What Do Four Points in Two Calibrated Images Tell Us about the Epipoles?

  • David Nistér
  • Frederik Schaffalitzky
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3022)


Suppose that two perspective views of four world points are given, that the intrinsic parameters are known, but the camera poses and the world point positions are not. We prove that the epipole in each view is then constrained to lie on a curve of degree ten. We give the equation for the curve and establish many of the curve’s properties. For example, we show that the curve has four branches through each of the image points and that it has four additional points on each conic of the pencil of conics through the four image points. We show how to compute the four curve points on each conic in closed form. We show that orientation constraints allow only parts of the curve and find that there are impossible configurations of four corresponding point pairs. We give a novel algorithm that solves for the essential matrix given three corresponding points and one epipole. We then use the theory to describe a solution, using a 1-parameter search, to the notoriously difficult problem of solving for the pose of three views given four corresponding points.


Image Point Geometric Construction Point Pair Point Correspondence Curve Branch 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Nistér
    • 1
  • Frederik Schaffalitzky
    • 2
  1. 1.Sarnoff CorporationPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.Australian National University 

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