Controllable Image-to-Video Translation: A Case Study on Facial Expression Generation


  • Lijie Fan Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Wenbing Huang Tencent AI Lab
  • Chuang Gan Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Watson AI Lab
  • Junzhou Huang University of Texas at Arlington
  • Boqing Gong Tencent AI Lab



The recent advances in deep learning have made it possible to generate photo-realistic images by using neural networks and even to extrapolate video frames from an input video clip. In this paper, for the sake of both furthering this exploration and our own interest in a realistic application, we study imageto-video translation and particularly focus on the videos of facial expressions. This problem challenges the deep neural networks by another temporal dimension comparing to the image-to-image translation. Moreover, its single input image fails most existing video generation methods that rely on recurrent models. We propose a user-controllable approach so as to generate video clips of various lengths from a single face image. The lengths and types of the expressions are controlled by users. To this end, we design a novel neural network architecture that can incorporate the user input into its skip connections and propose several improvements to the adversarial training method for the neural network. Experiments and user studies verify the effectiveness of our approach. Especially, we would like to highlight that even for the face images in the wild (downloaded from the Web and the authors’ own photos), our model can generate high-quality facial expression videos of which about 50% are labeled as real by Amazon Mechanical Turk workers.




How to Cite

Fan, L., Huang, W., Gan, C., Huang, J., & Gong, B. (2019). Controllable Image-to-Video Translation: A Case Study on Facial Expression Generation. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 33(01), 3510-3517.



AAAI Technical Track: Machine Learning