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Color Constancy with Specular and Non-Specular Surfaces

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There is a growing trend in machine color constancy research to use only image chromaticity information, ignoring the magnitude of the image pixels. This is natural because the main purpose is often to estimate only the chromaticity of the illuminant. However, the magnitudes of the image pixels also carry information about the chromaticity of the illuminant. One such source of information is through image specularities. As is well known in the computational color constancy field, specularities from inhomogeneous materials (such as plastics and painted surfaces) can be used for color constancy. This assumes that the image contains specularities, that they can be identified, and that they do not saturate the camera sensors. These provisos make it important that color constancy algorithms which make use of specularities also perform well when the they are absent. A further problem with using specularities is that the key assumption, namely that the specular component is the color of the illuminant, does not hold in the case of colored metals.

In this paper we investigate a number of color constancy algorithms in the context of specular and non-specular reflection. We then propose extensions to several variants of Forsyth's CRULE algorithm which make use of specularities if they exist, but do not rely on their presence. In addition, our approach is easily extended to include colored metals, and is the first color constancy algorithm to deal with such surfaces. Finally, our method provides an estimate of the overall brightness, which chromaticity-based methods cannot do, and other RGB based algorithms do poorly when specularities are present.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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  • CIC is the premier annual technical gathering for scientists, technologists, and engineers working in the areas of color science and systems, and their application to color imaging. Participants represent disciplines ranging from psychophysics, optical physics, image processing, color science to graphic arts, systems engineering, and hardware and software development. While a broad mix of professional interests is the hallmark of these conferences, the focus is color. CICs traditionally offer two days of short courses followed by three days of technical sessions that include three keynotes, an evening lecture, a vibrant interactive (poster) papers session, and workshops. An endearing symbol of the meeting is the Cactus Award, given each year to the author(s) of the best interactive paper; there are also Best Paper and Best Student Paper awards.

    Please note: for Purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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