Reflection Removal Using Ghosting Cues

YiChang Shih, Dilip Krishnan, Fredo Durand, William T. Freeman, MIT CSAIL and Google Research. (CVPR 2015, Boston, Massachussetts).

Photographs taken through glass windows often contain both the desired scene and undesired reflections. Separating the reflection and transmission layers is an important but ill-posed problem that has both aesthetic and practical applications. In this work, we introduce the use of ghosting cues that introduce asymmetry between the layers, thereby helping to significantly reduce the ill-posedness of the problem. Such cues arise from shifted double reflections of the reflected scene off the glass surface. In double-pane windows, each pane reflects shifted and attenuated versions of objects on the same side of the glass as the camera. For single-pane windows, ghosting cues arise from shifted reflections on the two surfaces of the glass pane. Even though the ghosting is sometimes barely perceptible by humans, we can still exploit the cue for layer separation. In this work, we model the ghosted reflection using a double-impulse convolution kernel, and automatically estimate the spatial separation and relative attenuation of the ghosted reflection components. To separate the layers, we propose an algorithm that uses a Gaussian Mixture Model for regularization. Our method is automatic and requires only a single input image. We demonstrate that our approach removes a large fraction of reflections on both synthetic and real-world inputs.

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