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When Is the Shape of a Scene Unique Given Its Light-Field: A Fundamental Theorem of 3D Vision?
January 2003 (vol. 25 no. 1)
pp. 100-109

Abstract—The complete set of measurements that could ever be used by a passive 3D vision algorithm is the plenoptic function or light-field. We give a concise characterization of when the light-field of a Lambertian scene uniquely determines its shape and, conversely, when the shape is inherently ambiguous. In particular, we show that stereo computed from the light-field is ambiguous if and only if the scene is radiating light of a constant intensity (and color, etc.) over an extended region.

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Index Terms:
3D shape reconstruction, stereo, shape-from-silhouette, the plenoptic function, light-fields, uniqueness.
Simon Baker, Terence Sim, Takeo Kanade, "When Is the Shape of a Scene Unique Given Its Light-Field: A Fundamental Theorem of 3D Vision?," IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 100-109, Jan. 2003, doi:10.1109/TPAMI.2003.1159949
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