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Pandzic I.S., Forchheimer R. MPEG-4 Facial Animation. The Standard, Implementation and Applications

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Pandzic I.S., Forchheimer R. MPEG-4 Facial Animation. The Standard, Implementation and Applications
Издательство John Wiley, 2002, -327 pp.
Ever since it became possible to drive the electron beams of cathode ray tubes (CRT) or the coils of loudspeakers with a computer, the number of applications that have been enabled has been staggering. The practical exploitation can be broadly classified as follows: (1) the computer can take the role of directly presenting some audio and visual samples acquired from the natural world and stored on a peripheral device or (2) it can present the result of computations based on some internal computer program that produces audio or visual information perceivable by human senses.
The former case has been driven by the telecommunication and audiovisual entertainment industries – even though these industries used to shy away from the idea of using a computer as the device driving the presentation – while the latter case has been driven by the Information Technology (IT) industry and by the hybrid mixture of the IT and entertainment industries called Video games.
Each of the industries involved used to have their own paradigms. The telecommunication and broadcast industries were obsessed with the idea of representing highquality information with the smallest number of bits. This implied that the information – and it is a lot of bits for a two-hour movie – had to have a binary form. Further, processing could be virtually anything, provided that it could be implemented in specialpurpose VLSI operating in real time and providing the given audio and video quality. On the other hand, the IT industry gave little importance to information representation. It sufficed that it be ‘human readable’ and understood by the specific computing device at hand. Real-time transmission was not an issue and the need to provide real-time pictures and audio was mitigated by the fact that information was local.
In July 1993, MPEG started its third standard project: MPEG-4 . The title of the project ‘Very low bit rate audiovisual coding’ betrayed the original goal of serving the new unstructured world of ubiquitous fixed and mobile digital networks (not to mention portable storage devices). In a sense it was the continuation of its work done in its preceding two standards that largely targeted at the telecommunication and entertainment industries. Two years later, however, MPEG made the bold decision to try and integrate synthetic audio and visual information as well.
This decision signaled the start of the Synthetic–Natural Hybrid Coding and was a major reason that prompted the change of the title of the MPEG-4 project sixmonths later to ‘Coding of audiovisual objects’. technology developed by the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) Consortium (now Web3D) with which a fruitful collaboration was started in 1997. VRML 97 provided a purely textual representation, but the BInary Format for Scene description (BIFS) provided a bit-efficient representation. In addition, MPEG added the ability to extend the static VRML composition technology with real-time updates. Lastly, MPEG provided a technology to compose objects in a 2-D space as a special case.
This book is particularly concerned with a special part of the MPEG-4 SNHC world: the capability to animate humanlike faces and bodies. MPEG-4 SNHC could draw from a wealth of research results that had been waiting for a conversion into commercial exploitation opportunities and succeeded in striking a balance between accuracy and efficient coded representation of the information needed to animate faces and bodies.
This book, authored by some of the major contributors to MPEG-4 Face and Body Animation (FBA), is recommended to those who want to have an in-depth knowledge of standard face and body animation technologies and to open a window on the wide world of applications enabled by MPEG-4 FBA.
Background
The Origins of the Mpeg-4 Facial Animation Standard
The Standard
Face Animation in Mpeg-4
Mpeg-4 Face Animation Conformance
Implementations
Mpeg-4Facial Animation framework for the Web and Mobile Applications
The Facial Animation Engine
Extracting Mpeg-4 faps from Video
Real-Time Speech-Driven face Animation
Visual Text-to-Speech
Emotion Recognition and Synthesis Based on Mpeg-4 faps
The InterFace Software Platform for Interactive Virtual Characters
Applications
Model-based Coding: The Complete System
A facial Animation Case Study for HCI: The VHML-Based Mentor System
PlayMail – Put Words into Other People’s Mouth
E-Cogent: An Electronic Convincing aGENT
AlterEGO: Video Analysis for facial Animation
EPTAMEDIA: Virtual Guides and Other Applications
Appendices
Evaluating MPEG-4 Facial Animation Players
Web Resources
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