Uncalibrated Photometric Stereo under Natural Illumination

Zhipeng Mo1

Boxin Shi2*

Feng Lu3

Sai-Kit Yeung1

Yasuyuki Matsushita4

1Singapore University of Technology and Design

2Peking University

3Beihang University

4Osaka University


This paper presents a photometric stereo method that works with unknown natural illuminations without any calibration object. To solve this challenging problem, we propose the use of an equivalent directional lighting model for small surface patches consisting of slowly varying normals, and solve each patch up to an arbitrary rotation ambiguity. Our method connects the resulting patches and unifies the local ambiguities to a global rotation one through angular distance propagation defined over the whole surface. After applying the integrability constraint, our final solution contains only a binary ambiguity, which could be easily removed. Experiments using both synthetic and real-world datasets show our method provides even comparable results to calibrated methods

Keywords: Photometric Stereo, Uncalibrated, Natural Illumination



The authors thank Lap-Fai (Craig) Yu for providing HORSEHEAD, CHEF, MOTHER&BABY data and Jean- Franc¬łois Lalonde for providing OWL data. Boxin Shi is supported by the Recruitment Program of Global Experts (Youth Program) in China (a.k.a. 1000 Youth Talents). Feng Lu is supported in part by NSFC under Grant 61602020 and Grant 61732016. Sai-Kit Yeung is supported by Singapore MOE Academic Research Fund MOE2016- T2-2-154, Heritage Research Grant of the National Heritage Board, Singapore, SUTD Digital Manufacturing and Design (DManD) Centre which is supported by the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) and NRF under its IDM Futures Funding Initiative and Virtual Singapore Award No. NRF2015VSGAA3DCM001-014. Yasuyuki Matsushita is supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP16H01732.