Not too long ago, the possibility to create LightField pictures with a mass-produced consumer camera sounded like dreams of the future. This was only the first step, though, and we’re looking forward to other popular imaging techniques (e.g. HDR and panorama imaging) to be augmented by LightField technology.
In a publication from 2012, computer scientists Clemens Birklbauer and Oliver Bimber from Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria presented a first approach towards creating Panorama LightField Images.
We’ve seen Lytro-Demos of single-lens single-shot 3D and Parallax before, but the company wasn’t very specific regarding the time-frame for a general public release.
Now, it seems that Lytro is willing to show commitment to these features: According to Engadget, the company has announced a release “by the end of the year”.
[An] update due by the end of the year will take advantage of that focus-independent sensor to allow a parallax-based 3D effect in photos: invoke a ‘full’ focus in reviewing shots and you can start poking around the scene in a limited way without having ever touched a dual-sensor camera.
Appropriately, we’re also getting support for examining photos on 3D monitors and TVs that emphasize the added depth.
The concept and details of LightField Photography can be a bit overwhelming when you first come into contact with the topic. If you’ve ever wondered how the Lytro LightField Camera works in detail, and what is possible with LightField Photography in general, we recommend reading through the LightField Notes of computer vision researcher Hanlin Goh.
Goh first gives a Technical Introduction, followed by an explanation of the Lytro’s Raw LightField image.
LFP File Reader is a set of Python scripts by Benham Esfahbod to help you work with LightField pictures outside of Lytro Desktop.
The Python library contains a total of 8 scripts that will allow you to view picture information and export LightField data and processed images (including all in focus images). What’s completely new compared to other solutions, is that LFP File Reader also allows you to have a look into LFP Storage files – a set of embedded data files which are identified by a pathname (i.e. C:\CALIB\WIFI_MAC_ADDR.TXT).
Interactive refocus is nice, but it’s just one of the possibilities of LightField photography. Another feature that LightField fans seem anxious about is “all in focus” – a combination of all the sharp parts of the light field picture into a single, flat exposure.
Lytro has confirmed that all in focus will be possible within the Lytro Desktop software by the end of the year.
Developer Nirmal J Patel didn’t want to wait, and wrote a small python script to create “all in focus” pictures from Lytro .lfp files himself: Continue reading