Learning to Dress 3D People in Generative Clothing

07/31/2019 ∙ by Qianli Ma, et al. ∙ 0

Three-dimensional human body models are widely used in the analysis of human pose and motion. Existing models, however, are learned from minimally-clothed 3D scans and thus do not generalize to the complexity of dressed people in common images and videos. Additionally, current models lack the expressive power needed to represent the complex non-linear geometry of pose-dependent clothing shape. To address this, we learn a generative 3D mesh model of clothed people from 3D scans with varying pose and clothing. Specifically, we train a conditional Mesh-VAE-GAN to learn the clothing deformation from the SMPL body model, making clothing an additional term on SMPL. Our model is conditioned on both pose and clothing type, giving the ability to draw samples of clothing to dress different body shapes in a variety of styles and poses. To preserve wrinkle detail, our Mesh-VAE-GAN extends patchwise discriminators to 3D meshes. Our model, named CAPE, represents global shape and fine local structure, effectively extending the SMPL body model to clothing. To our knowledge, this is the first generative model that directly dresses 3D human body meshes and generalizes to different poses.



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1 Introduction

Existing generative human models [6, 23, 34, 38] are becoming more and more expressive and successfully capture the statistics of human shape and pose deformation, but still miss an important component, the clothing. This leads to several problems in various applications. For example, when body models are used to generate synthetic training data [21, 44, 45, 51]

, the minimal body geometry results in a significant domain gap between synthetic and real images of humans. Deep learning methods reconstruct human shape from images, based on minimally dressed human models 

[5, 24, 27, 28, 31, 37, 38, 39]

. Although the body pose matches the image observation, the minimal body geometry does not match clothed humans for most of the cases. These problems motivate the need for a parametric clothed human model.

Our goal is to create a generative model of clothed human bodies that is low-dimensional, easy to pose, differentiable, can represent different clothing types on different body shapes and poses, and produces visually plausible results. To achieve this, we extend SMPL and factorize clothing shape from the undressed body, treating clothing as an additive displacement on the canonical pose (see Fig. 2). The learned clothing layer is compatible with the SMPL body model by design, enabling easy re-posing and animation. We formulate the problem of modeling the clothing layer as a conditional generative task. Since the clothing shape is intrinsically stochastic, for a single pose and body shape, multiple clothing deformations can be sampled from our model. Our model, called CAPE for “Clothed Auto Person Encoding”, is conditioned on clothing types and body poses, so that it captures different types of clothing, and can generate pose-dependent deformations, which are important to realistically model clothing.

We illustrate the key elements of our model in Fig. 1. Given a SMPL body shape, pose and clothing type, CAPE can generate different structures of clothing by sampling a learned latent space. The resulting clothing layer plausibly adapts to different body shapes and poses.

Technical approach.

We represent clothing as a displacement layer using a graph that inherits the topology of SMPL. Each node in this graph represents the 3-dimensional offset vector from its corresponding vertex on the underlying body. To learn a generative model for such graphs, we build a graph convolutional neural network (Sec. 

4), under the framework of a VAE-GAN [7, 30], using graph convolutions [11] and mesh sampling [43] as the backbone layers. This addresses the problem with existing generative models designed for 3D meshes of human bodies [33, 52] or faces [43] that tend to produce over-smoothed results, which is not suitable for clothing where high-frequency wrinkles matter. Specifically, the GAN [16] module in our system encourages visually plausible wrinkles. We model the GAN using a patch-wise discriminator for mesh-like graphs, and show that it effectively improves the quality of the generated fine structures.

Dataset. We introduce a dataset of 4D captured people performing a variety of pose sequences, in different types of clothing (Sec. 5). Our dataset consists of over 80K frames of 8 male and 3 female subjects captured using a 4D scanner. We use this dataset to train our network, resulting in a parametric generative model of the clothing layer.

Versatility. CAPE is designed to be “plug-and-play” for many applications that already use SMPL. Dressing SMPL with CAPE yields 3D meshes of people in clothing, which can be used for several applications such as generating training data, parametrizing body pose in a deep network, having a clothing “prior”, or as part of a generative analysis-by-synthesis approach [21, 45, 51]. We demonstrate this on the task of image fitting by extending SMPLify [9] with our model. We show that using CAPE together with SMPLify can significantly improve the quality of reconstructed human bodies in clothing.

In summary, our key contributions are: (1) We formulate the problem of 3D clothing / clothed human modeling as a conditional generative task. (2) For this task, we learn a conditional Mesh-VAE-GAN that captures both global shape and local detail of a mesh, with controlled conditioning based on human pose and clothing types. (3) The learned model can generate pose-dependent deformations of clothing, and generalizes to a variety of garments. (4) We augment the 3D human body model SMPL with our clothing model, and show an application of the enhanced “clothed-SMPL”. (5) We contribute a dataset of 4D scans of clothed humans performing a variety of motion sequences.

