Photometric stereo with general, unknown lighting

TitlePhotometric stereo with general, unknown lighting
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsBasri R, Jacobs DW, Kemelmacher I
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Vision
Pagination239 - 257
Date Published2007///

Work on photometric stereo has shown how to recover the shape and reflectance properties of an object using multiple images taken with a fixed viewpoint and variable lighting conditions. This work has primarily relied on known lighting conditions or the presence of a single point source of light in each image. In this paper we show how to perform photometric stereo assuming that all lights in a scene are distant from the object but otherwise unconstrained. Lighting in each image may be an unknown and may include arbitrary combination of diffuse, point and extended sources. Our work is based on recent results showing that for Lambertian objects, general lighting conditions can be represented using low order spherical harmonics. Using this representation we can recover shape by performing a simple optimization in a low-dimensional space. We also analyze the shape ambiguities that arise in such a representation. We demonstrate our method by reconstructing the shape of objects from images obtained under a variety of lightings. We further compare the reconstructed shapes against shapes obtained with a laser scanner.