Learning Style-directed Dynamics of Human Motion for Automatic Motion Synthesis Yi Wang, Zhi-Qiang Liu and Li-Zhu Zhou Abstract— This paper presents a new model, the HMM/MixSDTG, which describes Markov processes under control of a global vector variable called style variable. We present an EM learning algorithm to learn an HMM/Mix-SDTG from one or more 3D motion capture sequences labelled by their style values. Because each dimension of the style variable has explicit physical meaning, with the presented synthesis algorithm, we are able to generate arbitrarily new motion with style exactly as demand by specifying a style value. The output densities of HMM/Mix-SDTG is represented by mixtures of stylized decomposable triangulated graphs (MixSDTG), which, in addition to parameterizing the Markov process with the style variable, also achieve more numerical robustness and preventing common artifacts of 3D motion synthesis.

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I. I NTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND Learning of human motion from video had long been a classic technique in computer vision to detect, recognize, and identify motions. In recent years, in order to release animators from intensive manual work of producing 3D character animations, machine learning approaches, in particular, hidden Markov models (HMM), were introduced into the computer graphics community (e.g., [4], [2], [3]) to learn 3D motion capture data and to synthesize 3D character animations automatically. However, one major difficulty of modelling 3D human motion is that the complex variations resulted from the rich semantics of human motion. To cover the variations, we can use multiple HMMs. Unfortunately, each frame of motion is a high-dimensional vector containing 3D rotations of dozens of joints defining the body pose; under the highdimensionality of parameter space, increasing the number of models will require unreasonably large amount of training data. In 1999, Wilson and Bobick [9] noticed the variations of gestures are usually under control of a parameter. For example, the gesture that move two hands to express the size of a fish varies according to the fish size. They modelled such parametric variation of gesture by extending the HMM: changing the form of output probability densities from Gaussians to parametric Gaussians, whose mean vectors are functions of the gesture parameter. The extended HMM This work was supported in part by Hong Kong RGC Project No. CityUHK 1062/02E and CityU 1247/03E and Natural Science Foundation of China No. 60520130299. Yi Wang is with Department of Computer Science, Tsinghua University, 100084 Beijing, China [email protected] Zhi-Qiang Liu is with the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong [email protected] Li-Zhu Zhou is with Department of Computer Science, Tsinghua University, 100084 Beijing, China [email protected]

is named “parametric HMM”, which is learned with a supervised framework and requires a set of training motion sequences labelled by corresponding gesture parameters. An inconvenience of the supervised learning framework is that the dimensionality and value of the gesture parameters must be provided for the training data prior to learning. In [1], Brand presented a novel unsupervised learning algorithm based on Entropy-Minimization to learn an extended HMM similar with the parametric HMM. This learning algorithm is able to automatically determine the minimum number of dimensions of the gesture parameter that is enough to cover variations of the training sequences. Although the users are release from specifying dimensionality of the gesture parameter, they have to face the uneasiness that it is unknown that which dimension of the gesture parameter affects what aspects of the gesture variations. When this unsupervised learning framework is used to synthesizing, instead of recognizing, gestures, it will disable the users from giving a gesture parameter value to precisely express the style of gesture that they want. In addition to gestures, full-body motion, e.g., fight and dance, also features the fact that the motion process is usually under control of a parameter that expresses the personality or style of the performer. In [2], Brand and Hertzmann applied the work of [1], named style machine, to model motion capture data under control of a global parameter, named style variable. With a style machine learned from Ballet motions, it is shown that users can adjust the style value to synthesize new motions with new styles. However, we have to admit that the adjustment is somewhat blindly, since we do not know the physical meaning of each dimension of the style variable. Another difficulty of style machine as well as other 3D motion synthesis methods using extensions of HMM, e.g.,

