LED-based Photometric Stereo: Modeling, Calibration and Numerical Solution

by   Yvain Quéau, et al.

We conduct a thorough study of photometric stereo under nearby point light source illumination, from modeling to numerical solution, through calibration. In the classical formulation of photometric stereo, the luminous fluxes are assumed to be directional, which is very difficult to achieve in practice. Rather, we use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to illuminate the scene to reconstruct. Such point light sources are very convenient to use, yet they yield a more complex photometric stereo model which is arduous to solve. We first derive in a physically sound manner this model, and show how to calibrate its parameters. Then, we discuss two state-of-the-art numerical solutions. The first one alternatingly estimates the albedo and the normals, and then integrates the normals into a depth map. It is shown empirically to be independent from the initialization, but convergence of this sequential approach is not established. The second one directly recovers the depth, by formulating photometric stereo as a system of PDEs which are partially linearized using image ratios. Although the sequential approach is avoided, initialization matters a lot and convergence is not established either. Therefore, we introduce a provably convergent alternating reweighted least-squares scheme for solving the original system of PDEs, without resorting to image ratios for linearization. Finally, we extend this study to the case of RGB images.


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