Primal-Dual Coding to Probe Light Transport

Matthew O'Toole, Ramesh Raskar, and Kiriakos N. Kutulakos. ACM SIGGRAPH, 2012.

We present primal-dual coding, a photography technique that enables direct fine-grain control over which light paths contribute to a photo. We achieve this by projecting a sequence of patterns onto the scene while the sensor is exposed to light. At the same time, a second sequence of patterns, derived from the first and applied in lockstep, modulates the light received at individual sensor pixels. We show that photography in this regime is equivalent to a matrix probing operation in which the elements of the scene's transport matrix are individually re-scaled and then mapped to the photo. This makes it possible to directly acquire photos in which specific light transport paths have been blocked, attenuated or enhanced. We show captured photos for several scenes with challenging light transport effects, including specular inter-reflections, caustics, diffuse inter-reflections and volumetric scattering. A key feature of primal-dual coding is that it operates almost exclusively in the optical domain: our results consist of directly-acquired, unprocessed RAW photos or differences between them.

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