A closed-form solution to uncalibrated photometric stereo via diffuse maxima
In this paper we propose a novel solution to uncalibrated photometric stereo. Our approach is to eliminate the so-called generalized bas relief (GBR) ambiguity by exploiting points where the Lambertian reflection is maximal. We demonstrate several noteworthy properties of these maxima: 1) Closed-form solution: A single diffuse maximum constrains the GBR ambiguity to a semi-circle in 3D space; 2) Efficiency: As few as two diffuse maxima in different images identify a unique solution; 3) GBR-invariance: The estimation error of the GBR parameters is completely independent of the true parameters. Furthermore, our algorithm is remarkably robust: It can obtain an accurate estimate of the GBR parameters even with extremely high levels of outliers in the detected maxima (up to 80% of the observations). The method is validated on real data and achieves state-of-the-art results.