CharacterGAN: Few-Shot Keypoint Character Animation and Reposing

Tobias Hinz, Matthew Fisher, Oliver Wang, Eli Shechtman, Stefan Wermter; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), 2022, pp. 1988-1997


We introduce CharacterGAN, a generative model that can be trained on only a few samples (8 - 15) of a given character. Our model generates novel poses based on keypoint locations, which can be modified in real time while providing interactive feedback, allowing for intuitive reposing and animation. Since we only have very limited training samples, one of the key challenges lies in how to address (dis)occlusions, e.g. when a hand moves behind or in front of a body. To address this, we introduce a novel layering approach which explicitly splits the input keypoints into different layers which are processed independently. These layers represent different parts of the character and provide a strong implicit bias that helps to obtain realistic results even with strong (dis)occlusions. To combine the features of individual layers we use an adaptive scaling approach conditioned on all keypoints. Finally, we introduce a mask connectivity constraint to reduce distortion artifacts that occur with extreme out-of-distribution poses at test time. We show that our approach outperforms recent baselines and creates realistic animations for diverse characters. We also show that our model can handle discrete state changes, for example a profile facing left or right, that the different layers do indeed learn features specific for the respective keypoints in those layers, and that our model scales to larger datasets when more data is available. Code is available at

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@InProceedings{Hinz_2022_WACV, author = {Hinz, Tobias and Fisher, Matthew and Wang, Oliver and Shechtman, Eli and Wermter, Stefan}, title = {CharacterGAN: Few-Shot Keypoint Character Animation and Reposing}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)}, month = {January}, year = {2022}, pages = {1988-1997} }