2 Related Work

Method Class Methods Parametric Pose-dep. Full-body Clothing Captured Code Probabilistic
Model Clothing Clothing Wrinkles Data Public Sampling
Image Group 1 No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Reconstruction Group 2 Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Capture ClothCap [41] Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No
DeepWrinkles [29] Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No
Yang et al. [57] Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No
Clothing Wang et al. [54] Yes No No No No Yes Yes
Models DRAPE [17] Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Sanesteban et al. [47] Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
GarNet [19] Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Ours Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
* As opposed to simulated / synthetic data.
Group 1: BodyNet [50], DeepHuman [59], SiCloPe [35], PiFU [46], MouldingHumans [12].    Group 2: Octopus [1], MGN [8], Tex2Shape [4].
Two main 3D clothing method classes exist: (1) Image reconstruction and capture methods, and (2) Clothing models which predict deformation as a function of pose. Within each class, methods differ according to the criteria in the columns.
Table 1: Selection of related methods.

The capture, reconstruction and modeling of clothing has been widely studied. There are two main classes of methods: (1) reconstruction and capture approaches

, which predict 3D clothing from images or point-clouds, and (2) parametric models of clothing, which predict how

clothing deforms as a function of pose and body shape. Table 1

shows recent methods classified according to these criteria.

Reconstructing 3D humans.

Reconstruction of 3D humans from 2D images and videos is a classical computer vision problem. Most approaches

[9, 18, 24, 27, 28, 31, 37, 38, 48] output 3D body meshes from images, but not clothing. This ignores image evidence that may be useful. To reconstruct clothed bodies, methods use volumetric [35, 46, 50, 59] or bi-planar depth representations [12] to model the body and garments as a whole. We refer to these as Group 1 in Table 1. While these methods deal with arbitrary clothing topology and preserve a high level of detail, the reconstructed clothed body is not parametric, which means the pose, shape, and clothing of the reconstruction can not be controlled or animated.

Another group of methods are based on SMPL [1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 60]. They represent clothing as an offset layer from the underlying body as proposed in ClothCap [41]. We refer to these approaches as Group 2 in Table 1. These methods can change the pose and shape of the reconstruction using the deformation model of SMPL. This assumes clothing deforms like an undressed human body; i.e. that clothing shape and wrinkles do not change as a function of pose. We also use a body-to-cloth offset representation to learn our model, but critically, we learn a neural function mapping from pose to multi-modal clothing offset deformations. Hence, our work differs from these methods in that we learn a parametric model of how clothing deforms with pose.

Parametric models for 3D bodies and clothes. Statistical 3D human body models learned from 3D body scans, [6, 23, 34, 38] capture body shape and pose and are an important building block for multiple applications. Most of the time, however, people are dressed and these models do not represent clothing. In addition, clothes deform as we move, producing changing wrinkles at multiple spatial scales. While clothing models learned from real data exist, few generalize to new poses. For example, Neophytou and Hilton [36] learn a layered garment model on top of SCAPE [6] from dynamic sequences, but generalization to novel poses is not demonstrated. Yang et al. [57] train a neural network to regress a PCA-based representation of clothing, but show generalization on the same sequence or on the same subject. Lähner et al. [29] learn a garment-specific pose-deformation model by regressing low-frequency PCA components and high frequency normal maps. While the visual quality is good, the model is garment-specific and does not provide a solution for full-body clothing. Similarly, Alldieck et al. [4] use displacement maps with a UV-parametrization to represent surface geometry, but the result is only static. Wang et al. [54] allow manipulation of clothing with sketches in a static pose. The Adam model [23] can be considered clothed but the shape is very smooth and not pose-dependent. Clothing models have been learned from physics simulation of clothing [17, 19, 47], but visual fidelity is limited by the quality of the simulations. Furthermore, the above methods are regressors

that produce single point estimates. In contrast, our model is

generative, which allows us to sample clothing.

A conceptually different approach infers the parameters of a physical clothing model from 3D scan sequences [49]. This generalizates to novel poses, but the inference problem is difficult and, unlike our model, the resulting physics simulator is not differentiable with respect to the parameters.

