Dynamic Animation and Control Environment
DANCE online


Ari Shapiro (ashapiro@cs.ucla.edu)

Original Authors

Victor Ng-Thow-Hing

Petros Faloutsos

DANCE is a open, plug-in based, object-oriented software package for physics-based character animation. One of its goals is to provide researchers with a common platform where they can test their control methods and share their results. In addition, it provides the common, yet complex functionality that everyone needs in a physics-based animation system, allowing researchers to concentrate on their research work. DANCE has been used for a variety of physics-based applications that include biomechanics modelling and composeable controllers.


  • Import/Export of motion capture
  • Ragdoll simulation
  • Physical simulation of characters with dynamic control
  • Pose based dynamic control
  • Creation of videos from OpenGL or high quality output via POVRay http://www.povray.org
  • Integrated with the Open Dynamics Engine (ODE) http://www.ode.org
  • Easy plugin interface and example code
  • All source code included

Running DANCE

A binary version of the DANCE system is available at dance_v3_binary_072506.zip.

To install DANCE, extract the .zip file into a directory, install the Python, ImageMagick and POVRay executables, then change your directory to dance_v3/ and run the startdance.bat file.

You can browse the
DANCE manual.

Discussion Group

An archive of the messages in the discussion group can be found at:
To subscribe to the DANCE development email list, send an email to:
To post a message to this email list, subscribe first, then send an email to:

Bug Database

The DANCE bug database is located at http://bluefin.cs.ucla.edu/bugzilla.

expressive posturing

skeleton attacking another skeleton

kinematic kick, dynamic reaction

kinematic kicker, dynamic goalie

ragdoll reaction to soccerball obstacle

dynamically controlled reaction to bowling ball obstacle

Dive stairs

Sit on chair

Composeable controllers

motion capture characters