Polarization fields: Dynamic light field display using multi-layer LCDs

Douglas Lanman*, Gordon Wetzstein, Matthew Hirsch, Wolfgang Heidrich, Ramesh Raskar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We introduce polarization field displays as an optically-efficient design for dynamic light field display using multi-layered LCDs. Such displays consist of a stacked set of liquid crystal panels with a single pair of crossed linear polarizers. Each layer is modeled as a spatially-controllable polarization rotator, as opposed to a conventional spatial light modulator that directly attenuates light. Color display is achieved using field sequential color illumination with monochromatic LCDs, mitigating severe attenuation and moiré occurring with layered color filter arrays. We demonstrate such displays can be controlled, at interactive refresh rates, by adopting the SART algorithm to tomographically solve for the optimal spatially-varying polarization state rotations applied by each layer. We validate our design by constructing a prototype using modified off-the-shelf panels. We demonstrate interactive display using a GPU-based SART implementation supporting both polarization-based and attenuation-based architectures. Experiments characterize the accuracy of our image formation model, verifying polarization field displays achieve increased brightness, higher resolution, and extended depth of field, as compared to existing automultiscopic display methods for dual-layer and multi-layer LCDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2011 SIGGRAPH Asia Conference, SA'11
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event2011 SIGGRAPH Asia Conference, SA'11 - Hong Kong, China
Duration: Dec 12 2011Dec 15 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2011 SIGGRAPH Asia Conference, SA'11


Other2011 SIGGRAPH Asia Conference, SA'11
CityHong Kong


  • Automultiscopic 3D displays
  • Computational displays
  • Light fields
  • Multi-layer LCDs
  • Tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Software


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