Three-dimensional cartoon facial animation based on art rules


Three-dimensional (3D) cartoon facial animation is one step further than the challenging 3D caricaturing which generates 3D still caricatures only. In this paper, a 3D cartoon facial animation system is developed for a subject given only a single frontal face image of a neutral expression. The system is composed of three steps consisting of 3D cartoon face exaggeration, texture processing, and 3D cartoon facial animation. By following caricaturing rules of artists, instead of mathematical formulations, 3D cartoon face exaggeration is accomplished at both global and local levels. As a result, the final exaggeration is capable of depicting the characteristics of an input face while achieving artistic deformations. In the texture processing step, texture coordinates of the vertices of the cartoon face model are obtained by mapping the parameterized grid of the standard face model to a cartoon face template and aligning the input face to the face template.

Finally, 3D cartoon facial animation is implemented in the MPEG-4 animation framework. In order to avoid time-consuming construction of a face animation table, we propose to utilize the tables of existing models through model mapping. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our proposed system.

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This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Nos. 60871086, 60970076, 61173124, the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province China No. BK2008159, and ARC (Australian Research Council) grants.

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Correspondence to Jiajun Wang.

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Liu, S., Wang, J., Zhang, M. et al. Three-dimensional cartoon facial animation based on art rules. Vis Comput 29, 1135–1149 (2013).

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  • Cartoon facial animation
  • Caricature
  • Art rules
  • Model exaggeration
  • Non-photorealistic rendering