Surface Normal Estimation of Tilted Images via Spatial Rectifier

Tien Do, Khiem Vuong, Stergios I. Roumeliotis, Hyun Soo Park

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


In this paper, we present a spatial rectifier to estimate surface normals of tilted images. Tilted images are of particular interest as more visual data are captured by arbitrarily oriented sensors such as body-/robot-mounted cameras. Existing approaches exhibit bounded performance on predicting surface normals because they were trained using gravity-aligned images. Our two main hypotheses are: (1) visual scene layout is indicative of the gravity direction; and (2) not all surfaces are equally represented by a learned estimator due to the structured distribution of the training data, thus, there exists a transformation for each tilted image that is more responsive to the learned estimator than others. We design a spatial rectifier that is learned to transform the surface normal distribution of a tilted image to the rectified one that matches the gravity-aligned training data distribution. Along with the spatial rectifier, we propose a novel truncated angular loss that offers a stronger gradient at smaller angular errors and robustness to outliers. The resulting estimator outperforms the state-of-the-art methods including data augmentation baselines not only on ScanNet and NYUv2 but also on a new dataset called Tilt-RGBD that includes considerable roll and pitch camera motion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputer Vision – ECCV 2020 - 16th European Conference, 2020, Proceedings
EditorsAndrea Vedaldi, Horst Bischof, Thomas Brox, Jan-Michael Frahm
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783030585471
StatePublished - 2020
Event16th European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV 2020 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: Aug 23 2020Aug 28 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12349 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference16th European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by NSF IIS-1328722 and NSF CAREER IIS-1846031.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Spatial rectifier
  • Surface normal estimation
  • Tilted images


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