Why Holographic 3D Lightfield Displays are impossible and how to make one anyway
Date & Time
Thursday, October 27, 2022, 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
Tim Borer

Recent years have seen an immense improvement in video quality to today’s UHD with HDR/WCG. Viewers will not benefit from still higher resolution in flat, 2D, images. So where do we go from here? Stereoscopic 3D (including “glasses free” autostereoscopic 3D) has repeatedly failed commercially. It has severe limitations. You can’t see a different view when you move your head; it lacks motion parallax. You can’t change your focus. And a surprising number of people are “stereo blind” and can’t properly appreciate stereoscopic 3D. 3D holographic light field (integral) images are different. They support motion parallax, change of focus by the viewer, without either glasses or a headset, and can even be appreciated by the stereo blind. Light field images are essentially holograms produced with normal, rather than laser light. They are easier to generate. They support a genuine “holodeck” experience. If there is to be a “next big thing” this, surely, is it. But there’s a problem. Conventional analysis shows that an infinite depth of field, maintaining full resolution from close-up to a far away background, is impossible. If true that would be disappointing. Fortunately, infinite depth of field is possible as will be explained. Furthermore, by carefully considering what the viewer actually requires, we may reduce the complexity of the display very considerably. This paper is intended for general members of the SMPTE to introduce the concept of holographic, light field displays, how they differ from stereoscopic 3D, and the potential they present for future video. The second part will be a deeper dive into the theory and will explain how to derive the depth of field of light field displays. Finally, it will explain how, despite their apparently insurmountable complexity, light field display are possible with technology that will be available soon.

Location Name
Salon 1
Take-Aways from this Presentation
What are 3D lightfield displays and how they differ from stereoscopic 3D. How might light field displays affect the future of TV and cinema What is the depth of field of a light field display and how to calculate it. What tricks can be used to build a practical display with near future technology.
featured session