Modeling standard plenoptic camera by an equivalent camera array

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Postprocessing of light fields enables us to extract more information from a scene compared to traditional cameras. Plenoptic cameras and camera arrays are two common methods for light field capture. It has been long recognized that the two devices are in some ways equivalent. Practically, both techniques have important constraints. Camera arrays are unable to provide high angular sampling, and the plenoptic camera can have a limited spatial sampling. In simulation, we can easily explore both constraints by simulating two-dimensional viewpoint images and combining them into a four-dimensional light field. We present a transformation for converting between equivalent plenoptic configurations and camera arrays when they capture pristine light fields produced in simulation. We use this approach to simulate light fields of simple scenes and validate our transformation by comparing the focus distance of a standard plenoptic camera and the equivalent camera array's light field. We also show how some simple practical effects can be added to the pristine, synthetic light field via postprocessing and their effect on refocusing distance.

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© 2020 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Publisher’s version of record:

Publication Title

Optical Engineering