Active Calibration and Tracking in Video Streams
Chiori Tay and B. Parvin

We have developed a simple motion tracking system with active camera calibration, which detects and tracks moving objects. Motion detection is based on a generic optical flow field algorithm and grouping self similar motion vectors. In general, the flow field cannot handle large spatial motion with continuity that corresponds to real 3-D object, and a simple protocol for extraction of valid motion boundary is proposed for the purpose of initialization. The flow field and subsequent grouping provides a template for correlation-based tracking. These two processes run concurrently to provide continuous updating and correction of template size and its location. The template size is a critical factor as the object distance to the camera center varies during the tracking process. Our implementation is optimized for near real-time performance through a pyramid implementation. The actual processes are threaded for improved concurrency.

A unique aspect of our work is in the calibration of intrinsic camera parameters with an active stage. A typical camera calibration technique uses a specially constructed reference object such as a calibration chart or rectangles, and requires very accurate measurement of world and image points [2, 1]. Our method is based on finding adequate corners in a natural office environment, moving stage, matching those corners, and constructing the necessary and sufficient equations for recovery of intrinsic parameters. Hence, in the absence of calibration chart, self calibration can be an aspect of the dynamic tracking process. Our method recovers focal length and focal center with high repeatability, where the focal length is used to correct the camera orientation with appropriate for stage movement. Three camera orientations, with two small angular motions, provides the sufficient geometric constraints to recover focal length and focal center. Figure 1 shows the camera geometry with three different orientation of tex2html_wrap_inline149 , and tex2html_wrap_inline151 , towards a world point A. Point A is a fixed object at the same location. tex2html_wrap_inline153 , and tex2html_wrap_inline155 represent the image planes with respect to each camera orientation. The angles tex2html_wrap_inline149 , and tex2html_wrap_inline151 are the focal directions towards object A. tex2html_wrap_inline161 is the center point in the image planes, which remins stationary. Points tex2html_wrap_inline163 , and tex2html_wrap_inline165 correspond to projection of A in each viewing direction of tex2html_wrap_inline149 , and tex2html_wrap_inline151 respectively, and tex2html_wrap_inline171 and tex2html_wrap_inline173 are angular motion of the stage. The constraints are given by:


Which reduces to the following nonlinear equation. This equation is solved by searching for its zero-crossing given the small field of view of the camera lens.


The focal length and the image center can now be found by the following equations:



Figure 1: Camera orientation and geometry

Figure 2: The software architecture for the motion tracking system with a single camera

Figure 3: An example of automated stage compensation of the moving person

Figure 4: The system architecture of active-calibration

The software architecture of active calibration is shown in Figure 4, where corners are detected, matched, and their position refined with subpixel accuracy. Our results indicate lower dispersion error and better repeatability. In addition, the error appears to be correlated with the position of the reference point in the image frame, as the error is less at the center than near the edges in the image frame. This is probably due to the lens distortion which is maximum in the periphery of the image. The results are tabulated below:

Table 1: Recovery of intrinsics with sub-pixel accuracy (panning and titling angular motion = 4)

next up previous
Next: References