This Letter proposes a generalized unified model (GUM) for the calibration of noncentral catadioptric cameras. Releasing the constraint on the projection center and the orientation of the imaging plane that the traditional unified projection model has, the new model is able to well compensate the misalignment between the mirror and the camera. Being a compact and approximate central model, the GUM inherits the flexibility and simplicity from the unified model while maintaining accuracy even under severe misalignment. The calibration algorithm to compute the describing parameters of the model is also given. With the GUM, the calibration of central or noncentral systems could be treated with equal simplicity (or complexity). Experiments on both synthetic data and real images proved our success.
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