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Is there any 3d software that supports rendering an artificial scene to a light field image?

With that I mean an image capturing light from more than one point in a scene, more lika a spherical volume of evenly distributed points.

There is research being done by for instance P Debevec for Google VR that does this for physical scenes with an expensive camera rig. I would like to be able to render the same output but from an artificial scene, in for instance 3dsmax. And then preferably use this in for instance Unity 3D.

Would be awesome for a Myst-like game with high fidelity ray traced graphics instead of low-poly rasterized real time graphics. But I guess animations would be almost out of the question. It should at least in theory be easier to incorporate animations in cgi-light fields than in real photos.

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Is there any 3D software that supports rendering an artificial scene to a light field image?

I took a look at Myst and realMyst, and found this YouTube video: "LightField synthesis & realtime render in Unity - sneak preview (raw footage)" with accompanying background introductory information from Frooxius on Reddit. You can see the pipeline he used to convert lightfields, though copying it may be a challenge. He has obtained pretty good results.

So the answer is yes.

I guess animations would be out almost of the question. It should at least in theory be easier to incorporate animations in cgi-light fields than in real photos.

It's an interesting experiment but the scene is baked, adding characters or new objects will kind of look like cutting out one photograph and pasting onto another - thus what you hoped to gain in speed is lost trying to smooth the two scenes together.

To walk into a scene and see a moving object you essentially need to create a dynamic 'lightfield movie' so the moving object can move normally and then you simply walk/look around the dynamic lightfield. That will be somewhat computationally intensive but most of all it will take a lot of memory.

Check out Frooxius' video and let me know if that's the look you were hoping for.

This webpage: "Light fields – the future of VR-AR-MR" by Mike Seymour (May 26, 2015) says:

"The Octane renderer has plugins for a range of products from 3DsMax to Maya and even Nuke.".

There's mention of OTOY and on their website the latest announced is: "OTOY and Epic announce OctaneRender® 2019 for UnrealEngine 4", their DEMO version is free, the least expensive paid version is U$400.

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  • $\begingroup$ Cool. Yeah that's exactly what I was thinking of. Three years ago, that's impressive. I wonder how it's going... $\endgroup$ – Andreas Zita Sep 5 '18 at 10:53
  • $\begingroup$ @AndreasZita - I'll do some more research and see if I can improve this answer. $\endgroup$ – Rob Sep 5 '18 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ @AndreasZita - Answer improved. $\endgroup$ – Rob Sep 6 '18 at 9:08

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