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Lip segmentation is an essential stage in many multimedia systems such as videoconferencing, lip reading, or low-bit-rate coding communication systems. In this paper, we propose an accurate and robust quasi-automatic lip segmentation algorithm. First, the upper mouth boundary and several characteristic points are detected in the first frame by using a new kind of active contour: the "jumping snake." Unlike classic snakes, it can be initialized far from the final edge and the adjustment of its parameters is easy and intuitive. Then, to achieve the segmentation, we propose a parametric model composed of several cubic curves. Its high flexibility enables accurate lip contour extraction even in the challenging case of a very asymmetric mouth. Compared to existing models, it brings a significant improvement in accuracy and realism. The segmentation in the following frames is achieved by using an interframe tracking of the keypoints and the model parameters. However, we show that, with a usual tracking algorithm, the keypoints' positions become unreliable after a few frames. We therefore propose an adjustment process that enables an accurate tracking even after hundreds of frames. Finally, we show that the mean keypoints' tracking errors of our algorithm are comparable to manual points' selection errors.
Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:14 , Issue: 5 )
Date of Publication: May 2004