A cutaway view showing some of the optical and electronic components in a Canon 5D - one of the most capable prosumer digital cameras (image from Canon USA). By inserting a microlens array into a conventional handheld camera, one can create a plenoptic camera, which can record a light field in a single snapshot. The photographs produced by a plenoptic camera can be refocused after they are captured, and the viewpoint can be moved. Click above for an example of digital refocusing. Combining multiple images from different viewpoints under different lighting conditions allows for re-rendering and re-lighting a human face. Dual photography lets us read a hidden playing card from its reflection in the page of a book. The card's face is shown at lower-right.

Computational Photography

  • SWS: 3V + 1Ü   - 6 ECTS
  • prerequisites: Computer Graphics or Computer Vision
  • the lecture will be offered in English


Although the digital photography industry is expanding rapidly, most digital cameras still look and feel like film cameras, and they offer roughly the same set of features and controls. However, as sensors and in-camera processing systems improve, these cameras will begin to offer capabilities that film cameras never had. Among these will be the ability to refocus photographs after they are taken (see the example above), or to combine views taken with different camera settings, aim, or placement. Equally exciting are new technologies for creating efficient, controllable illumination. Future "flashbulbs" may be pulsed LEDs or video projectors, with the ability to selectively illuminate objects, recolor the scene, or extract shape information. These developments force us to relax our notion of what constitutes "a photograph." They also blur the distinction between photography and scene modeling. These changes will lead to new photographic techniques, new scientific tools, and possibly new art forms.

In this course we will survey the converging technologies of digital photography, computational imaging, and image-based rendering, and we will explore the new imaging modalities that they enable.

You find the detailed schedule and the exercises here.


  • this week's lecture will take place on Wednesday 27.04.!
  • please register to the email list for this course
  • oral exam info:
    • please register online prior to the exam!


  • Exercises
    • earning more than 80% of the exercise points will add a bonus of 0,3 on you final grade
    • exercises must be presented in exercise meetings
    • groups of maximally 2 students are allowed
  • Oral exam

Exercise Groups

Teaching Assistant

Boris Ajdin


Lecture Dates

Room and Time:

Mondays 14-16h, room 123

First lecture: 18.04.


Wednesdays 12-14h, room 123