Exploring Photobios

We present an approach for generating face animations from large image collections of the same person. Such collections, which we call photobios, sample the appearance of a person over changes in pose, facial expression, hairstyle, age, and other variations. By optimizing the order in which images are displayed and cross-dissolving between them, we control the motion through face space and create compelling animations (e.g., render a smooth transition from frowning to smiling). Used in this context, the cross dissolve produces a very strong motion effect; a key contribution of the paper is to explain this effect and analyze its operating range. The approach operates by creating a graph with faces as nodes, and similarities as edges, and solving for walks and shortest paths on this graph. The processing pipeline involves face detection, locating fiducials (eyes/nose/mouth), solving for pose, warping to frontal views, and image comparison based on Local Binary Patterns. We demonstrate results on a variety of datasets including time-lapse photography, personal photo collections, and images of celebrities downloaded from the Internet. Our approach is the basis for the Face Movies feature in Google's Picasa.

Popular Press on Photobios!


Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman - University of Washington
Eli Shechtman - Adobe Systems
Rahul Garg - University of Washington & Google
Steve Seitz - University of Washington & Google


Our paper was chosen to appear on the back cover of SIGGRAPH and in the trailer!

Our approach is the basis for the Face Movies feature in Google's Picasa--see the paper for more details.


Example results:




Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman, Eli Shechtman, Rahul Garg, Steven M. Seitz. "Exploring Photobios." ACM Transactions on Graphics 30(4) (SIGGRAPH), Aug 2011.


This work was supported in part by National Science Foundation grant IIS-0811878, the University of Washington Animation Research Labs, Adobe, Google, and Microsoft. We thank the following people for the use of their amazing photo collections: Amit Kemelmakher, Ariel McClendon, David Simons, Jason Fletcher and George W. Bush. We also thank Todd Bogdan for his help with the Picasa implementation. Pictures of George W. Bush are used with permission by Reuters and by AP Photo (credits).

Questions? Please contact Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman

Check out our related work "Being John Malkovich": Ever wanted to be someone else? Now you can!