Domes to Drones: Self-Supervised Active Triangulation for 3D Human Pose Reconstruction

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)

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Aleksis Pirinen, Erik Gärtner, Cristian Sminchisescu


Existing state-of-the-art estimation systems can detect 2d poses of multiple people in images quite reliably. In contrast, 3d pose estimation from a single image is ill-posed due to occlusion and depth ambiguities. Assuming access to multiple cameras, or given an active system able to position itself to observe the scene from multiple viewpoints, reconstructing 3d pose from 2d measurements becomes well-posed within the framework of standard multi-view geometry. Less clear is what is an informative set of viewpoints for accurate 3d reconstruction, particularly in complex scenes, where people are occluded by others or by scene objects. In order to address the view selection problem in a principled way, we here introduce ACTOR, an active triangulation agent for 3d human pose reconstruction. Our fully trainable agent consists of a 2d pose estimation network (any of which would work) and a deep reinforcement learning-based policy for camera viewpoint selection. The policy predicts observation viewpoints, the number of which varies adaptively depending on scene content, and the associated images are fed to an underlying pose estimator. Importantly, training the policy requires no annotations - given a 2d pose estimator, ACTOR is trained in a self-supervised manner. In extensive evaluations on complex multi-people scenes filmed in a Panoptic dome, under multiple viewpoints, we compare our active triangulation agent to strong multi-view baselines, and show that ACTOR produces significantly more accurate 3d pose reconstructions. We also provide a proof-of-concept experiment indicating the potential of connecting our view selection policy to a physical drone observer.