Areas of specialism
In immersive and interactive audio-visual content, there is very significant scope for spatial misalignment between the two main modalities. So, in productions that have both 3D video and spatial audio, the positioning of sound sources relative to the visual display requires careful attention. This may be achieved in the form of object-based audio, moreover allowing the producer to maintain control over individual elements within the mix. Yet each object?s metadata is needed to define its position over time. In the present study, audio-visual studio recordings were made of short scenes representing three genres: drama, sport and music. Foreground video was captured by a light-field camera array, which incorporated a microphone array, alongside more conventional sound recording by spot microphones and a first-order ambisonic room microphone. In the music scenes, a direct feed from the guitar pickup was also recorded. Video data was analysed to form a 3D reconstruction of the scenes, and human figure detection was applied to the 2D frames of the central camera. Visual estimates of the sound source positions were used to provide ground truth. Position metadata were encoded within audio definition model (ADM) format audio files, suitable for standard object-based rendering. The steered response power of the acoustical signals at the microphone array were used, with the phase transform (SRP-PHAT), to determine the dominant source position(s) at any time, and given as input to a Sequential Monte Carlo Probability Hypothesis Density (SMC-PHD) tracker. The output of this was evaluated in relation to the ground truth. Results indicate a hierarchy of accuracy in azimuth, elevation and range, in accordance with human spatial auditory perception. Azimuth errors were within the tolerance bounds reported by studies of the Ventriloquism Effect, giving an initial promising indication that such an approach may open the door to object-based production for live events.
As audio-visual systems increasingly bring immersive and interactive capabilities into our work and leisure activities, so the need for naturalistic test material grows. New volumetric datasets have captured high-quality 3D video, but accompanying audio is often neglected, making it hard to test an integrated bimodal experience. Designed to cover diverse sound types and features, the presented volumetric dataset was constructed from audio and video studio recordings of scenes to yield forty short action sequences. Potential uses in technical and scientific tests are discussed.
Light-field video has recently been used in virtual and augmented reality applications to increase realism and immersion. However, existing light-field methods are generally limited to static scenes due to the requirement to acquire a dense scene representation. The large amount of data and the absence of methods to infer temporal coherence pose major challenges in storage, compression and editing compared to conventional video. In this paper, we propose the first method to extract a spatio-temporally coherent light-field video representation. A novel method to obtain Epipolar Plane Images (EPIs) from a spare lightfield camera array is proposed. EPIs are used to constrain scene flow estimation to obtain 4D temporally coherent representations of dynamic light-fields. Temporal coherence is achieved on a variety of light-field datasets. Evaluation of the proposed light-field scene flow against existing multiview dense correspondence approaches demonstrates a significant improvement in accuracy of temporal coherence.
A real-time full-body motion capture system is presented which uses input from a sparse set of inertial measurement units (IMUs) along with images from two or more standard video cameras and requires no optical markers or specialized infra-red cameras. A real-time optimization-based framework is proposed which incorporates constraints from the IMUs, cameras and a prior pose model. The combination of video and IMU data allows the full 6-DOF motion to be recovered including axial rotation of limbs and drift-free global position. The approach was tested using both indoor and outdoor captured data. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach for tracking a wide range of human motion in real time in unconstrained indoor/outdoor scenes.
Immersive audio-visual perception relies on the spatial integration of both auditory and visual information which are heterogeneous sensing modalities with different fields of reception and spatial resolution. This study investigates the perceived coherence of audiovisual object events presented either centrally or peripherally with horizontally aligned/misaligned sound. Various object events were selected to represent three acoustic feature classes. Subjective test results in a simulated virtual environment from 18 participants indicate a wider capture region in the periphery, with an outward bias favoring more lateral sounds. Centered stimulus results support previous findings for simpler scenes.
