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New technology lays the foundation for large, high-resolution 3D displays

Researchers have combined two different light-field display technologies to project large-scale 3D images at resolutions close to the diffraction limit. Their optical settings are shown.Credits: Byoungho Lee, Seoul National University

Researchers have developed a prototype display that uses projection to create large, ultra-high-definition 3D images. The new approach helps overcome the limitations of lightfield projection. Lightfield projection can create 3D images with a natural look that do not require special 3D glasses to display.


“Our optical design could make it practical to replace 2D flat panel displays with 3D images for digital signs, entertainment, education, and other applications that greatly enhance 3D images,” said Korea. Byoungho Lee, research team leader at Seoul National University, said. “Our design can also be modified to provide an immersive experience, for example in a movie theater.”

Optical Society of Japan (OSA) Journal Optics LettersResearchers describe how to combine two different lightfield display technologies to project large-scale 3D images with near-diffraction-limited resolution. The new display is automatic stereoscopic. This means that different 3D images are generated so you can see the images from different angles.

“We have developed a way to optically perform all display processes without digital processing,” says Lee. “This offsets the limitations of each display technology and allows us to create high-resolution 3D images on large screens.”

Technology combination

Lightfield displays work by reproducing the light reflected from an object in a way that corresponds to the actual visible position. Autostereoscopic light field displays generate different images for different viewing angles and require vast amounts of information to process. Because the display hardware is overwhelmed by the amount of information required, this requirement creates a trade-off between resolution and the size of the displayed image.

New technology lays the foundation for large, high-resolution 3D displays

The new display optically converts the object display volume generated from a multifocal display into a projected volume for integrated imaging by automatically mapping rays through a microlens array (optical pickup). The converted information can be magnified on a large screen through the projection lens. After projection, the object’s display volume is reconstructed and passed through another lens array in a manner similar to existing integrated imaging systems.Credits: Byoungho Lee, Seoul National University

To overcome this limitation, researchers have designed a new optical configuration that combines a multifocal display with integrated imaging. Multifocal displays can typically produce high quality volume images, but are technically difficult to implement in large screen systems. Integrated imaging, on the other hand, excels at magnifying images.

In the new design, the multifocal display produces high-resolution 3D, or volume scenes, and integrated imaging technology magnifies them for larger screens. All information conversion between multifocal displays and integrated imaging is performed optically without digital processing.

“Our method is more than just a combination of two existing methods, it enables ultra-high-definition volumetric light field displays with resolutions close to diffraction limits,” Lee said. “We also found a way to effectively solve the difficulty of scaling up volume scenes and overcome the problem of information loss that tends to affect integrated imaging.”

Large, high resolution 3D images

After verifying the resolution of the prototype system, researchers qualitatively confirmed that the volumetric image was reconstructed. Testing has shown that the prototype can synthesize volumetric images of 21.4 cm x 21.4 cm x 32 cm. This corresponds to 28.6. Megapixel 36 times the resolution of the original image.

“Our approach is very efficient in information processing, which enables low computing costs and simple, high-quality real-time system configurations,” Lee said. “NS Optical design It can also be seamlessly integrated with the various technologies used in existing light field displays. “

Researchers are currently working to optimize the optics, further reduce the complexity of multifocal displays, and make projectors more compact. They state that the performance of the proposed system is likely to improve as each technology evolves, as the system is a fusion of two different technologies.


Create high-resolution light-field prints using nanoscale 3D printing


For more information:
Youngjin Jo et al, Ultra High Definition Volumetric Lightfield Projection, Optics Letters (2021). DOI: 10.1364 / OL.431156

Provided by
Optical Society

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New technology lays the foundation for large, high-resolution 3D displays

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