Automatic Cinemagraph Portraits

Jiamin Bai, Aseem Agarwala, Maneesh Agrawala, Ravi Ramamoorthi


Cinemagraphs are a popular new type of visual media that lie in-between photos and video; some parts of the frame are animated and loop seamlessly, while other parts of the frame remain completely still. Cinemagraphs are especially effective for portraits because they capture the nuances of our dynamic facial expressions. We present a completely automatic algorithm for generating portrait cinemagraphs from a short video captured with a hand-held camera. Our algorithm uses a combination of face tracking and point tracking to segment face motions into two classes: gross, large-scale motions that should be removed from the video, and dynamic facial expressions that should be preserved. This segmentation informs a spatially-varying warp that removes the large-scale motion, and a graph-cut segmentation of the frame into dynamic and still regions that preserves the finer-scale facial expression motions. We demonstrate the success of our method with a variety of results and a comparison to previous work.

Our method automatically generates a portrait cinemagraph from an input video. The input, warp and output videos are visualized as averages across time. Notice that the face and torso are blurry due to motion in the input video. After warping, the face is sharp as it is stabilized, but the mouth and jaw are blurry as we preserve the internal motions of the face. The blurred border in the average warp video is due to the motion of the background. The average output video is sharp for static regions and blurry for facial parts which are animated. The key to our algorithm is a fully automatic technique to select KLT tracks which lie on static regions of the face, which allows us to immobilize the face after warping. We also compute automatic energy values for a graph-cut optimization which composites the warped video with a still image to create the final cinemagraph.

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Automatic Cinemagraph Portraits
Computer Graphics Forum 32(4) [EGSR 2013]. June 2013. pp 17-25.