Determining reflectance and light position from a single image without distant illumination assumption

Kenji Hara, Ko Nishino, Katsushi Ikeuchi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Several techniques have been developed for recovering reflectance properties of real surfaces under unknown illumination conditions. However, in most cases, those techniques assume that the light sources are located at infinity, which cannot be applied to, for example, photometric modeling of indoor environments. In this paper, we propose two methods to estimate the surface reflectance property of an object, as well as the position of a light source from a single image without the distant illumination assumption. Given a color image of an object with specular reflection as an input, the first method estimates the light source position by fitting to the Lambertian diffuse component, while separating the specular and diffuse components by using an iterative relaxation scheme. Moreover, we extend the above method by using a single specular image as an input, thus removing its constraints on the diffuse reflectance property and the number of light sources. This method simultaneously recovers the reflectance properties and the light source positions by optimizing the linearity of a log-transformed Torrance-Sparrow model. By estimating the object's reflectance property and the light source position, we can freely generate synthetic images of the target object under arbitrary source directions and source-surface distances.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings: Ninth IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision - Nice, France
Duration: Oct 13 2003Oct 16 2003


OtherProceedings: Ninth IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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