Coded Two-Bucket Cameras for Computer Vision

  • Mian WeiEmail author
  • Navid Sarhangnejad
  • Zhengfan Xia
  • Nikita Gusev
  • Nikola Katic
  • Roman Genov
  • Kiriakos N. Kutulakos
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11207)


We introduce coded two-bucket (C2B) imaging, a new operating principle for computational sensors with applications in active 3D shape estimation and coded-exposure imaging. A C2B sensor modulates the light arriving at each pixel by controlling which of the pixel’s two “buckets” should integrate it. C2B sensors output two images per video frame—one per bucket—and allow rapid, fully-programmable, per-pixel control of the active bucket. Using these properties as a starting point, we (1) develop an image formation model for these sensors, (2) couple them with programmable light sources to acquire illumination mosaics, i.e., images of a scene under many different illumination conditions whose pixels have been multiplexed and acquired in one shot, and (3) show how to process illumination mosaics to acquire live disparity or normal maps of dynamic scenes at the sensor’s native resolution. We present the first experimental demonstration of these capabilities, using a fully-functional C2B camera prototype. Key to this unique prototype is a novel programmable CMOS sensor that we designed from the ground up, fabricated and turned into a working system.


Actual Bucket Programmable Light Source Image Formation Model Photometric Stereo Tensor Code 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada under the RGPIN, RTI and SGP programs, and of DARPA under the REVEAL program. We also wish to thank Hui Feng Ke and Gilead Wolf Posluns for FPGA programming related to the C2B sensor, Sarah Anne Kushner for help with live imaging experiments, and Michael Brown, Harel Haim and the anonymous reviewers for their many helpful comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this manuscript.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (mp4 88844 KB)

474178_1_En_4_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (1.6 mb)
Supplementary material 2 (pdf 1645 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mian Wei
    • 1
    Email author
  • Navid Sarhangnejad
    • 2
  • Zhengfan Xia
    • 2
  • Nikita Gusev
    • 2
  • Nikola Katic
    • 2
  • Roman Genov
    • 2
  • Kiriakos N. Kutulakos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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