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Face segmentation using skin-color map in videophone applications

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2 Author(s)
D. Chai ; Dept. of Electr. & Electron. Eng., Western Australia Univ., Nedlands, WA, Australia ; K. N. Ngan

This paper addresses our proposed method to automatically segment out a person's face from a given image that consists of a head-and-shoulders view of the person and a complex background scene. The method involves a fast, reliable, and effective algorithm that exploits the spatial distribution characteristics of human skin color. A universal skin-color map is derived and used on the chrominance component of the input image to detect pixels with skin-color appearance. Then, based on the spatial distribution of the detected skin-color pixels and their corresponding luminance values, the algorithm employs a set of novel regularization processes to reinforce regions of skin-color pixels that are more likely to belong to the facial regions and eliminate those that are not. The performance of the face-segmentation algorithm is illustrated by some simulation results carried out on various head-and-shoulders test images. The use of face segmentation for video coding in applications such as videotelephony is then presented. We explain how the face-segmentation results can be used to improve the perceptual quality of a videophone sequence encoded by the H.261-compliant coder

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 4 )