OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Jospeh N. Mait
  • Vol. 48, Iss. 3 — Jan. 20, 2009
  • pp: 450–457

Representing the light field in finite three-dimensional spaces from sparse discrete samples

Alexander A. Mury, Sylvia C. Pont, and Jan J. Koenderink  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 48, Issue 3, pp. 450-457 (2009)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (966 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We present a method for measurement and reconstruction of light fields in finite spaces. Using a custom-made device called a plenopter, we can measure spatially and directionally varying radiance distribution functions from a real-world scene up to their second-order spherical harmonics approximations. Interpolating between measurement points, we can recover this function for arbitrary points of a scene. We visualized the global structure of the light field using light tubes, which gives an intuitive description of the flux propagation throughout three-dimensional scenes and provides information about the quality of light in the scenes. Our second-order reconstructions are sufficient to render convex matte objects and therefore have a direct interest for computer graphics applications.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.5240) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Photometry
(150.2950) Machine vision : Illumination

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Original Manuscript: September 16, 2008
Revised Manuscript: November 19, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: November 25, 2008
Published: January 12, 2009

Alexander A. Mury, Sylvia C. Pont, and Jan J. Koenderink, "Representing the light field in finite three-dimensional spaces from sparse discrete samples," Appl. Opt. 48, 450-457 (2009)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. A. Gershun, “The light field,” Moscow (1936), translated by P. Moon and G. Tinoshenko in J. Math. Phys. 18, 51-151 (1939).
  2. P. Moon and D. E. Spencer, The Photic Field (MIT, 1981).
  3. P. R. Boyce, Human Factors in Lighting (Macmillan, 1981).
  4. C. Cuttle, Lighting by Design (Architectural, 2003).
  5. C. Cuttle, “Cubic illumination,” Light. Res. Technol. 29, 1-14(1997). [CrossRef]
  6. http://www.megatron.co.uk/cim/index.html.
  7. A. A. Mury, S. C. Pont, and J. J. Koenderink, “Light field constancy within natural scenes,” Appl. Opt. 46, 7308-7316(2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. E. H. Adelson and J. Bergen, “The plenoptic function and the elements of early vision,” in Computational Models of Visual Processing, M. Landy and J. Movshon, eds. (MIT, 1991), pp. 3-20.
  9. S. J. Gortler, R. Grzeszczuk, R. Szeliski, and M. F. Cohen, “The lumigraph,” in Computer Graphics, Proc. SIGGRAPH 96 (1996), pp. 43-54.
  10. M. Levoy and P. Hanrahan, “Light field rendering,” in Proc. SIGGRAPH 96 (1996), pp. 31-42. [CrossRef]
  11. http://www.debevec.org/Probes/.
  12. P. Debevec, “Rendering synthetic objects into real scenes: bridging traditional and image-based graphics with global illumination and high dynamic range photography,” in Proc. SIGGRAPH 98 (1998), pp. 189-198. [CrossRef]
  13. J. Unger, A. Wenger, T. Hawkins, A. Gardner, and P. Debevec, “Capturing and rendering with incident light fields,” in Proc. of the 14th Eurographics Workshop on Rendering (2003).
  14. R. Epstein, P. Hallinan, and A. Yuille, “5 plus or minus 2 eigenimages suffice: an empirical investigation of low-dimensional lighting models,” in Proc. IEEE Workshop Physics-Based Modeling in Computer Vision (1995), pp. 108-116. [CrossRef]
  15. P. W. Hallinan, “A low-dimensional representation of human faces for arbitrary lighting conditions,” in Proc. IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (1994), pp. 995-999. [CrossRef]
  16. R. Ramamoorthi and P. Hanrahan, “On the relationship between radiance and irradiance: determining the illumination from images of a convex Lambertian object,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 2448-2459 (2001). [CrossRef]
  17. R. Basri and D. Jacobs, “Lambertian reflectance and linear subspaces,” Proc. 8th IEEE Int. Conf. Computer Vision (2001), pp. 383-390.
  18. A. A. Mury, S. C. Pont, and J. J. Koenderink, “Spatial properties of light fields in natural scenes,” in Proc. APGV 2007, ACM SIGGRAPH, S. N. Spencer, ed. (2007), p. 140.
  19. J. J. Koenderink, S. C. Pont, A. J. van Doorn, A. M. L. Kappers, and J. T. Todd, “The visual light field,” Perception 36, 1595-1610 (2007). [CrossRef]
  20. G. W. Larson and R. A. Shakespeare, Rendering with Radiance: the Art and Science of Lighting Visualization (Morgan Kaufmann, 1997).
  21. A. Jacobs, MSc in Energy, Architecture and Sustainability: European Masters in the Integration of Renewable Energies into Buildings, RADIANCE Course (Advanced) (London Metropolitan University, 2004). [PubMed]
  22. G. Greger, P. Shirley, P. Hubbard, and D. Greenberg, “The irradiance volume,” IEEE Comput. Graph. Appl. 18, 32-43(1998). [CrossRef]
  23. V. Verma, D. Kao, and A. Pang, “A flow-guided streamlines seeding strategy,” Proc. IEEE Visualization (2000), pp. 163-170.
  24. C. Cuttle, “Lighting patterns and the flow of light,” Light. Res. Technol. 3, 171-189 (1971).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited