The Shape of Shading

Unknown author (1990-10-01)

This paper discusses the relationship between the shape of the shading, the surface whose depth at each point equals the brightness in the image, and the shape of the original surface. I suggest the shading as an initial local approximation to shape, and discuss the scope of this approximation and what it may be good for. In particular, qualitative surface features, such as the sign of the Gaussian curvature, can be computed in some cases directly from the shading. Finally, a method to compute the direction of the illuminant (assuming a single point light source) from shading on occluding contours is shown.