The shadow meets the mask: Pyramid-based shadow removal

Yael Shor, Dani Lischinski

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


In this paper we propose a novel method for detecting and removing shadows from a single image thereby obtaining a high-quality shadow-free image. With minimal user assistance, we first identify shadowed and lit areas on the same surface in the scene using an illumination-invariant distance measure. These areas are used to estimate the parameters of an affine shadow formation model. A novel pyramid-based restoration process is then applied to produce a shadow-free image, while avoiding loss of texture contrast and introduction of noise. Unlike previous approaches, we account for varying shadow intensity inside the shadowed region by processing it from the interior towards the boundaries. Finally, to ensure a seamless transition between the original and the recovered regions we apply image inpainting along a thin border. We demonstrate that our approach produces results that are in most cases superior in quality to those of previous shadow removal methods. We also show that it is possible to easily composite the extracted shadow onto a new background or modify its size and direction in the original image.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)577-586
Number of pages10
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008
Event29th Annual Conference on European Association for Computer Graphics, EUROGRAPHICS 2008 - Crete, Greece
Duration: 14 Apr 200818 Apr 2008


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