Original papers

Machine Vision and Applications

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 14-24

First online:

Straight lines have to be straight

  • Frédéric DevernayAffiliated withINRIA, BP93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France; e-mail: {devernay,faugeras}@sophia.inria.fr
  • , Olivier FaugerasAffiliated withINRIA, BP93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France; e-mail: {devernay,faugeras}@sophia.inria.fr

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Most algorithms in 3D computer vision rely on the pinhole camera model because of its simplicity, whereas video optics, especially low-cost wide-angle or fish-eye lenses, generate a lot of non-linear distortion which can be critical. To find the distortion parameters of a camera, we use the following fundamental property: a camera follows the pinhole model if and only if the projection of every line in space onto the camera is a line. Consequently, if we find the transformation on the video image so that every line in space is viewed in the transformed image as a line, then we know how to remove the distortion from the image. The algorithm consists of first doing edge extraction on a possibly distorted video sequence, then doing polygonal approximation with a large tolerance on these edges to extract possible lines from the sequence, and then finding the parameters of our distortion model that best transform these edges to segments. Results are presented on real video images, compared with distortion calibration obtained by a full camera calibration method which uses a calibration grid.

Key words: Camera calibration – Nonlinear distortion – Self-calibration – Camera models