ToF Sensor Used for 3D Photometric Imaging

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MDPI Sensors publishes a paper from a group of Japanese universities "The Dynamic Photometric Stereo Method Using a Multi-Tap CMOS Image Sensor" by Takuya Yoda, Hajime Nagahara, Rin-ichiro Taniguchi, Keiichiro Kagawa, Keita Yasutomi, and Shoji Kawahito. The paper proposes using of a 4-tap ToF sensor developed in Shizuoka University for 3D imaging in a different way:

"The photometric stereo method enables estimation of surface normals from images that have been captured using different but known lighting directions. The classical photometric stereo method requires at least three images to determine the normals in a given scene. However, this method cannot be applied to dynamic scenes because it is assumed that the scene remains static while the required images are captured. In this work, we present a dynamic photometric stereo method for estimation of the surface normals in a dynamic scene. We use a multi-tap complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor to capture the input images required for the proposed photometric stereo method. This image sensor can divide the electrons from the photodiode from a single pixel into the different taps of the exposures and can thus capture multiple images under different lighting conditions with almost identical timing. We implemented a camera lighting system and created a software application to enable estimation of the normal map in real time. We also evaluated the accuracy of the estimated surface normals and demonstrated that our proposed method can estimate the surface normals of dynamic scenes."

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