EventPS: Real-Time Photometric Stereo Using an Event Camera

Published in: The IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition 2024 (Oral, Award Candidate)

Abstract: Photometric stereo is a well-established technique to estimate the surface normal of an object. However, the requirement of capturing multiple high dynamic range images under different illumination conditions limits the speed and real-time applications. This paper introduces EventPS, a novel approach to real-time photometric stereo using an event camera. Capitalizing on the exceptional temporal resolution, dynamic range, and low bandwidth characteristics of event cameras, EventPS estimates surface normal only from the radiance changes, significantly enhancing data efficiency. EventPS seamlessly integrates with both optimization-based and deep-learning-based photometric stereo techniques to offer a robust solution for non-Lambertian surfaces. Extensive experiments validate the effectiveness and efficiency of EventPS compared to frame-based counterparts. Our algorithm runs at over 30 fps in real-world scenarios, unleashing the potential of EventPS in time-sensitive and high-speed downstream applications.