Three-channel dynamic photometric stereo: A new method for 4D surface reconstruction and volume recovery

Walter Schroeder, Wolfram Schulze, Thomas Wetter, Chi Hsien Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Three-dimensional (3D) body surface reconstruction is an important field in health care. A popular method for this purpose is laser scanning. However, using Photometric Stereo (PS) to record lumbar lordosis and the surface contour of the back poses a viable alternative due to its lower costs and higher flexibility compared to laser techniques and other methods of three-dimensional body surface reconstruction. In this work, we extended the traditional PS method and proposed a new method for obtaining surface and volume data of a moving object. The principle of traditional Photometric Stereo uses at least three images of a static object taken under different light sources to obtain 3D information of the object. Instead of using normal light, the light sources in the proposed method consist of the RGB-Color-Model's three colors: red, green and blue. A series of pictures taken with a video camera can now be separated into the different color channels. Each set of the three images can then be used to calculate the surface normals as a traditional PS. This method waives the requirement that the object imaged must be kept still as in almost all the other body surface reconstruction methods. By putting two cameras opposite to a moving object and lighting the object with the colored light, the time-varying surface (4D) data can easily be calculated. The obtained information can be used in many medical fields such as rehabilitation, diabetes screening or orthopedics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptics and Photonics for Information Processing II
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventOptics and Photonics for Information Processing II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 13 2008Aug 14 2008


ConferenceOptics and Photonics for Information Processing II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Dynamic photometric stereo
  • Motion analysis
  • Shape from shading
  • Surface reconstruction
  • Volume recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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