The Visual Computer

, Volume 29, Issue 6–8, pp 817–824 | Cite as

An empirical study on the effects of translucency on photometric stereo

  • Kathleen D. Moore
  • Pieter Peers
Original Article


We present an empirical study on the effects of translucency on photometric stereo. Our study shows that the impact on the accuracy of the photometric normals is related to the relative size of the geometrical features and the mean free path. We show that under simplified conditions, the obtained photometric normals are a blurred version of the true surface normals, where the blur kernel is directly related to the subsurface scattering profile. We furthermore investigate the impact of scattering albedo, index of refraction, and single scattering on the accuracy. We perform our analysis using simulations, and demonstrate the validity on a real world example.


Subsurface scattering Photometric stereo 



This work was supported in part by Google, and NSF grants IIS-1016703 and IIS-1217765. The first author acknowledges additional support from the Virginia Space Grant Consortium.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of William & MaryWilliamsburgUSA

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