Human Perception Modeling for Automatic Natural Image Matting

Yuhongze Zhou, Liguang Zhou, Tin Lun Lam, Yangsheng Xu

Natural image matting aims to precisely separate foreground objects from background using alpha matte. Fully automatic natural image matting without external annotation is quite challenging. Well-performed matting methods usually require accurate handcrafted trimap as extra input, which is labor-intensive and time-consuming, while the performance of automatic trimap generation method of dilating foreground segmentation fluctuates with segmentation quality. In this paper, we argue that how to handle trade-off of additional information input is a major issue in automatic matting, which we decompose into two subtasks: trimap and alpha estimation. By leveraging easily-accessible coarse annotations and modeling alpha matte handmade process of capturing rough foreground/background/transition boundary and carving delicate details in transition region, we propose an intuitively-designed trimap-free two-stage matting approach without additional annotations, e.g. trimap and background image. Specifically, given an image and its coarse foreground segmentation, Trimap Generation Network estimates probabilities of foreground, unknown, and background regions to guide alpha feature flow of our proposed Non-Local Matting network, which is equipped with trimap-guided global aggregation attention block. Experimental results show that our matting algorithm has competitive performance with current state-of-the-art methods in both trimap-free and trimap-needed aspects.

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