Image and depth from a conventional camera with a coded aperture

Anat Levin, Rob Fergus, Frédo Durand, William T. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A conventional camera captures blurred versions of scene information away from the plane of focus. Camera systems have been proposed that allow for recording all-focus images, or for extracting depth, but to record both simultaneously has required more extensive hardware and reduced spatial resolution. We propose a simple modification to a conventional camera that allows for the simultaneous recovery of both (a) high resolution image information and (b) depth information adequate for semi-automatic extraction of a layered depth representation of the image. Our modification is to insert a patterned occluder within the aperture of the camera lens, creating a coded aperture. We introduce a criterion for depth discriminability which we use to design the preferred aperture pattern. Using a statistical model of images, we can recover both depth information and an all-focus image from single photographs taken with the modified camera. A layered depth map is then extracted, requiring user-drawn strokes to clarify layer assignments in some cases. The resulting sharp image and layered depth map can be combined for various photographic applications, including automatic scene segmentation, post-exposure refocusing, or re-rendering of the scene from an alternate viewpoint.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1276464
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 29 2007


  • Coded imaging
  • Computational photography
  • Deblurring
  • Depth of field
  • Image statistics
  • Range estimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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