Realistic Gaze Animation Using a Neurobiological Model of Visual Attention

Laurent Itti, Nitin Dhavale and Fred Pighin, USC

We have developed a neurobiological model of visual attention and eye/head movements in primates. The model is being applied to the automatic animation of a realistic virtual human head watching an unconstrained variety of visual inputs. The bottom-up (image-based) attention model is based on the known neurophysiology of visual processing along the occipito-parietal pathway of the primate brain, while the eye/head movement model is derived from recordings in freely behaving Rhesus monkeys. The system is successful at autonomously saccading towards and tracking salient targets in a variety of video clips, including synthetic stimuli, real outdoors scenes and gaming console outputs. The resulting virtual human eye/head animation yields realistic rendering of the simulation results, both suggesting applicability of this approach to avatar animation and reinforcing the plausibility of the neural model.

Copyright © 2003 by the University of Southern California, iLab and Prof. Laurent Itti