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Estimation of Illuminant Direction, Albedo, and Shape from Shading
July 1991 (vol. 13 no. 7)
pp. 680-702

A robust approach to the recovery of shape from shading information is presented. Assuming uniform albedo and Lambertian surface for the imaging model, two methods for estimating the azimuth of the illuminant are presented. One is based on local estimates on smooth patches, and the other method uses shading information along image contours. The elevation of the illuminant and surface albedo are estimated from image statistics, taking into consideration the effect of self-shadowing. With the estimated reflectance map parameters, the authors then compute the surface shape using a procedure that implements the smoothness constraint by requiring the gradients of reconstructed density to be close to the gradients of the input image. The algorithm is data driven, stable, updates the surface slope and height maps simultaneously, and significantly reduces the residual errors in irradiance and integrability terms. A hierarchical implementation of the algorithm is presented. Typical results on synthetic and images are given to illustrate the usefulness of the approach.

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Index Terms:
shape recovery; early vision; illumination; parameter estimation; albedo; shading; Lambertian surface; imaging model; image contours; image statistics; reflectance map; residual errors; irradiance; albedo; lighting; optical information processing; parameter estimation; statistical analysis
Q. Zheng, R. Chellapa, "Estimation of Illuminant Direction, Albedo, and Shape from Shading," IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 13, no. 7, pp. 680-702, July 1991, doi:10.1109/34.85658
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