Alpha Matte Generation from Single Input for Portrait Matting

Dogucan Yaman, Hazim Kemal Ekenel, Alexander Waibel

Portrait matting is an important research problem with a wide range of applications, such as video conference app, image/video editing, and post-production. The goal is to predict an alpha matte that identifies the effect of each pixel on the foreground subject. Traditional approaches and most of the existing works utilized an additional input, e.g., trimap, background image, to predict alpha matte. However, providing additional input is not always practical. Besides, models are too sensitive to these additional inputs. In this paper, we introduce an additional input-free approach to perform portrait matting using Generative Adversarial Nets (GANs). We divide the main task into two subtasks. For this, we propose a segmentation network for the person segmentation and the alpha generation network for alpha matte prediction. While the segmentation network takes an input image and produces a coarse segmentation map, the alpha generation network utilizes the same input image as well as a coarse segmentation map that is produced by the segmentation network to predict the alpha matte. Besides, we present a segmentation encoding block to downsample the coarse segmentation map and provide feature representation to the residual block. Furthermore, we propose border loss to penalize only the borders of the subject separately which is more likely to be challenging and we also adapt perceptual loss for portrait matting. To train the proposed system, we combine two different popular training datasets to improve the amount of data as well as diversity to address domain shift problems in the inference time. We tested our model on three different benchmark datasets, namely Adobe Image Matting dataset, Portrait Matting dataset, and Distinctions dataset. The proposed method outperformed the MODNet method that also takes a single input.

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