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Adaptation of a Generic Face Model to a 3D Scan


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In this paper we propose a fast and simple adap-tation of a generic face model to a 3D scan. The adaptation is divided into global and local adaptation. The global adaptation is based on radial basis functions (RBFs), whereas the local adaptation refines the mesh of a face model to achieve better adaptation results. The 3D scan is several times low-pass filtered before the mesh of a generic face model is iteratively adapted first to the most and then to less filtered scans. Finally the generic model is adapted to the original scan. In this way the face model is precisely and efficiently adapted to the scan.
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Adaptation of a Generic Face Model to a 3D Scan
Axel Weissenfeld, Nikolˇ
ce Stefanoski, Shen Qiuqiong and Joern Ostermann
Institute of Information Technology
University of Hannover
Appelstr. 9A, 30167 Hannover, Germany
aweissen, stefanos, qshen,
AbstractIn this paper we propose a fast and simple adap-
tation of a generic face model to a 3D scan. The adaptation is
divided into global and local adaptation. The global adaptation
is based on radial basis functions (RBFs), whereas the local
adaptation refines the mesh of a face model to achieve better
adaptation results. The 3D scan is several times low-pass filtered
before the mesh of a generic face model is iteratively adapted
first to the most and then to less filtered scans. Finally the generic
model is adapted to the original scan. In this way the face model
is precisely and efficiently adapted to the scan.
In computer vision 3D generic models are frequently used
for tackling many tasks, such as 3D motion estimation of a
human face, model-based coding or facial animation (FA). A
model-based algorithm for tracking a human face is described
in [1]. This algorithm is based on adapting a generic face
model to the human subject. Another application for adaptation
is facial animation. Research in FA started in the early 70’s
[2]. From that time on different animation techniques [3] [4]
were developed, which continuously improved the animation.
Finally, in MPEG-4 a Facial Animation specification was stan-
dardized [5], that enables the use of a generic face model. In
order to synthesize personalized facial animation, the generic
face model has to be adapted to the geometric shape of an
individual human subject.
For the described tasks a precise adaptation is necessary
to achieve good tracking or animation results. Since faces
have a highly complex 3D shape, a precise adaptation is a
challenging task. Classically a generic face model is adapted
to an image in two steps: First facial feature points, such
as eye corners and nostrils are detected. Then the generic
model is adapted to these features. These approaches range
from single view [6] to multiple-views [3]. In single views
depth information is obviously not available, so that the
model cannot be precisely adapted. Both methods attempt
to automatically detect facial features. However, they lack in
robustness, so that the reconstructed 3D shape is often not
precise. Even manual assistance will not lead to precise 3D
shapes. Laser scanners offer the opportunity to automatically
capture precise 3D shapes of objects by using a 3D shape
acquisition system.
Acquired 3D-shapes are usually represented by triangle
meshes with a large number of vertices. Since these mesh
vertices are semantically unrelated, facial animation parame-
ters as defined in MPEG-4 cannot be directly extracted from
the scan. Furthermore, 3D scans have a high resolution, so
3D scanGeneric Face Model
N manually selected
feature points
Fig. 1. Pipeline of adapting a generic face model to 3D scan.
that the computational effort is too large for real time appli-
cations. Consequently, generic face models are indispensable
for tracking and animations.
A precise adaptation of generic models to 3D scans is
possible. Earlier approaches [7]–[9] discussed the adaptation
of a generic face model to a 3D scan for facial animations.
However, these papers did not investigate the adaptation error,
whereas we are addressing the problem of adapting generic
face models as precise as possible. Our adaptation process is
divided into global and local adaptation. The global adaptation
roughly adapts the geometric shape of the generic face model
to the 3D scan via RBFs. This paper describes a novel
approach of locally adapting a generic face model to a 3D
scan by low-pass filtering the original scan a few times,
before the face model is iteratively adapted. Low-pass filters
for 3D objects are simple to implement. They requiring low
computational effort and they are very effective for a precise
In the following some notations are introduced, which will
be used in the remainder of this paper. A mesh M= (V, E)
is considered as a tuple of sets of vertices Vand edges E.E
is the connectivity of mesh M.piVdenotes a vertex of M
and eij Edenotes an edge connecting piand pj. The set of
neighbors N(i)of vertex piconsists of all vertices pjwhich
Fig. 2. Mesh of generic face model before (a) and after uniform plain
subdivision (b).
have a common edge eij with pi.N(i)is also called the 1-
neighborhood of vertex pi. We will denote the face model with
Mm= (Vm, Em)and the 3D scan with Ms= (Vs, E s). The
cardinality of an arbitrary set Swill be denoted as |S|.
