Surface Normal Estimation of Tilted Images via Spatial Rectifier

Tien Do, Khiem Vuong, Stergios I. Roumeliotis, Hyun Soo Park ;


In this paper, we present a spatial rectifier to estimate surface normals of tilted images. Tilted images are of particular interest as more visual data are captured by arbitrarily oriented sensors such as body-/robot-mounted cameras. Existing approaches exhibit bounded performance on predicting surface normals because they were trained using gravity-aligned images. Our two main hypotheses are: (1) visual scene layout is indicative of the gravity direction; and (2) not all surfaces are equally represented by a learned estimator due to the structured distribution of the training data, i.e., there exists a transformation for each tilted image that is more responsive to the learned estimator than others. We design a spatial rectifier that is learned to transform the surface normal distribution of a tilted image to the rectified one that matches the gravity-aligned training data distribution. Along with the spatial rectifier, we propose a novel truncated angular loss that offers a stronger gradient at small angular errors and robustness to outliers. The resulting estimator outperforms the state-of-the-art methods including data augmentation baselines not only on ScanNet and NYUv2 but also on a new dataset called Tilt-RGBD that includes considerable roll and pitch camera motion.

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