[4], is about the high-dimensional Gaussian assumption. Because 3D full-body motion involves more joints, each frame of the captured motion will have higher dimensionality. To continue using the HMM with output densities represented by Gaussian distributions or parametric Gaussians distributions, we have to lower dimensionality of the training motion with techniques like principle component analysis (PCA). Otherwise, the small variation on some joints often leads to parametric Gaussians with singular covariance matrices, which will make the model incomputable. However, the explicitly lowering of dimensionality is an ad hoc problem since we do not know how many number of dimensions should be kept after PCA? Too large dimensionality may not be able to avoid singular matrices while too little dimensionality may loss too much details and leads to visual artifacts like foot-skate and “penetrating”, which, in the area of computer graphics and animation, refers to phenomena like that the movement of arm cut across leg. In this paper, we present an extension to HMM, namely HMM/Mix-SDTG (c.f. Figure 1) especially designed for learning full-body motion under control of a style variable for automatic synthesis of 3D character animation. To allow the users specifying the demanded new style precisely without blindly adjusting the style value, we adopt an supervised learning approach similar with [9] instead of [1] and [2]. To avoid the ad hoc requirement of explicitly lowing of dimensionality of training data, the output densities of HMM/Mix-SDTG are represented by mixtures of stylized decomposable triangular graph model (SDTG) instead of mixtures of parametric Gaussian. Although supervised learning requires users to determine the dimensionality and value of the style variable for the training motions, we will show in latter sections that, in practices, users only need to determine the physical meaning of each dimension of the style variable, because once the aspect of variations affected by each dimension is determined, it is easy to calculate the style values of the training motions from the training motions themselves. II. S TYLE -D IRECTED M OTION L EARNING AND R ECREATING A. The Stylized Decomposable Triangulated Graph The most commonly used multivariate model to represented high-dimensional data is the Gaussian distribution, which describes the correlations among the dimensions with a covariance matrix. Because each element of the matrix is the variation between a pair of dimensions, the model in fact assumes that each dimension statistical depends on all other dimensions (c.f. Figure 2(a)). A problem of Gaussian is that, if several pairs of dimensions of the training data have little statistical dependencies, the covariance matrix is easily prone to be singular, especially when the training data is high-dimensional like motion capture data. From this point of view, the tree model (c.f. Figure 2(c)) is much more robust than Gaussian. The tree model assume that each dimension statistically depends on only one other dimension, called the parent dimension. The topology of

a tree can be learned by the famous Chow-Liu algorithm, which computes cross-entropy between each pair of dimensions, and grows the tree with the Maximum-Spanning-Tree algorithm. In other words, only those edges connecting two dimensions with the largest cross-entropies, i.e., the largest statistical dependencies, are kept. In the meanwhile, correlations between those less related dimensions are ignored. If we assume the high-dimensional distribution over all the dimensions is Gaussian, the marginalization of any pair of dimensions is also Gaussian, so we can approximate the high-dimensional Gaussian with the product of a set of 2-D Gaussians, where each 2-D Gaussian covers an edge of the tree and has non-singular covariance matrix. However, because the tree model ignores too many correlations between the dimensions, it may loss too much information and makes unreasonable error on the approximation. In [6], large number of experiments shows that human motion data can be accurately modelled under the assumption that each dimension depends on other two dimensions. This results in the decomposable triangulated graph (DTG) model. If a Gaussian distribution cover 6 dimensions x1 , . . . , x6 can be represented a DTG as shown in Figure 2(b), it can be approximated as: P (hx1 , . . . , x6 i) =P (x1 , x2 ) · P (x3 | x1 , x2 ) · P (x6 | x1 , x2 ) · P (x4 | x2 , x3 ) · P (x5 | x1 , x6 ) P (x3 , x1 , x2 ) P (x6 , x1 , x2 ) · =P (x1 , x2 ) · P (x1 , x2 ) P (x1 , x2 ) P (x4 , x2 , x3 ) P (x5 , x1 , x6 ) · · , P (x2 , x3 ) P (x1 , x6 )

(6)

where all the 3-D distributions P (·, ·, ·) and 2-D distributions P (·, ·) are Gaussian distributions that cover the topology of DTG, which is a set of adjacent triangles learned with the algorithm described in [6]. The stylized DTG (SDTG) is a DTG whose all subdistributions are parametric Gaussians parameterized by the style variable, say θ. For example, stylizing Equation 6 results in the following SDTG model: N (hx1 , . . . , x6 i | µ = f (θ), Σ) N (x3 , x1 , x2 | f12 (θ 123 ), Σ123 ) =N (x1 , x2 | f12 (θ 12 ), Σ12 ) · · ··· N (x1 , x2 | f12 (θ 12 ), Σ12 ) (7) where θ 12 denotes a vector containing the 1st and 2nd dimensions of the vector θ, and Σ12 denotes a matrix containing the 1st and 2nd rows and columns of the matrix Σ. Given a set of high-dimensional vectors, e.g., training motion frames, the topology of an SDTG model can be estimated by the algorithm proposed in our previous work [8]. Because dimension correlations that makes the covariance matrix singular are automatically deleted during the topology estimation, SDTG does not rely on explicit dimensionlowering techniques like PCA, and adaptively achieve the most probable accuracy of multivariate modeling.

