Surface reconstruction from structured light images using differentiable rendering

Janus Nørtoft Jensen*, Morten Hannemose, Jakob Andreas Bærentzen, Jakob Wilm, Jeppe Revall Frisvad, Anders Bjorholm Dahl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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When 3D scanning objects, the objective is usually to obtain a continuous surface. However, most surface scanning methods, such as structured light scanning, yield a point cloud. Obtaining a continuous surface from a point cloud requires a subsequent surface reconstruction step, which is directly affected by any error from the computation of the point cloud. In this work, we propose a one-step approach in which we compute the surface directly from structured light images. Our method minimizes the least-squares error between photographs and renderings of a triangle mesh, where the vertex positions of the mesh are the parameters of the minimization problem. To ensure fast iterations during optimization, we use differentiable rendering, which computes images and gradients in a single pass. We present simulation experiments demonstrating that our method for computing a triangle mesh has several advantages over approaches that rely on an intermediate point cloud. Our method can produce accurate reconstructions when initializing the optimization from a sphere. We also show that our method is good at reconstructing sharp edges and that it is robust with respect to image noise. In addition, our method can improve the output from other reconstruction algorithms if we use these for initialization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1068
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2. Feb 2021


  • 3D scanning
  • 3D surface reconstruction
  • Differentiable rendering
  • Structured light


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