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Proceedings Paper

Description and recognition of faces from 3D data
Author(s): Anne M. Coombes; Robin Richards; Alfred David Linney; Vicki Bruce; Rick Fright
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Paper Abstract

A method based on differential geometry, is presented for mathematically describing the shape of the facial surface. Three-dimensional data for the face are collected by optical surface scanning. The method allows the segmentation of the face into regions of a particular `surface type,' according to the surface curvature. Eight different surface types are produced which all have perceptually meaningful interpretations. The correspondence of the surface type regions to the facial features are easily visualized, allowing a qualitative assessment of the face. A quantitative description of the face in terms of the surface type regions can be produced and the variation of the description between faces is demonstrated. A set of optical surface scans can be registered together and averages to produce an average male and average female face. Thus an assessment of how individuals vary from the average can be made as well as a general statement about the differences between male and female faces. This method will enable an investigation to be made as to how reliably faces can be individuated by their surface shape which, if feasible, may be the basis of an automatic system for recognizing faces. It also has applications in physical anthropology, for classification of the face, facial reconstructive surgery, to quantify the changes in a face altered by reconstructive surgery and growth, and in visual perception, to assess the recognizability of faces. Examples of some of these applications are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 December 1992
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 1766, Neural and Stochastic Methods in Image and Signal Processing, (16 December 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.130881
Show Author Affiliations
Anne M. Coombes, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Robin Richards, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Alfred David Linney, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Vicki Bruce, Univ. of Nottingham (United Kingdom)
Rick Fright, Christchurch Hospital (New Zealand)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1766:
Neural and Stochastic Methods in Image and Signal Processing
Su-Shing Chen, Editor(s)

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