Face Alignment Refinement

Andy Zeng, Vishnu Boddeti, Kris M Kitani, Takeo Kanade
WACV 2015 .


Achieving sub-pixel accuracy with face alignment algorithms is a difficult task given the diversity of appearance in real world facial profiles. To capture variations in perspective, occlusion, and illumination with adequate precision, current face alignment approaches rely on detecting facial landmarks and iteratively adjusting deformable models that encode prior knowledge of facial structure. However, these methods involve optimization in latent sub-spaces, where user-specific face shape information is easily lost after dimensionality reduction. Attempting to retain this information to capture this wide range of variation requires a large training distribution, which is difficult to obtain without high computational complexity. Subsequently, many face alignment methods lack the pixel-level accuracy necessary to satisfy the aesthetic requirements of tasks such as face deidentification, face swapping, and face modeling. In many such applications, the primary source of aesthetic inadequacy is a misaligned jaw line or facial contour. In this work, we explore the idea of an image-based refinement method to fix the landmark points of a misaligned facial contour. We propose an efficient two stage process - an intuitively constructed edge detection based algorithm to actively adjust facial contour landmark points, and a data driven validation system to filter out erroneous adjustments. Experimental results show that state-of-the-art face alignment combined with our proposed post-processing method yields improved overall performance over multiple face image datasets.