Numerical shape from shading and occluding boundaries
An iterative method for computing shape from shading using occluding boundary information is proposed. Some applications of this method are shown. We employ the stereographic plane to express the orientations of surface patches, rather than the more commonly used gradient space. Use of the stereographic plane makes it possible to incorporate occluding boundary information, but forces us to employ a smoothness constraint different from the one previously proposed. The new constraint follows directly from a particular definition of surface smoothness. We solve the set of equations arising from the smoothness constraints and the image-irradiance equation iteratively, using occluding boundary information to supply boundary conditions. Good initial values are found at certain points to help reduce the number of iterations required to reach a reasonable solution. Numerical experiments show that the method is effective and robust. Finally, we analyze scanning electron microscope (SEM) pictures using this method. Other applications are also proposed.