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**Optical Flow Estimation**

Lucas-Kanade Algorithm and its Extensions Many slides from Alexei Efros ans Steve Seitz

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**2-D Motion ≠ Optical Flow**

2-D Motion: Projection of 3-D motion, depending on 3D object motion and projection model. Optical flow: “Perceived” 2-D motion based on changes in image patterns, also depends on illumination and object surface texture. Nevertheless, people often use these two terms interchangeably. Static sphere, changing illumination Spinning sphere, static illumination

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**Problem Definition: Optical Flow**

How to estimate pixel motion from image H to image I? Why is it useful Depth (3D) reconstruction Motion detection - tracking moving objects Compression Mosaics And more…

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**Problem Definition: Optical Flow**

How to estimate pixel motion from image H to image I? Solve pixel correspondence problem given a pixel in H, look for nearby pixels of the same color in I Key assumptions color constancy: a point in H looks the same in I For grayscale images, this is brightness constancy small motion: points do not move very far This is called the optical flow problem

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**Motion estimation: Optical flow**

Goal: estimate the motion of each pixel

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**Classes of Techniques Feature-based methods Direct-methods**

Extract visual features (corners, textured areas) and track them over multiple frames Sparse motion fields, but possibly robust tracking Suitable especially when image motion is large (10-s of pixels) Direct-methods Directly recover image motion from spatio-temporal image brightness variations Motion vectors directly recovered without an intermediate feature extraction step Dense motion fields, but more sensitive to appearance variations Suitable for video and when image motion is small (< 10 pixels)

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**Optical flow constraints (grayscale images)**

Let’s take a closer look at these constraints: brightness constancy: Q: what’s the equation? H(x,y)=I(x+u,y+v) A: H(x,y) = I(x+u, y+v) small motion: (u and v are less than 1 pixel) suppose we take the Taylor series expansion of I:

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**Optical flow equation Combining these two equations**

In the limit, as u and v go to zero, this approximation is good

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**Optical flow equation Intuitively, what does this constraint mean?**

Q: How many equations and how many unknowns do we have per pixel? Intuitively, what does this constraint mean? The component of the flow in the gradient direction is determined The component of the flow parallel to an edge is unknown A: u and v are unknown, 1 equation This explains the Barber Pole illusion

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**Getting more Equations**

How to get more equations for a pixel? Basic idea: impose additional constraints most common is to assume that the flow field is smooth locally one method: assume the pixel’s neighbors have the same (u,v) If we use a 5x5 window, this gives us 25 equations per pixel!

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**Lukas-Kanade Scheme We have over constrained equation set:**

Solution: solve least squares problem minimum least squares solution given by solution (in d) of: The summations are over all pixels in the K x K window This technique was first proposed by Lukas & Kanade (1981)

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**When can we solve this ? When is This Solvable?**

Optimal (u, v) satisfies Lucas-Kanade equation When is This Solvable? ATA should be invertible The eigenvalues of ATA should not be too small (noise) ATA should be well-conditioned l1/ l2 should not be too large (l1 = larger eigenvalue) ATA is invertible when there is no aperture problem

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The Aperture Problem

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The Aperture Problem

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The Aperture Problem

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**The Aperture Problem and Let**

Algorithm: At each pixel compute by solving M is singular if all gradient vectors point in the same direction e.g., along an edge of course, trivially singular if the summation is over a single pixel or if there is no texture i.e., only normal flow is available (aperture problem) Corners and textured areas are OK

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Local Patch Analysis

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Edge large gradients, all the same large l1, small l2

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Low texture region gradients have small magnitude small l1, small l2

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**High textured region gradients are different, large magnitudes**

large l1, large l2

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**Observation This is a two image problem BUT**

Can measure sensitivity/uncertainty by just looking at one of the images! This tells us which pixels are easy to track, which are hard very useful later on when we do feature tracking...

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**Errors in Lukas-Kanade**

What are the potential causes of errors in this procedure? Suppose ATA is easily invertible Suppose there is not much noise in the image When our assumptions are violated Brightness constancy is not satisfied The motion is not small A point does not move like its neighbors window size is too large what is the ideal window size?

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**Iterative Refinement Iterative Lukas-Kanade Algorithm**

Estimate velocity at each pixel by solving Lucas-Kanade equations Warp H towards I using the estimated flow field - use image warping techniques (easier said than done) Repeat until convergence

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**Optical Flow: Iterative Estimation**

estimate update Initial guess: Estimate: x0 x (using d for displacement here instead of u)

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**Optical Flow: Iterative Estimation**

x x0 estimate update Initial guess: Estimate:

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**Optical Flow: Iterative Estimation**

x x0 estimate update Initial guess: Estimate:

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**Optical Flow: Iterative Estimation**

x0 x

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**Optical Flow: Iterative Estimation**

Some Implementation Issues: Warp one image, take derivatives of the other so you don’t need to re-compute the gradient after each iteration. Often useful to low-pass filter the images before motion estimation (for better derivative estimation, and linear approximations to image intensity)

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**Optical Flow: Aliasing**

Temporal aliasing causes ambiguities in optical flow because images can have many pixels with the same intensity. I.e., how do we know which ‘correspondence’ is correct? actual shift estimated shift nearest match is correct (no aliasing) nearest match is incorrect (aliasing) To overcome aliasing: coarse-to-fine estimation.

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**Revisiting the small motion assumption**

Is this motion small enough? Probably not—it’s much larger than one pixel (2nd order terms dominate) How might we solve this problem?

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Reduce the resolution!

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**Coarse-to-fine optical flow estimation**

Gaussian pyramid of image H Gaussian pyramid of image I image I image H u=10 pixels u=5 pixels u=2.5 pixels u=1.25 pixels image H image I

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**Coarse-to-fine optical flow estimation**

Gaussian pyramid of image H Gaussian pyramid of image I image I image H run iterative L-K warp & upsample run iterative L-K . image J image I

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**Multi-resolution Lucas Kanade Algorithm**

Compute Iterative LK at highest level For Each Level i Take flow u(i-1), v(i-1) from level i-1 Upsample the flow to create u*(i), v*(i) matrices of twice resolution for level i. Multiply u*(i), v*(i) by 2 Compute It from a block displaced by u*(i), v*(i) Apply LK to get u’(i), v’(i) (the correction in flow) Add corrections u’(i), v’(i) to obtain the flow u(i), v(i) at the ith level, i.e., u(i)=u*(i)+u’(i), v(i)=v*(i)+v’(i)

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**Optical Flow: Iterative Estimation**

Some Implementation Issues: Warping is not easy (ensure that errors in warping are smaller than the estimate refinement) Warp one image, take derivatives of the other so you don’t need to re-compute the gradient after each iteration. Often useful to low-pass filter the images before motion estimation (for better derivative estimation, and linear approximations to image intensity)

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Optical Flow Results

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Optical Flow Results

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Optical flow Results

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**Other Classical Methods**

Spatial smoothness: [e.g., Horn & Schunk:81, Anandan:89] A heuristic -- violated at depth discontinuities Increase aperture: [e.g., Lucas & Kanade] Local singularities at degenerate image regions. Increase analysis window to large image regions => Global model constraints: Numerically stable, but requires prior model selection: Planar (2D) world model [e.g., Bergen-et-al:92, Irani-et-al:92+94, Black-et-al] 3D world model [e.g., Hanna-et-al:91+93, Stein & Shashua:97, Irani-et-al:1999] Copyright, 1996 © Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc.

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