In the remainder of this paper, we give an overview of
our system (Section 2). Furthermore are discussed the global
(Section 3) and local adaptation (Section 4). The error measure
is explained in section 5. In section 6 some adaptation results
are presented.
The overall framework of our face model adaptation system
is described in Fig.1. The inputs are a 3D scan acquired
by a Cyberware scanner and a generic face model. As face
models we selected a simplified Candide-1 model for rigid 3D
motion estimation and a Candide-3 model, which is compliant
to MPEG-4 Face Animation, for animation. The Candide-
1 model consists of 76 vertices and 99 triangles, while the
Candide-3 model consists of 113 vertices and 168 triangles.
Note that our face model adaptation system is not limited to
the two models used.
First the generic face model Mmis globally adapted to the
3D scan Msby selecting N manually corresponding points in
both meshes resulting in mesh ¯
Mm. This adaptation achieves
a scaling and position of the face model’s facial features to
the 3D scan.
Secondly, the globally adapted face model ¯
Mmis further
improved locally by shifting vertices successively within a
small domain.
The number of vertices of the scan is much higher than
the number of vertices of the face model, i.e. the number of
degrees of freedom needed for adaptation is strongly limited.
This restricts the overall adaptation to coarse features of the
scan, like nose, mouth, eyes, eyebrows. In order to increase
the accuracy of the adaptation process to finer details the user
has the opportunity to increase the resolution, i.e. to increase
the number of vertices to the generic face model. Therefore
we use uniform plain subdivision, which divides each mesh
triangle into four smaller triangles (Fig. 2).
The face model is globally adapted to the 3D scan by
selecting manually N facial feature points in the 3D scan;
e.g. for Candide-1 N=16. This is the only manual interference
required by the user. Then the Candide mask is adapted to
the 3D scan by interpolation, which is based on radial basis
functions [10]. RBFs are well known in the head animation
community for adapting generic head models [3] and even
animating facial parts [11]. A function describing the linear
transformation of f(pm
i) = pm
i,new, in which the N 3D feature
points of the Candide mask are mapped onto the 3D scan.
This transformation can be described as follows:
i) =
from which we can determine the control points bjand cl.
For geometric applications, as described here, the first term
Φis a radial basis function, which is shift and rotation
invariant. In literature a high number of RBFs are proposed
[12]. In our work we selected φ(r) = (1 r)3
+(8 + 9r+r2)
with Φ(r) = φ(krk2)for adapting the Candide mask to a
3D scan. The second term represents a polynomial space with
degree 3 representing the x, y, and z coordinate of 3D space
Note that after the global adaptation only the N correspond-
ing points of the generic face model are located on the scan.
Since the positions of the other vertices are calculated as an
interpolation of the corresponding points (1), these vertices
may not be located on the 3D scan. Thus, a local adaptation
is necessary.
The process of local adaptation refines the globally adapted
model ¯
Mmto achieve a more precise adaptation of the face
model Mmto the 3D scan Ms. This local adaptation is
achieved by gradually adapting the face model ¯
Mmto a series
of meshes Ms
1, . . . , M s
l, . . . , M s
L=Msgenerated from the
3D scan. Here the mesh Ms
1captures the low ”frequency”
part of the scan, while meshes Ms
lwith increasing index l
possess more and more details leading to the scan Ms
itself, the most detailed mesh (Fig. 3). It is assumed that in
this series only vertex positions change, while the connectivity
l, which is given by the connectivity of the scan Es, remains
the same for all meshes Ms
l. Local adaptation is performed
by iterative application of an operator T, i. e.
l:= T(Mm
l1, M s
l)for l= 1, . . . , L, M m
0:= ¯
After a series of gradual face model adaptations the final
adapted face model Mm
Lis received. In order to obtain an
overall accurate adaptation of the face model to the details
of the 3D scan gradual adaptations preformed by the operator
Tin (2) have to be accurate. In our framework we employ
the next neighbor operator Tnn.Tnn (Mm
l1, M s
l)updates each
vertex pm
iof the face model Mm
l1with the nearest vertex ps
in the 3D scan Ms
l, i.e.
j0with ps
j0= argminps
The series of meshes (Ms
l)l=1...,L induces a hierarchy in
the details of the 3D scan. Such a hierarchy can be received
by low-pass filtering. A hierarchy is required in order to
allow accurate gradual adaptations while repeatedly applying
operator T in (2); i.e. the face model is successively adapted
to the details of the scan from coarse to fine.
low−pass filtering adaptation
Fig. 3. Local adaptation: First the scan is low-pass filtered, before the generic
face model is iteratively adapted.
