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Ms. Rachel Mc Donnell

Associate Professor (Computer Science)
Non College Properties


  Computer & Video Games   Computer Animation   Computer Graphics   Computer Graphics & Vision   Computer Science   HUMAN COMPUTER INTERACTION
 RADICal: on-set virtual Reality for Actors portraying DIgital Characters
 Game Face: Perceptually Optimised Real-Time Facial Animation

Details Date
Advisory board for Eurographics 2022
External Examiner for PhD defence at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. 2021
Program Committee Member for ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Applied Perception 2009
ACM SIGGRAPH Asia Program Committee Member 2021
Program Committee Member for CASA: Computer Animation and Social Agents conference 2012
Program Committee Member for ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion in Games 2012
Program Committee Member for ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation 2009
External Examiner for PhD defence at Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus - Senftenberg 2020
Program Committee Member for IEEE VR 2019
Program Committee Member for ACM SIGGRAPH Interactive 3D Graphics and Games (I3D) 2018
ACM SIGGRAPH Asia Sketches and Posters Program Committee Member 2010
Associate Editor for ACM Transactions on Applied Perception 2013-current
Associate Editor for the Journal of Eurographics, the European Association for Computer Graphics (Computer Graphics Forum) 2014, 2021
Editorial board for Frontiers in Virtual Reality Journal. 2019
Eurographics Program Committee Member 2012
External Examiner for PhD defence at INRIA, Rennes, France. 2022
Program Chair for Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization, Los Angeles, U.S.A. 2012
ACM SIGGRAPH Program Committee Member 2014
Acted as the external examiner for CGI Technical Artist Apprenticeship in Technical University Dublin. Examined all the student coursework and attended Exam Board meeting to give feedback on the apprenticeship. 2021
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Basic Basic Basic
Irish Medium Basic Medium
Details Date From Date To
Association for Computing Machinery
Sean Thomas, Ylva Ferstl, Rachel McDonnell, Cathy Ennis, Investigating how speech and animation realism influence the perceived personality of virtual characters and agents, IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (IEEE VR) , 2022, Notes: [to appear], Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
Lauren E. Buck, Mauricio Flores Vargas, Rachel McDonnell, The Effect of Spatial Audio on the Virtual Representation of Personal Space, IEEE VR Workshop on Sonic Interactions in Virtual Environments (SIVE), 2022, Notes: [to appear], Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
Eduard Zell, Rachel McDonnell, Compact Facial Landmark Layouts for Performance Capture, Computer Graphics Forum (Eurographics), 2022, Notes: [to appear], Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Darragh Higgins, Katja Zibrek, Joao P. Cabral, Donal Egan, Rachel McDonnell, Sympathy for the digital: influence of synthetic voice on affinity, social presence and empathy for photorealistic virtual humans, Computers and Graphics, 104, 2022, p116-128-, Notes: [to appear], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Rebecca Fribourg, Etienne Peillard, Rachel McDonnell, Mirror, Mirror on My Phone: Investigating Dimensions of Self-Face Perception Induced by Augmented Reality Filters, IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR), 2021, pp470 - 478, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
Ylva Ferstl, Sean Thomas, Cedric Guiard, Cathy Ennis, Rachel McDonnell, Human or Robot?: Investigating voice, appearance and gesture motion realism of conversational social agents, ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA), 2021, pp76 - 83, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED  DOI
Donal Egan, George Fletcher, Yiguo Qiao, Darren Cosker, Rachel McDonnell, How to train your dog: Neural enhancement of quadruped animations, ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion, Interaction and Games, 2021, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Katja Zibrek, Joao Cabral, Rachel McDonnell, Does Synthetic Voice alter Social Response to a Photorealistic Character in Virtual Reality?, 14th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion, Interaction and Games, 2021, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED  DOI
Darragh Higgins, Donal Egan, Rebecca Fribourg, Benjamin Cowan, Rachel McDonnell, Ascending from the valley: Can state-of-the-art photorealism avoid the uncanny?, 2021, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Ylva Ferstl, Rachel McDonnell, Michael Neff, Evaluating Study Design and Strategies for Mitigating the Impact of Hand Tracking Loss, ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA), 2021, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED  DOI
  

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Appearance in, editor(s)B. Lugrin, C. Pelachaud, D. Traum , Handbook on Socially Interactive Agents, New York, United States, Association for Computing Machinery, 2021, [Rachel McDonnell, Bilge Mutlu], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Eduard Zell, Katja Zibrek, Xueni Pan, Marco Gillies, Rachel McDonnell, From Perception to Interaction with Virtual Characters, Eurographics 2020 - Tutorials, 2020, Review Article, PUBLISHED
Daniel Thalmann, Carol O'Sullivan, Barbara Yersin, Jonathan Maim, Rachel McDonnell, Populating Virtual Environments with Crowds, Eurographics Tutorials, 2007, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
McHugh, J.E., McDonnell, R., Chan, J.S. & Newell, F.N., The Multisensory Perception of Emotions in Real and Virtual Humans, British Psychological Society Annual Conference 2008, Dublin, April 2008, Poster, PRESENTED

  

Award Date
Best Paper Honorable Mention at ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA) 2021
Selected as on of the top 5 papers at ACM Symposium on Applied Perception 2021
Fellowship, Trinity College Dublin 2020
Best Short Paper Award at ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion, Interaction, and Games 2020
Best Paper Honorable Mention at ACM Symposium on Applied Perception 2020
Best Paper Award at ACM Symposium on Applied Perception 2019
Best paper award (top 5) at ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion in Games 2013
Career Development Award (SFI) 2013
Creating virtual replicas of human beings, in both appearance and motion, is one of the greatest challenges in the field of Computer Graphics and beyond. My main research direction involves advancing the state-of-the-art in virtual humans, a highly competitive field with large investment from the top tech companies (Microsoft, Google, Meta, etc.). However, I am credited with a unique approach of using human perception to deepen our understanding of virtual humans and improve the technological advancements. I have made a significant impact by exploring the use of novel experiments to understand human perception of virtual beings. In particular, how photorealism can influence higher level concepts such as perceived emotion, personality, and trustworthiness. My work has been published at the top venues (including ACM TOG, TOCHI, TAP, CGF, CAG, IEEE VR, ISMAR, IVA, MIG, SAP since my last promotion) and I secured >€2.5M in research funding (€1.3M since my last promotion). I am a recognised world leader in virtual human research, as evidenced by an industry award of $85K from Epic Games, to collaborate on using perception to improve their high-fidelity 'Metahumans'. I also gave masterclasses on perception of virtual humans at Eurographics (Tutorial, 2020) and SIGGRAPH (Course, 2019). I am also a leader in embodied virtual human research, and credited as the first to use adversarial networks for automating the gesture behaviours of virtual agents. Our system is recognised as one of the current leading systems in AI gesture generation (cited 55 times since 2020). I have also been awarded funding from EI to investigate commercial feasibility and was invited as a leading expert to co-author a chapter in the ACM Handbook on Socially Interactive Agents. Finally, our Trinity-Speech-Gesture dataset was licensed to Electronic Arts Inc., who recognised the dataset as the gold-standard for speech-to-gesture systems.