Generative models on 3D meshes. Our generative model predicts clothing displacements on the graph defined by the SMPL mesh using graph convolutions [10]. There is an extensive recent literature on methods and applications of graph convolutions [11, 26, 33, 43, 52]. Most relevant here, Ranjan et al. [43]

learn a convolutional autoencoder using graph convolutions

[11] with mesh down- and up-sampling layers [13]. Although it works well for faces, the mesh sampling layer makes it difficult to capture the high frequency wrinkles, which are key in clothing. In our work, we capture high frequency wrinkles by extending the PatchGAN [22] architecture to 3D meshes.


Figure 2: Additive clothed human model. Our contribution is highlighted with yellow background. Following SMPL, our model (a) starts from a template mesh, and linearly adds offsets contributed by (b) individual body shape , and (c) pose ; note the deformation on the hips and feet caused by the ballet pose. (d) We further add a clothing layer parametrized by pose , clothing type and a clothing shape variable . (e) The vertices are then posed using the skinning equation of SMPL.

3 Additive Clothed Human Model

To model clothed human bodies, we factorize them into the minimally-clothed body and a clothing layer represented as displacements from the body. This enables us to naturally extend SMPL to a class of clothing types by treating clothing as an additional additive shape term. Since SMPL is in wide use, our goal is to extend it in a way that is consistent with current uses, making it effectively a “drop in” replacement for SMPL.

3.1 Dressing SMPL

SMPL [34] is a generative model of human bodies that factors the surface of the body into shape () and pose () parameters. As shown in Fig. 2 (a), (b), the architecture of SMPL starts with a triangulated template mesh, , in rest pose, defined by vertices. Given shape and pose parameters (, 3D offsets are added to the template, corresponding to shape dependent deformations () and pose dependent deformations (). The resulting mesh is then posed using the skinning function . Formally:


where the blend skinning function rotates the rest pose vertices around the 3D joints (computed from ), linearly smoothes them with the blend weights , and returns the posed vertices . The pose is represented by a vector of relative 3D rotations of the joints and the global rotation in axis-angle representation.

SMPL adds linear deformation layers to an initial body shape. Following this, we define clothing as an additional offset layer from the body and add it on top of the SMPL mesh, Fig. 2 (d). In this work, we parametrize the clothing layer by the body pose , clothing type and a low-dimensional latent variable that encodes clothing shape and structure.

Let be the clothing displacement layer. We extend Eq. (1) to a clothed body template in the rest pose:


Note that the clothing displacements, , are pose-dependent. The final clothed template is then posed with the SMPL skinning function, Eq. (2):


This differs from simply applying blend skinning with fixed displacements, as done in e.g. [1, 8]. Here, we train the model such that pose-dependent clothing displacements in the template pose are correct once posed by blend skinning.

3.2 Clothing representation

Our representation of clothing as vertex displacements is not a physical model and cannot represent all types of clothing, but this approach achieves a balance between expressiveness and simplicity, and has been widely used in deformation modeling [17], 3D clothing capture [41] and recent work that reconstructs clothed humans from images [1, 8, 60].

Our displacement layer is a graph that inherits the SMPL topology: the edges . is the set of vertices, and the feature on each vertex is the 3-dimensional offset vector, , from its corresponding vertex on the underlying body mesh.

We train our model using 3D scans of people in clothing. To acquire data for the displacements, pairs of are needed, where stands for the vertices of a clothed human mesh, and the vertices of a minimally-clothed mesh. To do so, we first scan subjects in both clothed and minimally-clothed conditions, and then use the SMPL model + free deformation [1, 58] to register the scans. As a result, we obtain SMPL meshes capturing the geometry of the scans, the corresponding pose parameters, and vertices of the unposed meshes that live in the zero-pose space111We follow SMPL and use the T-pose as the zero-pose. For the mathematical details of registration and unposing, we refer the reader to [58].. For each pair, the displacements are then calculated as , where the subtraction is performed per-vertex along the feature dimension. Ideally, has non-zero values only on body parts covered with clothes.

To summarize, our method extends the SMPL body model to clothed bodies. Compared to volumetric representation of clothed people [35, 46, 50, 59], our combination of the body model and the garment layer is superior in the ease of re-posing and garment retargeting: the former uses the same blend skinning as the body model, while the latter is a simple addition of the displacements to a minimally-clothed body shape. In contrast to similar models that also dress SMPL with offsets [1, 8], our garment layer is parametrized, low-dimensional, and pose-dependent.

4 Cape

[width=]images/method_overview_new.pdf (a)(b)

Figure 3: Overview of our method. (a) Computing displacement graph from scan data (Sec. 3.2) by subtracting minimal body from clothed body mesh in unposed space. (b) Schematic of our network architecture. Details are provided in Appendix A.1.

