Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lytro Wrap-Up - Summaries and Conclusions

Now, I'll wrap up my thoughts on the Lytro - from my expectations to final workflows and deciding which format to publish.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Playing With The Lytro Illum 4: Processing Software and Animations

One way to showcase the Lytro's "living pictures" is with an animation.
Like my other entries, I'll go over the difficulties I had trying to wrangle the software.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Playing With The Lytro Illum 3: Processing Software and Stills

I found the Lytro Desktop software difficult to deal with, especially compared to established products like Lightroom or even Photoshop. And a lot of my critiques really come down to "Desktop isn't Lightroom" so decide for yourself if you think that's fair.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Brief Tangent: Computing Depth Maps

I think a depth map is an integral part of the Lytro photo processing. I may express some discontent about this, so I want to back up and talk about what I think are weaknesses in computing depth maps.

Note that Lytro keeps their depth algorithm secret, so I know nothing about Lytro's depth algorithm.

I'll just go over some basics of what I think are the basics of a common algorithm and its problems.

Reconstructing a Scene From Two Cameras

Images from two cameras

Start with a scene with two cameras (L and R). Each takes an image of the world (this scene has 4 balls with different shades of gray.) We know where our cameras were and what direction they were pointed and we want to use the images to figure out where the balls were. In particular, we want to know their depth.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Playing With The Lytro Illum 2: The Camera UI

Last time, I was discussing the technology in the Lytro Illum. This time, I want to briefly discuss the user interface of the camera.

For starters, the real deal is The Lytro Illum User Manual. Below, I may cite parts of it and/or my own interpretations and use. I'm not going to concentrate on the instructions, but more on what worked and didn't work for me.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Playing With The Lytro Illum 1: What is a Light Field?

Depth Map
Depth Map
(Normalized to exaggerate depth)
The Lytro Illum is a light field camera. They have an online gallery where you can play with some of their favorite sample images (I don't think any of mine are there in their favorites.). The basic gimmick is that you can refocus the image after you take the photo. Actually, it goes a little further than that. In theory, given a light field, you can actually also change the aperture, slightly move the virtual camera(showing a perspective shift), and even simulate a tilt-shift lens.

This sounds like it would make things easier if I can be sloppy and don't have to worry about focus or aperture when I'm taking the photo, and wait until I edit the photo to decide. But it's a bit more complicated than that. First, I'll discuss what it means for something to be "in focus" in a photo, and lead into what a "light field" is and how I think refocusing works.