Real-time Image Generation for Compressive Light Field Displays

Matthew Hirsch, Gordon Wetzstein, Douglas Lanman, Ramesh Raskar
MIT Media Lab, United States

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With the invention of integral imaging and parallax barriers in the beginning of the 20th century, glasses-free 3D displays have become feasible. Only today —more than a century later— glasses-free 3D displays are finally emerging in the consumer market. The technologies being employed in current-generation devices, however, are fundamentally the same as what was invented 100 years ago. With rapid advances in optical fabrication, digital processing power, and computational perception, a new generation of display technology is emerging: computational displays exploring the co-design of optical elements and computational processing while taking particular characteristics of the human visual system into account.

In this paper, we discuss real-time implementation strategies for emerging computational light field displays. These are displays composed of multiple stacked layers of LCDs or other light-attenuating modulators that are driven at high display refresh rates. The involved image generation algorithms include tomographic image synthesis as well as non-negative light field factorizations. We demonstrate that, for the case of light field display, these algorithms map well to operations included in the standard graphics pipeline, facilitating efficient GPU-based implementations with real-time framerates.