Reliable image matching is the basis of image-based three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction. This study presents a quasi-dense matching method based on triangulation constraint and propagation as applied to different types of close-range image matching, such as illumination change, large viewpoint, and scale change. The method begins from a set of sparse matched points that are used to construct an initial Delaunay triangulation. Edge-to-edge matching propagation is then conducted for the point matching. Two types of matching primitives from the edges of triangles with areas larger than a given threshold in the reference image, that is, the midpoints of edges and the intersections between the edges and extracted line segments, are used for the matching. A hierarchical matching strategy is adopted for the above-mentioned primitive matching. The points that cannot be matched in the first stage, specifically those that failed in a gradient orientation descriptor similarity constraint, are further matched in the second stage. The second stage combines the descriptor and the Mahalanobis distance constraints, and the optimal matching subpixel is determined according to an overall similarity score defined for the multiple constraints with different weights. Subsequently, the triangulation is updated using the newly matched points, and the aforementioned matching is repeated iteratively until no new matching points are generated. Twelve sets of close-range images are considered for the experiment. Results reveal that the proposed method has high robustness for different images and can obtain reliable matching results.
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