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X-Avatar: Expressive Human Avatars

Kaiyue Shen · Chen Guo · Manuel Kaufmann · Juan Jose Zarate · Julien Valentin · Jie Song · Otmar Hilliges

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 041


We present X-Avatar, a novel avatar model that captures the full expressiveness of digital humans to bring about life-like experiences in telepresence, AR/VR and beyond. Our method models bodies, hands, facial expressions and appearance in a holistic fashion and can be learned from either full 3D scans or RGB-D data. To achieve this, we propose a part-aware learned forward skinning module that can be driven by the parameter space of SMPL-X, allowing for expressive animation of X-Avatars. To efficiently learn the neural shape and deformation fields, we propose novel part-aware sampling and initialization strategies. This leads to higher fidelity results, especially for smaller body parts while maintaining efficient training despite increased number of articulated bones. To capture the appearance of the avatar with high-frequency details, we extend the geometry and deformation fields with a texture network that is conditioned on pose, facial expression, geometry and the normals of the deformed surface. We show experimentally that our method outperforms strong baselines both quantitatively and qualitatively on the animation task. To facilitate future research on expressive avatars we contribute a new dataset, called X-Humans, containing 233 sequences of high-quality textured scans from 20 participants, totalling 35,500 data frames.

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