Critical Curves and Surfaces for Euclidean Reconstruction

  • Fredrik Kahl
  • Richard Hartley
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2351)


The problem of recovering scene structure and camera motion from images has a number of inherent ambiguities. In this paper, configurations of points and cameras are analyzed for which the image points alone are insufficient to recover the scene geometry uniquely. Such configurations are said to be critical. For two views, it is well-known that a configuration is critical only if the two camera centres and all points lie on a ruled quadric. However, this is only a necessary condition. We give a complete characterization of the critical surfaces for two calibrated cameras and any number of points. Both algebraic and geometric characterizations of such surfaces are given. The existence of critical sets for n-view projective reconstruction has recently been reported in the literature. We show that there are critical sets for n-view Euclidean reconstruction as well. For example, it is shown that for any placement of three calibrated cameras, there always exists a critical set consisting of any number of points on a fourth-degree curve.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fredrik Kahl
    • 1
  • Richard Hartley
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Mathematical SciencesLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.RSISEAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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