MovieReshape Like Bruce Sterling's Video-Manicuring

MovieReshape is a system that makes possible "quick and easy" manipulation of the body shape of a human actor in video footage. The system makes use of a morphable model of human shape in three dimensions; the model was created using laser scans of real people.


(MovieReshape Morphable body model [pdf])
(a) Samples of the pose and shape parameter
space that is spanned by the model.
(b) The average human shape with the
embedded kinematic skeleton.

Take a look at this short video demonstrating MovieReshape; it's a remarkable tool


(MovieReshape like Sterling's video-manicuring program)

Our system takes as input a single-view or multi-view video sequence with footage of a human actor to be spatio-temporally reshaped (Fig. 2). There is no specific requirement on the type of scene, type of camera, or appearance of the background.

As a first step, the silhouette of the actor in the video footage is segmented using off-the-shelf video processing tools. The second step in the pipeline is marker-less model fitting. There, both the shape and the pose parameters of the 3D model are optimized such that it reprojects optimally into the silhouette of the actor in each video frame. Once the model is tracked, the shape parameters of the actor can be modified by simply tweaking a set of sliders corresponding to individual semantic shape attributes. Since the original PCA parameter dimensions of the morphable shape model do not directly correspond to plausible shape attributes, we learn a mapping from intuitive attributes, such as muscularity or weight, to the underlying PCA space.

Now reshaping can be performed by adjusting plausible parameter values. Once the target set of shape attributes has been decided on, they are applied to the actor in all frames of the video input by performing image-based warping under the influence of constraints that are derived from the re-projected modified body model.

It looks like real-life technology has finally caught up with Bruce Sterling's video-manicuring program from his 1985 novel Schismatrix:

Lindsay had a brief glimpse of the man's true appearance - white hair in spiky disarray, red-rimmed eyes - before a video-manicuring program came on line. The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.
(Read more about Sterling's video-manicuring program)

I think that Ray Bradbury should also get an honorable mention for the spot-wavex scrambler from his 1953 classic Fahrenheit 451.

From MovieReshape: Tracking and Reshaping of Humans in Videos [pdf] via Gizmodo.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/11/2010)

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