A central problem of applications dealing with virtual environments is planning a collision-free path for a character. Since environments and their characters are growing more realistic, a character’s path needs to be visually convincing, meaning that the path is smooth, short, has some clearance to the obstacles in the environment, and avoids other characters. Up to now, it has proved difficult to meet these criteria simultaneously and in real-time. We introduce a new data structure, i.e. the Explicit Corridor Map, which allows creating the shortest path, the path that has the largest amount of clearance, or any path in between. Besides being efficient, the corresponding algorithms are surprisingly simple. By integrating the data structure and algorithms into the Indicative Route Method, we show that visually convincing short paths can be obtained in real-time
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