In terms of character animation, the games industry is currently split into two groups: studios trying to achieve highly realistic motion, and those going for stylized characters. Interestingly enough, both these groups are converging on procedural animation as a way to reduce mocap overheads, reduce memory usage, provide animators with more direct control, and increase the space of animations possible...
In this keynote from the Paris Game AI Conference 2010, you'll hear Ken Perlin explain the benefits of procedural animation. Ken is a leading expert in the field of character animation, and in this presentation he demonstrates his many character prototypes he's built over the years. You'll see how simple techniques combined with effective artists controls can bring characters to life!
The files used during the presentation are available here:Procedural Animation and Why it Matters Format: Mp4 Procedural Animation and Why it Matters Format: MOV (QuickTime) Procedural Animation and Why it Matters Format: MP3
Ken Perlin is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at New York University. He's best known for his invention of multi-layered "Perlin" noise in the mid-80s, and most recently his work on procedural character animation. He is also the Chief Technology Advisor of ActorMachine, LLC.