Photometric Stereo with General, Unknown Lighting

Ronen Basri    David W. Jacobs Ira Kemelmacher

Weizmann Institute

University of Maryland

Weizmann Institute

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 isotropic and distant from the object but otherwise unconstrained. Lighting in each image may be an unknown and 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.

Keywords: Photometric Stereo, Lambertian Reflectance, Lorentz Transformation, Diffuse Lighting.

Five of the 64 images used for reconstruction, the reconstruction of our algorithm, and blowups of the reconstruction that reveals the stripes and the logo and writing.

Five of the 11 images used for reconstruction. Second row: ground truth obtained with a laser scanner (surface, albedo, and albedo painted surface) and an image taken from roughly the same view (right). Third row: reconstruction using the 4D method (including shape, albedo, albedo painted shape and difference from ground truth surface). Bottom row: reconstruction using the 9D method.

More results in the paper...

IJCV'07 Paper: [PDF]

Photometric Stereo Database: [webpage]

3D laser scans database: [webpage]


author = {"Ronen Basri and David Jacobs and Ira Kemelmacher"},
title = {"Photometric Stereo with General, Unknown Lighting."},
journal = {"International Journal of Computer Vision"},
year = {"2007"}
pages = {"239--257"}

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Last updated on March 18, 2006