Noniterative 3D face reconstruction based on photometric stereo

Sang Woong Lee, Patrick S.P. Wang, Svetlana N. Yanushkevich, Seong Whan Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


3D face reconstruction is a popular area within the computer vision domain. 3D face reconstruction should ideally be achieved easily and cost-effectively, without requiring specialized equipment to estimate 3D shapes. As a result of this, many techniques for retrieving 3D shapes from 2D images have been proposed. In this paper, a novel method for 3D face reconstruction based on photometric stereo, which estimates the surface normal from shading information in multiple images, hence recovering the 3D shape of a face, is proposed. In order to overcome the problems of previous approaches related to prior-knowledge regarding lighting conditions and iterative algorithms, the exemplar is synthesized with known lighting conditions from at least three images, under arbitrary lighting conditions and using an illumination reference. Experiments in 3D face reconstruction were made by verifying the proposed approach using the illumination subset of the Max-Planck Institute face database and Yale face database B. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method is effective for 3D shape reconstruction of faces from 2D images.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-410
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the Max-Planck-Institute for providing the MPI Face Database. This research was supported by the Intelligent Robotics Development Program, one of the 21st Century Frontier R&D Programs funded by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy of Korea and in part by research funds from Chosun University, 2007.


  • 3D face reconstruction
  • Face synthesis
  • Illuminated exemplar
  • Photometric stereo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence


Dive into the research topics of 'Noniterative 3D face reconstruction based on photometric stereo'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this