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This paper presents a general gait representation framework for video-based human motion estimation. Specifically, we want to estimate the kinematics of an unknown gait from image sequences taken by a single camera. This approach involves two generative models, called the kinematic gait generative model (KGGM) and the visual gait generative model (VGGM), which represent the kinematics and appearances of a gait by a few latent variables, respectively. The concept of gait manifold is proposed to capture the gait variability among different individuals by which KGGM and VGGM can be integrated together, so that a new gait with unknown kinematics can be inferred from gait appearances via KGGM and VGGM. Moreover, a new particle-filtering algorithm is proposed for dynamic gait estimation, which is embedded with a segmental jump-diffusion Markov Chain Monte Carlo scheme to accommodate the gait variability in a long observed sequence. The proposed algorithm is trained from the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Mocap data and tested on the Brown University HumanEva data with promising results.