Our clothing term in Eq. (3) is a function of , a code in a learned low-dimensional latent space that encodes the shape and structure of clothing, body pose , and clothing type . The function outputs the clothing displacement graph as described in Sec. 3.2. We parametrize this function using a graph convolutional neural network (Graph-CNN) as a VAE-GAN framework [16, 25, 30].

4.1 Network architecture

As shown in Fig. 3, our model consists of three major components: a generator with an encoder-decoder architecture, a discriminator . We also use auxiliary networks to handle the conditioning. The network is differentiable and is trained end-to-end.

For simplicity, we use the following notation in this section. : the vertices of the input displacement graph; : vertices of the reconstructed graph; and : the pose and clothing type condition vector; : the latent code.

Graph generator. We build the graph generator following the VAE-GAN framework. At training, an encoder takes in the displacement , extract its features through multiple graph convolutional layers, and maps it to the low-dimensional latent code . A decoder is trained to reconstruct the input graph from

. Both the encoder and decoder are feed-forward neural networks built with mesh convolutional layers. Fully-connected layers are used at the end of the encoder and the beginning of the decoder. The full architecture is shown in Appendix 


Stacking graph convolution layers causes a loss of local features [32]

in the deeper layers. This is undesirable for clothing generation because fine details, corresponding to wrinkles, are likely to disappear. Therefore, we improve the standard graph convolution layers with residual connections, which enable the use of low-level features from the layer input if necessary. Within a residual block, a

convolution is performed aggregating features from the vertex itself.

At test time, the encoder is not needed. Instead, is sampled from the Gaussian prior distribution, and the decoder serves as the graph generator: . We detail different use cases below.

Patchwise discriminator. To further enhance fine details in the reconstructions, we introduce a patchwise discriminator for graphs, which has shown success in the image domain [22, 61]. Instead of looking at the entire generated graph, the discriminator only classifies whether a graph patch is real or fake based on its local structure. Intuitively this encourages the discriminator to only focus on fine details, and the global shape is taken care of by the reconstruction loss.

We implement the graph patchwise-discriminator using four graph convolution-downsampling blocks [43]. We add a discriminative real / fake loss for each of the output vertices. This enables the discriminator to capture a patch of neighboring nodes in the reconstructed graph and classify them as real / fake (see Fig. 3).

Conditional model. We condition the network with body pose and clothing type . The SMPL pose parameters are in axis-angle representation, and are difficult for the neural network to learn [28, 31]. Therefore, following previous work [28, 31], we transform the pose parameters into rotational matrices using the Rodrigues equation. The clothing types are discrete by nature, and we represent them using one-hot labels.

Both conditions are first passed through a small fully-connected embedding network, , respectively, so as to balance the dimensionality of learned graph features and of the condition features. We also experiment with different ways of conditioning the mesh generator: concatenation in the latent space; appending the condition features to the graph features at all nodes in the generator; and the combination of the two. We find that the combined strategy works better in terms of network capability and the effect of conditioning.

4.2 Losses and learning

For reconstruction, we use an L1 loss over the vertices of the mesh , because it encourages less smoothing compared to L2, given by


Furthermore, we apply a loss on the mesh edges to encourage the generation of wrinkles instead of smooth surfaces. Let be an edge in the set of edges, , of the ground truth graph, and the corresponding edge in the generated graph. We penalize the mismatch of all corresponding edges by


We also apply a KL divergence loss between the distribution of latent codes and the Gaussian prior


Moreover, the generator and the discriminator are trained using an adversarial loss


where tries to minimize this loss against the that aims to maximize it.

The overall objective is a weighted sum of these loss terms given by


Network training details are provided in Appendix A.2.

5 CAPE Dataset

We build a dataset of 3D clothing by capturing temporal sequences of 3D human body scans with a high-resolution body scanner (3dMD LLC, Atlanta, GA). Approximately 80K 3D scan frames are captured at 60 FPS, and a mesh with SMPL model topology is registered to each scan to get surface correspondences. We also scanned the subjects in a minimally-clothed condition to obtain an accurate estimate of their body shape under clothing. We extract the clothing as displacements from the minimally-clothed body as described in Sec. 3.2. Noisy frames and failed registrations are removed through manual inspection.

The dataset consists of 8 male subjects and 3 female subjects, performing a wide range of motion. The subjects gave informed written consent to participate and to release the data for research purposes. There are four types of outfits, which cover a wide range of common garments: T-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, long jerseys, shorts, long pants, etc.; see Appendix D for details and examples from the dataset.

Compared to existing datasets of 3D clothed humans, our dataset provides captured data and alignments of SMPL to the scans, separates the clothing from body, and provides accurate, captured ground truth body shape under clothing. For each subject and outfit, our dataset contains large pose variations, which induces a wide variety of wrinkle patterns. Since our dataset of 3D meshes has a consistent topology, it can be used for quantitative evaluation of different Graph-CNN architectures.

