Stereo matching, a technique for acquiring depth information from many planar images obtained by several cameras, was developed several decades ago. Recently a novel depth-extraction technique that uses a lens array instead of several cameras has attracted much attention because of the advantages offered by its compact system configuration. We present a novel depth-extraction method that uses a lens array consisting of vertically long rectangular lens elements. The proposed method rearranges the horizontal positions of the pixels from the collection of perspective images while it leaves the vertical positions of the pixels unchanged. To these rearranged images we apply a correlation-based multibaseline stereo algorithm in properly modified form. The main feature of the proposed method is the inverse dependency of the disparity in depth between horizontal and vertical directions. This inverse dependency permits the extraction of exact depth from extremely periodically patterned object scenes and reduces quantization error in the depth extraction.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
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