Acquiring 3D Full-body Motion from Noisy and Ambiguous Input




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Natural human motion is highly demanded and widely used in a variety of applications such as video games and virtual realities. However, acquisition of full-body motion remains challenging because the system must be capable of accurately capturing a wide variety of human actions and does not require a considerable amount of time and skill to assemble. For instance, commercial optical motion capture systems such as Vicon can capture human motion with high accuracy and resolution while they often require post-processing by experts, which is time-consuming and costly. Microsoft Kinect, despite its high popularity and wide applications, does not provide accurate reconstruction of complex movements when significant occlusions occur. This dissertation explores two different approaches that accurately reconstruct full-body human motion from noisy and ambiguous input data captured by commercial motion capture devices.

The first approach automatically generates high-quality human motion from noisy data obtained from commercial optical motion capture systems, eliminating the need for post-processing. The second approach accurately captures a wide variety of human motion even under significant occlusions by using color/depth data captured by a single Kinect camera. The common theme that underlies two approaches is the use of prior knowledge embedded in pre-recorded motion capture database to reduce the reconstruction ambiguity caused by noisy and ambiguous input and constrain the solution to lie in the natural motion space. More specifically, the first approach constructs a series of spatial-temporal filter bases from pre-captured human motion data and employs them along with robust statistics techniques to filter noisy motion data corrupted by noise/outliers. The second approach formulates the problem in a Maximum a Posterior (MAP) framework and generates the most likely pose which explains the observations as well as consistent with the patterns embedded in the pre-recorded motion capture database. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approaches through extensive numerical evaluations on synthetic data and comparisons against results created by commercial motion capture systems. The first approach can effectively denoise a wide variety of noisy motion data, including walking, running, jumping and swimming while the second approach is shown to be capable of accurately reconstructing a wider range of motions compared with Microsoft Kinect.