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A new way to create 3D images

A new way to create 3D images


By Niranjana Rajalakshmi, University Public Relations Department


David Brady (far right) and PhD students Zipeng Dong (far left) and Xiao Wang in the lab.Amy Henning

Computational imaging has made remarkable progress over the last decade. The process involves using a combination of advanced algorithms and hardware to create images that traditional cameras cannot capture.

David Brady, professor of optical sciences at the University of Arizona, has developed a new technique called sparse holography that uses computer-assisted imaging tools to create three-dimensional images from two-dimensional holograms.

“Usually when you look at a hologram, it looks as if the object is there,” says Brady. “But you can’t reconstruct it like a real three-dimensional object.”

Brady developed a set of algorithms and strategies for measuring 2D holograms and used those measurements to infer 3D objects. The resulting image is not a photograph. Rather, it is his three-dimensional representation of the scene. Brady says he can see the 3D representation using interactive software or by 3D printing the model.

“The problem with imaging is that photography and imaging systems only form two-dimensional images, but the world is actually three-dimensional,” says Brady. His sparse holographic work earned him his 2023 Emmett N. Rees Medal from the international organization Optica. Specialized in optics and photonics.

Brady said his research interests have always revolved around optical imaging, and sparse holography has been a natural extension over the years. Sparse His holography is part of a broader project on efficient 3D imaging systems that Brady and his research group have pursued over his twenty years.

“A central research interest in my group is how to push optical measurements to the limits of what is physically possible,” said Brady.

In 2012, Brady and his team created the world’s first gigapixel camera by integrating 98 micro cameras into a single device. Images captured by the camera showed unprecedented detail.

Brady’s sparse holography technology can be used in situations where a 3D image is required, such as when there is a moving object that needs to be three dimensional.

Brady says it’s usually impossible to create 3D images of moving objects, such as living tissue or organisms, viewed under a microscope. Sparse holography makes it possible.

“We can form three-dimensional images of swimming fish and things in motion,” he says.

Sparse holography can also be used to measure 3D scenes in self-driving cars and video games, he said.

Brady’s group has made sparse holography usable in real-world scenarios such as X-ray systems and different types of cameras.

It may sound sophisticated, but Brady says that computational imaging tools are getting easier and better all the time.

“We can capture very high frame rate images, very high resolution images and use these computational imaging tools to push the limits of spatial, temporal and dimensional resolution. he said.

Brady was awarded the Emmett N. Rees Medal in March for his work. This medal was established in 2006 to honor Emmett N. Reese, a world-renowned scientist in holography and optical information processing, and to recognize his seminal contributions to the field.

In the future, Brady’s research group plans to develop a “supercamera” consisting of an array of microcameras, similar to a supercomputer made up of tiny computers. Brady’s team uses holographic measurements on a series of cameras to magnify the size of the aperture, the opening through which light enters the camera. Brady said sparse holography has enabled cameras to resolve features smaller than a human hair across an area the size of a football field.

With recent advances in artificial intelligence-generated images and manipulated “deepfakes,” Brady said we are all aware that we are in the midst of a fundamental shift in the nature of imaging systems. said.

“Artificial intelligence will change the way we interact with data, but at its core, computational image processing is enhancing our ability to see the world,” he said.




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