International Journal of Computer Vision

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 125–140

Lines and Points in Three Views and the Trifocal Tensor

  • Richard I. Hartley

DOI: 10.1023/A:1007936012022

Cite this article as:
Hartley, R.I. International Journal of Computer Vision (1997) 22: 125. doi:10.1023/A:1007936012022


This paper discusses the basic role of the trifocal tensor in scene reconstruction from three views. This 3× 3× 3 tensor plays a role in the analysis of scenes from three views analogous to the role played by the fundamental matrix in the two-view case. In particular, the trifocal tensor may be computed by a linear algorithm from a set of 13 line correspondences in three views. It is further shown in this paper, that the trifocal tensor is essentially identical to a set of coefficients introduced by Shashua to effect point transfer in the three view case. This observation means that the 13-line algorithm may be extended to allow for the computation of the trifocal tensor given any mixture of sufficiently many line and point correspondences. From the trifocal tensor the camera matrices of the images may be computed, and the scene may be reconstructed. For unrelated uncalibrated cameras, this reconstruction will be unique up to projectivity. Thus, projective reconstruction of a set of lines and points may be carried out linearly from three views.

trifocal tensor projective reconstruction trilinear relation structure from motion 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard I. Hartley

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