At Institut für Informationsverarbeitung (TNT) we are interested in analyzing and synthesizing the human face. Our motivation is to provide tools for efficient interpretation, evaluation and creation of facial shapes, (inter)actions and virtual faces, thereby enabling natural human-computer interaction (HCI).
We analyze different kinds of face data such as still images, videos, 3D point clouds, and others, then process and describe them with mathematical tools.
Obtaining deeper insights and understandings of underlying structures, processes, and perception, enables us to provide methods for further analysis and synthesis in various applications.
The following overview shows the main parts of our research:
Statistical Face Models have a long tradition in the field of facial analysis and synthesis. They provide a compact representation of of facial geometry and attributes. You can find our research on 3D Face Models here.
One of our longer standing goals has been to produce Talking Heads (realistic talking virtual human faces) for Human-Computer Interaction. The major challenges in this field is to produce visuals indistinguishable from real faces. Besides texture and geometry of the virtual head, dynamic features like linguistically correct speech animation and realistic facial animation of facial expressions are important factors. Furthermore, the behavior and animation of the virtual face needs to consider the human dialog partner. An early prototype (year 2009) of a talking head can be found here.
In addition, using a talking head in a dialog based interaction requires an underlying dialog system. A dialog system will handle the content of the audible/spoken part of the interaction. It processes the users speech using techniques from text-to-speech and natural language processing and will also generate natural speech output based on natural language understanding and generation.