Richard Roberts

Postdoctoral Research Fellow · CMIC
Computational Media Innovation Centre


  • Doctorate of Philosophy, Computer Graphics
    • Victoria University of Wellington
    • 2013–2018
  • Bachelor of Design
    • 2008–2011
    • Victoria University of Wellington

Research Interests

  • Computer Graphics
    • Artist Tools
    • Motion Capture
    • Facial Animation
    • Virtual Reality
  • Programming Languages
    • Language Interpretation
    • Self-optimizing Virtual Machines
  • Other Interests
    • Multimedia design
    • Applied Mathematics
      • Linear Algebra
      • Interpolation


Richard's career began in 1999 with a Pentium II powered Hewlett Packard computer. Using this computer, he learned basic web programming by reverse engineering web pages and creating virtual worlds with Valve's Hammer Editor. These early experiments instilled a DIY approach to computer programming in Richard, and a fascination with building story worlds. When the Hewlett Packard spontaneously short-circuited—through no fault of his own—Richard decided to formalize his digital media education at Victoria University of Wellington.

At the School of Design Innovation, Richard studied design practices surrounding 3D animation and modeling software, data processing and visualization, and web technologies. In 2010, Richard interned with Weta Digital as a Production Engineer, where he worked with a team to develop asset management software. Later, Richard returned to Victoria University of Wellington and completed his doctorate with the Computer Graphics group. His thesis presented a new algorithm for compressing and editing motion capture animation.

Having finished his doctorate study in early 2018, Richard began his professional career as a Research Fellow under Dr James Noble. Together, they created a new self-optimising compiler for the Grace programming language. Richard then joined Victoria University of Wellington’s Virtual World’s Lab as a Research Fellow on the virtual reality narrative short, Minimum Mass. Recently, Richard has joined the Computational Media Innovation Centre to start work on the next-generation performance-based facial animation pipeline. More details can be found on Richard's personal website.

Recent Publications

  • Piku Piku Interpolation: An artist-guided sampling algorithm for synthesizing detail applied to facial animation
    RA Roberts, RKD Anjos, K Anjyo, JP Lewis
    SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 Technical Briefs, 53-56, 2019
  • Saliency Diagrams: A tool for analyzing animation through the relative importance of keyposes
    N Nghiem, R Roberts, JP Lewis, J Noh
    SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 Technical Briefs, 49-52, 2019 2019
  • Which of my transient type checks are not (almost) free?
    IO Gariano, R Roberts, S Marr, M Homer, J Noble
    Proceedings of the 11th ACM SIGPLAN International Workshop on Virtual Machines and Intermediate Languages
  • Optimal and interactive keyframe selection for motion capture  (journal)
    R Roberts, JP Lewis, K Anjyo, J Seo, Y Seol
    Computational Visual Media, 1-21, 2019
  • Optimal and interactive keyframe selection for motion capture  (conference) R Roberts, JP Lewis, K Anjyo, J Seo, Y Seol SIGGRAPH Asia 2018 Technical Briefs, 26, 2018
  • Newspeak and Truffle: A Platform for Grace?
    S Marr, R Roberts, J Noble
    GRACE SPLASH’18, 2018
  • Toward virtual machine adaption rather than reimplementation
    R Roberts, S Marr, M Homer, J Noble
    MoreVMs’ 17: 1st International Workshop on Workshop on Modern Language Runtimes, Ecosystems, and VMs at< Programming> 2017, 2017
  • A pose space for squash and stretch deformation
    R Roberts, B Mallett 2013
    28th International Conference on Image and Vision Computing New Zealand (IVCNZ 2013),2013
  • Synthesis of Incidental Detail Using Higher Order Functions and Free Monads R Roberts,
    T Jones, J Lewis, 2013
    28th International Conference on Image and Vision Computing New Zealand (IVCNZ 2013),2013