Alpha-Flow for Video Matting
This work addresses the problem of video matting, that is extracting the opacity-layer of a foreground object from a video sequence. We introduce the notion of alpha-flow which corresponds to the flow in the opacity layer. The idea is derived from the process of rotoscoping, where a user-supplied object mask is smoothly interpolated between keyframes while preserving its correspondence with the underlying image. Our key contribution is an algorithm which infers both the opacity masks and the alpha-flow in an efficient and unified manner. We embed our algorithm in an interactive video matting system where the first and last frame of a sequence are given as keyframes, and additional user strokes may be provided in intermediate frames. We show high quality results on various challenging sequences, and give a detailed comparison to competing techniques.