Reconstructing the Surface of Inhomogeneous Transparent Scenes by Scatter Trace Photography

AbstractWe present a new method for reconstructing the exterior surface of a complex transparent scene with inhomogeneous interior (e.g., multiple interfaces, reflective or painted interiors, etc). Our approach involves capturing images of the scene from one or more viewpoints while moving a proximal light source to a 2D or 3D set of positions. This gives a 2D (or 3D) dataset per pixel, called the scatter trace. The key idea of our approach is that even though light transport within a transparent scene’s interior can be exceedingly complex, the scatter trace of each pixel has a highlyconstrained geometry that (1) reveals the contribution of direct surface reflection, and (2) leads to a simple “scatter-trace stereo” algorithm for computing the local geometry of the exterior surface (depth and surface normals). We present 3D reconstruction results for a variety of scenes that exhibit complex light transport phenomena.

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