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Enhancement of light field disparity maps by reducing the silhouette effect and plane noise

Lourenço, R. ; Távora, L.M. ; Assunção, P.A. ; Thomaz, L. A. ; Pinto, R. ; Faria, S.M.M.

Multidimensional Systems and Signal Processing Vol. , Nº , pp. - , January, 2022.

ISSN (print): 0923-6082
ISSN (online): 1573-0824

Scimago Journal Ranking: (in )

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1007/s11045-021-00807-7

During the last decade, there has been an increasing number of applications dealing with multidimensional visual information, either for 3D object representation or feature extraction purposes. In this context, recent advances in light field technology, have been driving research efforts in disparity estimation methods. Among the existing ones, those based on the structure tensor have emerged as very promising to estimate disparity maps from Epipolar Plane Images. However, this approach is known to have two intrinsic limitations: (i) silhouette enlargement and (ii) irregularity of surface normal maps as computed from the estimated disparity. To address these problems, this work proposes a new method for improving disparity maps obtained from the structure-tensor approach by enhancing the silhouette and reducing the noise of planar surfaces in light fields. An edge-based approach is initially used for silhouette improvement through refinement of the estimated disparity values around object edges. Then, a plane detection algorithm, based on a seed growth strategy, is used to estimate planar regions, which in turn are used to guide correction of erroneous disparity values detected in object boundaries. The proposed algorithm shows an average improvement of 98.3% in terms of median angle error for plane surfaces, when compared to regular structure- tensor-based methods, outperforming state-of-the-art methods. The proposed framework also presents very competitive results, in terms of mean square error between disparity maps and their ground truth, when compared with their counterparts.