GAN-Avatar: Controllable Personalized GAN-based Human Head Avatar

1Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen, Germany
2Technical University of Darmstadt 3University of Tübingen 4Tübingen AI Canter 5Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Germany


Digital humans and, especially, 3D facial avatars have raised a lot of attention in the past years, as they are the backbone of several applications like immersive telepresence in AR or VR. Despite the progress, facial avatars reconstructed from commodity hardware are incomplete and miss out on parts of the side and back of the head, severely limiting the usability of the avatar. This limitation in prior work stems from their requirement of face tracking, which fails for profile and back views. To address this issue, we propose to learn person-specific animatable avatars from images without assuming to have access to precise facial expression tracking. At the core of our method, we leverage a 3D-aware generative model that is trained to reproduce the distribution of facial expressions from the training data. To train this appearance model, we only assume to have a collection of 2D images with the corresponding camera parameters. For controlling the model, we learn a mapping from 3DMM facial expression parameters to the latent space of the generative model. This mapping can be learned by sampling the latent space of the appearance model and reconstructing the facial parameters from a normalized frontal view, where facial expression estimation performs well. With this scheme, we decouple 3D appearance reconstruction and animation control to achieve high fidelity in image synthesis. In a series of experiments, we compare our proposed technique to state-of-the-art monocular methods and show superior quality while not requiring expression tracking of the training data.

Given a set of images of a person and the corresponding camera parameters, we construct an animatable 3D human head avatar.




We thank Balamurugan Thambiraja for his help with the video recording, Riccardo Marin and Ilya Petrov for proofreading, and all participants of the study. The authors thank the International Max Planck Research School for Intelligent Systems (IMPRS-IS) for supporting BK and WZ. JT is supported by Microsoft and Google research gift funds. This work was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF): Tubingen AI Center, FKZ: 01IS18039A. GPM is a member of the ML Cluster of Excellence, EXC 2064/1 – Project 390727645, and is supported by the Carl Zeiss Foundation.


      title = {GAN-Avatar: Controllable Personalized GAN-based Human Head Avatar},
      author = {Kabadayi, Berna and Zielonka, Wojciech and Bhatnagar, Bharat Lal  and Pons-Moll, Gerard and Thies, Justus},
      booktitle = {International Conference on 3D Vision (3DV)},
      month = {March},
      year = {2024},

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