I am a visiting student from University of Maryland where I work with my advisor David Jacobs.
My work focuses on model-based 3D reconstruction of animals from a single image. Animals are exciting objects to reconstruct because they are articulated, deform non-rigidly and often come with heavy self-occlusion.
I believe the key to solving this problem is having a strong prior on object pose and shape, which can resolve many of the ambiguities. I am interested in how we can learn such models and how to use them efficiently. I am also interested in exploring how deep learning methods can be used for building such models.
In International Conference on Computer Vision, October 2019 (inproceedings)
We present the first method to perform automatic 3D pose, shape and texture capture of animals from images acquired in-the-wild. In particular, we focus on the problem of capturing 3D information about Grevy's zebras from a collection of images. The Grevy's zebra is one of the most endangered species in Africa, with only a few thousand individuals left. Capturing the shape and pose of these animals can provide biologists and conservationists with information about animal health and behavior. In contrast to research on human pose, shape and texture estimation, training data for endangered species is limited, the animals are in complex natural scenes with occlusion, they are naturally camouflaged, travel in herds, and look similar to each other. To overcome these challenges, we integrate the recent SMAL animal model into a network-based regression pipeline, which we train end-to-end on synthetically generated images with pose, shape, and background variation. Going beyond state-of-the-art methods for human shape and pose estimation, our method learns a shape space for zebras during training.
Learning such a shape space from images using only a photometric loss is novel, and the approach can be used to learn shape in other settings with limited 3D supervision.
Moreover, we couple 3D pose and shape prediction with the task of texture synthesis, obtaining a full texture map of the animal from a single image.
We show that the predicted texture map allows a novel per-instance unsupervised optimization over the network features. This method, SMALST (SMAL with learned Shape and Texture) goes beyond previous work, which assumed manual keypoints and/or segmentation, to regress directly from pixels to 3D animal shape, pose and texture.
Code and data are available at https://github.com/silviazuffi/smalst
In IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), pages: 7122-7131, IEEE Computer Society, 2018 (inproceedings)
We describe Human Mesh Recovery (HMR), an end-to-end framework for reconstructing a full 3D mesh of a human body from a single RGB image. In contrast to most current methods that compute 2D or 3D joint locations, we produce a richer and more useful mesh representation that is parameterized by shape and 3D joint angles. The main objective is to minimize the reprojection loss of keypoints, which allows our model to be trained using in-the-wild images that only have ground truth 2D annotations. However, the reprojection loss alone is highly underconstrained. In this work we address this problem by introducing an adversary trained to tell whether human body shape and pose parameters are real or not using a large database of 3D human meshes. We show that HMR can be trained with and without using any paired 2D-to-3D supervision. We do not rely on intermediate 2D keypoint detections and infer 3D pose and shape parameters directly from image pixels. Our model runs in real-time given a bounding box containing the person. We demonstrate our approach on various images in-the-wild and out-perform previous optimization-based methods that output 3D meshes and show competitive results on tasks such as 3D joint location estimation and part segmentation.
In IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), IEEE Computer Society, 2018 (inproceedings)
Animals are widespread in nature and the analysis of their shape and motion is important in many fields and industries. Modeling 3D animal shape, however, is difficult because the 3D scanning methods used to capture human shape are not applicable to wild animals or natural settings. Consequently, we propose a method to capture the detailed 3D shape of animals from images alone. The articulated and deformable nature of animals makes this problem extremely challenging, particularly in unconstrained environments with moving and uncalibrated cameras. To make this possible, we use a strong prior model of articulated animal shape that we fit to the image data. We then deform the animal shape in a canonical reference pose such that it matches image evidence when articulated and projected into multiple images. Our method extracts significantly more 3D shape detail than previous methods and is able to model new species, including the shape of an extinct animal, using only a few video frames. Additionally, the projected 3D shapes are accurate enough to facilitate the extraction of a realistic texture map from multiple frames.
In Proceedings IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) 2017, pages: 5524-5532, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, July 2017 (inproceedings)
There has been significant work on learning realistic, articulated, 3D models of the human body. In contrast, there are few such models of animals, despite many applications. The main challenge is that animals are much less cooperative than humans. The best human body models are learned from thousands of 3D scans of people in specific poses, which is infeasible with live animals. Consequently,
we learn our model from a small set of 3D scans of toy figurines in arbitrary poses. We employ a novel part-based shape model to compute an initial registration to the scans. We then normalize their pose, learn a statistical shape model, and refine the registrations and the model together. In this way, we accurately align animal scans from different quadruped families with very different shapes and poses. With the registration to a common template we learn a shape space representing animals including lions, cats, dogs, horses, cows and hippos. Animal shapes can be sampled from the model, posed, animated, and fit to data. We demonstrate generalization by fitting it to images of real animals including species not seen in training.
In International Conference on 3D Vision (3DV), pages: 421-430, 2017 (inproceedings)
Existing markerless motion capture methods often assume known backgrounds, static cameras, and sequence specific motion priors, limiting their application scenarios. Here we present a fully automatic method that, given multiview videos, estimates 3D human pose and body shape. We take the recently proposed SMPLify method  as the base method and extend it in several ways. First we fit a 3D human body model to 2D features detected in multi-view images. Second, we use a CNN method to segment the person in each image and fit the 3D body model to the contours, further improving accuracy. Third we utilize a generic and robust DCT temporal prior to handle the left and right side swapping issue sometimes introduced by the 2D pose estimator. Validation on standard benchmarks shows our results are comparable to the state of the art and also provide a realistic 3D shape avatar. We also demonstrate accurate results on HumanEva and on challenging monocular sequences of dancing from YouTube.
In Computer Vision – ECCV 2016, pages: 561-578, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer International Publishing, October 2016 (inproceedings)
We describe the first method to automatically estimate the 3D pose of the human body as well as its 3D shape from a single unconstrained image. We estimate a full 3D mesh and show that 2D joints alone carry a surprising amount of information about body shape. The problem is challenging because of the complexity of the human body, articulation, occlusion, clothing, lighting, and the inherent ambiguity in inferring 3D from 2D. To solve this, we first use a recently published CNN-based method, DeepCut, to predict (bottom-up) the 2D body joint locations. We then fit (top-down) a recently published statistical body shape model, called SMPL, to the 2D joints. We do so by minimizing an objective function that penalizes the error between the projected 3D model joints and detected 2D joints. Because SMPL captures correlations in human shape across the population, we are able to robustly fit it to very little data. We further leverage the 3D model to prevent solutions that cause interpenetration. We evaluate our method, SMPLify, on the Leeds Sports, HumanEva, and Human3.6M datasets, showing superior
pose accuracy with respect to the state of the art.
Our goal is to understand the principles of Perception, Action and Learning in autonomous systems that successfully interact with complex environments and to use this understanding to design future systems