A camera simulation framework for passive depth recovery systems

A. Razavi, M. Amtoun, O. Yadid-Pecht, G. A. Jullien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a novel camera simulation framework capable of simulating the optical path of a variety of camera systems through the technique of Monte Carlo Path tracing. Path tracer is a ray-tracing technique that uses Markov chains to solve the global illumination problem, i.e., the problem of calculating the distribution of light in an environment, taking into account all forms of scattering, absorption, and interreflection. In global illumination, we deal with the interaction of light that reaches a surface directly from a light source (direct lighting) as well as the interaction of light that reaches a surface as a result of scattering or transmission from or through other objects (indirect lighting). Available pieces of ray-tracer software use very simple models for their camera system like the pinhole camera, the thin-lens camera, and the thick-lens camera. The novelty and strength of our simulation tool is the capability to simulate any arbitrary and complex camera system. Any kind of optical component (like mirrors, prisms, and optical filters) can be placed inside the camera system or on the image sensor, and the tool synthesizes the image taken by that complex camera system, which can be used to optimize the parameters of the system for a specific application. The tool was used to simulate the optical path of a variety of passive depth recovery systems (like stereoscopy, Plenoptic Camera, and Bi-prism camera) that are included in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5585647
Pages (from-to)894-903
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Photonics Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 20 Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Stereoscopy
  • camera simulation
  • image synthesis
  • optical system design
  • ray-tracing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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