30 December 2003 Realistic avatar eye and head animation using a neurobiological model of visual attention
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We describe a neurobiological model of visual attention and eye/head movements in primates, and its application 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.
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Laurent Itti, Laurent Itti, Nitin Dhavale, Nitin Dhavale, Frederic Pighin, Frederic Pighin, "Realistic avatar eye and head animation using a neurobiological model of visual attention", Proc. SPIE 5200, Applications and Science of Neural Networks, Fuzzy Systems, and Evolutionary Computation VI, (30 December 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.512618; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.512618

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