Computer vision, visual tracking, 3D reconstruction, object detection


Multi-camera systems are becoming ubiquitous and have found application in a variety of domains including surveillance, immersive visualization, sports entertainment and movie special effects amongst others. From a computer vision perspective, the challenging task is how to most efficiently fuse information from multiple views in the absence of detailed calibration information and a minimum of human intervention. This thesis presents a new approach to fuse foreground likelihood information from multiple views onto a reference view without explicit processing in 3D space, thereby circumventing the need for complete calibration. Our approach uses a homographic occupancy constraint (HOC), which states that if a foreground pixel has a piercing point that is occupied by foreground object, then the pixel warps to foreground regions in every view under homographies induced by the reference plane, in effect using cameras as occupancy detectors. Using the HOC we are able to resolve occlusions and robustly determine ground plane localizations of the people in the scene. To find tracks we obtain ground localizations over a window of frames and stack them creating a space time volume. Regions belonging to the same person form contiguous spatio-temporal tracks that are clustered using a graph cuts segmentation approach. Second, we demonstrate that the HOC is equivalent to performing visual hull intersection in the image-plane, resulting in a cross-sectional slice of the object. The process is extended to multiple planes parallel to the reference plane in the framework of plane to plane homologies. Slices from multiple planes are accumulated and the 3D structure of the object is segmented out. Unlike other visual hull based approaches that use 3D constructs like visual cones, voxels or polygonal meshes requiring calibrated views, ours is purely-image based and uses only 2D constructs i.e. planar homographies between views. This feature also renders it conducive to graphics hardware acceleration. The current GPU implementation of our approach is capable of fusing 60 views (480x720 pixels) at the rate of 50 slices/second. We then present an extension of this approach to reconstructing non-rigid articulated objects from monocular video sequences. The basic premise is that due to motion of the object, scene occupancies are blurred out with non-occupancies in a manner analogous to motion blurred imagery. Using our HOC and a novel construct: the temporal occupancy point (TOP), we are able to fuse multiple views of non-rigid objects obtained from a monocular video sequence. The result is a set of blurred scene occupancy images in the corresponding views, where the values at each pixel correspond to the fraction of total time duration that the pixel observed an occupied scene location. We then use a motion de-blurring approach to de-blur the occupancy images and obtain the 3D structure of the non-rigid object. In the final part of this thesis, we present an object class detection method employing 3D models of rigid objects constructed using the above 3D reconstruction approach. Instead of using a complicated mechanism for relating multiple 2D training views, our approach establishes spatial connections between these views by mapping them directly to the surface of a 3D model. To generalize the model for object class detection, features from supplemental views (obtained from Google Image search) are also considered. Given a 2D test image, correspondences between the 3D feature model and the testing view are identified by matching the detected features. Based on the 3D locations of the corresponding features, several hypotheses of viewing planes can be made. The one with the highest confidence is then used to detect the object using feature location matching. Performance of the proposed method has been evaluated by using the PASCAL VOC challenge dataset and promising results are demonstrated.


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Graduation Date



Shah, Mubarak


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Degree Program

Computer Science








Release Date

June 2008

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)