VividQ-Supported Method for Highly Realistic Representation of Reflective and Refractive Materials in Holographic Displays Wins First Place at SIGGRAPH 2021

12 August 2021

VividQ continuously supports the best research in holographic display by hosting a graduate students team led by the company’s co-founder and Chief Scientist Dr Andrzej Kaczorowski. This week, the team – represented by EngD Candidate Aaron Demolder – brought the results of their work on highly realistic holographic displays to SIGGRAPH: the premier conference for computer graphics and interactive techniques.

The VividQ-supported poster on ‘Enabling Reflective and Refractive Depth Representation in Computer-Generated Holography’ presents a new method for achieving realistic reflections and refractions in holographic displays. We are very proud that Aaron has won first place in the Graduate Awards with the poster, in the ACM SIGGRAPH Student Research Competition. Aaron has also presented the work during the ‘Perception and Displays’ session of the conference, alongside experts from Stanford University, University of Cambridge and Facebook Reality Labs.

This research is crucial for virtual objects and scenes portraying materials from liquids to glass, to appear life-like, and shows how Computer-Generated Holography can achieve the highest level of realism in 3D displays.

Multi-depth rendering for holographic displays

Computer-Generated Holography (CGH) allows for the realistic reconstruction of three-dimensional objects and scenes through diffraction and interference of light. By “engineering” light, CGH displays can effectively reproduce the way we naturally observe our surroundings, at the resolution of the human eye. However, existing methods of image rendering for holographic display utilise a single depth value per pixel (with RGBZ data input). This is not sufficient for realistically representing scenes where materials and textures have reflective or refractive properties like mirrors, water surface, windows, or glass.


Images showing different levels of focus to illustrate how reflections and refractions can be represented in holographic display

The VividQ-supported research shows that rendering multiple focal depths for these scenes is required. At SIGGRAPH, we proposed a new method of achieving highly realistic representation of reflective and refractive materials with existing 3D renderers, by introducing the concept of holographic compositing. The method allows renderers to provide more data in the hologram generation process, producing significantly more realistic holographic images that have reflective or refractive properties. This way holographic displays can produce projections of mirrors with realistic reflections, life-like fish tanks and infinity pools, or fully three-dimensional scenes shown through a window.

Future research will include applying this method for real-time holographic display powered by the VividQ SDK, with use cases in Augmented Reality, in-car Head-Up Displays and large-scale holographic displays.

VividQ would like to thank Aaron’s supervisors, Hammadi Nait-Charif and Valery Adzhiev at the National Centre for Computer Animation & Centre for Digital Entertainment at Bournemouth University for their support on the research.

You can learn more about this new approach and implementation here.