A. Low-pass filtering
In order to obtain a hierarchy of meshes with increasing
details low-pass filtering is applied. There are several filtering
techniques for 2-manifold meshes known in literature [13]–
[15]. In our mask adaptation framework we employ a filter
based on a discretized version of the Laplace-Operator [13]
dwhich is defined as
d(pi) = 1
A low-pass filtered version Ml=Hλ(Ml+1)of mesh Ml+1
is obtained by updating all vertices ˜piof Mlaccording to
˜pi=pi+λd(pi)with ˜piVl, piVl+1 (3)
for λ[0,2]. The parameter λcontrols the amount of
attenuation of the details of the scan, e.g. for λ= 1 H1
shifts all vertices piinto their local barycenter. For values
of λoutside of [0,2] Hλhas no low-pass filtering properties
anymore. Thus by successive application of the low-pass filter
Hλto the 3D scan Mswe get a series of meshes Ms
L, . . . , M s
with attenuating high ”frequencies”:
l:= Hλ(Ms
l+1)for l= 1, . . . , L 1, Ms
L:= Ms.(4)
The number of vertices and the connectivity in all low-pass
filtered scans remain the same as in the original. Vertices are
only shifted, as described by equation (3). Hence, the mean
Euclidean distance between the vertices of two consecutive
low-pass filtered scans Ms
land Ms
l+1 can be easily calculated.
If this distance is smaller than a threshold dth, which is defined
relatively to the length of the bounding box diagonal of the
scan, the low-pass filtering is stopped and the number of low-
pass filtered scans Lin (4) is determined.
Equations (3) and (4) are a generalization of the classical
diffusion equation tρ=λ·ρ, which describes the flow
of heat in Euclidean space [14]. In fact the mesh series
L, . . . , M s
1represents consecutive states of a discretized
diffusion process, where vertices are shifted resp. diffuse in
order to reduce local curvature. In this context the local
adaptation process in equation (2) can be interpreted as an
approximation to the reverse diffusion Ms
1, . . . , M s
Lwhich is
derived from the 3D scan.
For 1D and 2D signals a great number of error or distortion
measures are known. These measures range from simple
objective such as the mean square error to more elaborate
subjective measures regarding human perception [16]. Error
measurements for 3D data sets are much more complex,
since the comparison between two data sets with a different
number of vertices is not straight forward. We choose the
Hausdorff distance as an objective measure to determine the
distortion between two 3D data sets [17]. This distance is more
appropriate as an error measure then a simple vertex to vertex
The distance between a point pm
iVmbelonging to the
face model and scan is defined as:
i, M s) = min
The root mean square Hausdorff distance between face
model and scan is defined as:
dRMS(Mm, M s) = v
i, M s)2(6)
It is important to note, that dRMS is in general not sym-
metric. Hence, the symmetrical Hausdorff distance is defined
ds(Mm, M s) = max[dRMS(Mm, M s), dRMS(Ms, M m)]
The symmetrical distance ds(Mm, M s)describing the error
between two data sets is used for the evaluation of our adap-
tation algorithm. For that we are using the tool ’M.E.S.H.’,
which is publicly available and can be obtained on the Web
We have implemented the complete system described in this
paper and adapted both generic face models to different 3D
scans. For evaluation of the local adaptation the symmetrical
Face Model global λ=0 λ=0.25 λ=0.5 λ=0.75 λ=1
original 3.238 1.452 1.362 1.316 1.313 1.338
subdivision 1 3.238 0.837 0.682 0.667 0.655 0.671
subdivision 2 3.238 0.665 0.510 0.489 0.478 0.490
Face Model global λ=0 λ=0.25 λ=0.5 λ=0.75 λ=1
original 1.066 0.890 0.906 0.898 0.877 0.913
subdivision 1 1.066 0.539 0.504 0.495 0.485 0.493
subdivision 2 1.066 0.445 0.388 0.381 0.382 0.387
Hausdorff distance (7) between the original 3D scan Ms
the global ¯
Mmas well as overall adapted face model Mm
is calculated. The resulting distances ds(Mm, M s)for the
different adaptations are presented for both Candide models
in Tab. I and II. Not only the original Candide model is
investigated, but also the model after applying one (subdivision
1) and two (subdivision 2) uniform plain subdivisions. In
the columns of both tables the following adaptations are
compared: global adaptation, local adaptation without filtering
(λ= 0), and with filtering using λ= 0.25,λ= 0.5,λ= 0.75
and λ= 1.
