Idea for a camera sensor

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Lau, May 10, 2006.

  1. Lau Guest

    After seeing this post, and the photo reflection in it, I was thinking - wouldn't it be good if there was a way you could turn off the foreground "layer" the way you can in Photoshop? Then that made me think - if the camera sensor can tell if something's near or far for the focus, maybe there could be a way to do it. The camera could sense the different distances away of the parts of a photo, and put each plane on each layer, and produce a layered file. Then you would be able to take a tree out of the foreground, or the marks on a window, or change the exposure on the sky, or whatever. It would be as if you had drawn the foreground on one sheet of acetate, the middle on another and the infinity focus stufff on another. If the sensor can sense distance, you'd think it would be possible.

    Would be interesting, I think. Although this is just idle waffling on my part. :p
  2. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
    Interesting idea, but what about all the stuff between the "planes"? Perhaps a "background plane" and individual planes for discreet objects in front?
  3. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    Ramble Alert! Ramble Alert!

    First ON-topic:
    Fantastic idea! with a but.

    If say you did have a sensor that put the foreground on a separate layer and you wanted to remove something being reflected (such as an errant knob or something) I assume that in a ‘normal’ photo the camera isn’t going to be able to ‘see through’ the reflection which is why it appears, so what is going to be on the background layer? For example my finger over the lens would obviously be on the foreground layer obscuring uncle bobs head at the wedding of the cousin I never liked anyway. Now if I can remove that layer how is the background going to have been captured?

    Second slight OFF-topic:
    I once visited a web-cam that had been set to show a local panoramic scene of the bay outside a seaside hotel. Very pretty during the day but the camera had been set up inside the window and at night if the lights in the room were on you just saw the reflection of the inside of the room, and the people in the room doing what people in hotel room do!!!! Stealing towels etc.

    Third SH*T! where did the topic go!:
    I once had a great idea too. The one thing people hate about wind power turbine is that they blight the landscape, so I thought what if you set a video camera on the back of the turbine then projected that image onto the front of the turbine? Invisible wind power, a stroke of genius!
  4. Lau thread starter Guest

    Good point. :eek: :p

    Actually, re: the wind turbines, you could paint them with a mirror finish because they're usually in the country, so the landscape isn't dramatically different in front or behind. It would create the illuuuusion....<sweeps cape in Mandrake from Defenders of the Earth stylee>
  5. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    Inside mpw's head:

    Imagined man1 - "Jeez! what happen to you?"
    Imagined man2 - "I went for a walk and met my evil twin."
    Imagined man1 - "Evil twin??"
    Imagined man2 - "Yeah he looked just like me, but when I went to shake his hand he cut mine off!!"
  6. Lau thread starter Guest

    I know, I nearly walked into a giant department store mirror the other day whilst glaring at the girl with stupid hair who was walking directly towards me. I kid you not...:eek:
  7. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    Further Ramble Warning, Poster Helplessly Lost Off Thread Path!!

    OK shop mirror story. I was in a chemist here a while ago with a friend and a shop assistant went to pass by in front of me, the shop is really small so she was only a few inches from me with her back to me when she stopped in her tracks.

    So now I’m (6’2”ish) stood and this petit and pretty shop assistant is now stood a few inches in front of me with her back to me and my friend is over the other side of the shop looking at me. As a joke (and completely out of character) and just to make my friend smile I pretended to rise onto the balls of my feet and looking over the girls shoulder peer down her cleavage, while keeping an eye on my friend for a reaction.

    I got a better reaction than I’d thought so carried on for a few seconds now pulling Les Dawson style faces and paying more attention to my friends reaction than the cleavage. Anyway my friends thought I was hilarious and was almost in tears, which I thought a little odd as I wasn’t really doing anything that great.

    Then I looked up.

    The girl had stopped in front of me with her back to me to check herself in the full length mirror a couple of feet in front of her and was now staring my reflection directly in the eye.:eek: :eek:
  8. jared_kipe macrumors 68030


    Dec 8, 2003
    So what kind of mechanism would detect the distance from the camera to the object? With two sensors it is possible. But in the DARPA challenge they gave up on that idea because they could never get it to work well enough.
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Hmm, there was a news article some years back about a sensor that -- rotated -- or somthing -- and captured an image that was in focus throughout the entire depth of field... did something like taking multiple exposures and recombining the in-focus bits from each... This would be a challenge for dedicated googlers. Me, I'm just getting my coffee so I can't be shifted to look, myself.
  10. PBGPowerbook macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2004
    cute, i dont think this is possible. using your example of a tree...well a tree might take up a couple feet of 'depth' (from-lens-distance) at the trunk, but might be much "deeper" (or taking up more acetate sheets) at the top. not to mention that there would basically have to be a distance sensor at every pixel the sensor resolves...i think the max AF points ever produced is the 1V with 45 focus points, for your scenario there would have to be millions of distance sensors overlaid (underlaid? or whatever) on the pixels.
  11. jared_kipe macrumors 68030


    Dec 8, 2003
    Do you mean Fourier optics? Someone build a 33mp one of these that was very impressive, but it needed that 33mp to make a 300x300pixel image. So to make a mega pixel image using this technique you'd need a seriously dense ccd/cmos. Oh and 1 million micro lenses over the sensor to do the whole fourier part.

Share This Page