Many Pies

Many Pies

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sign language project details

More details on the sign language project I mentioned earlier.

It's called WoSP which stands for World Sign Processor. It's "an attempt to
provide software to help the Deaf and others as they work on recording
sign-language data".

The WoSP notation will be a computer readable notation which contains the
component parts of signs, and also allows computers to generate rough 3d
animation and SignWriting ready for final editing. It needs to capture the
essence of signs, without missing out on detail, such as facial movements
and body movement, and without over-complicating things, such as capturing
the position of every finger to the micrometre.
Getting signs into the encoding is another challenge. "Just use motion
capture" I said to a colleague when discussing it. The trouble is motion
capture isn't a simple technology and converting lots of motion capture data
to the sign encoding is another challenge. The preferred method may be a
combination of choosing an existing sign plus some keyboard input, though
things are at an early stage.

Getting the information out again is the third challenge. Ideally you want
- static diagrams, maybe with arrows
- animated diagrams
- computer animated figures
all from the same source of signs.

There are other, smaller, challenges on the way, such as how you move from
one sign to another without the hands suddenly jerking.

Here are some more relevant links:

There's an excerpt from our prayer DVD on the subject of sign language
translations of the Bible

For analysing sign languages for translation purpose there is Elan
- "a professional tool for the creation of
complex annotations on video and audio resources "



Dee Collins said...

Hello Paul (and Suzanna)
I noticed your paragraph on the WoSP project. Cool!

Currently, Wycliffe has documented 160 signed languages now. A change from last years 120.

Also-a good Animator can flow the signs well without much "jerkiness" involved.
We will see just how good Shawn really is eh?

Take care.
Dee Collins

Paul Morriss said...

Thanks for the update. Geoffrey was doing the presentation he did at Computer Technical Conference last November and some other things were out of date too.

I'm sure Shawn is good, but can he get his skill into a program to automatically transition between signs. A fun challenge I'm sure!

Ross said...

Interesting blog. If you look at my blog, you'll see some mentions of Wycliffe and SIL. I'm a Wycliffe supporter, and have done some voluntary work for them. Blessings to you.