BRDF invariant stereo using light transport constancy

Liang Wang, Ruigang Yang, James E. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Nearly all existing methods for stereo reconstruction assume that scene reflectance is Lambertian and make use of brightness constancy as a matching invariant. We introduce a new invariant for stereo reconstruction called light transport constancy (LTC), which allows completely arbitrary scene reflectance (bidirectional reflectance distribution functions (BRDFs)). This invariant can be used to formulate a rank constraint on multiview stereo matching when the scene is observed by several lighting configurations in which only the lighting intensity varies. In addition, we show that this multiview constraint can be used with as few as two cameras and two lighting configurations. Unlike previous methods for BRDF invariant stereo, LTC does not require precisely configured or calibrated light sources or calibration objects in the scene. Importantly, the new constraint can be used to provide BRDF invariance to any existing stereo method whenever appropriate lighting variation is available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1616-1626
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Helpful early discussions were held with Gaurav Garg, Jeffrey Ho, Diego Nehab, Szymon Rusinkiewicz, and Vaibhav Vaish. This work is supported in part by the University of Kentucky Research Foundation, the US Department of Homeland Security, and the US National Science Foundation Grant IIS-0448185.


  • BRDF
  • Light transport constancy
  • Non-Lambertian
  • Rank constraint
  • Stereo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics


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