Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Committee Chair

Farag, Aly A.


Image processing--Digital techniques; Diagnostic imaging


Object modeling is a fundamental problem in engineering, involving talents from computer-aided design, computational geometry, computer vision and advanced manufacturing. The process of object modeling takes three stages: sensing, representation, and analysis. Various sensors may be used to capture information about objects; optical cameras and laser scanners are common with rigid objects, while X-ray, CT and MRI are common with biological organs. These sensors may provide a direct or an indirect inference about the object, requiring a geometric representation in the computer that is suitable for subsequent usage. Geometric representations that are compact, i.e., capture the main features of the objects with a minimal number of data points or vertices, fall into the domain of computational geometry. Once a compact object representation is in the computer, various analysis steps can be conducted, including recognition, coding, transmission, etc. The subject matter of this dissertation is object reconstruction from a sequence of optical images using shape from shading (SFS) and SFS with shape priors. The application domain is dentistry. Most of the SFS approaches focus on the computational part of the SFS problem, i.e. the numerical solution. As a result, the imaging model in most conventional SFS algorithms has been simplified under three simple, but restrictive assumptions: (1) the camera performs an orthographic projection of the scene, (2) the surface has a Lambertian reflectance and (3) the light source is a single point source at infinity. Unfortunately, such assumptions are no longer held in the case of reconstruction of real objects as intra-oral imaging environment for human teeth. In this work, we introduce a more realistic formulation of the SFS problem by considering the image formation components: the camera, the light source, and the surface reflectance. This dissertation proposes a non-Lambertian SFS algorithm under perspective projection which benefits from camera calibration parameters. The attenuation of illumination is taken account due to near-field imaging. The surface reflectance is modeled using the Oren-Nayar-Wolff model which accounts for the retro-reflection case. In this context, a new variational formulation is proposed that relates an evolving surface model with image information, taking into consideration that the image is taken by a perspective camera with known parameters. A new energy functional is formulated to incorporate brightness, smoothness and integrability constraints. In addition, to further improve the accuracy and practicality of the results, 3D shape priors are incorporated in the proposed SFS formulation. This strategy is motivated by the fact that humans rely on strong prior information about the 3D world around us in order to perceive 3D shape information. Such information is statistically extracted from training 3D models of the human teeth. The proposed SFS algorithms have been used in two different frameworks in this dissertation: a) holistic, which stitches a sequence of images in order to cover the entire jaw, and then apply the SFS, and b) piece-wise, which focuses on a specific tooth or a segment of the human jaw, and applies SFS using physical teeth illumination characteristics. To augment the visible portion, and in order to have the entire jaw reconstructed without the use of CT or MRI or even X-rays, prior information were added which gathered from a database of human jaws. This database has been constructed from an adult population with variations in teeth size, degradation and alignments. The database contains both shape and albedo information for the population. Using this database, a novel statistical shape from shading (SSFS) approach has been created. Extending the work on human teeth analysis, Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is adapted for analyzing and calculating stresses and strains of dental structures. Previous Finite Element (FE) studies used approximate 2D models. In this dissertation, an accurate three-dimensional CAD model is proposed. 3D stress and displacements of different teeth type are successfully carried out. A newly developed open-source finite element solver, Finite Elements for Biomechanics (FEBio), has been used. The limitations of the experimental and analytical approaches used for stress and displacement analysis are overcome by using FEA tool benefits such as dealing with complex geometry and complex loading conditions.