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Light fields can provide transportive immersive experiences with a level of realism unsurpassed by any other imaging technology. Within a limited viewing volume, light fields accurately reproduce stereo parallax, motion parallax, reflections, refractions, and volumetric effects for real-world scenes. While light fields have been explored in computer graphics since the mid-90’s [Gortler et al. 1996; Levoy and Hanrahan 1996], practical systems for recording, processing, and delivering high quality light field experiences have remained out of reach.
We present a system for acquiring, processing, and rendering panoramic light field still photography for display in Virtual Reality (VR). We acquire spherical light field datasets with two novel light field camera rigs designed for portable and efficient light field acquisition. We introduce a novel realtime light field reconstruction algorithm that uses a per-view geometry and a disk-based blending field. We also demonstrate how to use a light field prefiltering operation to project from a high-quality offline reconstruction model into our real-time model while suppressing artifacts. We introduce a practical approach for compressing light fields by modifying the VP9 video codec to provide high quality compression with real-time, random access decompression.
First, here are 4K panoramas rendered from the center position of the light fields of both the afternoon and the evening events:
Installing the light fields will allow you to step inside these scenes in Virtual Reality and move your viewpoint in any direction in about a 60 centimeter diameter volume. Download the additional VR@50 light fields and installation instructions here. Enjoy!
A Low Cost Multi-Camera Array for Panoramic Light Field Video Capture