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Chair for Computer Aided Medical Procedures & Augmented Reality
Lehrstuhl für Informatikanwendungen in der Medizin & Augmented Reality

G. Klinker, S. Shafer, T. Kanade
Using a Color Reflection Model to Separate Highlights from Object Color
International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV'87), London, June 1987. (See also proc. DARPA Image Understanding Workshop, CA, Feb. 1987). (bib)

Current methods for image segmentation are confused by artifacts such as highlights, because they are not based on any physical model of these phenomena. In this paper, we present an approach to color image understanding that accounts for color variations due to highlights and shading. Based on the physics of reflection by dielectric materials, such as plastic, we show that the color of every pixel from an object can be described as a linear combination of the object color and the highlight color. According to this model, all color pixels from one object form a planar cluster in the color space whose shape is determined by the object and highlight colors and by the object shape and illumination geometry. We present a method which exploits the color difference between object color and highlight color, as exhibited in the cluster shape, to separate the color of every pixel into a matte component and a highlight component. This generates two intrinsic images, one showing the scene without highlights, and the other one showing only the highlights. The intrinsic images may be a useful tool for a variety of algorithms in computer vision that cannot detect or analyze highlights, such as stereo vision, motion analysis, shape from shading, and shape from highlights. We have applied this method to real images in a laboratory environment, and we show these results and discuss some of the pragmatic issues endemic to precision color imaging.
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