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Real-Time Face Pose Estimation from Single Range Images

Michael D. Breitenstein, Daniel Kuettel, Thibaut Weise, Luc van Gool, and Hanspeter Pfister
Computer Vision Laboratory, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 2008. CVPR 2008.

@conference{breitenstein2008real,

   title={Real-time face pose estimation from single range images},

   author={Breitenstein, M.D. and Kuettel, D. and Weise, T. and Van Gool, L. and Pfister, H.},

   booktitle={Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 2008. CVPR 2008. IEEE Conference on},

   pages={1–8},

   issn={1063-6919},

   year={2008},

   organization={IEEE}

}

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We present a real-time algorithm to estimate the 3D pose of a previously unseen face from a single range image. Based on a novel shape signature to identify noses in range images, we generate candidates for their positions, and then generate and evaluate many pose hypotheses in parallel using modern graphics processing units (GPUs). We developed a novel error function that compares the input range image to precomputed pose images of an average face model. The algorithm is robust to large pose variations of plusmn90deg yaw, plusmn45deg pitch and plusmn30deg roll rotation, facial expression, partial occlusion, and works for multiple faces in the field of view. It correctly estimates 97.8% of the poses within yaw and pitch error of 15deg at 55.8 fps. To evaluate the algorithm, we built a database of range images with large pose variations and developed a method for automatic ground truth annotation.
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