Active Mesh–A Feature Seeking and Tracking Image Sequence Representation Scheme

Yao Wang, Ouseb Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper introduces a representation scheme for image sequences using nonuniform samples embedded in a deformatale mesh structure. It describes a sequence by nodal positions and colors in a starting frame, followed by nodal displacements in the following frames. The nodal points in the mesh are more densely distributed in regions containing interesting features such as edges and corners; and are dynamically updated to follow the same features in successive frames. They are determined automatically by maximizing feature (e.g., gradient) magnitudes at nodal points, while minimizing interpolation errors within individual elements, and matching errors between corresponding elements. In order to avoid the mesh elements becoming overly deformed, a penalty term is also incorporated, which measures the irregularity of the mesh structure. The notions of shape functions and master elements commonly used in the finite element method have been applied to simplify the numerical calculation of the energy functions and their gradients. The proposed representation is motivated by the active contour or snake model proposed by Kass, Witkin, and Terzopoulos. The current representation retains the salient merit of the original model as a feature tracker based on local and collective information, while facilitating more accurate image interpolation and prediction. Our computer simulations have shown that the proposed scheme can successfully track facial feature movements in head-and-shoulder type of sequences, and more generally, interframe changes that can be modeled as elastic deformation. The treatment for the starting frame also constitutes an efficient representation of arbitrary still images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-624
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Image Processing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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