A Low Cost Multi-Camera Array
for Panoramic Light Field Video Capture

Michael Broxton

Jay Busch

Jason Dourgarian

Matthew DuVall

Daniel Erickson

Dan Evangelakos

John Flynn

Ryan Overbeck

Matt Whalen

Paul Debevec

Google Inc.

Publication Links

Poster PDF
Abstract PDF
Additional Material PNG


The recent rise of consumer 6 degree-of-freedom (6-DOF) VR head-sets and cell-phone based AR has increased the need for rich 3D content. However, most current 6-DOF content uses synthetic 3D models and textures that are far from photorealistic, especially on low powered mobile devices. In contrast, light field video can capture real-life photorealism while maintaining full freedom of movement. However, existing light field video cameras are expensive and unwieldy [Milliron et al.2017; Wilburn et al.2001], while portable solutions have been applied only to static scene capture as in [Over-beck et al.2018] or have a small viewing baseline [Smith et al.2009; Wang et al. 2017].

Here we present a low-cost, portable multi-camera system for capturing panoramic light field video content. Our system can capture light fields at high resolution (>15 pixels per degree) with a wide field of view (>220°), a large viewing baseline (0.8 meters), at 30 frames per second. Combined with modern view interpolation algorithms [Flynn et al. 2019; Mildenhall et al. 2019; Penner and Zhang 2017; Zhou et al. 2018], our system can render objects placed as close as 33-cm to the surface of the array. The dome, mounts, triggering hardware and cameras are inexpensive (roughly $5k for parts) and easy to fabricate.

Technical Video

Related work

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Welcome to Light Fields A system for Acquiring, Processing, and Rendering Panoramic Light Field Still Photos for Virtual Reality.