6 Experiments

We first show the representation capability of our model and then demonstrate the model’s ability to generate new examples by probabilistic sampling. We then show an application to human pose and shape estimation.

6.1 Representation power

3D mesh auto-encoding errors. As our network is based on a VAE, we can use the reconstruction accuracy to measure the capability of the model to encode while preserving the original geometry. We compare with a recent convolutional mesh autoencoder, CoMA [43], and a linear (PCA) model. We compare to both the original CoMA with a 4 downsampling (denoted as “CoMA-4”), and without downsampling (denoted “CoMA-1”) to study the effect of downsampling on over-smoothing. We use the same latent space dimension (number of principal components in the case of PCA) and hyper-parameter settings, where applicable, for all models.

Table 2 shows the result of per-vertex Euclidean error when using our network to reconstruct the clothing displacement graphs from a held-out test set of 5852 examples in our CAPE dataset. Vertices from the head, fingers, toes, hands and feet are excluded from accuracy computation as they are not covered with clothing.

Our model outperforms the baselines in the auto-encoding task, meanwhile the reconstructed shape from our model is probabilistic and pose-dependent. Note that, CoMA here is a deterministic auto-encoder with a focus on reconstruction. Although PCA performs comparably well with our method, PCA can not be used directly in the inference phase with a pose parameter as input. Furthermore, PCA can not produce probabilistic samples of shapes without knowing the data distribution. Our method tackles both of these scenarios.

Baseline Comparison Ablation Study
Method Error (mm) Removed Error (mm)
PCA 5.654.81 Discriminator 5.655.18
CoMA-1 6.235.45 Res-block 5.605.21
CoMA-4 6.875.62 Edge loss 5.935.40
Ours 5.545.09
Table 2: Model capacity in per-vertex auto-encoding error.
Figure 4: Example of reconstruction by the baselines, ablated version of our model, and our full model. Pay attention to the hem and wrinkles on upper back. Our model is able to recover both long-range correlations and local details. Best viewed zoomed-in on screen.

Ablation study. We remove key components from our model while keeping all the others, and evaluate the model performance; see Table 2. We observe that the discriminator, residual block and edge loss all play important roles in the model performance. Comparing the performance of CoMA-4 and CoMA-1, we find that the mesh the downsampling layer causes a loss of fidelity. However, even without any spatial downsampling, CoMA-1 still underperforms our model. This shows benefits of adding the discriminator, residual block and edge loss in our model.

Fig. 4 shows a qualitative comparison of the methods. PCA keeps wrinkles and boundaries, but long-range correlations are missing: the rising hem on the left side disappears. CoMA-1 and CoMA-4 are able to capture global correlation, but the wrinkles tend to be smoothed. By incorporating all the key components, our model manages to model both local structures and global correlations.

6.2 Conditional generation of clothing

Figure 5: Clothing sampled and generated from our CAPE model, applied to four unseen body shapes (green colored), under different poses. Each subject is dressed with a unique clothing type (respectively: “longshort”, “longlong”, “shortlong” and “shortshort”). For a fixed pose and clothing type, we sample the latent space multiple times, generating different clothing shapes. Best viewed zoomed-in on screen.

As a generative model, CAPE can be sampled and generate new data. The model has three parameters: (see Eq. (3)). By sampling one of them while keeping the other two fixed, we show how the conditioning effects the generated clothing shape.

Sampling. Fig. 5 presents the sampled clothing dressed on unseen bodies, in an variety of poses that are not used in training. For each subject, we fix the pose and clothing type , and sample several times to generate varied clothing shapes. The sampling trick in [14] is used. Here we only show untextured rendering to highlight the variation in the generated geometry. As CAPE inherits the SMPL topology, the generated clothed body meshes are compatible with all existing SMPL texture maps. See Appendix C.2 for a comparison between a CAPE sample and a SMPL sample applied with the same texture.

As shown in the figure, our model manages to capture long-range correlations within a mesh, such as the elevated hem as the subject raises the arms, and the lateral wrinkle on the back as he raises arms. The model also synthesizes local details such as wrinkles in the armpit area, and boundaries at cuffs and collars.

Pose-dependent clothing deformation. Another practical use case of CAPE is to animate an existing clothed body. This corresponds to fixing the clothing shape variable and clothing type , and repose the body by changing pose . The challenge here is to have a clothing shape that is consistent across poses, yet deforms plausibly. We demonstrate the pose-dependent effect on a test pose in Fig. 6. The difference of the clothing layer between the two poses is calculated in the zero-pose space, and shown in color coding. The result shows that the clothing type is consistent while local deformation changes along with pose.

[width=0.98]images/pose-dependent_colorbar.pdf (a)(b)(c)

Figure 6: Pose-dependent clothing shape. (a) and (b): two clothing shapes generated from CAPE, with different pose parameters. (c): color-coded difference of the offset clothing layers in (a) and (b), in the zero-pose space.

User study of generated examples. To test the realism of the conditionally generated results of our method, we performed a user study on Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT). In the study, virtual avatars are dressed in 3D and rendered into front-view images. Following the protocol from [22], raters are presented with a series of “real vs fake” trials. On each trial, the rater is presented with a “real” mesh render (randomly picked from our dataset, i.e. alignments of the scan data) and a “fake” render (mesh generated by our model). Both images are shown side-by-side. The raters are asked to pick the one that they think is real. Each pair of renderings is evaluated by 10 raters. More strictly than [22], we present both real and fake renderings simultaneously, do not set a time limit for the raters and allow zoom-in for detailed comparison. In this setting, the best score that a method can obtain is 50%, meaning that the real and fake examples are indistinguishable.

We carry out AMT evaluation with two test cases. In Test Case 1, we fix the clothing type to be “shortlong” (the most common clothing type in training), and generate 300 clothed body meshes with various poses for the evaluation. In Test Case 2, we fix the pose to be an A-pose (the most frequent pose in training), and sample 100 examples per clothing type for evaluation. The percentage of the raters that label our synthsized data as “real” is shown in Table 3. On average, in the direct comparison with real data, our synthesized data “fools” and participants, for the two test cases respectively.

Test Case 1 Test Case 2
Table 3: % Raters labeled our result as “real” in AMT test

6.3 Image fitting

CAPE is fully differentiable with respect to the clothing shape variable , body pose and clothing type . Therefore, it can also be used in optimization frameworks. We show an application of CAPE on the task of reconstructing body mesh from a single image, by enhancing a popular optimization-based method, SMPLify [9]. Specifically, we dress the minimally-clothed output mesh from SMPLify using CAPE, project it back to the image using a differentiable renderer [20] and optimize for , with respect to the silhouette discrepancy.

Method SMPLify [9] Ours
Per-vertex MSE 0.0223 0.0189
Table 4: Vertex mean squared error of image fitting results measured in meters.

We evaluate our image fitting pipeline on renderings of 120 meshes from the CAPE dataset. To compare, we measure the reconstruction error on SMPLify and our results against ground truth mesh using mean square vertex error. To eliminate the error introduced by the ambiguity of human scale and distance to the camera, we optimize the global scaling and translation of predictions for both methods on each test sample. A mask is applied to exclude error in the non-clothed regions such as head, hands and feet. We report the errors of both methods in Table 4. Our model performs 18% better than SMPLify due to its ability to capture clothing shape. More details about the objective function, experimental setup and qualitative results of the image fitting experiment are provided in Appendix B.

Furthermore, once a clothed human is reconstructed from image, our model can repose and animate it, as well as changing the subject’s clothes by re-sampling or clothing type . This shows the potential in a wide range of applications.

7 Conclusions, Limitations, Future Work

We have introduced a novel graph-CNN-based generative shape model of that enables us to condition, sample, and preserve fine shape detail in 3D meshes. We use this to model clothing deformations from a 3D body mesh and condition the latent space on body pose and clothing type. The training data represents 3D displacements from the SMPL body model for varied clothing and poses. This design means that our generative model is compatible with SMPL in that clothing is an additional additive term applied to the SMPL template mesh. This makes it possible to sample clothing, dress SMPL with it, and then animate the body with pose-dependent clothing wrinkles. A clothed version of SMPL has wide applicability in computer vision. As shown, we can apply it to fitting the body to images of clothed humans. Another application would use the model to generate training data of 3D clothed people to train regression-based pose-estimation methods.

There are a few limitations of our approach that point to future work. As with recent methods that use a displacement-based clothing representation [1, 8], our model only handles garments that have a similar geometry as human body. A different representation is needed for skirts and open jackets. While our generated clothing depends on pose, it does not depend on dynamics. This is fine for most slow motions but does not generalize to faster motions like those in sports. Future work will address modeling clothing deformation conditioned on the state of previous time steps. Learning a model of clothing texture (albedo) is another promising direction.

Acknowledgements: We thank Daniel Scharstein for several revisions of the manuscript. We thank Joachim Tesch for rendering the results, Pavel Karasik for the help with Amazon Mechanical Turk, Tsvetelina Alexiadis and Andrea Keller for building the dataset. We thank Partha Ghosh, Timo Bolkart and Yan Zhang for useful discussions. Qianli Ma and Siyu Tang acknowledge funding by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) Projektnummer 276693517 SFB 1233. Gerard Pons-Moll is funded by the Emmy Noether Programme, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) - 409792180.

Disclosure: Michael J. Black has received research gift funds from Intel, Nvidia, Adobe, Facebook, and Amazon. While he is a part-time employee of Amazon and has financial interests in Amazon and Meshcapade GmbH, his research was performed solely at, and funded solely by, MPI.


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Appendix A Implementation Details

a.1 CAPE network architecture

Here we provide the details of the CAPE architecture, as discribed in Sec. 4.1. We use the following notations:

  • : data, : output (reconstruction) from the decoder, : latent code, : the prediction map from the discriminator;

  • : Chebyshev graph convolution layer with filters;

  • : conditional residual block that uses as filters;

  • : linear graph downsampling layer with a spatial downsample rate ;

  • : linear graph upsampling layer with a spatial upsample rate ;

  • FC: fully connected layer;

Condition module: for pose , we remove the parameters that are not related to clothing, e.g. head, hands, fingers, feet and toes, resulting in 14 valid joints from the body. The pose parameters from each joint are represented by the flattened rotational matix (see Sec. 4.1, “Conditional model”). This results in the overall pose parameter . We feed this into a small fully-connected network:

The clothing type refers to the type of “outfit”, i.e. a combination of upper body clothing and lower body clothing. There are four types of outfits in our training data: longlong: long sleeve shirt / T-shirt / jersey with long pants; shortlong: short sleeve shirt / T-shirt / jersey with long pants; and their opposites, shortshort and longshort. As the types of clothing are discrete by nature, we represent them using a one-hot vector, , and feed it into a linear layer:




Conditional residual block: We adopt the graph residual block from Kolotouros et al. [28] that includes Group Normalization [55], non-linearity, graph convolutional layer and graph linear layer (i.e. Chebyshev convolution with polynomial order of ). Right after the input to the residual block, we append the condition vector to every input node along the feature channel. Our CResBlock is given by

where is the input to the CResBlock. has nodes and features on each node. ResBlock is the graph residual block from [28] that outputs features on each node.

a.2 Training details

The model is trained for 60 epochs, with a batch size of 16, using stochastic gradient descent with momentum of

. The learning rate starts from an initial value of , increases with a warm-up step of / epoch for 4 epochs, and then decays with a rate of after every epoch.

The convolutions use the Chebyshev polynomial of order for the generator, and of order for the discriminator. An L2-weight decay with strength is used as regularization.

We train our model for males and females separately. We split the male dataset into a training set of 26,574 examples and 5,852 test examples. The female dataset is split into a training set of 41,472 examples and a test set of 12,656 examples. Training takes approximately 15 minutes per epoch on the male dataset and 20 minutes per epoch on the female dataset. The results reported in Table 2

are based on the male dataset due to its higher variance in the number of subjects and poses. We also provide results on the female dataset in the Table 


Appendix B Image Fitting

Here we detail the objective function, experimental setup and extended results of the image fitting experiments, as described in Sec. 6.3.

Figure 7: Qualitative results on the rendered meshes from CAPE dataset. Minimally-clothed fitting results from SMPLify [9] are shown in green; results from our method are shown in blue.

b.1 Objective function

Similar to [31], we introduce a silhouette term to encourage the shape of the clothed body to match the image evidence. The silhouette is the set of all pixels that belong to a body’s projection onto the image. Let be the rendered silhouette of a clothed body mesh (see Eq. (4)), and be the ground truth silhouette. The silhouette objective is defined by the bi-directional distance between and :


where is the L1 distance from a point x to the closest point in the silhouette . The distance is zero if the point is inside . is the camera parameter that is used to render the mesh to the silhouette on the image plane. The clothing type is derived from upstream pipeline and is therefore not optimized.

For our rendered scan data, the ground truth silhouette and clothing type are acquired for free during rendering. For in-the-wild images, this information can be acquired using human-parsing networks, e.g. [15].

After the standard SMPLify optimization pipeline, we apply the clothing layer to the body, and apply an additional optimization step on body shape , pose and clothing structure , with respect to the overall objective:


The overall objective is a weighted sum of the silhouette loss with other standard SMPLify energy terms. is a weighted 2D distance between the projected SMPL joints and the detected 2D points, . is the mixture of Gaussians pose prior term, the shape prior term, the penalty term that discourages unnatrual joint bents, and the L2-regularizer on to prevent extreme clothing deformations. For more details about these terms please refer to Bogo et al. [9].

b.2 Data

We render 120 textured meshes (aligned to SMPL topology) from the test set of the CAPE dataset that include variations in gender, pose and clothing type, at a resolution of . The ground truth meshes are used for evaluation. Examples of the rendering are shown in Fig. 7.

b.3 Setup

We re-implement the SMPLify work by Bogo et al. [9]

in Tensorflow, using the gender neutral SMPL body model. Compared to the original SMPLify, there are two major changes. First, we do not include the interpenetration error term, as it slows down the fitting but brings little performance gain

[27]. Second, we use OpenPose for the ground truth 2D keypoint detection instead of DeepCut [40].

b.4 Evaluation

We measure the mean square error (MSE) between ground truth vertices and reconstructed vertices from SMPLify , and from our pipeline (Eq. (B.1)) , respectively. As discussed in Sec. 6.3, to eliminate the influence of the ambiguity caused by focal length, camera translation and body scale, we estimate the body scale and camera translation for both and . Specifically, we optimize the following energy function for and respectively:


where is vertex index, the set of clothing vertex indices, and the number of elements in . Then, the MSE is computed with estimated scale and translation using:


b.5 Extended image fitting results

Qualitative results. Fig. 7 shows the reconstruction result of SMPLify [9] and our method on rendered meshes from the CAPE dataset. Quantitative results can be found in the main manuscript, Table 4.

Limitiations. As our image fitting pipeline is based on SMPLify, it fails when SMPLify fails to predict the correct pose. Recent regression-based methods have achieved improved performance on this task [24, 27, 28], and integrating CAPE with them is an interesting future line of work.

Appendix C Extended Experimental Results

c.1 Reconstruction error on the female dataset

We train and evaluate our model on the female dataset, with the same setup and metric as for the male dataset (Sec. A.2). Same as in Sec. 6.1 in the main manuscript, we compare the result with a PCA model, and two variations of the Convolutional Mesh Autoencoder (CoMA) [43], as shown in Table 5. Again, our model outperforms all the baselines.

Method Error (mm)
PCA 4.823.82
CoMA-1 4.693.85
CoMA-4 4.863.96
Ours 4.213.76
Table 5: Model representation power on the female dataset measured by per-vertex auto-encoding error .

c.2 CAPE with SMPL texture

As our model has the same topology as SMPL, it is compatible with all existing SMPL texture maps, which are mostly of clothed bodies. Fig. 8 shows an example texture applied to the standard minimally-clothed SMPL model (as done in the SURREAL dataset [51]) and to our clothed body model, respectively. Although the texture creates an illusion of clothing on the SMPL body, the overall shape remains skinny, oversmoothed, and hence unrealistic. In contrast, our model, with its improved clothing geometry, matches more naturally with the clothing texture if the correct clothing type is given. This visual contrast becomes even stronger when the texture map has no shading information (albedo map), and when the object is viewed in a 3D setting.

As a future line of research, one can model the alignment between the clothing texture boundaries and the underlying geometry by learning a texture model that is coupled to shape.

Figure 8: Front row: A clothing texture applied to the SMPL body and one of our generated clothed bodies. Back row: respective underlying geometry. Best viewed zoomed-in on screen.

Appendix D CAPE Dataset Details

Dataset Captured Body Shape Registered Large Pose Motion High Quality
Available Variation Sequences Geometry
Inria dataset [56] Yes Yes No No Yes No
BUFF [58] Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Adobe dataset [53] Yes No Yes No Yes No
RenderPeople Yes No No Yes No Yes
3D People [42] No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ours Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Registered per-subject, i.e. mesh topology is consistent only within the instances from the same subject.
Table 6: Comparison with other datasets of clothed humans.
Figure 9: Examples from the CAPE dataset: we provide accurate minimal-dressed body shape (green), clothed body scans with large pose and clothing wrinkle variations, all registered to the SMPL mesh topology (blue).

Elaborating on the main manuscript Sec. 5, our dataset consists of:

  • 40K registered 3D meshes of clothed human scans for each gender.

  • 8 male and 3 female subjects.

  • 4 different types of outfits, covering more than 20 pieces of clothing from common clothing types.

  • Large variations in pose.

  • Precise, captured minimally clothed body shape.

Table 6 shows a comparision with public 3D clothed human datasets. Our dataset is distinguished by accurate alignment, consistent mesh topology, ground truth body shape scans, and a large variation of poses. These features makes it not only suitable for studies on human body and clothing, but also for the evaluation of various Graph-CNNs. See Fig. 9 for examples of the dataset.