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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 748634, 10 pages
Research Article

Image Based Hair Segmentation Algorithm for the Application of Automatic Facial Caricature Synthesis

1Department of System Integration & IC Design, Suzhou Institute of Nanotech & Nanobionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou 215125, China
2Suzhou Wowman Information Services CO., LTD., Suzhou 215123, China

Received 26 August 2013; Accepted 26 November 2013; Published 29 January 2014

Academic Editors: A. Fernández-Caballero and Y. Tong

Copyright © 2014 Yehu Shen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hair is a salient feature in human face region and are one of the important cues for face analysis. Accurate detection and presentation of hair region is one of the key components for automatic synthesis of human facial caricature. In this paper, an automatic hair detection algorithm for the application of automatic synthesis of facial caricature based on a single image is proposed. Firstly, hair regions in training images are labeled manually and then the hair position prior distributions and hair color likelihood distribution function are estimated from these labels efficiently. Secondly, the energy function of the test image is constructed according to the estimated prior distributions of hair location and hair color likelihood. This energy function is further optimized according to graph cuts technique and initial hair region is obtained. Finally, K-means algorithm and image postprocessing techniques are applied to the initial hair region so that the final hair region can be segmented precisely. Experimental results show that the average processing time for each image is about 280 ms and the average hair region detection accuracy is above 90%. The proposed algorithm is applied to a facial caricature synthesis system. Experiments proved that with our proposed hair segmentation algorithm the facial caricatures are vivid and satisfying.