This study examined if there is a difference in viewer perception of computer animated character facial expressions based on character body style, specifically, realistic and stylized character body styles. Participants viewed twenty clips of computer animated characters expressing one of five emotions: sadness, happiness, anger, surprise and fear. They then named the emotion and rated the sincerity, intensity, and typicality of each clip. The results indicated that for recognition, participants were more slightly more likely to recognize a stylized character although it was not a significant difference. Stylized characters were on average rated higher for sincerity and intensity and realistic characters were on average rated higher for typicality. A significant difference in ratings was shown with fear (within sincerity and typicality) having realistic characters rated higher, happiness (within sincerity and intensity) having stylized characters rated higher and stylized being rated higher once for anger (stylized) and realistic (typicality) being rated once for anger. Other differences were also noted within the dependent variables. Based on the data collected in this study, overall there was not a significant difference in participant ratings between the two character styles.


Computer animation, realistic, stylized, computer animated character, perception, character body style

Date of this Version



Computer Graphics Technology

Department Head

Marvin Sarapin

Month of Graduation



Master of Science

Head of Graduate Program

Marvin Sarapin

Advisor 1 or Chair of Committee

Nicoletta Adamo-Villani

Committee Member 1

Nicoletta Adamo-Villani

Committee Member 2

Mihaela Vorvoreanu

Committee Member 3

Melissa Dark