Determination of the object surface function by structured light: application to the study of spinal deformities

Phys Med Biol. 1999 Jan;44(1):75-86. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/44/1/007.


The projection of structured light is a technique frequently used to determine the surface shape of an object. In this paper, a new procedure is described that efficiently resolves the correspondence between the knots of the projected grid and those obtained on the object when the projection is made. The method is based on the use of three images of the projected grid. In two of them the grid is projected over a flat surface placed, respectively, before and behind the object; both images are used for calibration. In the third image the grid is projected over the object. It is not reliant on accurate determination of the camera and projector pair relative to the grid and object. Once the method is calibrated, we can obtain the surface function by just analysing the projected grid on the object. The procedure is especially suitable for the study of objects without discontinuities or large depth gradients. It can be employed for determining, in a non-invasive way, the patient's back surface function. Symmetry differences permit a quantitative diagnosis of spinal deformities such as scoliosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Calibration
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Photography / instrumentation
  • Photography / methods*
  • Reference Values
  • Scoliosis / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Curvatures / diagnosis*
  • Spine / abnormalities*
  • Spine / anatomy & histology*