The Hausdorff distance is significantly reduced by the
local adaptation with respect to the globally adapted model
Mm. For this reason a precise adaptation requires a local
adaptation. Moreover, subdivision also significantly improves
the adaptation results; e.g. in Tab. I the Hausdorff distance
is almost reduced by half between the original mesh and
once subdivided. That is because the original model’s number
of vertices needed for a more precise adaptation is too low.
Hence, a larger number of vertices describing the geometric
shape is significantly improving the adaptation.
The best adaptation results are obtained with a low-pass
filter using approximately λ=0.75 for both generic models.
This filter seems to reduce local curvatures in the most
beneficial way for adapting the generic models to a human
face. The Hausdorff distance between the adapted Candide-
1 model without (λ= 0) and with filtering using λ=0.75
is unequal zero in areas with small details. There low-pass
filtering improves the adaptation, because the generic model
is iteratively adapted first to the most and then to less filtered
We tested our adaptation algorithm for other scans and
obtained similar results, which lead to the same conclusions.
For an adaptation system we discussed the global and local
adaptation of a generic face model to a 3D scan. The global
adaptation is based on RBFs, which scale and orient the face
model’s mesh to the 3D scan. For the local adaptation different
low-pass filters are investigated, which filtered the original
scan before the meshes of the generic face model are iteratively
adapted to the scan. We explicitely addressed the problem
of adapting generic models as precisely as possible, which
former proposed algorithms did not. The low-pass filter with
λ=0.75 leads to the smallest Hausdorff distances. Moreover,
the number of vertices can be increased by uniform plain
subdivision. Face models with a higher number of vertices lead
to much better adaptation results. Hence, a precise adaptation
with the introduced algorithm is achievable. Furthermore, our
algorithm has the advantages that it is simple to implement
and requires only low-computational effort. The proposed
algorithm is not limited to adapt generic face models, but
arbitrary generic models can be adapted to 3D scans.
This paper is supported by EC within FP6 under Grant
511568 with the acronym 3DTV.
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IntroductionMethods for Detection and Tracking of FacesActive and Statistical Models of FacesAn Active Model for Face TrackingThe Color-based Face-finding AlgorithmImplementationResultsImprovementsConclusion AcknowledgmentReferences
IntroductionSpecification and Animation of FacesCoding of Face Animation ParametersIntegration of Face Animation and Text-to-speech SynthesisIntegration with MPEG-4 SystemsMPEG-4 Profiles for Face AnimationConclusion ReferencesAnnex
Natural Human-Computer Interface requires integration of realistic audio and visual information for perception and display. An example of realistic audio and visual information for perception and display. An example of such an interface is an animated talking head displayed on the computer screen in the form of a human-like computer agent. This system converts text to acoustic speech with synchronized animation of mouth movements. The talking head is based on a generic 3D human head model, but to improve realism, natural looking personalized models are necessary. In this paper we report results in adapting a generic head model to 3D range data of a human head obtained from a 3D laser range scanner. This personalized model is incorporated into the talking head system. With texture mapping, the personalized model offers a more natural and realistic look than the generic model. Introduction Human Computer Interface is an application area where audio, text, graphics, and video are integr...
Conference Paper
In this paper, we develop methods to rapidly remove rough features from irregularly triangulated data intended to portray a smooth surface. The main task is to remove undesirable noise and uneven edges while retaining desirable geometric features. The problem arises mainly when creating high-fidelity computer graphics objects using imperfectly-measured data from the real world. Our approach contains three novel features: an implicit integration method to achieve efficiency, stability, and large time-steps; a scale-dependent Laplacian operator to improve the diffusion process; and finally, a robust curvature flow operator that achieves a smoothing of the shape itself, distinct from any parameterization. Additional features of the algorithm include automatic exact volume preservation, and hard and soft constraints on the positions of the points in the mesh. We compare our method to previous operators and related algorithms, and prove that our curvature and Laplacian operators have several mathematically-desirable qualities that improve the appearance of the resulting surface. In consequence, the user can easily select the appropriate operator according to the desired type of fairing. Finally, we provide a series of examples to graphically and numerically demonstrate the quality of our results.
Conference Paper
Natural Human-Computer Interface requires integration of realistic audio and visual information for perception and display. An example of such an interface is an animated talking head displayed on the computer screen in the form of a human-like computer agent. This system converts text to acoustic speech with synchronized animation of mouth movements. The talking head is based on a generic 3D human head model, but to improve realism, natural looking personalized models are necessary. In this paper we report results in adapting a generic head model to 3D range data of a human head obtained from a 3D laser range scanner. This personalized model is incorporated into the talking head system. With texture mapping, the personalized model offers a more natural and realistic look than the generic model