Polarization Fields: Dynamic Light Field Display using Multi-Layer LCDs

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 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 moire 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 spatiallyvarying polarization state rotations applied by each layer. We validate our design by constructing a prototype using modified offthe-shelf panels. We demonstrate interactive display using a GPUbased 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)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


  • automultiscopic 3D displays
  • computational displays
  • light fields
  • multi-layer LCDs
  • tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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