CGVU Lab, led by Prof. Taku Komura, belongs to the Department of Computer Science, the University of Hong Kong. Our research focus is on physically-based animation and the application of machine learning techniques for animation synthesis.
Physical Simulation, Character Animation, 3D Modelling
Human Pose Estimation, Human Motion Generation
Physically-Based Animation, Fluid Simulation
Facial Animation, Neural Rendering
3D Human Moton, Generative AI
Human Scene Interaction, Motion Control
Physical Simulation, High Performance Computing
3D Reconstruction, Human Pose Estimation, Human Motion Generation
Neural Cloth Simulation, Character Animation
Physics Simulation, Motion Control
Digital Humans, Motion Synthesis
Physically-Based Animation, Simulation
Automatic gesture synthesis from speech is a topic that has attracted researchers for applications in remote communication, video games and Metaverse. Learning the mapping between speech and 3D full-body gestures is difficult due to the stochastic nature of the problem and the lack of a rich cross-modal dataset that is needed for training. In this paper, we propose a novel transformer-based framework for automatic 3D body gesture synthesis from speech. To learn the stochastic nature of the body gesture during speech, we propose a variational transformer to effectively model a probabilistic distribution over gestures, which can produce diverse gestures during inference. Furthermore, we introduce a mode positional embedding layer to capture the different motion speeds in different speaking modes. To cope with the scarcity of data, we design an intra-modal pre-training scheme that can learn the complex mapping between the speech and the 3D gesture from a limited amount of data. Our system is trained with either the Trinity speech-gesture dataset or the Talking With Hands 16.2M dataset. The results show that our system can produce more realistic, appropriate, and diverse body gestures compared to existing state-of-the-art approaches.
We propose an end-to-end deep-learning approach for automatic rigging and retargeting of 3D models of human faces in the wild. Our approach, called Neural Face Rigging (NFR), holds three key properties:
(i) NFR’s expression space maintains human-interpretable editing parameters for artistic controls;
(ii) NFR is readily applicable to arbitrary facial meshes with different connectivity and expressions;
(iii) NFR can encode and produce fine-grained details of complex expressions performed by arbitrary subjects.
To the best of our knowledge, NFR is the first approach to provide realistic and controllable deformations of in-the-wild facial meshes, without the manual creation of blendshapes or correspondence. We design a deformation autoencoder and train it through a multi-dataset training scheme, which benefits from the unique advantages of two data sources:a linear 3DMM with interpretable control parameters as in FACS, and 4D captures of real faces with fine-grained details. Through various experiments, we show NFR’s ability to automatically produce realistic and accurate facial deformations across a wide range of existing datasets as well as noisy facial scans in-the-wild, while providing artist-controlled, editable parameters.
As it is hard to calibrate single-view RGB images in the wild, existing 3D human mesh reconstruction (3DHMR) methods either use a constant large focal length or estimate one based on the background environment context, which can not tackle the problem of the torso, limb, hand or face distortion caused by perspective camera projection when the camera is close to the human body. The naive focal length assumptions can harm this task with the incorrectly formulated projection matrices. To solve this, we propose Zolly, the first 3DHMR method focusing on perspective-distorted images. Our approach begins with analysing the reason for perspective distortion, which we find is mainly caused by the relative location of the human body to the camera center. We propose a new camera model and a novel 2D representation, termed distortion image, which describes the 2D dense distortion scale of the human body. We then estimate the distance from distortion scale features rather than environment context features. Afterwards, We integrate the distortion feature with image features to reconstruct the body mesh. To formulate the correct projection matrix and locate the human body position, we simultaneously use perspective and weak-perspective projection loss. Since existing datasets could not handle this task, we propose the first synthetic dataset PDHuman and extend two real-world datasets tailored for this task, all containing perspective-distorted human images. Extensive experiments show that Zolly outperforms existing state-of-the-art methods on both perspective-distorted datasets and the standard benchmark (3DPW).
Isotropic As-Rigid-As-Possible (ARAP) energy has been popular for shape editing, mesh parametrisation and soft-body simulation for almost two decades. However, a formulation using Cauchy-Green (CG) invariants has always been unclear, due to a rotation-polluted trace term that cannot be directly expressed using these invariants. We show how this incongruent trace term can be understood via an implicit relationship to the CG invariants. Our analysis reveals this relationship to be a polynomial where the roots equate to the trace term, and where the derivatives also give rise to closed-form expressions of the Hessian to guarantee positive semi-definiteness for a fast and concise Newton-type implicit time integration. A consequence of this analysis is a novel analytical formulation to compute rotations and singular values of deformation-gradient tensors without explicit/numerical factorization, which is significant, resulting in up to 3.5x speedup and benefits energy function evaluation for reducing solver time. We validate our energy formulation by experiments and comparison, demonstrating that our resulting eigendecomposition using the CG invariants is equivalent to existing ARAP formulations. We thus reveal isotropic ARAP energy to be a member of the “Cauchy-Green club”, meaning that it can indeed be defined using CG invariants and therefore that the closed-form expressions of the resulting Hessian are shared with other energies written in their terms.