Virtual Visual Hulls: Example-Based 3D Shape Estimation from a Single Silhouette

Unknown author (2004-01-28)

Recovering a volumetric model of a person, car, or other object of interest from a single snapshot would be useful for many computer graphics applications. 3D model estimation in general is hard, and currently requires active sensors, multiple views, or integration over time. For a known object class, however, 3D shape can be successfully inferred from a single snapshot. We present a method for generating a ``virtual visual hull''-- an estimate of the 3D shape of an object from a known class, given a single silhouette observed from an unknown viewpoint. For a given class, a large database of multi-view silhouette examples from calibrated, though possibly varied, camera rigs are collected. To infer a novel single view input silhouette's virtual visual hull, we search for 3D shapes in the database which are most consistent with the observed contour. The input is matched to component single views of the multi-view training examples. A set of viewpoint-aligned virtual views are generated from the visual hulls corresponding to these examples. The 3D shape estimate for the input is then found by interpolating between the contours of these aligned views. When the underlying shape is ambiguous given a single view silhouette, we produce multiple visual hull hypotheses; if a sequence of input images is available, a dynamic programming approach is applied to find the maximum likelihood path through the feasible hypotheses over time. We show results of our algorithm on real and synthetic images of people.