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2: Comparison among the Gaussian (a), the DTG (b) and the tree model (b). ( ˆ = Q(Λ; Λ)

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B. Notations for HMM/Mix-SDTG For a HMM/Mix-SDTG with N states, its parameter set Λ includes the global style variable θ, the transition probability matrix1 A = {aij }N i,j=1 , and N output distribution functions B = {bj (x)}N , j=1 where, each bj (x) is a mixture of M (c) stylized-DTG weighted by wi . All the SDTG components have their mean vectors defined as linear functions of θ. For clarity, SDTG used in HMM/Mix-SDTG is denoted as 1 The

initial state distribution used in many literatures is combined into A by introducing a special starting state.

linear Gaussian in the following discussion (the estimation of the decomposed covariance matrix will be addressed especially). As an example, the output density of state j is written as: bj (x | θ) =

M X

wjm N x; W jm θ + µjm , Σjm



.

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To update W jm and µjm simultaneously during learning,   they are combined into one parameter Z jm = W jm , µjm . By writing Ω = [θ, 1]T , we have W jm θ + µjm = Z jm Ω.

C. The Learning Algorithm A EM algorithm is derived to estimate an HMM/MixSDTG from a set of K training sequences X = {X k }K k=1 = k {{xkt }Tt=1 }K k=1 , where Tk denotes the length of the k-th sequence. Each sequence is coupled with a known style value θ k . The set of {θ k }K k=1 is denoted as Θ. For each xkt , a qkt and a ckt is introduced as the hidden data to indicate that xkt is generated by the ckt -th component of state qkt . An optimal model Λ is estimated by maximizing the expected value of the log of complete-data likelihood written as the auxiliary function: ( ) K Y ˆ = Q(Λ; Λ) E log P (X k , θ k , Qk , C k | Λ) , ˆ Q,C|X ,Θ,Λ

k=1

ˆ is the current estimate of the model parameters, where, Λ Λ is the parameters to be updated, Q = {Qk }K k=1 = Tk K K k {{qkt }Tt=1 }K k=1 and C = {C k }k=1 = {{ckt }t=1 }k=1 denote the entire set of state and component indices corresponding to X . Use the Markov property, Q(·) is carried out as Equation 1 in Figure 3, where, γkt (j, m) = P (qkt = i, ckt = ˆ is the distribution of hidden data inferred m | X , Θ, Λ) from the observed data and the currently estimated model. To estimate Λ, an E-step and an M-step are alternatively executed to maximize (1) with respect to Λ. a) E-Step.: Because qkt and ckt are statistically independent, the distribution of hidden data γkt (j, m) is inferred ˆ · P (ckt = m | X , Θ, Λ), ˆ as P (qkt = j | X , Θ, Λ) # " αkt (j)βkt (j) · γkt (j, m) = PN j=1 αkt (j)βkt (j) " # wjm N (x; Z jm Ω, Σjm ) (8) PM m=1 wjm N (x; Z jm Ω, Σjm ) where, αkt (·) and βkt (·) are computed by the “forward/backward” algorithm with details explained in [5]. b) M-Step.: Because (1) is a linear combination of linear Gaussians, thus is concave on the whole domain of x, the model parameters can be estimated by solving the ˆ equation ∂Q(Λ; Λ)/∂Λ = 0, where LagrangePmultipliers P M N are required to enforce m=1 wjm = 1 and j=1 aij = 1 respectively. Assuming SDTG as linear Gaussian, the updating rules can be derived as listed in Figure 4. To substitute the high-dimensional linear Gaussian by SDTG, the decomposition algorithm presented in [8] is used to learn the topology of the set of triplets of dimensions. Covariance matrices of the local distributions on the triplets are estimated by applying the updating rule of Σjm on each triplet of dimensions. D. The Synthesis Algorithm The synthesis algorithm is similar with the two-step approach used in [7]. In the first step, a path connecting two specified hidden states of the HMM is selected to maximize the transition probabilities along the path. In the second step, the mean vector of the output densities along the path are calculated with a given style value θ, part of the

