Light source position and reflectance estimation from a single view without the distant illumination assumption

Kenji Hara, Ko Nishino, Katsushi Ikeuchi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    85 Citations (Scopus)


    Several techniques have been developed for recovering reflectance properties of real surfaces under unknown illumination. However, in most cases, those techniques assume that the light sources are located at inifinity, which cannot be applied safely to, for example, reflectance modeling of indoor environments. In this paper, we propose two types of methods to estimate the surface reflectance property of an object, as well as the position of a light source from a single view without the distant illumination assumption, thus relaxing the conditions in the previous methods. Given a real image and a 3D geometric model of an object with specular reflection as inputs, 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. Our second method extends that first method by using as input a specular component image, which is acquired by analyzing multiple polarization images taken from a single view, thus removing its constraints on the diffuse reflectance property. 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 lighting conditions with not only source direction modification but also source-surface distance modification. Experimental results show the accuracy of our estimation framework.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)493-505
    Number of pages13
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Software
    • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
    • Computational Theory and Mathematics
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Applied Mathematics


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