A simple but effective approach for the demodulation of a single fringe pattern is proposed. The phase with an undetermined sign is directly obtained by taking the arccosine value of a preprocessed fringe pattern. The local frequencies, also with an undetermined sign, are then estimated by local matching. The sign ambiguity is then removed simply by forcing the continuity of the local frequencies. The priority of sign determination is guided by the value of total local frequency (fringe density) so that the critical points are processed last. The proposed approach is verified by successful demodulation of a simulated fringe pattern and two experimental fringe patterns.
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