How They Relate to the Light Field

Zhengyun Zhang | Marc Levoy |

Proc. IEEE International Conference on Computational Photography, April 2009

Winner of **Best Paper** award

In wave optics, the Wigner distribution and its Fourier dual, the
ambiguity function, are important tools in optical system simulation
and analysis. The light field fulfills a similar role in the computer
graphics community. In this paper, we establish that the light field
as it is used in computer graphics is equivalent to a smoothed Wigner
distribution and that these are equivalent to the raw Wigner
distribution under a geometric optics approximation. Using this
insight, we then explore two recent contributions: Fourier slice
photography in computer graphics and wavefront coding in optics, and
we examine the similarity between explanations of them using Wigner
distributions and explanations of them using light fields.
Understanding this long-suspected equivalence may lead to additional
insights and the productive exchange of ideas between the two fields.

- Paper

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