Continuous global optimization in multiview 3D reconstruction

Kalin Kolev, Maria Klodt, Thomas Brox, Daniel Cremers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


In this article, we introduce a new global optimization method to the field of multiview 3D reconstruction. While global minimization has been proposed in a discrete formulation in form of the maxflow-mincut framework, we suggest the use of a continuous convex relaxation scheme. Specifically, we propose to cast the problem of 3D shape reconstruction as one of minimizing a spatially continuous convex functional. In qualitative and quantitative evaluation we demonstrate several advantages of the proposed continuous formulation over the discrete graph cut solution. Firstly, geometric properties such as weighted boundary length and surface area are represented in a numerically consistent manner: The continuous convex relaxation assures that the algorithm does not suffer from metrication errors in the sense that the reconstruction converges to the continuous solution as the spatial resolution is increased. Moreover, memory requirements are reduced, allowing for globally optimal reconstructions at higher resolutions. We study three different energy models for multiview reconstruction, which are based on a common variational template unifying regional volumetric terms and on-surface photoconsistency. The three models use data measurements at increasing levels of sophistication. While the first two approaches are based on a classical silhouette-based volume subdivision, the third one relies on stereo information to define regional costs. Furthermore, this scheme is exploited to compute a precise photoconsistency measure as opposed to the classical estimation. All three models are compared on standard data sets demonstrating their advantages and shortcomings. For the third one, which gives the most accurate results, a more exhaustive qualitative and quantitative evaluation is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-96
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Vision
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Continuous global minimization
  • Convex optimization
  • Multiview 3D reconstruction


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