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Indirect 3D Reconstruction Through Appearance Prediction

Godard, Clément; (2018) Indirect 3D Reconstruction Through Appearance Prediction. Doctoral thesis (Eng.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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As humans, we easily perceive shape and depth, which helps us navigate our environment and interact with objects around us. Automating these abilities for computers is critical for many applications such as self-driving cars, augmented reality or architectural surveying. While active 3D reconstruction methods, such as laser scanning or structured light can produce very accurate results, they are typically expensive and their use cases can be limited. In contrast, passive methods that make use of only easily captured photographs, are typically less accurate as mapping from 2D images to 3D is an under-constrained problem. In this thesis we will focus on passive reconstruction techniques. We explore ways to get 3D shape from images in two challenging situations: 1) where a collection of images features a highly specular surface whose appearance changes drastically between the images, and 2) where only one input image is available. For both cases, we pose the reconstruction task as an indirect problem. In the first situation, the rapid change in appearance of highly specular objects makes it infeasible to directly establish correspondences between images. Instead, we develop an indirect approach using a panoramic image of the environment to simulate reflections, and recover the surface which best predicts the appearance of the object. In the second situation, the ambiguity inherent in single-view reconstruction is typically solved with machine learning, but acquiring depth data for training is both difficult and expensive. We present an indirect approach, where we train a neural network to regress depth by performing the proxy task of predicting the appearance of the image when the viewpoint changes. We prove that highly specular objects can be accurately reconstructed in uncontrolled environments, producing results that are 30% more accurate compared to the initialisation surface. For single frame depth estimation, our approach improves object boundaries in the reconstructions and significantly outperforms all previously published methods. In both situations, the proposed methods shrink the accuracy gap between camera-based reconstruction versus what is achievable through active sensors.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Eng.D
Title: Indirect 3D Reconstruction Through Appearance Prediction
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10057490
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