Because the human eye is practically blind to the polarization of light, biologists dealing with polarization vision of animals, or engineers designing robots using polarization-sensitive computer vision to enhance contrast in the optical environment need a technique to image the spatial distribution of polarized light in the visual environment. Recently, different kinds of imaging polarimetry were developed to measure the polarization patterns of objects and natural scenes in a single, two-dimensional, wide field of view. As a further development of this technique, we report here on the realization of the addition of depth to scenes imaging the distribution of polarized light: One kind of stereo videopolarimetry was designed to measure and visualize in three dimensions the polarization patterns in nature and to mimic the ability of animal-eyes to receive visual information from a binocular field of view. We demonstrate the power of stereo videopolarimetry on an applied problem representing (in parallel view stereo format) a three-dimensional object, a car with a shiny bodywork and also having strong reflection polarization. The technical difficulties and hitches of stereo videopolarimetry as well as the importance of the distance of observation, the role of the angle of view, the influence of the color of the object, and the possibility to state differences between metallized and non-metallized paints are discussed.
Ferenc Mizera, Balázs Bernáth, György Kriska, Gábor Horváth, "Stereo Videopolarimetry: Measuring and Visualizing Polarization Patterns in Three Dimensions" in Journal of Imaging Science and Technology, 2001, pp 393 - 399, https://doi.org/10.2352/J.ImagingSci.Technol.2001.45.4.art00012