Autor: Redaktion

Lytro Lightfield

Lytro is a US-based company that design and build light field cameras.

Lytro has built on the development of their IIIum consumer camera, to create two new devices for the professional video market - The Lytro Cinema which resembles a large, film camera and the Lytro Immerge a 360° light field camera.

Light field technologies

A traditional digital camera makes use of a single optical sensor measuring information on intensity and colour of light on an image sensor, and converts it pixel by pixel into an electronic signal, which in turn represents a two-dimensional image. A light field camera detects picture information differently. The light field camera captures information about the intensity of light in a scene, as well as the direction the light is travelling. Through this capture process; colour and brightness information is augmented by depth information.

A light field consists of a collection of light rays that are reflected by the objects of a scene in the room. It is possible to then use all of this captured information to dynamically change the picture in post-production. The amount of adjustment depends on the number of cameras that you have used to capture the material. 

By using a light field camera, you can take advantage of some of the features that the technology enables: virtual zooming, focal point and adjustment, aperture, shutter effects like motion blur, zoom or even the camera angle, which can be changed in all three spatial axes. In post-production all of these parameters can be keyframe animated to create dramatic effects and dynamic refocusing in the edit. Fraunhofer IIS has already developed plugins for Avid Media Composer and Nuke.

The Lytro Cinema camera generates its pictures with a huge 755 Megapixel resolution sensor that is combined with a micro lens array to produce a camera grid that delivers light to the sensor. Lytro specifies the dynamic range as 16 f-stops, with a maximum frame rate of 300fps. With these settings the camera produces a maximum data rate of 400GB per second. This level of data generation requires huge amounts of storage to capture just a few minutes of material.

Lytro Cinema Camera

The presence of depth information for each pixel enables much easier keying of each region or element within a recorded scene - without having to rely on a green screen or other Chroma keying process. The technology presents enormous creative and technical possibilities for use with highly complex VFX elements.

The Lytro Immerge is a spherical 360° light field camera built especially for the virtual reality market. The camera enables the capture of three-dimensional, spherical panoramas to produce live VR, that can overcome some of the biggest drawbacks of conventional 360 ° -the camera rigs. Classic 360° panoramas have the disadvantage of binding the viewer to the camera position. By capturing the 360° scene using a spherical light field camera gives a correspondingly large resolution, by capturing many beams of light from as many directions. This allows the viewer to be placed within the scene, but gives them a limited degree of free movement along the spatial axis. The ability to offer spatial exploration in a VR environment is one of the current challenges for existing VR productions.

Lytro Immerge

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