S. Zhang, "Composite phase-shifting algorithm for absolute phase measurement," Opt. Laser Eng. 50, 1538-1541, 2012;doi: 10.1016/j.optlaseng.2012.06.005
This paper presents a method to recover absolute phase by using only four images: three phase-shifted patterns and one stair pattern. The stair pattern is designed in such a way that the stair changes are perfectly aligned with the phase jumps, and thus absolute phase can be recovered by referring to the stair pattern. Due to system noises and camera and/or projector blurring, a computational framework is also proposed. Because this technique only requires four fringe images for absolute phase recovery, it has the merit of measurement speed. And since the absolute phase is obtained, this technique is suitable for measuring step-height objects. We have developed a digital fringe projection system to verify the performance of the proposed technique.