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AISB event Bulletin Item

Gathering of Animated Lifelike Agents: GALA 2008 - First Call for Participation

GALA (Gathering of Animated Lifelike Agents)
                  at IVA 2008, 1-3 September, Tokyo
                        Call for Participation

GALA is an annual festival to showcase the latest Animated Lifelike
Agents created by university students and academic or industrial
research groups. GALA was launched in 2005. GALA provides:
- the GALA Final event, to demonstrate the state-of-the-art in the
technology of virtual humans;
- the GALA Jury Award for student projects and the GALA Public Award
for any entry;
- the permanent GALA Gallery on the web with the best entries
exhibited for further study.

An international jury will select entries for the GALA Gallery, to be
presented live at the GALA Final.
GALA is the major event for demonstrating your interactive virtual
humans, exploiting techniques in real-time graphics, animation,
multimodal interaction, agents, emotion modeling, dialog management
and related areas. The quality and interactive capabilities of the
animated lifelike agent are to be presented in a short movie (see
Submission details). GALA is different from and complementary to
scientific conferences where demonstrations are at most illustrations
of talks, often not included in proceedings and thus hard to
reproduce. GALA specifically encourages university students at all
levels to submit their work prepared in a shorter time, preferably as
a project related to their university curriculum, unlike the output of
larger-scale research presented at conferences.
1. Student 
Students from any university, individually or as a group, may submit
in this track. For each student submission a supervisor should be
named, who can be contacted should the jury want to clarify some
issues concerning originality of the work or status of the
authors. The works submitted in this track must be prepared within a
year prior to submission, preferably as a student project related to a
university curriculum. However, animated lifelike agents created in
the context of a larger research project or industrial application are
welcome too, as well as ones made on their developer's own initiative,
i.e. without any background context. In the first case, the
contribution of the student to the project as well as the earlier
results built upon should be specifically emphasized.
2. Other 
In this track work from academic institutions and industry, as well as
from multi-party national or international projects, is welcome.

All submissions are candidates for the short list of entries, to be
presented at the final show and to be included in the
repository. Submission categories and formal requirements (see below)
are identical for both tracks.
1. Race Reporter
The Race Reporter is a talking head, reporting live on an ongoing
horse race. The challenge is to produce a believable and engaging
reporter, both with respect to the content and the presentation style,
conveying the increase of tension during the race. The Race Reporter
should be able to report in real time on any race generated by the
Race Simulator, software provided via the GALA web page.

2. Animated Lifelike Agent Application
The animated lifelike agent is developed for an application. The movie
shows the animated lifelike agent in the application context. The
points of interest are novelty of application, smoothness of
interaction, appeal, general design, consistency, etc.

3. Animated Lifelike Agent Creation
In this category, a special feature (e.g. lip-sync, body design,
facial animation, hand gesturing) of the animated lifelike agent is to
be presented. The points of interest are modules or tools used to
create certain aspects of animated lifelike agents, in an easy way and
convincing quality.

In the last two categories, the embodiment (head/full body,
realistic/cartoon-like), the cast of role (e.g.  information provider
for the user, actor in interactive drama, educator, chatbot) and the
media (e.g. Virtual reality, PC, palmtop, mobile phone) are
open. Novel application domains, designs and media are encouraged. The
only restriction is that the animated lifelike agent must have
reactive and/or interactive capabilities, as opposed to virtual
characters animated for a single purpose (e.g. CG animation for a
film, direct usage of Motion Capture). Physical robots are not
eligible for GALA.

The animated lifelike agent is to be documented and shown in a movie
of 2-4 minutes, in the first round.  The international jury will
invite the entries for the second round, to be demonstrated at the
GALA Final in public.

The submission deadline is *1 June 2008*.

For further details, and submissions of previous years, see

Zsofia Ruttkay (University of Twente, The Netherlands)
Yukiko Nakano (Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan)

Steering committee
Elisabeth Andre (University of Augsburg, Germany)
Michael Kipp (DFKI, Germany)
Tsai-Yen Li (National Chengchi University, Taiwan)
Jean-Claude Martin (LIMSI-CNRS, France)
Stacy Marsella, (USC Information Science Institute, USA)
Anton Nijholt (University of Twente, The Netherlands)
Igor Pandzic (University of Zagreb, Croatia)
Helmut Prendinger (National Institute of Informatics, Japan)

Technical assistant
Hendri Hondorp (University of Twente, The Netherlands)

Zsofia Ruttkay by mail: