In this paper we present a method for the automatic processing of scanned human body data consisting of an algorithm for the extraction of curve skeletons of the 3D models acquired and a procedure for the automatic segmentation of skeleton branches. Models used in our experiments are obtained with a whole-body scanner based on structured light (Breuckmann bodySCAN, owned by the Faculty of Exercise and Sport Science of the University of Verona), providing triangulated meshes that are then preprocessed in order to remove holes and create clean watertight surfaces. Curve skeletons are then extracted with a novel technique based on voxel coding and active contours driven by a distance map and vector flow. The skeleton-based segmentation is based on a hierarchical search of feature points along the skeleton tree.
Our method is able to obtain on the curve skeleton a pose-independent subdivision of the main parts of the human body (trunk, head-neck region and partitioned limbs) that can be extended to the mesh surface and internal volume and can be exploited to estimate the pose and to locate more easily anthropometric features.
The curve skeleton algorithm applied allows control on the number of branches extracted and on the resolution of the volume discretization, so the procedure could be then repeated on subparts in order to refine the segmentation and build more complex hierarchical models.
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