Style transfer usually refers to the task of applying color and texture information from a specific style image to a given content image while preserving the structure of the latter. Here we tackle the more generic problem of semantic style transfer: given two unpaired collections of images, we aim to learn a mapping between the corpus-level style of each collection, while preserving semantic content shared across the two domains.
We introduce XGAN (“Cross-GAN”), a dual adversarial autoencoder, which captures a shared representation of the common domain semantic content in an unsupervised way, while jointly learning the domain-to-domain image translations in both directions. We exploit ideas from the domain adaptation literature and define a semantic consistency loss which encourages the model to preserve semantics in the learned embedding space. We report promising qualitative results for the task of face-to-cartoon translation. The cartoon dataset we collected for this purpose, CartoonSet, is publicly availale at https://google.github.io/cartoonset/index.html as a new benchmark for semantic style transfer.