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"photo": models, code, and papers

Towers of Babel: Combining Images, Language, and 3D Geometry for Learning Multimodal Vision

Aug 12, 2021
Xiaoshi Wu, Hadar Averbuch-Elor, Jin Sun, Noah Snavely

The abundance and richness of Internet photos of landmarks and cities has led to significant progress in 3D vision over the past two decades, including automated 3D reconstructions of the world's landmarks from tourist photos. However, a major source of information available for these 3D-augmented collections---namely language, e.g., from image captions---has been virtually untapped. In this work, we present WikiScenes, a new, large-scale dataset of landmark photo collections that contains descriptive text in the form of captions and hierarchical category names. WikiScenes forms a new testbed for multimodal reasoning involving images, text, and 3D geometry. We demonstrate the utility of WikiScenes for learning semantic concepts over images and 3D models. Our weakly-supervised framework connects images, 3D structure, and semantics---utilizing the strong constraints provided by 3D geometry---to associate semantic concepts to image pixels and 3D points.

* Published in ICCV 2021; Project webpage: 

Sketch-a-Net that Beats Humans

Jul 21, 2015
Qian Yu, Yongxin Yang, Yi-Zhe Song, Tao Xiang, Timothy Hospedales

We propose a multi-scale multi-channel deep neural network framework that, for the first time, yields sketch recognition performance surpassing that of humans. Our superior performance is a result of explicitly embedding the unique characteristics of sketches in our model: (i) a network architecture designed for sketch rather than natural photo statistics, (ii) a multi-channel generalisation that encodes sequential ordering in the sketching process, and (iii) a multi-scale network ensemble with joint Bayesian fusion that accounts for the different levels of abstraction exhibited in free-hand sketches. We show that state-of-the-art deep networks specifically engineered for photos of natural objects fail to perform well on sketch recognition, regardless whether they are trained using photo or sketch. Our network on the other hand not only delivers the best performance on the largest human sketch dataset to date, but also is small in size making efficient training possible using just CPUs.

* Accepted to BMVC 2015 (oral) 

Semantics Disentangling for Text-to-Image Generation

Apr 02, 2019
Guojun Yin, Bin Liu, Lu Sheng, Nenghai Yu, Xiaogang Wang, Jing Shao

Synthesizing photo-realistic images from text descriptions is a challenging problem. Previous studies have shown remarkable progresses on visual quality of the generated images. In this paper, we consider semantics from the input text descriptions in helping render photo-realistic images. However, diverse linguistic expressions pose challenges in extracting consistent semantics even they depict the same thing. To this end, we propose a novel photo-realistic text-to-image generation model that implicitly disentangles semantics to both fulfill the high-level semantic consistency and low-level semantic diversity. To be specific, we design (1) a Siamese mechanism in the discriminator to learn consistent high-level semantics, and (2) a visual-semantic embedding strategy by semantic-conditioned batch normalization to find diverse low-level semantics. Extensive experiments and ablation studies on CUB and MS-COCO datasets demonstrate the superiority of the proposed method in comparison to state-of-the-art methods.

* 14 pages, 11 figures, accepted as an ORAL at CVPR2019 

Modeling Photographic Composition via Triangles

May 31, 2016
Zihan Zhou, Siqiong He, Jia Li, James Z. Wang

The capacity of automatically modeling photographic composition is valuable for many real-world machine vision applications such as digital photography, image retrieval, image understanding, and image aesthetics assessment. The triangle technique is among those indispensable composition methods on which professional photographers often rely. This paper proposes a system that can identify prominent triangle arrangements in two major categories of photographs: natural or urban scenes, and portraits. For the natural or urban scene pictures, the focus is on the effect of linear perspective. For portraits, we carefully examine the positioning of human subjects in a photo. We show that line analysis is highly advantageous for modeling composition in both categories. Based on the detected triangles, new mathematical descriptors for composition are formulated and used to retrieve similar images. Leveraging the rich source of high aesthetics photos online, similar approaches can potentially be incorporated in future smart cameras to enhance a person's photo composition skills.

* 22 pages, 25 figures. The first two authors contributed equally 

FoggySight: A Scheme for Facial Lookup Privacy

Dec 15, 2020
Ivan Evtimov, Pascal Sturmfels, Tadayoshi Kohno

Advances in deep learning algorithms have enabled better-than-human performance on face recognition tasks. In parallel, private companies have been scraping social media and other public websites that tie photos to identities and have built up large databases of labeled face images. Searches in these databases are now being offered as a service to law enforcement and others and carry a multitude of privacy risks for social media users. In this work, we tackle the problem of providing privacy from such face recognition systems. We propose and evaluate FoggySight, a solution that applies lessons learned from the adversarial examples literature to modify facial photos in a privacy-preserving manner before they are uploaded to social media. FoggySight's core feature is a community protection strategy where users acting as protectors of privacy for others upload decoy photos generated by adversarial machine learning algorithms. We explore different settings for this scheme and find that it does enable protection of facial privacy -- including against a facial recognition service with unknown internals.


