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Method and apparatus for specification, control and modulation of social primitives in animated characters

Non Verbal Behaviors (NVBs) are parameterized and selected for using in enhancing communicative abilities of an animated character. A parameter selection device selects the NVBs from a database of NVBs based on selection criteria consistent with a response or action generated by an animated character program. The selected NVBs are modulated based on an emphasis to be placed on the communication, and other factors, such as a personality of the animated character. The modulated NVBs are placed in a data stream of NVBs and other actions and communications, including, for example, language, that is provided to an animation system for display. The processes of the present invention allow for NVBs to be utilized to more effectively engage users of the animated character. The processes of the present invention may be applied in any animated character system including products by Microsoft (Office Assistant, Agent, etc.).

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