CONFIG: Controllable Neural Face Image Generation

Our ability to sample realistic natural images, particularly faces, has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years, yet our ability to exert fine-tuned control over the generative process has lagged behind. If this new technology is to find practical uses, we need to achieve a level of control over generative networks which, without sacrificing realism, is on par with that seen in computer graphics and character animation. To this end we propose ConfigNet, a neural face model that allows for controlling individual aspects of output images in semantically meaningful ways and that is a significant step on the path towards finely-controllable neural rendering. ConfigNet is trained on real face images as well as synthetic face renders. Our novel method uses synthetic data to factorize the latent space into elements that correspond to the inputs of a traditional rendering pipeline, separating aspects such as head pose, facial expression, hair style, illumination, and many others which are very hard to annotate in real data. The real images, which are presented to the network without labels, extend the variety of the generated images and encourage realism. Finally, we propose an evaluation criterion using an attribute detection network combined with a user study and demonstrate state-of-the-art individual control over attributes in the output images.

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