ClimateGAN: Raising Climate Change Awareness by Generating Images of Floods

Oct 06, 2021
Victor Schmidt, Alexandra Sasha Luccioni, Mélisande Teng, Tianyu Zhang, Alexia Reynaud, Sunand Raghupathi, Gautier Cosne, Adrien Juraver, Vahe Vardanyan, Alex Hernandez-Garcia, Yoshua Bengio

Climate change is a major threat to humanity, and the actions required to prevent its catastrophic consequences include changes in both policy-making and individual behaviour. However, taking action requires understanding the effects of climate change, even though they may seem abstract and distant. Projecting the potential consequences of extreme climate events such as flooding in familiar places can help make the abstract impacts of climate change more concrete and encourage action. As part of a larger initiative to build a website that projects extreme climate events onto user-chosen photos, we present our solution to simulate photo-realistic floods on authentic images. To address this complex task in the absence of suitable training data, we propose ClimateGAN, a model that leverages both simulated and real data for unsupervised domain adaptation and conditional image generation. In this paper, we describe the details of our framework, thoroughly evaluate components of our architecture and demonstrate that our model is capable of robustly generating photo-realistic flooding.


Crowdsampling the Plenoptic Function

Jul 30, 2020
Zhengqi Li, Wenqi Xian, Abe Davis, Noah Snavely

Many popular tourist landmarks are captured in a multitude of online, public photos. These photos represent a sparse and unstructured sampling of the plenoptic function for a particular scene. In this paper,we present a new approach to novel view synthesis under time-varying illumination from such data. Our approach builds on the recent multi-plane image (MPI) format for representing local light fields under fixed viewing conditions. We introduce a new DeepMPI representation, motivated by observations on the sparsity structure of the plenoptic function, that allows for real-time synthesis of photorealistic views that are continuous in both space and across changes in lighting. Our method can synthesize the same compelling parallax and view-dependent effects as previous MPI methods, while simultaneously interpolating along changes in reflectance and illumination with time. We show how to learn a model of these effects in an unsupervised way from an unstructured collection of photos without temporal registration, demonstrating significant improvements over recent work in neural rendering. More information can be found

* ECCV, 2020 (Oral) 

Background Matting: The World is Your Green Screen

Apr 10, 2020
Soumyadip Sengupta, Vivek Jayaram, Brian Curless, Steve Seitz, Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman

We propose a method for creating a matte -- the per-pixel foreground color and alpha -- of a person by taking photos or videos in an everyday setting with a handheld camera. Most existing matting methods require a green screen background or a manually created trimap to produce a good matte. Automatic, trimap-free methods are appearing, but are not of comparable quality. In our trimap free approach, we ask the user to take an additional photo of the background without the subject at the time of capture. This step requires a small amount of foresight but is far less time-consuming than creating a trimap. We train a deep network with an adversarial loss to predict the matte. We first train a matting network with supervised loss on ground truth data with synthetic composites. To bridge the domain gap to real imagery with no labeling, we train another matting network guided by the first network and by a discriminator that judges the quality of composites. We demonstrate results on a wide variety of photos and videos and show significant improvement over the state of the art.

* Accepted to CVPR 2020 

Learning to Compose with Professional Photographs on the Web

Jul 18, 2017
Yi-Ling Chen, Jan Klopp, Min Sun, Shao-Yi Chien, Kwan-Liu Ma

Photo composition is an important factor affecting the aesthetics in photography. However, it is a highly challenging task to model the aesthetic properties of good compositions due to the lack of globally applicable rules to the wide variety of photographic styles. Inspired by the thinking process of photo taking, we formulate the photo composition problem as a view finding process which successively examines pairs of views and determines their aesthetic preferences. We further exploit the rich professional photographs on the web to mine unlimited high-quality ranking samples and demonstrate that an aesthetics-aware deep ranking network can be trained without explicitly modeling any photographic rules. The resulting model is simple and effective in terms of its architectural design and data sampling method. It is also generic since it naturally learns any photographic rules implicitly encoded in professional photographs. The experiments show that the proposed view finding network achieves state-of-the-art performance with sliding window search strategy on two image cropping datasets.

* Scripts and pre-trained models available at