Abstract

In this paper, we present a novel design concept for determining the depth map of three-dimensional (3D) scenes based on an electrically controlled liquid crystal (LC) lens. The advantages of the proposed method are that it does not need any mechanical movements and a large amount of computations to acquire a depth map of a 3D scene in a relatively short amount of time. The tunable-focus LC lens doped with multi-walled carbon nanotubes is to become a key optical component for determining a depth map system. Sequenced two-dimensional images of slightly different perspectives are recorded in a short time, and the depth map of the 3D scene, according to a proposed depth estimation method and a focusing evaluation function, can be acquired in a simple way. This new method to acquire a depth map based on a doped LC lens maximizes the use of the proposed LC lens. The proposed system is novel in its compact, simple, and fast features, so we believe the proposed method can open a new creative dimension in image analysis and imaging systems and can also overcome the limitations of the conventional imaging mode.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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