Data acquisition and processing of 3-D fingerprints

Yongchang Wang, Laurence G. Hassebrook, Daniel L. Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


To solve the problems associated with conventional 2-D fingerprint scanners such as skin deformation and print smearing, in this paper we introduce a noncontact fingerprint scanner employing structured light illumination to generate high-resolution albedo images as well as 3-D ridge scans. The question to be answered in this research is whether or not ridge depth information improves the quality and matching capability of acquired fingerprints? For evaluation of this question, we use the National Institute of Standards and Technology fingerprint image quality metrics. These metrics require the 3-D prints to be flattened. We present a complete and detailed flattening algorithm based upon unfolding an elastic tube fit to the peaks and valleys of ridges identified within the scan. Further improvement of the flattened print is achieved through the incorporation of ridge information extracted from the albedo image with the depth and albedo ridge information fused together according to local scan quality. Our study compares image quality between the flattened 3-D prints and ink rolled prints. Most significantly, the matching performance of 3-D flattened to 3-D flattened prints is evaluated based on ridge depth only, albedo only, and depth with albedo fusion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5530380
Pages (from-to)750-760
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received August 31, 2009; revised June 23, 2010; accepted June 29, 2010. Date of publication July 29, 2010; date of current version November 17, 2010. This work was supported in part by Flashscan3D, LLC, Richardson, TX and in part by the National Institute of Hometown Security, Somerset, KY. The associate editor coordinating the review of this manuscript and approving it for publication was Dr. Arun Ross.


  • 3-D fingerprint
  • Albedo
  • depth
  • flatten
  • fuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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