In traditional video, the viewpoint in a scene is the one chosen by the director. It cannot be changed by the viewer while he is watching the video. The goal in free-viewpoint video, on the other hand, is to create a feeling of immersion by offering the viewer the opportunity to interactively change its viewpoint in the scene. The human body and its motion plays a central role in most visual media and its structure can be exploited for robust motion estimation and efficient visualization. In our work we develop a system that uses multi-view synchronized video footage of an actor's performance to estimate motion parameters and to interactively re-render the actor's appearance from any viewpoint.
The system consists of an off-line and an on-line component (see Fig. 1). In a first step, a multi-view video sequence of a person is recorded in our acquisition room. The shape of an a priori body model is then adapted to match the body shape of recorded person. The silhouettes of the person in each camera view are used to estimate the parameters of human motion by means of a model-based non-intrusive human motion capture algorithm. The motion capture system runs off-line and robustly copes with a large range of human motion.
For realistic surface appearance, time-varying multi-view textures are created from the video frames at each time step. This way, time-dependent changes in the body surface are reproduced in high detail. The rendering system runs at real-time frame rates using ubiquous graphics hardware, yielding a highly naturalistic impression of the actor. The actor can be placed in virtual environments to create composite dynamic scenes. Free-viewpoint video allows the creation of camera fly-throughs or viewing the action interactively from arbitrary perspectives.

Figure: 1: Overview of the system components

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