Flash applets on some technical aspects of photography

CS 178 - Digital Photography
Spring Quarter, 2014
Marc Levoy, Andrew Adams, Katie Dektar, and Nora Willett

These applets are designed to supplement the course lecture material in CS 178. They will typically be demonstrated live in class, then added to this web page. At that time they will also be linked into the course schedule and the course home page. The applets were designed by Marc Levoy and built by CURIS students Nora Willett and Katie Dektar, and PhD student Andrew Adams in the spring and summer of 2009.

Applet Categories:


Variables that Affect Exposure

exposure applet screenshot

Explores the tradeoffs between aperture, exposure time and ISO.

Lens Applets

Thin Lens

thin lens applet screenshot

Uses Gauss's ray tracing construction to show how thin lenses perform a 3D perspective transformation of object space into image space.

The Gaussian Lens-Maker's Formula

gaussian applet screenshot

The relationship between object distance, image distance, and focal length, and the distinction between focusing and zooming.

Depth of Field

depth of field applet screenshot

How do focal length, subject distance, F-number, and size of the circle of confusion affect depth of field?

Telephoto Zoom Lens

zoom applet screenshot

The operation of zoom lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, and optically-compensated telephoto zoom lens.


Autofocus: Phase Detection

autofocus: PD applet screenshot

Explore how some cameras (mostly SLRs) use phase detection to autofocus a picture.

Autofocus: Contrast Detection

autofocus: CD applet screenshot

Explore how other cameras (mostly point-and-shoots) use contrast detection to autofocus an image.


Spatial convolution

convolution applet screenshot

Interactively demonstrates 1D continuous convolution and 2D discrete convolution. Don't miss the "custom" buttons!


Introduction to Color Theory

locus applet screenshot

Explores the trichromatic theory of color vision and considers its implications for human perception, color photography, and computer display of color images.

Color Matching

color matching applet screenshot

Reenact Maxwell's color matching experiment to see how closely you can match the trichromatic matching functions for the given primaries.

Chromaticity Diagrams

chromaticity diagrams applet screenshot

Explores chromaticity diagrams and the meaning of the 2D gamut of perceivable colors.

Gamut Mapping

gamut mapping applet screenshot

Interactively shows the results of gamut mapping (both the primaries and the rendering intents) on the colors displayed in an image.

Color Mixing

color mixing applet screenshot

Explores additive and subtractive color mixing.


Gamma Correction

gamma applet screenshot

Unwrapping some of the tangled world of gamma correction.


Cylindrical Panoramas

projection applet screenshot

Demonstrates how images are projected from a plane to a cylinder to form a panorama.

Questions or Comments? Please e-mail us.
© 2014; Marc Levoy
Last update: June 3, 2014 08:01:43 PM