Generating conversational gestures from speech audio is challenging due to the inherent one-to-many mapping between audio and body motions. Conventional CNNs/RNNs assume one-to-one mapping, and thus tend to predict the average of all possible target motions, resulting in plain/boring motions during inference. In order to overcome this problem, we propose a novel conditional variational autoencoder (VAE) that explicitly models one-to-many audio-to-motion mapping by splitting the cross-modal latent code into shared code and motion-specific code. The shared code mainly models the strong correlation between audio and motion (such as the synchronized audio and motion beats), while the motion-specific code captures diverse motion information independent of the audio. However, splitting the latent code into two parts poses training difficulties for the VAE model. A mapping network facilitating random sampling along with other techniques including relaxed motion loss, bicycle constraint, and diversity loss are designed to better train the VAE. Experiments on both 3D and 2D motion datasets verify that our method generates more realistic and diverse motions than state-of-the-art methods, quantitatively and qualitatively. Finally, we demonstrate that our method can be readily used to generate motion sequences with user-specified motion clips on the timeline. Code and more results are at https://jingli513.github.io/audio2gestures.
The leftmost column is the results of three runs of the baseline algorithm. The results of our method are listed in the middle. The rightmost column is the ground truth.
A demo of providing a predefined motion as reference in the timeline as constraint. The avatar on the left performs the reference motion, and the right one performs the generated motion. When the black bar moves to the red area, the motion-specific feature of the target motion is used, otherwise the sampled feature is used.