Authors: Kathryn Heal, Jialiang Wang, Steven J. Gortler, Todd Zickler Description: Under the conventional diffuse shading model with unknown directional lighting, the set of quadratic surface shapes that are consistent with the spatial derivatives of intensity at a single image point is a two-dimensional algebraic variety embedded in the five-dimensional space of quadratic shapes. We describe the geometry of this variety, and we introduce a concise feedforward model that computes an explicit, differentiable approximation of the variety from the intensity and its derivatives at any single image point. The result is a parallelizable processor that operates at each image point and produces a lighting-invariant descriptor of the continuous set of compatible surface shapes at the point. We describe two applications of this processor: two-shot uncalibrated photometric stereo and quadratic-surface shape from shading.