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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Model-Based Real-Time Head Tracking

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20022002:873945

  • Received: 31 August 2001
  • Published:


This paper treats real-time tracking of a human head using an analysis by synthesis approach. The work is based on the Structure from Motion (SfM) algorithm from Azarbayejani and Pentland (1995). We will analyze the convergence properties of the SfM algorithm for planar objects, and extend it to handle new points. The extended algorithm is then used for head tracking. The system tracks feature points in the image using a texture mapped three-dimensional model of the head. The texture is updated adaptively so that points in the ear region can be tracked when the user′s head is rotated far, allowing out-of-plane rotation of up to without losing track. The covariance of the - and the -coordinates are estimated and forwarded to the Kalman filter, making the tracker robust to occlusion. The system automatically detects tracking failure and reinitializes the algorithm using information gathered in the original initialization process.


  • face tracking
  • modeling
  • real-time
  • EKF
  • structure from motion
  • planar objects
  • analysis by synthesis

Authors’ Affiliations

Multimedia Technologies Department, Ericsson Research, Torshamnsgatan 23, Stockholm, 164 86, Sweden


© Ström 2002