Revisiting outlier rejection approach for non-lambertian photometric stereo

Kevin H.M. Cheng, Ajay Kumar

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Photometric stereo offers a single camera-based approach to recover 3D information and has attracted wide range of applications in computer vision. Presence of non-Lambertian reflections in almost all the real-world objects limits the usage of the Lambertian model for surface normal vector estimation. Previous methods proposed to address such non-Lambertian phenomena employ an outlier rejection approach, while more recent methods introduce bidirectional reflectance distribution function models that can generate more accurate results. However, results with comparable accuracy can also be achieved by simply filtering the observed intensity values. This paper presents two novel outlier rejection techniques that attempt to identify the data that are more reliable and likely to be Lambertian. In the first technique, observed intensity values with less reliability are automatically eliminated. This reliability is determined by the responses from a newly introduced inter-relationship function. In the second technique, those photometric ratio equations that are less likely to be Lambertian are identified by observing the residue of the equations. By eliminating the data that are unreliable and likely to be non-Lambertian, surface normal vectors are more accurately estimated. Our comparative and reproducible experimental results using both real and synthetic data sets illustrate superior performance over the state-of-the-art methods, which validate our theoretical arguments presented in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8489931
Pages (from-to)1544-1555
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Image Processing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • general reflectance
  • non-Lambertian
  • Photometric stereo
  • surface normal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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