Capturing articulated human hand motion: A divide-and-conquer approach

Ying Wu*, Thomas S. Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

84 Scopus citations


The use of human hand as a natural interface device serves as a motivating force for research in the modeling, analyzing and capturing of the motion of articulated hand. Model-based hand motion capturing can be formulated as a large nonlinear programming problem, but this approach is plagued by local minima. An alternative way is to use analysis-by-synthesis by searching a huge space, but the results are rough and the computation expensive. In this paper, articulated hand motion is decoupled, a new two-step iterative model-based algorithm is proposed to capture articulated human hand motion, and a proof of convergence of this iterative algorithm is also given. In our proposed work, the decoupled global hand motion and local finger motion are parameterized by 3D hand pose and the state of the hand respectively. Hand pose determination is formulated as a least median of squares (LMS) problem rather than the non-robust least squares (LS) problem, so that 3D hand pose can be reliably calculated even if there are outliers. Local finger motion is formulated as an inverse kinematics problem. A GA-based method is proposed to find a sub-optimal solution of inverse kinematics effectively. Our algorithm and the LS-based algorithm are compared in several experiments. Both algorithms converge when local finger motion between consecutive frames is small. When large finger motion is present, the LS-based method fails, but our algorithm can still estimate the global and local finger motion well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 7th IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV'99) - Kerkyra, Greece
Duration: Sep 20 1999Sep 27 1999


OtherProceedings of the 1999 7th IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV'99)
CityKerkyra, Greece

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Software


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