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Journal of Electronic Imaging

Image processing for three-dimensional scans generated by time-of-flight range cameras
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Paper Abstract

Time-of-flight (TOF) full-field range cameras use a correlative imaging technique to generate three-dimensional measurements of the environment. Though reliable and cheap they have the disadvantage of high measurement noise and errors that limit the practical use of these cameras in industrial applications. We show how some of these limitations can be overcome with standard image processing techniques specially adapted to TOF camera data. Additional information in the multimodal images recorded in this setting, and not available in standard image processing settings, can be used to improve reduction of measurement noise. Three extensions of standard techniques, wavelet thresholding, adaptive smoothing on a clustering based image segmentation, and an extended anisotropic diffusion filtering, make use of this information and are compared on synthetic data and on data acquired from two different off-the-shelf TOF cameras. Of these methods, the adapted anisotropic diffusion technique gives best results, and is implementable to perform in real time using current graphics processing unit (GPU) hardware. Like traditional anisotropic diffusion, it requires some parameter adaptation to the scene characteristics, but allows for low visualization delay and improved visualization of moving objects by avoiding long averaging periods when compared to traditional TOF image denoising.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 May 2012
PDF: 12 pages
J. Electron. Imag. 21(2) 023012 doi: 10.1117/1.JEI.21.2.023012
Published in: Journal of Electronic Imaging Volume 21, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Holger Schöner, Software Competence Ctr. Hagenberg (Austria)
Volkmar Wieser, Software Competence Ctr. Hagenberg (Austria)
Bernhard Moser, Software Competence Ctr. Hagenberg (Austria)
Frank Bauer, Johannes Kepler Univ. Linz (Austria)
Bettina Heise, Johannes Kepler Univ. Linz (Austria)
Adrian A. Dorrington, The Univ. of Waikato (New Zealand)
Andrew D. Payne, The Univ. of Waikato (United States)
Michael J. Cree, The Univ. of Waikato (New Zealand)

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