IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence

Multiflash stereopsis: Depth-edge-preserving stereo with small baseline illumination

View publication


Traditional stereo matching algorithms are limited in their ability to produce accurate results near depth discontinuities, due to partial occlusions and violation of smoothness constraints. In this paper, we use small baseline multi-flash illumination to produce a rich set of feature maps that enable acquisition of discontinuity preserving point correspondences. First, from a single multi-flash camera, we formulate a qualitative depth map using a gradient domain method that encodes object relative distances. Then, in a multiview setup, we exploit shadows created by light sources to compute an occlusion map. Finally, we demonstrate the usefulness of these feature maps by incorporating them into two different dense stereo correspondence algorithms, the first based on local search and the second based on belief propagation. Experimental results show that our enhanced stereo algorithms are able to extract high quality, discontinuity preserving correspondence maps from scenes that are extremely challenging for conventional stereo methods. We also demonstrate that small baseline illumination can be useful to handle specular reflections in stereo imagery. Different from most existing active illumination techniques, our method is simple, inexpensive, compact, and requires no calibration of light sources. © 2008 IEEE.