the design of abstract machines for software portability, Proceedings of the 3rd international conference on Software engineering, 1978, pp.333-341
  4. Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds, Wiley
  5. D. Thalmann, S. R. Musse, Crowd Simulation, Springer 2012 (2nd edition)
  6. M. Guttierrez, F. Vexo, D. Thalmann, Stepping Into Virtual Reality, Springer, 2008
  7. Virtual Actor, Wikipedia
  8. Olivier Renault, N. Magnenat-Thalmann, D. Thalmann, A vision-based approach to behavioural animation, The Journal of Visualization and Computer Animation, Vol. 1, Issue 1, August 1990, pp.18–21
  9. R. Boulic, N. Magnenat-Thalmann, D. Thalmann, A Global Human Walking Model with real time Kinematic Personification, The Visual Computer, Vol.6, No6, 1990, pp.344-358.
  10. S. R. Musse, D. Thalmann, Hierarchical Model for Real Time Simulation of Virtual Human Crowds, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Vol.7, Issue 2, April 2001, pp.152-164
  11. La dépèche, June 20, 2003
  12. Eurographics Distinguished Career Award 2010, Eurographics, European association for Computer Graphics
  13. Canadian Human Computer Communications Society

External links