International Conference on Auditory-Visual Speech Processing 2008

Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort, Moreton Island, Queensland, Australia
September 26-29, 2008

A Comparison of German Talking Heads in a Smart Home Environment

Sascha Fagel (1), Christine Kuehnel (2), Benjamin Weiss (2), Ina Wechsung (2), Sebastian Moeller (2)

(1) Berlin Institute of Technology; (2) Deutsche Telekom Laboratories, Berlin Institute of Technology, Germany

The authors describe a newly developed German Text-Toaudiovisual- Speech (TTavS) synthesis system based on the English speaking HeadZero. Targets of the control parameters of the talking head are generated by mapping of German phonemes to the originally English visemic blend shapes controls. The resulting German version of HeadZero and the German talking head MASSY were extended to generate audiovisual speech utterances from text with voices of both the MARY and the MBROLA audio speech synthesizers. A test was designed to evaluate the quality of the talking heads combined with the two synthetic voices in the context of a smart home environment. The results show a significant user preference for the new German HeadZero. Both heads are rated better when combined with the MARY voice.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Fagel, Sascha / Kuehnel, Christine / Weiss, Benjamin / Wechsung, Ina / Moeller, Sebastian (2008): "A comparison of German talking heads in a smart home environment", In AVSP-2008, 75-78.