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Finding the Epipole from
Uncalibrated Optical Flow

Alessandro Verri
Dipartimento di Fisica
UniversitÓ di Genova, Italia - Emanuele Trucco
Heriot-Watt University
Department of Computing and Electrical Engineering
Edinburgh, UK


This paper presents a novel method for determining the location of the instantaneous epipole in a sequence of images acquired by an uncalibrated camera and containing a single, rigid motion ( e.g. , the camera moves in a static environment). The method uses the full perspective camera model and requires the estimation of the optical flow at a minimum of six image locations. The key observation is that the optical flow equations can be written in terms of the instantaneous epipole in a strikingly simple form if the translational and rotational flow components are not separated as done usually. The epipole location can then be obtained as the minimum of a least-square residual function associated to the computed optical flow. We report and discuss initial experiments on both synthetic and real data indicating the reliability of the method.

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Adrian F Clark
Wed Jul 9 12:25:56 BST 1997