Ray tracing 3D spectral scenes through human optics models

Journal of Vision

By: Trisha Lian, Kevin J. MacKenzie, David H. Brainard, Nicolas P. Cottaris, Brian A. Wandell

Abstract

Scientists and engineers have created computations and made measurements that characterize the first steps of seeing. ISETBio software integrates such computations and data into an open-source software package. The initial ISETBio implementations modeled image formation (physiological optics) for planar or distant scenes. The ISET3d software described here extends that implementation, simulating image formation for three-dimensional scenes. The software system relies on a quantitative computer graphics program that ray traces the scene radiance through the physiological optics to the retinal irradiance. We describe and validate the implementation for several model eyes. Then, we use the software to quantify the impact of several physiological optics parameters on three-dimensional image formation. ISET3d is integrated with ISETBio, making it straightforward to convert the retinal irradiance into cone excitations. These methods help the user compute the predictions of optics models for a wide range of spatially-rich three-dimensional scenes. They can also be used to evaluate the impact of nearby visual occlusion, the information available to binocular vision, or the retinal images expected from near-field and augmented reality displays.