Body-parts Tracking from Monocular Video Sequences


Project type

Master's Degree Research Project


September 2003 - May 2005


Université Laval, Quebec City, QC, Canada


Computer Vision and Systems Laboratory CVSL


  • Robert Bergevin (adviser), Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Université Laval

  • Alexandra Branzan Albu (co-adviser), Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Victoria


The tracking and detection of people by means of a computerized system of cameras has been the subject of many research projects in the recent time. Several approaches have been proposed to solve this problem. However, these approaches are sometimes not realistic and often require a constrained environment as well as the cooperation of the people being observed. It would be interesting to be able to track and recognize people using more natural criteria and a less invasive approach, such as observing the gait of a person.

A person's gait is mainly characterized by the position of each of his limbs and the movement he carries out over time when he is walking. Consequently, the problem first consists in automatically finding and tracking principal body parts from a monocular video sequence. Most of the motions performed by a walking person involve the extremities, namely the head, the hands and the feet. Since hand motion is not constrained during the walk, only the head and the feet will be found and tracked. The tracking algorithm that was developed during this project permits the tracking of the head and the feet positions in real-time.


The following video sequence shows the resulting tracking for a person walking in front of a monocular camera. It is important to note that the tracking algorithm maintains the feet correspondence during feet occlusion, that is, the yellow and red dots stay on the same foot throughout the entire the video sequence.

Related Publications

The most important publications related to my master's degree are listed below. For a complete list of my publications, see the publications page.

Frédéric Jean, Robert Bergevin and Alexandra Branzan-Albu, "Body Tracking in Human Walk from Monocular Video Sequences", In Proceedings of the Second Canadian Conference on Computer and Robot Vision (CRV), (Victoria, BC, Canada), pp. 144-151, May 9-11 2005.

A. Branzan-Albu, D. Laurendeau, S. Comtois, D. Ouellet, P. Hébert, A. Zaccarin, M. Parizeau, R. Bergevin, X. Maldague, R. Drouin, S. Drouin, N. Martel-Brisson, F. Jean, H. Torresan, L. Gagnon and F. Laliberté, "MONNET: Monitoring Pedestrians with a Network of Loosely-Coupled Cameras", Proceedings of the International Conference on Pattern Recognition (ICPR 2006), (Hong Kong, China), August 20-24 2006.

Frédéric Jean, Robert Bergevin and Alexandra Branzan-Albu, "Robust Real-Time Tracking of Body Parts from Monocular Video Sequences", In Proceedings of the 15th Annual Canadian Conference on Intelligent Systems (IS 2005), (Quebec, Quebec, Canada), pp. 30, June 5-7 2005.