Speech2UnifiedExpressions: Synchronous Synthesis of Co-Speech Affective Face and Body Expressions from Affordable Inputs

CVPR 2024 HuMoGen Workshop

Publication date: June 18, 2024

Uttaran Bhattacharya, Aniket Bera, Dinesh Manocha

We present a multimodal learning-based method to simultaneously synthesize co-speech facial expressions and upper-body gestures for digital characters using RGB video data captured using commodity cameras. Our approach learns from sparse face landmarks and upper-body joints, estimated directly from video data, to generate plausible emotive character motions. Given a speech audio waveform and a token sequence of the speaker's face landmark motion and body-joint motion computed from a video, our method synthesizes the motion sequences for the speaker's face landmarks and body joints to match the content and the affect of the speech. We design a generator consisting of a set of encoders to transform all the inputs into a multimodal embedding space capturing their correlations, followed by a pair of decoders to synthesize the desired face and pose motions. To enhance the plausibility of synthesis, we use an adversarial discriminator that learns to differentiate between the face and pose motions computed from the original videos and our synthesized motions based on their affective expressions. To evaluate our approach, we extend the TED Gesture Dataset to include view-normalized, co-speech face landmarks in addition to body gestures. We demonstrate the performance of our method through thorough quantitative and qualitative experiments on multiple evaluation metrics and via a user study. We observe that our method results in low reconstruction error and produces synthesized samples with diverse facial expressions and body gestures for digital characters.

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