Realistic Face Animation for Audiovisual Speech Applications: A Densification Approach Driven by Sparse Stereo Meshes
Being able to produce realistic facial animation is crucial for many speech applications in language learning technologies. Reaching realism needs to acquire and to animate dense 3D models of the face which are often acquired with 3D scanners. However, acquiring the dynamics of the speech from 3D scans is difficult as the acquisition time generally allows only sustained sounds to be recorded. On the contrary, acquiring the speech dynamics on a sparse set of points is easy using a stereovision recording a talker with markers painted on his/her face. In this paper, we propose an approach to animate a very realistic dense talking head which makes use of a reduced set of 3D dense meshes acquired for sustained sounds as well as the speech dynamics learned on a talker painted with white markers. The contributions of the paper are twofold: We first propose an appropriate principal component analysis (PCA) with missing data techniques in order to compute the basic modes of the speech dynamics despite possible unobservable points in the sparse meshes obtained by the stereovision system. We then propose a method for densifying the modes, that is a method for computing the dense modes for spatial animation from the sparse modes learned by the stereovision system. Examples prove the effectiveness of the approach and the high realism obtained with our method.
KeywordsFace animation densification PCA with missing data
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