In the past decade, networked virtual environments (NVEs) have been an increasingly active area of research, with the first commercial systems emerging recently. Graphical and behavioral representation of users within such systems is a particularly important issue that has lagged in development behind other issues such as network architectures and space structuring. In this paper, we expose the importance of using virtual humans within these systems and provide a brief overview of several virtual humans technologies used in particular for simulation of crowds. As the main technical contribution, the paper presents the integration of these technologies with the COVEN-DIVE platform, the extension of the DIVE system developed within the COVEN project. In conjunction with this, we present our contributions through the COVEN project to the MPEG-4 standard concerning the representation of virtual humans.

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