MODELLING COLOUR ABSORPTION OF UNDERWATER IMAGES USING SFM-MVS GENERATED DEPTH MAPS
Keywords: underwater photogrammetry, colour correction, depth maps, colour checker, colour absorption
Abstract. The problem of colour correction of underwater images concerns not only surveyors, who primarily use images for photogrammetric purposes, but also archaeologists, marine biologists, and many other domains experts whose aim is to study objects and lifeforms underwater. Different methods exist in the literature; some of them provide outstanding results but works involving physical models that take into account additional information and variables (light conditions, depths, camera to objects distances, water properties) that are not always available or can be measured using expensive equipment or calculated using more complicated models. Some other methods have the advantages of working with basically all kinds of dataset, but without considering any geometric information, therefore applying corrections that work only in very generic conditions that most of the time differs from the real-world applications.
This paper presents an easy and fast method for restoring the colour information on images captured underwater. The compelling idea is to model light backscattering and absorption variation according to the distance of the surveyed object. This information is always obtainable in photogrammetric datasets, as the model utilises the scene's 3D geometry by creating and using SfM-MVS generated depth maps, which are crucial for implementing the proposed methodology. The results presented visually and quantitatively are promising since they are an excellent compromise to provide a straightforward and easily adaptable workflow to restore the colour information in underwater images.