A robust real-time surface reconstruction method on point clouds captured from a 3D surface photogrammetry system

Wenyang Liu, Yam Cheung, Amit Sawant, Dan Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: To develop a robust and real-time surface reconstruction method on point clouds captured from a 3D surface photogrammetry system. Methods: The authors have developed a robust and fast surface reconstruction method on point clouds acquired by the photogrammetry system, without explicitly solving the partial differential equation required by a typical variational approach. Taking advantage of the overcomplete nature of the acquired point clouds, their method solves and propagates a sparse linear relationship from the point cloud manifold to the surface manifold, assuming both manifolds share similar local geometry. With relatively consistent point cloud acquisitions, the authors propose a sparse regression (SR) model to directly approximate the target point cloud as a sparse linear combination from the training set, assuming that the point correspondences built by the iterative closest point (ICP) is reasonably accurate and have residual errors following a Gaussian distribution. To accommodate changing noise levels and/or presence of inconsistent occlusions during the acquisition, the authors further propose a modified sparse regression (MSR) model to model the potentially large and sparse error built by ICP with a Laplacian prior. The authors evaluated the proposed method on both clinical point clouds acquired under consistent acquisition conditions and on point clouds with inconsistent occlusions. The authors quantitatively evaluated the reconstruction performance with respect to root-mean-squared-error, by comparing its reconstruction results against that from the variational method. Results: On clinical point clouds, both the SR and MSR models have achieved sub-millimeter reconstruction accuracy and reduced the reconstruction time by two orders of magnitude to a subsecond reconstruction time. On point clouds with inconsistent occlusions, the MSR model has demonstrated its advantage in achieving consistent and robust performance despite the introduced occlusions. Conclusions: The authors have developed a fast and robust surface reconstruction method on point clouds captured from a 3D surface photogrammetry system, with demonstrated sub-millimeter reconstruction accuracy and subsecond reconstruction time. It is suitable for real-time motion tracking in radiotherapy, with clear surface structures for better quantifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2353-2360
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016



  • photogrammetry system
  • point cloud
  • real-time
  • sparse regression
  • surface reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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