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Automatic generation of a 3D sign language avatar on AR glasses given 2D videos of human signers

Lan Thao Nguyen; Florian Schicktanz; Aeneas Stankowski; Eleftherios Avramidis
In: Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Automatic Translation for Signed and Spoken Languages. Machine Translation Summit (MT Summit), Virtual, Pages 71-81, Association for Machine Translation in the Americas, 8/2021.


In this paper we present a prototypical implementation of a pipeline that allows the automatic generation of a German Sign Language avatar from 2D video material. The presentation is accompanied by the source code. We record human pose movements during signing with computer vision models. The joint coordinates of hands and arms are imported as landmarks to control the skeleton of our avatar. From the anatomically independent landmarks, we create another skeleton based on the avatar's skeletal bone architecture to calculate the bone rotation data. This data is then used to control our human 3D avatar. The avatar is displayed on AR glasses and can be placed virtually in the room, in a way that it can be perceived simultaneously to the verbal speaker. In further work it is aimed to be enhanced with speech recognition and machine translation methods for serving as a sign language interpreter. The prototype has been shown to people of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community for assessing its comprehensibility. Problems emerged with the transferred hand rotations, hand gestures were hard to recognize on the avatar due to deformations like twisted finger meshes.


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