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Calibration and characterization of structured-light 3-D scanners

Today, 3-D scanners are becoming increasingly popular in various application fields: they are currently used, for example, in the digital representation of human faces, paintings, statues, artifacts and rock carvings. The research activity has been dedicated to the definition of calibration procedures for structured light 3D scanner that could be more flexible than those available in the literature, meaning that they could be applied more easily in outdoor environments and not only in the laboratory, while maintaining good performance in terms of accuracy. A first study has led to the development of a calibration procedure which requires the illumination and the acquisition of images of only 3 or 2 calibration reference planes, with a considerable reduction of time required for the same calibration and of the complexity of the calibration target. Subsequent developments in this line of research have led us to define and characterize procedure which models the projector device as a second camera, thus casting the problem of the calibration of the camera - projector pair into the calibration of a pair of stereoscopic cameras. The innovative aspect of the proposed calibration procedure is that it allows to determine the parameters of both the extrinsic and intrinsic camera and projector calibration in a single session, allowing extension of the 3D scanner most of the results already known literature, accurate and consolidated, for stereoscopic vision systems. Latest activities are oriented to the self-calibration (i.e. calibration without a known target) of a camera - projector pair.


  • Schematics of a structured-light 3-D scanner
  • Object illuminated by a structured-light pattern
  • Example of 3-D reconstruction
  • Example of 3D reconstruction


main references

  • M. Bevilacqua, G. Di Leo, M. Landi, A. Paolillo, "Self-calibration for a camera-projector pair", Proc. SPIE 8085, 808505 (2011); doi:10.1117/12.889517.
  • R. Anchini, G. Di Leo, C. Liguori, A. Paolillo, "A New Calibration Procedure for 3-D Shape Measurement System Based on Phase-Shifting Projected Fringe Profilometry", IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, vol. 58, issue 5, p. 1291-1298, ISSN: 0018-9456, doi: 10.1109/TIM.2009.2012952.
  • C. D'Argenio, G. Di Leo, C. Liguori, A. Paolillo, "A simplified procedure for the calibration of a fringe pattern profilometer" IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference, 2009 (I2MTC '09). Singapore 5-7 May 2009, 652-657, Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/IMTC.2009.5168531.
  • C. Liguori, A. Paolillo, A. Pietrosanto, "Verifica metrologica di scanner 3D", Tutto_Misure, Anno 10, n.3, Settembre 2008, pp. 209-210.
  • R. Anchini, C. D'Argenio, C. Liguori, A. Paolillo, "An easy and accurate calibration procedure for 3-D shape measurement system based on phase-shifting projected fringe profilometry", IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference (I²MTC), Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada, May 12-15, 2008, pp. 2044-2049, DOI: 10.1109/IMTC.2008.4547384
  • R. Anchini, G.Di Leo, C. Liguori, A. Paolillo, A. Pietrosanto, G. Strazzullo, "Metrological verification of 3D scanners: a preliminary approach", Videometrix IX, Proc. Of SPIE-IS&T Electronic Imaging, Vol. 6491, pag. 6409108-1/10. 29-30 January 2007 San Jose, California, USA, doi: 10.1117/12.705048.