Active Appearance Models (AAMs) and the closely related concepts of Morphable Models and Active Blobs are generative models of a certain visual phenomenon. Although linear in both shape and appearance, overall, AAMs are nonlinear parametric models in terms of the pixel intensities. Fitting an AAM to an image consists of minimising the error between the input image and the closest model instance; i.e. solving a nonlinear optimisation problem. We propose an efficient fitting algorithm for AAMs based on the inverse compositional image alignment algorithm. We show that the effects of appearance variation during fitting can be precomputed (“projected out”) using this algorithm and how it can be extended to include a global shape normalising warp, typically a 2D similarity transformation. We evaluate our algorithm to determine which of its novel aspects improve AAM fitting performance.
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