Hand-Held Schlieren Photography with Light Field Probes

Gordon Wetzstein, Wolfgang Heidrich, Ramesh Raskar


We introduce a new approach to capturing refraction in transparent media, which we call Light Field Background Oriented Schlieren Photography (LFBOS). By optically coding the locations and directions of light rays emerging from a light field probe, we can capture changes of the refractive index field between the probe and a camera or an observer. Rather than using complicated and expensive optical setups as in traditional Schlieren photography we employ commodity hardware; our prototype consists of a camera and a lenslet array. By carefully encoding the color and intensity variations of a 4D probe instead of a diffuse 2D background, we avoid expensive computational processing of the captured data, which is necessary for Background Oriented Schlieren imaging (BOS). We analyze the benefits and limitations of our approach and discuss application scenarios.

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