We propose a new rectification method for aligning epipolar lines of a pair of stereo images taken under any camera geometry. It effectively remaps both images onto the surface of a cylinder instead of a plane, which is used in common rectification methods. For a large set of camera motions, remapping to a plane has the drawback of creating rectified images that are potentially infinitely large and presents a loss of pixel information along epipolar lines. In contrast, cylindrical rectification guarantees that the rectified images are bounded for all possible camera motions and minimizes the loss of pixel information along epipolar line. The processes (eg. stereo matching, etc..) subsequently applied to the rectified images are thus more accurate and general since they can accommodate any camera geometry.
Sébastien Roy, Jean Meunier, Ingemar J. Cox, Cylindrical Rectification to Minimize Epipolar Distortion, IEEE Conf. on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR’97), San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 1997, pp. 393-399.