Multiview photometric stereo

Carlos Hernández, George Vogiatzis, Roberto Cipolla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper addresses the problem of obtaining complete, detailed reconstructions of textureless shiny objects. We present an algorithm which uses silhouettes of the object, as well as images obtained under changing illumination conditions. In contrast with previous photometric stereo techniques, ours is not limited to a single viewpoint but produces accurate reconstructions in full 3D. A number of images of the object are obtained from multiple viewpoints, under varying lighting conditions. Starting from the silhouettes, the algorithm recovers camera motion and constructs the object's visual hull. This is then used to recover the illumination and initialize a multiview photometric stereo scheme to obtain a closed surface reconstruction. There are two main contributions in this paper: First, we describe a robust technique to estimate light directions and intensities and, second, we introduce a novel formulation of photometric stereo which combines multiple viewpoints and, hence, allows closed surface reconstructions. The algorithm has been implemented as a practical model acquisition system. Here, a quantitative evaluation of the algorithm on synthetic data is presented together with complete reconstructions of challenging real objects. Finally, we show experimentally how, even in the case of highly textured objects, this technique can greatly improve on correspondence-based multiview stereo results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-554
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

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  • closed surface reconstruction
  • multiview photometric stereo
  • object silhouettes
  • textureless shiny object reconstructions
  • visual hull


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