“The Plenoptic Camera”

Noah Snavely

(Cornell University)

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Date: February 17, 2021


Imagine a futuristic version of Google Street View that could dial up any possible place in the world, at any possible time. Effectively, such a service would be a recording of the plenoptic functionthe hypothetical function described by Adelson and Bergen that captures all light rays passing through space at all times. While the plenoptic function is completely impractical to capture in its totality, every photo ever taken represents a sample of this function. I will present recent methods we’ve developed to reconstruct the plenoptic function from sparse space-time samples of photos—including Street View itself, as well as tourist photos of famous landmarks. The results of this work include the ability to take a single photo and synthesize a full dawn-to-dusk timelapse video, as well as compelling 4D view synthesis capabilities where a scene can simultaneously be explored in space and time.

Further Information:

 Noah Snavely is an associate professor of Computer Science at Cornell University and Cornell Tech, and also a researcher at Google Research. Noah’s research interests are in computer vision and graphics, in particular 3D understanding and depiction of scenes from images. Noah is the recipient of a PECASE, a Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and a SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award.

Created: Thursday, February 18th, 2021