We propose a generative model based method for recovering both the shape and the reflectance of the surface(s) of a scene from multiple images, assuming that illumination conditions and cameras calibration are known in advance. Based on a variational framework and via gradient descents, the algorithm minimizes simultaneously and consistently a global cost functional with respect to both shape and reflectance. The motivations for our approach are threefold. (1) Contrary to previous works which mainly consider specific individual scenarios, our method applies indiscriminately to a number of classical scenarios; in particular it works for classical stereovision, multiview photometric stereo and multiview shape from shading. It works with changing as well as static illumination. (2) Our approach
naturally combines stereo, silhouette and shading cues in a single framework. (3) Moreover, unlike most previous methods dealing with only Lambertian surfaces, the proposed method considers general dichromatic surfaces. We verify the method using various synthetic and real data sets.