components of the mean vector that describe the static pose information, e.g., global position and joint rotations, are used as control points to construct a B-spline curve T (u) across the pose space. The rest mean vector components that describe the dynamic information, e.g., global velocity and angular velocity on joints, are used to constrain local derivatives on the control points. A sequence of new poses, or frames, can be generated by interpolating along T (u) with increasing u evenly distributed in the parameter space of 0..1. As constraints of local derivatives were applied on each control points, the generated motion is guaranteed not only smooth and continuous but also with cadence, the variation of moving speed along the curve or time, consistent with that of the training motion. III. E XPERIMENTS AND D ISCUSSIONS The synthesis and learning algorithm are rewritten with C++ to utilize the the arbitrary precision library MAPM (http://www.tc.umn.edu /ringx004/mapm-main.html) for robust computation on small probability values resulted from high-dimensional and long training sequences. These values might be truncated to zero by the CPU floating point unit. The two training motion sequences, as shown in Fig. 7 (a), were collected by recording the 3D position of the 19 major body joints of an human actor/actress with motion capture device in the frequency of 33.3 fps. The positions were then transformed into 3D rotations parameterized by exponential map. The global position, global velocity, joint rotations and angular velocities of joints together form a 120D pose space. Both sequences have the same temporal structure of walking. However, the first sequence (220 frames) is regular walk of an actor, but the second one (189 frames) is cat walk of an actress. A major difference on the style is that the actress had her right arm raised up, so we use a 1D style value θ to approximately encode the difference on the height of right arm. For the first sequence, θ1 is set to 0 and for the second one θ2 is set to 1. An HMM/Mix-SDTG with 4 hidden states is learned, where each output density contains 2 component SDTGs. Fig. 7 (b) visualizes the 4 estimated output densities by projecting the 120D function onto 2D space to display on paper. The SDTG components are shown as contours. Because each SDTG mathematically represents a linear Gaussian, the contours are symmetric along the axis defined by the style transform matrix W jm . Usually, to sample a dD space, N  d sample points are required. But it is impractical and too expensive to asking the actor/actress to walk hundreds of times. The training motion data is usually fairly undersampled, even all the frames are used to estimate a single Gaussian, its covariance matrix might still close to singular. However, it is encouraging that SDTG makes the learning possible without any preprocessing on the data. Fig. 7 (c) shows three new motion sequences synthesized from the learned model given new style value of 0.25, 0.5 and 0.75 respectively. In these synthesis results, the heights of the avatar’s right arm are approximately linearly interpolated between the two training samples, and the overall

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5: The two training motion sequences. (a) is normal walk captured from a male performer; (b) is cat walk captured from a female performer.

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7: Given the learned VLMM/Mix-SDTG model, 3 new motion (a)∼(c) are synthesized with given style value 0.25, 0.5 and 0.75 respectively, so the styles of motions (a)∼(c) change from masculine to feminine and from normal walk to cat walk.

walking style changes from muscular to feminine. IV. C ONCLUSIONS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT We developed a new model, the HMM/Mix-SDTG, for learning and synthesizing 3D full-body human motions under control of a style variable. Within the supervised learning algorithm, users are able to designate the physical meaning of each dimension of the style variable. Therefore, during synthesis, user can given an arbitrary style value to precisely designate the required style of new motion. The output densities of our model is represented by SDTGs mixtures instead of parametric Gaussian mixtures. The numerical robustness achieved by SDTGs removed the ad hoc requirement of explicitly lowering dimensions of the training motion data, because, SDTGs adaptively learns the most important correlations among the dimensions that should be kept. So when used for synthesizing full-body 3D character animations, it can avoids common artifacts like foot-skating and penetrating. R EFERENCES [1] Matthew Brand. Pattern discovery via entropy minimization. In D. Heckerman and C. Whittaker, editors, Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, Vol. 7., volume 7. Morgan Kaufmann, Los Altos, 1999. [2] Matthew Brand and Aaron Hertzmann. Style machines. In Proc. ACM SIGGRAPH, pages 183–192, 2000.

[3] Keith Grochow, Steven L. Martin, Aaron Hertzmann, and Zoran Popovi´c. Style-based inverse kinematics. In Proc. ACM SIGGRAPH, pages 522 – 531, 2004. [4] Yan Li, Tianshu Wang, and Heung-Yeung Shum. Motion texture: A two-level statistical model for character motion synthesis. Proc. ACM SIGGRAPH, pages 465–472, 2002. [5] Lawrence R. Rabiner. A tutorial on hidden markov models and selected applications in speech recognition. Proc. IEEE, 77(2):257–286, 1989. [6] Yang Song, Luis Goncalves, and Pietro Perona. Unsupervised learning of human motion. IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis Machine Intelligence, 25(25):814–827, 2003. [7] Yi Wang, Zhi-Qiang Liu, and Li-Zhu Zhou. Learning hierarchical non-parametric hidden markov model of human motion. In Proc. 4th International Conference on Machine Learning and Cybernetics, pages 5290–5296, Augest 2005. [8] Yi Wang, Zhi-Qiang Liu, and Li-Zhu Zhou. Learning style and structure of human behavior. In Proc. Asia-Pacific Workshop on Visual Information Processing, 2005. [9] Andrew D. Wilson and Aaron Bobick. Parametric hidden markov models for gesture recognition. IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis Machine Intelligence, 21(9):884–900, 1999.

Learning Style-directed Dynamics of Human Motion for ...

or more 3D motion capture sequences labelled by their style values. Because each ... 1: An illustration of the HMM/Mix-SDTG model. is named “parametric HMM”, ..... [5] Lawrence R. Rabiner. A tutorial on hidden markov models and selected.

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