Speech Breathing in Virtual Humans: An Interactive Model and Empirical Study

Ulysses Bernardet, Sin-hwa Kanq, Andrew Feng, Steve Dipaola, Ari Shapiro

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Human speech production requires the dynamic regulation of air through the vocal system. While virtual character systems commonly are capable of speech output, they rarely take breathing during speaking - speech breathing - into account. We believe that integrating dynamic speech breathing systems in virtual characters can significantly contribute to augmenting their realism. Here, we present a novel control architecture aimed at generating speech breathing in virtual characters. This architecture is informed by behavioral, linguistic and anatomical knowledge of human speech breathing. Based on textual input and controlled by a set of low-and high-level parameters, the system produces dynamic signals in real-time that control the virtual character's anatomy (thorax, abdomen, head, nostrils, and mouth) and sound production (speech and breathing). In addition, we perform a study to determine the effects of including breathing-motivated speech movements, such as head tilts and chest expansions during dialogue on a virtual character, as well as breathing sounds. This study includes speech that is generated both from a text-to-speech engine as well as from recorded voice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE Virtual Humans and Crowds for Immersive Environments, VHCIE 2019
ISBN (Electronic)9781728132198
ISBN (Print)9781728132198
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2019
Event2019 IEEE Virtual Humans and Crowds for Immersive Environments (VHCIE) - Osaka, Japan
Duration: 24 Mar 201924 Mar 2019


Conference2019 IEEE Virtual Humans and Crowds for Immersive Environments (VHCIE)

Bibliographical note

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  • 500 [Human-centered computing]
  • Computing methodologies - Virtual reality
  • Human-centered computing - Empirical studies in HCI 500 [Computing methodologies]
  • Procedural animation - [500]
  • Virtual reality - [500]


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