Original Article

The Visual Computer

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 505-519

First online:

From sentence to emotion: a real-time three-dimensional graphics metaphor of emotions extracted from text

  • Stephane GobronAffiliated withEPFL, IC ISIM VRLAB Email author 
  • , Junghyun AhnAffiliated withEPFL, IC ISIM VRLAB
  • , Georgios PaltoglouAffiliated withEPFL, IC ISIM VRLAB
  • , Michael ThelwallAffiliated withEPFL, IC ISIM VRLAB
  • , Daniel ThalmannAffiliated withEPFL, IC ISIM VRLAB

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This paper presents a novel concept: a graphical representation of human emotion extracted from text sentences. The major contributions of this paper are the following. First, we present a pipeline that extracts, processes, and renders emotion of 3D virtual human (VH). The extraction of emotion is based on data mining statistic of large cyberspace databases. Second, we propose methods to optimize this computational pipeline so that real-time virtual reality rendering can be achieved on common PCs. Third, we use the Poisson distribution to transfer database extracted lexical and language parameters into coherent intensities of valence and arousal—parameters of Russell’s circumplex model of emotion. The last contribution is a practical color interpretation of emotion that influences the emotional aspect of rendered VHs. To test our method’s efficiency, computational statistics related to classical or untypical cases of emotion are provided. In order to evaluate our approach, we applied our method to diverse areas such as cyberspace forums, comics, and theater dialogs.


Virtual reality Distribution functions Data mining Text analysis Psychology and sociology Facial animation