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Exploring Photobios or Being John Malkovich

Retouching photos has come a long way from cumbersome work in the darkroom to automated photo manipulation in Adobe's Photoshop or even within the camera itself. Red-eye correction, smile and blink detection are among the common functions found in today's digital cameras. Several of these functions have roots in the research work at GRAIL, the Graphics and Imaging Laboratory of the University of Washington. Who knows what the latest rearch work of the Photobios project will bring to future digital cameras...
Exploring Photobios or Being John Malkovich - digital camera and photography news


Exploring Photobios

We present an approach for generating face animations from large image collections of the same person. Such collections, which we call photobios, sample the appearance of a person over changes in pose, facial expression, hairstyle, age, and other variations. By optimizing the order in which images are displayed and cross-dissolving between them, we control the motion through face space and create compelling animations (e.g., render a smooth transition from frowning to smiling). Used in this context, the cross dissolve produces a very strong motion effect; a key contribution of the paper is to explain this effect and analyze its operating range. The approach operates by creating a graph with faces as nodes, and similarities as edges, and solving for walks and shortest paths on this graph. The processing pipeline involves face detection, locating fiducials (eyes/nose/mouth), solving for pose, warping to frontal views, and image comparison based on Local Binary Patterns. We demonstrate results on a variety of datasets including time-lapse photography, personal photo collections, and images of celebrities downloaded from the Internet.

Continue reading at the GRAIL website

Being John Malkovich

Given a photo of person A, we seek a photo of person B with similar pose and expression. Solving this problem enables a form of puppetry, in which one person appears to control the face of another. When deployed on a webcam-equipped computer, our approach enables a user to control another person's face in real-time. This image-retrieval-inspired approach employs a fully-automated pipeline of face analysis techniques, and is extremely general—we can puppet anyone directly from their photo collection or videos in which they appear. We show several examples using images and videos of celebrities from the Internet.

Continue reading at the GRAIL website
May 21, 2011
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