Qualitative Depth and Shape from Stereo, in Agreement with Psychophysical Evidendence

Unknown author (1987-12-01)

Obtaining exact depth from binocular disparities is hard if camera calibration is needed. We will show that qualitative depth information can be obtained from stereo disparities with almost no computations and with no prior knowledge (or computation) of camera parameters. We derive two expressions that order all matched points in the images in two distinct depth-consistent ways from image coordinates only. One is a tilt-related order $\\lambda$, the other is a depth-related order $\\chi$. Using $\\lambda$ demonstrates some anomalies and unusual characteristics that have been observed in psychophysical experiments. The same approach is applied to qualitatively estimate changes in the curvature of a contour on the surface of an object, with either $x$- or $y$-coordinate fixed.