Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Dual Photography

We present a novel photographic technique called dual photography, which exploits Helmholtz reciprocity to interchange the lights and cameras in a scene. With a video projector providing structured illumination, reciprocity permits us to generate pictures from the viewpoint of the projector, even though no camera was present at that location. The technique is completely image-based, requiring no knowledge of scene geometry or surface properties, and by its nature automatically includes all transport paths, including shadows, interreflections and caustics. In its simplest form, the technique can be used to take photographs without a camera; we demonstrate this by capturing a photograph using a projector and a photo-resistor. If the photo-resistor is replaced by a camera, we can produce a 4D dataset that allows for relighting with 2D incident illumination. Using an array of cameras we can produce a 6D slice of the 8D reflectance field that allows for relighting with arbitrary light fields. Since an array of cameras can operate in parallel without interference, whereas an array of light sources cannot, dual photography is fundamentally a more efficient way to capture such a 6D dataset than a system based on multiple projectors and one camera. As an example, we show how dual photography can be used to capture and relight scenes.

The craziest part is the video (63 MB) that they have showing how they use Helmholtz reciprocity to see what simply cannot be seen by the camera.

Simply put, any light source can become a camera.... privacy is over.

New Scientist News Article

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