Motion Regularization for Model-Based Head Tracking

Sumit Basu, Irfan Essa, Alex Pentland

Proceedings of the IEEE Int'l Conf. on Pattern Recognition (ICPR '96). Vienna, Austria. 1996. |

Published by Perceptual Computing Section, Media Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA., U.S.A.

This paper describes a method for the robust tracking of rigid head motion from video. This method uses a 3D ellipsoidal model of the head and interprets the optical flow in terms of the possible rigid motions of the model. This method is robust to large angular and translational motions of the head and is not subject to the singularities of a 2D model. The method has been successfully applied to heads with a variety of shapes, hair styles, etc. This method also has the advantage of accurately capturing the 3D motion parameters of the head. This accuracy is shown through comparison with a ground truth synthetic sequence (a rendered 3D animation of a model head). In addition, the ellipsoidal model is robust to small variations in the initial fit, enabling the automation of the model initialization. Lastly, due to its consideration of the entire 3D aspect of the head, the tracking is very stable over a large number of frames. This robustness extends even to sequences with very low frame rates and noisy camera images.