Piecewise-smooth dense optical flow via level sets

T. Amiaz, N. Kiryati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We propose a new algorithm for dense optical flow computation. Dense optical flow schemes are challenged by the presence of motion discontinuities. In state of the art optical flow methods, over-smoothing of flow discontinuities accounts for most of the error, A breakthrough in the performance of optical flow computation has recently been achieved by Brox et al. Our algorithm embeds their functional within a two phase active contour segmentation framework. Piecewise-smooth flow fields are accommodated and flow boundaries are crisp. Experimental results show the superiority of our algorithm with respect to alternative techniques. We also study a special case of optical flow computation, in which the camera is static. In this case we utilize a known background image to separate the moving elements in the sequence from the static elements. Tests with challenging real world sequences demonstrate the performance gains made possible by incorporating the static camera assumption in our algorithm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-124
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Vision
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Level-sets
  • Optical flow
  • Piecewise-smoothness
  • Variational methods


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