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LInKs "Lifting Independent Keypoints" - Partial Pose Lifting for Occlusion Handling With Improved Accuracy in 2D-3D Human Pose Estimation
We present LInKs, a novel unsupervised learning method to recover 3D human poses from 2D kinematic skeletons obtained from a single image, even when occlusions are present. Our approach follows a unique two-step process, which involves first lifting the occluded 2D pose to the 3D domain, followed by filling in the occluded parts using the partially reconstructed 3D coordinates. This lift-then-fill approach leads to significantly more accurate results compared to models that complete the pose in 2D space alone. Additionally, we improve the stability and likelihood estimation of normalising flows through a custom sampling function replacing PCA dimensionality reduction used in prior work. Furthermore, we are the first to investigate if different parts of the 2D kinematic skeleton can be lifted independently which we find by itself reduces the error of current lifting approaches. We attribute this to the reduction of long-range keypoint correlations. In our detailed evaluation, we quantify the error under various realistic occlusion scenarios, showcasing the versatility and applicability of our model. Our results consistently demonstrate the superiority of handling all types of occlusions in 3D space when compared to others that complete the pose in 2D space. Our approach also exhibits consistent accuracy in scenarios without occlusion, as evidenced by a 7.9% reduction in reconstruction error compared to prior works on the Human3.6M dataset. Furthermore, our method excels in accurately retrieving complete 3D poses even in the presence of occlusions, making it highly applicable in situations where complete 2D pose information is unavailable.