GAN-Based Unpaired Chinese Character Image Translation via Skeleton Transformation and Stroke Rendering

  • Yiming Gao Zhejiang University
  • Jiangqin Wu Zhejiang University


The automatic style translation of Chinese characters (CH-Char) is a challenging problem. Different from English or general artistic style transfer, Chinese characters contain a large number of glyphs with the complicated content and characteristic style. Early methods on CH-Char synthesis are inefficient and require manual intervention. Recently some GAN-based methods are proposed for font generation. The supervised GAN-based methods require numerous image pairs, which is difficult for many chirography styles. In addition, unsupervised methods often cause the blurred and incorrect strokes. Therefore, in this work, we propose a three-stage Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) architecture for multi-chirography image translation, which is divided into skeleton extraction, skeleton transformation and stroke rendering with unpaired training data. Specifically, we first propose a fast skeleton extraction method (ENet). Secondly, we utilize the extracted skeleton and the original image to train a GAN model, RNet (a stroke rendering network), to learn how to render the skeleton with stroke details in target style. Finally, the pre-trained model RNet is employed to assist another GAN model, TNet (a skeleton transformation network), to learn to transform the skeleton structure on the unlabeled skeleton set. We demonstrate the validity of our method on two chirography datasets we established.

AAAI Technical Track: Applications