A Fast and Flexible Projector-Camera Calibration System

Bingyao Huang, Ying Tang, Samed Ozdemir, Haibin Ling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Existing projector-camera calibration methods typically warp keypoints from a camera image to a projector image using estimated homographies and often suffer from errors in camera parameters and noises due to imperfect planarity of the calibration target. This article proposes a practical and robust projector-camera calibration system that explicitly deals with these challenges. First, a graph-theory-based correspondence algorithm is built on top of a color-coded spatial structured light (SL) pattern. Such SL correspondences are then used for a coarse projector-camera calibration. To gain more robustness against noises from an imperfect planar calibration board, we develop a bundle adjustment algorithm to jointly optimize the estimated projector-camera parameters and the correspondences' coordinates. Moreover, our system requires only one shot of an SL pattern for each calibration board pose, which is much more practical than multishot solutions. Comprehensive experimental validation is conducted on both synthetic and real data sets, and our method clearly outperforms the existing methods in all experiments. For the benefit of the society, a practical open-source software with graphical user interface (GUI) of the developed system is publicly available at https://github.com/bingyaohuang/single-shot-pro-cam-calib. Note to Practitioners - The proposed method is motivated by two challenges in industrial structured light (SL) system calibration: 1) robustness against imperfect planarity of the calibration target and 2) the number of SL projections per pose. In many industrial SL-based 3-D reconstruction systems, the calibration accuracy greatly affects the reconstruction reliability. Our SL calibration system explicitly deals with calibration target's imperfect planarity and thus outperforms the existing methods in terms of system accuracy. Another advantage of our SL calibration system is single-shot-per-pose, allowing fast recalibration and reducing the decoding error due to slight pattern misalignment in multishot methods [37]. In addition, we release the open-source calibration software with a graphical user interface (GUI), with which calibration and sparse 3-D reconstruction can be easily performed without any further instructions. Moreover, considering the complex calibration environment and setup, we make the camera and projector imaging parameters, such as exposure, brightness, and contrast, adjustable through widgets and preview. Finally, a limitation of our color-coded SL system is its sensitivity to environment lighting and target texture. This problem may be solved by projector photometric compensation [16], [18], [19], [39].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9107397
Pages (from-to)1049-1063
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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