Subpixel Heatmap Regression for Facial Landmark Localization

3 Nov 2021  ·  Adrian Bulat, Enrique Sanchez, Georgios Tzimiropoulos ·

Deep Learning models based on heatmap regression have revolutionized the task of facial landmark localization with existing models working robustly under large poses, non-uniform illumination and shadows, occlusions and self-occlusions, low resolution and blur. However, despite their wide adoption, heatmap regression approaches suffer from discretization-induced errors related to both the heatmap encoding and decoding process. In this work we show that these errors have a surprisingly large negative impact on facial alignment accuracy. To alleviate this problem, we propose a new approach for the heatmap encoding and decoding process by leveraging the underlying continuous distribution. To take full advantage of the newly proposed encoding-decoding mechanism, we also introduce a Siamese-based training that enforces heatmap consistency across various geometric image transformations. Our approach offers noticeable gains across multiple datasets setting a new state-of-the-art result in facial landmark localization. Code alongside the pretrained models will be made available at

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Results from the Paper

Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Uses Extra
Training Data
Result Benchmark
Face Alignment 300W SHR-FAN NME_inter-ocular (%, Full) 2.94 # 4
NME_inter-ocular (%, Common) 2.61 # 5
NME_inter-ocular (%, Challenge) 4.13 # 1
Face Alignment 300W Split 2 SH-FAN NME (inter-ocular) 2.94 # 1
Face Alignment AFLW-19 SHR-FAN NME_diag (%, Full) 1.31 # 4
NME_diag (%, Frontal) 1.12 # 3
NME_box (%, Full) 2.14 # 5
AUC_box@0.07 (%, Full) 70.0 # 3
Face Alignment COFW SH-FAN Mean Error Rate 3.02% # 1
Face Alignment COFW-68 SH-FAN NME (box) 2.47 # 1
AUC@7 (box) 64.9 # 1
Face Alignment WFLW SH-FAN NME_inter-ocular (%, all) 3.72 # 1
AUC_inter-ocular@0.1 (%, all) 63.1 # 1
FR_inter-ocular@0.1(%, all) 1.55 # 1