Rethinking Image Inpainting via a Mutual Encoder-Decoder with Feature Equalizations
Deep encoder-decoder based CNNs have advanced image inpainting methods for hole filling. While existing methods recover structures and textures step-by-step in the hole regions, they typically use two encoder-decoders for separate recovery. The CNN features of each encoder are learned to capture either missing structures or textures without considering them as a whole. The insufficient utilization of these encoder features hampers the performance of recovering both structures and textures. In this paper, we propose a mutual encoder-decoder CNN for joint recovery of both. We use CNN features from the deep and shallow layers of the encoder to represent structures and textures of an input image, respectively. The deep layer features are sent to a structure branch, while the shallow layer features are sent to a texture branch. In each branch, we fill holes in multiple scales of the CNN features. The filled CNN features from both branches are concatenated and then equalized. During feature equalization, we reweigh channel attentions first and propose a bilateral propagation activation function to enable spatial equalization. To this end, the filled CNN features of structure and texture mutually benefit each other to represent image content at all feature levels. We then use the equalized feature to supplement decoder features for output image generation through skip connections. Experiments on benchmark datasets show that the proposed method is effective to recover structures and textures and performs favorably against state-of-the-art approaches.