In traditional digital imaging, the projected image is expressed as a set of pixels which contain two coordinates (x, y) and their respective values for colour and brightness. LightField technology enables us to record more and richer image information, also saving the direction of the lightrays. The extra data enables exciting new possibilities, but also accounts for a significant increase in file size and required computing power, which further rises with increasing resolution.
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.