In this paper we propose a simple method to extract edges from Polynomial Texture Maps (PTM) or other kinds of Reflection Transformation Image (RTI) files. It is based on the idea of following 2D lines where the variation of corresponding 3D normals computed from the PTM coefficients is maximal. Normals are estimated using a photometric stereo approach, derivatives along image axes directions are computed in a multiscale framework providing normal discontinuity and orientation maps and lines are finally extracted using non-maxima suppression and hysteresis thresholds as in Canny’s algorithm. In this way it is possible to discover automatically potential structure of interest (inscriptions, small reliefs) on Cultural Heritage artifacts of interest without the necessity of interactively recreating images using different light directions. Experimental results obtained on test data and new PTMs acquired in an archaeological site in the Holy Land with a simple low-end camera, show that the method provides potentially useful results.
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