Institute for Creative Technologies, USC

Intelligent Virtual Agents Conference 2006

First  Call for Participation

GALA – Gathering of Animated Lifelike Agents


to be held at IVA 2006, 21-23 August, Marina del Rey, California, USA

The submission deadline is 15 June 2006.

Download the Call Here


GALA – Gathering of Animated Lifelike Agents – is an annual festival to showcase the latest animated lifelike agents created by university students and academic or industrial research groups. The quality and interactive capabilities of the animated lifelike agent are to be presented in a short movie. An international jury will select the best entries to be presented at the GALA Final during IVA2006, and to be shown on the permanent GALA Gallery.  The GALA Award will be given for the best student entry. More details at:



GALA in a nutshell.
GALA is an annual festival to showcase the latest vAnimated Lifelike Agents created by university students, 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 and innovative applications;

· the GALA 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 study and re-use.


An international jury will take care of the selection of select entries for the GALA Gallery, to be presented live at the GALA Final. An international jury and public will denote award prizes to some of the submissions.


The quality and interactive capacity of the virtual character is to be presented in a short movie (see Submission details). In this respect GALA is different from and complementary to scientific conferences where demonstrations are at most illustrations of talks, most often not included in proceedings and thus hard to reproduce. Another difference is that GALA intends to attract students, with submissions prepared in a shorter time, preferably as a project related to their university curriculum. This is unlike the output of larger-scale research presented at conferences.


Participants tracks



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 virtual humans 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 especially emphasized.



In this track work by/from academic institutions and industry as well as from multi-party national or international projects are 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. Awards may be given only to student submissions. Submission categories and formal requirements (see below) are identical for both tracks.


Submission categories


GALA Presenter
The Animated Lifelike Agent – a talking head, or a full-body character – is to present GALA. The character should provide information either in a monologue, or by answering questions. In both cases, the character should be life-like and engaging.
Even if the presentation is non-interactive, it is encouraged to provide some attentive capabilities. The adaptability of the used computational framework (for a different presentation task) should be made clear.

Animated Lifelike Agent Application
The Animated Lifelike Agent is developed for an application context. 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.

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. PC, palmtop, mobile phone) is 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.


Submission format


The Animated Lifelike Agent is to be demonstrated in a movie of 2-4 minutes, in the first round. From the submissions, an international jury will invite the entries for the second round, which will be presented at GALA in public.


The submission deadline is 15 June 2006.


For the technical details of submitting, see




Chair:                              Zsófia Ruttkay (HMI, University of Twente, The Netherlands)

Steering committee:     Doron Friedman (UCL, UK)

                                       Jonathan Gratch (USC, USA)

                                       Tsai-Yen Li (National Chengchi University, Taiwan)

                                       Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann, (MiraLab,  Switzerland)

                                       Igor Pandzic (University of Zagreb, Croatia)

                                       Catherine Pelachaud (University Paris 8, France)

Technical assistant:     Hendri Hondorp (HMI, University of Twente)


Contact                         Zsófia Ruttkay   zsofi(AT)



Last Year’s Event

Information about last year’s even can be found at:

GALA 2006 (Gathering of Likelike Animated Agents)