For interactive image manipulation, a new region extraction method using active contour models (ACM) is proposed. In this method, to improve extraction accuracy, multiple ACMs controlled by the statistical characteristics of image data are applied to the region of a single object. These ACMs compete with each other and each ACM extracts a subregion of uniform image properties. As a result of this competition, the entire region of the object is extracted as a set of several subregions. In addition, to lighten the load of the initial ACM settings, a procedure for making multiple initial ACMs from a few initial curves is also proposed. In this procedure, a few initial curves are set in an image, each initial curve is divided into several segments at the optimal loci, and multiple initial ACMs are made by dilating these segments.