BMVC 2004, Kingston, 7th-9th Sept, 2004

Shape from Diffuse Polarisation
G. Atkinson and E. Hancock (University of York)

When unpolarised light is reflected from a smooth dielectric surface, it is
spontaneously partially polarised. This process applies to both specular and
diffuse reflection, although the effect is greatest for specular reflection. This
paper is concerned with exploiting this phenomenon by processing images of
smooth dielectric objects to recover surface normals and hence height. The
paper presents the underlying physics of polarisation by reflection, starting
with the Fresnel equations. It is explained how these equations can be used
to obtain the shape of objects and some experimental results are presented to
illustrate the usefulness of the theory.
(pdf article)