Facial Prototyping

Facial prototyping is a means of systematically deriving the average feature shape and colouration from a group of faces. This information can be used in various ways, including:

-Facilitating facial recognition

-Investigating facial attractiveness

-Investigating asymmetries in facial perception

-Investigating facial ageing

-Manipulating facial characteristics (like masculinity) 

The process of facial prototyping can be broken down into 3 stages: deliniation of the face shape, calculation of the average shape for a group of faces , and warping the images into the average shape. These steps are illustrated below:

(1) Deliniation

The coordinates of standard facial features are marked

 

(2) Calculation of the average face shape

The average x,y coordinates of the points marking each feature are found for a group of facial stimuli. The average of each of these points is used to make our "average" face

Creating an average template for female face: 

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=

 

Creating an average template for male face: 

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=

 

(3) Warping the faces into the average face shape

Creating an average template for female face: 

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+

=

 

Creating an average template for male face: 

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+

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For more information on these techinques, please see:

Rowland, D.A., Perrett, D.I., Burt, D.M., Lee, K.J., & Akamatsu, S. (1997). Transforming Facial Images in 2- and 3-D. Imaging 97 Proceedings, Monte-Carlo, pp 159-175. A pre-publication version of the paper is available in PDF format.

Rowland, D. & Perrett, D.I. (1995). Manipulating Facial Appearance Through Shape and Color. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 15, 5, 70-76. This paper is also available in PDF format.

Benson, P.J. & Perrett, D.I. (1993). Extracting Prototypical Facial Images from Exemplars. Perception, 22, 257-262. Abstract available via Perceptionweb.

 

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