Nvidia Shares a New Look at AI for Digital Avatars

The mode allows creating a high-quality avatar using a single photo.

NVIDIA researchers won Best in Show award at SIGGRAPH 2021 for their real-time digital avatar technology. The team proposes using this AI for video conferencing, storytelling, virtual assistants, and more.

The model was originally described in a 2020 paper by Ting-Chun Wang, Arun Mallya, Ming-Yu Liu which described a neural talking-head video synthesis model that was designed for video conferencing. This project allows generating a digital avatar from a single image that can be then used in different cases.

"Our motion is encoded based on a novel keypoint representation, where the identity-specific and motion-related information is decomposed unsupervisedly. Extensive experimental validation shows that our model outperforms competing methods on benchmark datasets," wrote the team in 2020. "Moreover, our compact keypoint representation enables a video conferencing system that achieves the same visual quality as the commercial H.264 standard while only using one-tenth of the bandwidth. Besides, we show our keypoint representation allows the user to rotate the head during synthesis, which is useful for simulating face-to-face video conferencing experiences."

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