Data Driven Dense 3D Facial Reconstruction From 3D Skull Shape

2019-08-13T19:29:59Z (GMT) by Anusha Gorrila

This thesis explores a data driven machine learning based solution for Facial reconstruction from three dimensional (3D) skull shape for recognizing or identifying unknown subjects during forensic investigation. With over 8000 unidentified bodies during the past 3 decades, facial reconstruction of disintegrated bodies in helping with identification has been a critical issue for forensic practitioners. Historically, clay modelling has been used for facial reconstruction that not only requires an expert in the field but also demands a substantial amount of time for modelling, even after acquiring the skull model. Such manual reconstruction typically takes from a month to over 3 months of time and effort. The solution presented in this thesis uses 3D Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) data collected from many people to build a model of the relationship of facial skin to skull bone over a dense set of locations on the face. It then uses this skin-to-bone relationship model learned from the data to reconstruct the predicted face model from a skull shape of an unknown subject. The thesis also extends the algorithm in a way that could help modify the reconstructed face model interactively to account for the effects of age or weight. This uses the predicted face model as a starting point and creates different hypotheses of the facial appearances for different physical attributes. Attributes like age and body mass index (BMI) are used to show the physical facial appearance changes with the help of a tool we constructed. This could improve the identification process. The thesis also presents a methods designed for testing and validating the facial reconstruction algorithm.