Existing techniques for dynamic scene re- construction from multiple wide-baseline cameras pri- marily focus on reconstruction in controlled environ- ments, with fixed calibrated cameras and strong prior constraints. This paper introduces a general approach to obtain a 4D representation of complex dynamic scenes from multi-view wide-baseline static or moving cam- eras without prior knowledge of the scene structure, ap- pearance, or illumination. Contributions of the work are: An automatic method for initial coarse reconstruc- tion to initialize joint estimation; Sparse-to-dense tem- poral correspondence integrated with joint multi-view segmentation and reconstruction to introduce tempo- ral coherence; and a general robust approach for joint segmentation refinement and dense reconstruction of dynamic scenes by introducing shape constraint. Com- parison with state-of-the-art approaches on a variety of complex indoor and outdoor scenes, demonstrates im- proved accuracy in both multi-view segmentation and dense reconstruction. This paper demonstrates unsuper- vised reconstruction of complete temporally coherent 4D scene models with improved non-rigid object seg- mentation and shape reconstruction and its application to various applications such as free-view rendering and virtual reality.
We present a convolutional autoencoder that enables high fidelity volumetric reconstructions of human performance to be captured from multi-view video comprising only a small set of camera views. Our method yields similar end-to-end reconstruction error to that of a prob- abilistic visual hull computed using significantly more (double or more) viewpoints. We use a deep prior implicitly learned by the autoencoder trained over a dataset of view-ablated multi-view video footage of a wide range of subjects and actions. This opens up the possibility of high-end volumetric performance capture in on-set and prosumer scenarios where time or cost prohibit a high witness camera count.
4D Video Textures (4DVT) introduce a novel representation for rendering video-realistic interactive character animation from a database of 4D actor performance captured in a multiple camera studio. 4D performance capture reconstructs dynamic shape and appearance over time but is limited to free-viewpoint video replay of the same motion. Interactive animation from 4D performance capture has so far been limited to surface shape only. 4DVT is the final piece in the puzzle enabling video-realistic interactive animation through two contributions: a layered view-dependent texture map representation which supports efficient storage, transmission and rendering from multiple view video capture; and a rendering approach that combines multiple 4DVT sequences in a parametric motion space, maintaining video quality rendering of dynamic surface appearance whilst allowing high-level interactive control of character motion and viewpoint. 4DVT is demonstrated for multiple characters and evaluated both quantitatively and through a user-study which confirms that the visual quality of captured video is maintained. The 4DVT representation achieves >90% reduction in size and halves the rendering cost.
This paper presents a hybrid skeleton-driven surface registration (HSDSR) approach to generate temporally consistent meshes from multiple view video of human subjects. 2D pose detections from multiple view video are used to estimate 3D skeletal pose on a per-frame basis. The 3D pose is embedded into a 3D surface reconstruction allowing any frame to be reposed into the shape from any other frame in the captured sequence. Skeletal motion transfer is performed by selecting a reference frame from the surface reconstruction data and reposing it to match the pose estimation of other frames in a sequence. This allows an initial coarse alignment to be performed prior to refinement by a patch-based non-rigid mesh deformation. The proposed approach overcomes limitations of previous work by reposing a reference mesh to match the pose of a target mesh reconstruction, providing a closer starting point for further non-rigid mesh deformation. It is shown that the proposed approach is able to achieve comparable results to existing model-based and model-free approaches. Finally, it is demonstrated that this framework provides an intuitive way for artists and animators to edit volumetric video.
Multi-view video acquisition is widely used for reconstruction and free-viewpoint rendering of dynamic scenes by directly resampling from the captured images. This paper addresses the problem of optimally resampling and representing multi-view video to obtain a compact representation without loss of the view-dependent dynamic surface appearance. Spatio-temporal optimisation of the multi-view resampling is introduced to extract a coherent multi-layer texture map video. This resampling is combined with a surface-based optical flow alignment between views to correct for errors in geometric reconstruction and camera calibration which result in blurring and ghosting artefacts. The multi-view alignment and optimised resampling results in a compact representation with minimal loss of information allowing high-quality free-viewpoint rendering. Evaluation is performed on multi-view datasets for dynamic sequences of cloth, faces and people. The representation achieves >90% compression without significant loss of visual quality.