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Photometric stereo is a method that seeks to reconstruct the normal vectors of an object from a set of images of the object illuminated under different light sources. While effective in some situations, classical photometric stereo relies on a diffuse surface model that cannot handle objects with complex reflectance patterns, and it is sensitive to non-idealities in the images. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to photometric stereo that relies on dictionary learning to produce robust normal vector reconstructions. Specifically, we develop two formulations for applying dictionary learning to photometric stereo. We propose a model that applies dictionary learning to regularize and reconstruct the normal vectors from the images under the classic Lambertian reflectance model. We then generalize this model to explicitly model non-Lambertian objects. We investigate both approaches using extensive experimentation on synthetic and real benchmark datasets and observe state-of-the-art performance compared to the existing robust photometric stereo methods.
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