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A Theory of Photometric Stereo for a Class of Diffuse Non-Lambertian Surfaces
February 1991 (vol. 13 no. 2)
pp. 133-152

A theory of photometric stereo is proposed for a large class of non-Lambertian reflectance maps. The authors review the different reflectance maps proposed in the literature for modeling reflection from real-world surfaces. From this, they obtain a mathematical class of reflectance maps to which the maps belong. They show that three lights can be sufficient for a unique inversion of the photometric stereo equation for the entire class of reflectance maps. They also obtain a constraint on the positions of light sources for obtaining this solution. They investigate the sufficiency of three light sources to estimate the surface normal and the illuminant strength. The issue of completeness of reconstruction is addressed. They show that if k lights are sufficient for a unique inversion, 2k lights are necessary for a complete inversion.

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Index Terms:
computer vision; machine vision; diffuse nonLambertian surfaces; photometric stereo; reflectance maps; reflection; real-world surfaces; light sources; computer vision; reflectivity
H.D. Tagare, R.J.P. deFigueiredo, "A Theory of Photometric Stereo for a Class of Diffuse Non-Lambertian Surfaces," IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 133-152, Feb. 1991, doi:10.1109/34.67643
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