Invariants (continued) Summary

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  • (continued)


  • Rigid rotation is 3x3 orthonormal matrix.

  • 3-D Translation is 3x4 matrix.

  • 3-D Translation + Rotation

  • Scaled Orthographic Projection: Remove row three and allow scaling.

  • Planar Object, remove column 3.

Planar Invariants

Perspective Projection

  • Problem: perspective is non-linear.

  • Solution: Homogenous coordinates.

    • Represent points in plane as (x,y,w)
    • (x,y,w), (kx, ky, kw), (x/w, y/w, 1) represent same point.
    • If we think of these as points in 3D, they lie on a line through origin. Set of 3D points that project to same 2D point.

Perspective motion and projection

For Planar Objects

Projective Transformations

  • Mapping from plane to plane.

  • Form a group.

    • They can be composed
    • They have inverses.
    • Projective transformations equivalent to set of images of images.

Planar Projective Invariants

  • Strategy.

    • Suppose P represents five points. V1 transforms P so that first 4 to canonical position, and fifth to (a,b,c).
    • Next, suppose we are given TP, with T unknown. Find V2 to transform first 4 points of TP to canonical position.
    • V2 = V1*T-1. V2P has fifth point = (a,b,c).
    • For this to work, V1, V2 must be uniquely determined.

Transform to Canonical Position


  • Note that this is equivalent to what we did in the affine case. Affine coordinates are coordinates of 4th point after first three are transformed to (0,0), (1,0), (0,1).

Cross Ratio

  • Let p1, p2, p3, p4 be collinear points.

  • Let (xj,yj) denote the coordinates of pj.

  • Let |xj xk| denote the determinate of a matrix whose first column is xj1, xj2, and whose second column is xk1, xk2.

  • Cross(p1,p2,p3,p4) =

  • (|x1 x2| |x3 x4|)/(|x1 x3| |x2 x4|)

  • This cross-ratio is invariant to projective transformations.

Lines: Parameterization

  • Equation for line: ax+by+c=0.

  • Parameterize line as l = (a,b,c)T.

  • p=(x,y,1)T is on line if

Line Intersection

  • The intersection of l and l’ is l x l’ (where x denotes the cross product).

  • This follows from the fact that the cross product is orthogonal to both lines.

Intersection of Parallel Lines

  • Suppose l and l’ are parallel. We can write l=(a,b,c), l’ = (a,b,c’). l x l’ = (c’-c)(b,-a,0). This equivalent to (b,-a,0).

  • This point corresponds to a line through the focal point that doesn’t intersect the image plane.

  • We can think of the real plane as points (a,b,c) where c isn’t equal to 0. When c = 0, we say these points lie on the ideal line at infinity.

  • Note that a projective transformation can map this to another line, the horizon, which we see.

Invariants of Lines

  • Notice that affine transformations are the subgroup of projective transformations in which the last row is (0, 0, 1).

  • These map the line at infinity to itself.

  • So parallel lines are affine invariants, since they continue to intersect at infinity.

Invariance in 3D to 2D

  • Invariance isn’t captured by mathematical definition of invariance because 3D to 2D transformations don’t form a group.

    • You can’t compose or invert them.
  • Let f be a function on images. f is an invariant iff for every Object O, if I1 and I2 are images of O, f(I1)=f(I2).

  • f is a non-trivial invariant if there exist two image I1 and I2 such that f(I1)~=f(I2).

Non-Invariance in 3D to 2D

  • Theorem: Valid objects are any 3D point sets of size k, for some k. There are no non-trivial invariants of the images of these objects under perspective projection.

Proof Strategy

  • Let f be an invariant.

  • Suppose two objects, A and B have a common image. Then f(I)=f(J) if I and J are images of either A or B.

  • Given any O0, Ok, we construct a series of objects, O1, …, Ok, so that Oi and O(i+1) have a common image for all i, and Ok and j have a common image.

  • So for any pair of images, I, J, from any two objects, f(I) = f(J).

Constructing O1 … Ok-1

  • Oi has its first i points identical to the first i points of Ok, and the remaining points identical to the remaining points of O0.

  • If two objects are identical except for one point, they produce the same image when viewed along a line joining those two points.

    • Along that line, those two points look the same.
    • The remaining points always look the same.

Invariants of Lighting

How do we represent light?

  • Ideal distant point source:

  • - No cast shadows

  • - Light distant

  • - Three parameters

  • - Example: lab with controlled

  • light

Lambertian + Point Source

Planar Objects

  • If n is surface normal of plane, l is light, a(x,y) is albedo at (x,y), intensity i(x,y) is: i(x,y) = a(x,y)n.l

  • Then for any two points (x,y), (x’,y’):

  • i(x,y)/i(x’,y’)= a(x,y)/a(x’,y’) is invariant to lighting changes.

Non-Planar Objects

  • For any I and J, there is an object, O, and two lights, l1 and l2, such that I is an image of O with light l1, and J is an image of O with light l2.

  • Scale images to have intensity less than 1.

  • Pick l1 = (1,0,0), l2=(0,1,0).

  • Note surface normal n(x,y) is a unit vector. a(x,y)n(x,y) is an arbitrary vector of magnitude less than 1.

  • a(x,y)nx(x,y) = I(x,y). (nx is x component of n).

  • a(x,y)ny(x,y) = J(x,y).


  • Planar objects give rise to rich set of invariants.

  • 3-D objects have no invariants.

    • We can deal with this by focusing on planar portions of objects.
    • Or special restricted classes of objects.
    • Or by relaxing notion of invariants.
  • However, invariants have become less popular in computer vision due to these limitations.

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