Automated Generation of Animated 3D Facial Meshes: A Photogrammetry and Deformation Transfer-Based Model
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Virtual reality (VR)'s recent, long expected breakthrough to the consumer market has enabled industry to deliver highly immersive experiences to consumers. However, creating photorealistic assets for such experiences is time consuming and requires a high level of expertise. To provide a remedy for this burden, this thesis presents a fully automated and validated model for the generation of animated 3D facial meshes, using photogrammetry and deformation transfer. Using a set of multi-camera photographs of a neutral face, we acquire facial geometry and appearance. Subsequent landmarking and ICP registration provide direct correspondence of the acquired facial mesh and an existing template. Then, using deformation transfer, we transfer existing blendshapes from template source to the obtained facial mesh. To assess the pipeline's effectiveness, we have conducted a set of user experiments. The results show that the automatically produced facial meshes faithfully represent subjects and can convey highly believable emotions. Compared to manual modeling and animation, the pipeline is more than 100x faster and produces results compatible with industry standard game engines, without any manual post-processing. As such, this thesis introduces a unique, fully automated, photogrammetry and deformation transfer-induced model for the generation of animated 3D facial meshes. On the one hand, this model can be expected to have both significant commercial and scientific impact. On the other hand, the model allows sufficient space for future improvement and tailoring.