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Color constancy for scenes with varying illumination

Kobus Barnard, Graham Finlayson, and Brian Funt, "Colour constancy for scenes with varying illumination," Computer Vision and Image Understanding, 65, 2, pp. 311-321 (1997).


We present an algorithm which uses information from both surface reflectance and illumination variation to solve for color constancy. Most color constancy algorithms assume that the illumination across a scene is constant, but this is very often not valid for real images. The method presented in this work identifies and removes the illumination variation, and in addition uses the variation to constrain the solution. The constraint is applied conjunctively to constraints found from surface reflectances. Thus the algorithm can provide good color constancy when there is sufficient variation in surface reflectances, or sufficient illumination variation, or a combination of both. We present the results of running the algorithm on several real scenes, and the results are very encouraging.

Keywords: colour, colour constancy, varying illumination, Retinex, image segmentation

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