||Our group is interested in devising novel imaging devices and reconstruction techniques mainly for 3D acquisition, especially in the case of difficult to scan objects and surfaces. We want to extend the capabilities of current 3D scanning devices by analyzing the image formation process in general cameras and using the devised knowledge for the design of improved devices. In doing so we aim at capturing more information than is possible with todays cameras.
The tool to achieve this goal is an analysis of what we call plenoptic imaging. The so called plenoptic function is a useful concept to describe the visual world around us. It states that "everything that can be seen'' (and possibly much more) can be described by a 7-dimensional function that describes the intensity of light at every position in space (3 dimensions) in every viewing direction (2 dimensions) for every wavelength of light (1 dimension) and at every point in time (1 dimension).
Current cameras only record a two-dimensional image out of the 7 possible dimensions. Our group aims at analyzing novel designs that can capture more of the vast information hidden in the light surrounding us. Simultaneously, we perform research on how this additional information can be used to help the computer infer more knowledge about the three-dimensional world we live in.
The acquired data can be used for a multitude of purposes such as computational photo-realistic view synthesis of real world objects, computerized modification and re-assembly of their digital counterparts, sharing and collaboration using digital object descriptions but also scientific analysis of and model development for hitherto unexplored visual effects.