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Symmetric-Light Photometric Stereo
This paper presents symmetric-light photometric stereo for surface normal estimation, in which directional lights are distributed symmetrically with respect to the optic center. Unlike previous studies of ring-light settings that required the information of ring radius, we show that even without the knowledge of the exact light source locations or their distances from the optic center, the symmetric configuration provides us sufficient information for recovering unique surface normals without ambiguity. Specifically, under the symmetric lights, measurements of a pair of scene points having distinct surface normals but the same albedo yield a system of constrained quadratic equations about the surface normal, which has a unique solution. Experiments demonstrate that the proposed method alleviates the need for geometric light source calibration while maintaining the accuracy of calibrated photometric stereo.