Time-Lapse Photometric Stereo and Applications

Fangyang Shen, Kalyan Sunkavalli, Nicolas Bonneel, Szymon Rusinkiewicz, Hanspeter Pfister, Xin Tong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This paper presents a technique to recover geometry from time-lapse sequences of outdoor scenes. We build upon photometric stereo techniques to recover approximate shadowing, shading and normal components allowing us to alter the material and normals of the scene. Previous work in analyzing such images has faced two fundamental difficulties: 1. The illumination in outdoor images consists of time-varying sunlight and skylight, and 2. The motion of the sun is restricted to a near-planar arc through the sky, making surface normal recovery unstable. We develop methods to estimate the reflection component due to skylight illumination. We also show that sunlight directions are usually non-planar, thus making surface normal recovery possible. This allows us to estimate approximate surface normals for outdoor scenes using a single day of data. We demonstrate the use of these surface normals for a number of image editing applications including reflectance, lighting, and normal editing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-367
Number of pages9
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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