Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 76, Issue 4, pp 4747–4764 | Cite as

Handling multiple materials for exposure of digital forgeries using 2-D lighting environments

  • Christian Riess
  • Mathias Unberath
  • Farzad Naderi
  • Sven Pfaller
  • Marc Stamminger
  • Elli Angelopoulou


The distribution of incident light is an important physics-based cue for exposing image manipulations. If an image has been composed from multiple sources, it is likely that the illumination environments of the spliced objects differ. Johnson and Farid introduced a proof-of-principle algorithm for a forensic comparison of lighting environments. However, this baseline approach suffers from relatively strict assumptions that limit its practical applicability. In this work, we address one of the biggest limitations, namely the need to compute a lighting environment from patches of homogeneous material. To compute a lighting environment from multiple-color surfaces, we propose a method that we call “intrinsic contour estimation” (ICE). ICE is able to integrate reflectances from multiple materials into one lighting environment, as long as surfaces of different materials share at least two similar normal vectors. We validate the proposed method in a controlled ground-truth experiment on two datasets, with light from three different directions. These experiments show that using ICE can improve the median estimation error by almost 50 %, and the mean error by almost 30 %.


Image forensics 2-D lighting environment Illuminant direction Reflectance normalization 



This work was supported by the Research Training Group 1773 “Heterogeneous Image Systems”, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Riess
    • 1
  • Mathias Unberath
    • 1
  • Farzad Naderi
    • 1
  • Sven Pfaller
    • 1
  • Marc Stamminger
    • 2
  • Elli Angelopoulou
    • 1
  1. 1.Pattern Recognition LabFriedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-NurembergErlangenGermany
  2. 2.Computer Graphics LabErlangenGermany

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