Compression of MPEG-4 facial animation parameters for transmission of talking heads

Hai Tao, Homer H. Chen, Wei Wu, Thomas S. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The emerging MPEG-4 standard supports the transmission and composition of facial animation with natural video. The new standard will include a facial animation parameter (FAP) set that is defined based on the study of minimal facial actions and is closely related to muscle actions. The FAP set enables model-based representation of natural or synthetic talking-head sequences and allows intelligible visual reproduction of facial expressions, emotions, and speech pronunciations at the receiver. This paper addresses the data-compression issue of talking heads and presents three methods for bit-rate reduction of FAP's. Compression efficiency is achieved by way of transform coding, principal component analysis, and FAP interpolation. These methods are independent of each other in nature and thus can be applied in combination to lower the bit-rate demand of FAP's, making possible the transmission of multiple talking heads over band-limited channels. The basic methods described here have been adopted into the MPEG-4 Visual Committee Draft [1] and are readily applicable to other articulation data such as body animation parameters. The efficacy of the methods is demonstrated by both subjective and objective results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-276
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Media Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Compression of MPEG-4 facial animation parameters for transmission of talking heads'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this