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  1. We investigate the rate-distortion (R-D) characteristics of full ultra-high definition (UHD) 360° videos and capture corresponding head movement navigation data of virtual reality (VR) headsets. We use the navigation data to analyze how users explore the 360° look-around panorama for such content and formulate related statistical models. The developed R-D characteristics and modeling capture the spatiotemporal encoding efficiency of the content at multiple scales and can be exploited to enable higher operational efficiency in key use cases. The high quality expectations for next generation immersive media necessitate the understanding of these intrinsic navigation and content characteristics of full UHD 360° videos.
  2. Human novel view synthesis aims to synthesize target views of a human subject given input images taken from one or more reference viewpoints. Despite significant advances in model-free novel view synthesis, existing methods present two major limitations when applied to complex shapes like humans. First, these methods mainly focus on simple and symmetric objects, e.g., cars and chairs, limiting their performances to fine-grained and asymmetric shapes. Second, existing methods cannot guarantee visual consistency across different adjacent views of the same object. To solve these problems, we present in this paper a learning framework for the novel view synthesis of human subjects, which explicitly enforces consistency across different generated views of the subject. Specifically, we introduce a novel multi-view supervision and an explicit rotational loss during the learning process, enabling the model to preserve detailed body parts and to achieve consistency between adjacent synthesized views. To show the superior performance of our approach, we present qualitative and quantitative results on the Multi-View Human Action (MVHA) dataset we collected (consisting of 3D human models animated with different Mocap sequences and captured from 54 different viewpoints), the Pose-Varying Human Model (PVHM) dataset, and ShapeNet. The qualitative and quantitative results demonstrate that our approachmore »outperforms the state-of-the-art baselines in both per-view synthesis quality, and in preserving rotational consistency and complex shapes (e.g. fine-grained details, challenging poses) across multiple adjacent views in a variety of scenarios, for both humans and rigid objects.« less
  3. Vedaldi, Andrea ; Bischof, Horst ; Brox, Thomas ; Frahm, Jan-Michael (Ed.)
    Novel view video synthesis aims to synthesize novel viewpoints videos given input captures of a human performance taken from multiple reference viewpoints and over consecutive time steps. Despite great advances in model-free novel view synthesis, existing methods present three limitations when applied to complex and time-varying human performance. First, these methods (and related datasets) mainly consider simple and symmetric objects. Second, they do not enforce explicit consistency across generated views. Third, they focus on static and non-moving objects. The fine-grained details of a human subject can therefore suffer from inconsistencies when synthesized across different viewpoints or time steps. To tackle these challenges, we introduce a human-specific framework that employs a learned 3D-aware representation. Specifically, we first introduce a novel siamese network that employs a gating layer for better reconstruction of the latent volumetric representation and, consequently, final visual results. Moreover, features from consecutive time steps are shared inside the network to improve temporal consistency. Second, we introduce a novel loss to explicitly enforce consistency across generated views both in space and in time. Third, we present the Multi-View Human Action (MVHA) dataset, consisting of near 1200 synthetic human performance captured from 54 viewpoints. Experiments on the MVHA, Pose-Varying Human Modelmore »and ShapeNet datasets show that our method outperforms the state-of-the-art baselines both in view generation quality and spatio-temporal consistency.« less
  4. By allowing people to manipulate digital content placed in the real world, Augmented Reality (AR) provides immersive and enriched experiences in a variety of domains. Despite its increasing popularity, providing a seamless AR experience under bandwidth fluctuations is still a challenge, since delivering these experiences at photorealistic quality with minimal latency requires high bandwidth. Streaming approaches have already been proposed to solve this problem, but they require accurate prediction of the Field-Of-View of the user to only stream those regions of scene that are most likely to be watched by the user. To solve this prediction problem, we study in this paper the watching behavior of users exploring different types of AR scenes via mobile devices. To this end, we introduce the ACE Dataset, the first dataset collecting movement data of 50 users exploring 5 different AR scenes. We also propose a four-feature taxonomy for AR scene design, which allows categorizing different types of AR scenes in a methodical way, and supporting further research in this domain. Motivated by the ACE dataset analysis results, we develop a novel user visual attention prediction algorithm that jointly utilizes information of users' historical movements and digital objects positions in the AR scene. Themore »evaluation on the ACE Dataset show the proposed approach outperforms baseline approaches under prediction horizons of variable lengths, and can therefore be beneficial to the AR ecosystem in terms of bandwidth reduction and improved quality of users' experience.« less
  5. Smartphones have recently become a popular platform for deploying the computation-intensive virtual reality (VR) applications, such as immersive video streaming (a.k.a., 360-degree video streaming). One specific challenge involving the smartphone-based head mounted display (HMD) is to reduce the potentially huge power consumption caused by the immersive video. To address this challenge, we first conduct an empirical power measurement study on a typical smartphone immersive streaming system, which identifies the major power consumption sources. Then, we develop QuRate, a quality-aware and user-centric frame rate adaptation mechanism to tackle the power consumption issue in immersive video streaming. QuRate optimizes the immersive video power consumption by modeling the correlation between the perceivable video quality and the user behavior. Specifically, QuRate builds on top of the user’s reduced level of concentration on the video frames during view switching and dynamically adjusts the frame rate without impacting the perceivable video quality. We evaluate QuRate with a comprehensive set of experiments involving 5 smartphones, 21 users, and 6 immersive videos using empirical user head movement traces. Our experimental results demonstrate that QuRate is capable of extending the smartphone battery life by up to 1.24X while maintaining the perceivable video quality during immersive video streaming. Also, wemore »conduct an Institutional Review Board (IRB)- approved subjective user study to further validate the minimum video quality impact caused by QuRate.« less