Lytro Images Will Soon Have 3D Perspective Shift and Live Filters

Lytro's founder Ren Ng has always maintained that there was potential in light field photography far beyond the main refocusing trick that the Lytro Camera launched with. And when the latest Lytro desktop software update hits on December 4th, we'll get to see a couple more of those tricks: perspective shift and living filters.


Perspective shift is a subtle, but at times awesome, effect for making a Lytro image pop with 3D-like depth. Previously appearing in a video at a Hong Kong press event, it looks the same as it was before. If you click and drag around any Lytro image, it will automatically set any Lytro image—past or present—into perspective shift mode and let you move the image around ever so slightly. It's like peering into a diorama.

The effect, as you can see, gives images an added look not present before.

And then there are filters. But these aren't simple, Instagram-style overlays. In fact, some are dynamic filters that change as you refocus the image, creating a new shot with each click of the mouse. Yes there are one such as the Film Noir or 8-Track filters that will turn an image black and white or give it the vintage look.

But the real winners are the filters like Crayon, which will keep the focused portion of an image in color, while the blurred portion turns black and white, or Glass, where anything behind the focus point will appear obscured, as if the light was being refracted through glass. These filters can potentially add another level of consideration into how shots are composed at the time their shot, so that when the filter is applied, certain parts are strategically altered.


The full list of 9 filters are as follows:

Carnival: Twist and distort your picture as you refocus and change perspective as if you're in a funhouse of mirrors.

Crayon: Add a touch of color to a monochrome version of your picture. Click to focus and add color into your scene, or change your perspective and add color back into your scene as you explore.

Glass: Put a sheet of virtual glass into your scene. Everything in front of where you click will be unchanged, and everything behind will appear to be behind a piece of frosted glass.

Line Art: Reduce your scene to a grayscale outline, seeing more detailed lines where you refocus.

Mosaic: Create a tiled mosaic in the out-of-focus parts of your scene as you click or change your perspective.

Blur+: Significantly enhance the amount of blur in the out-of-focus parts of your scene.

Pop: Make parts of your scene pop out with extra detail and vibrancy when those areas are clicked.

Film Noir: Add a moody and stylized black and white look to your pictures, with a little bit of extra detail and color where you click.

8-Track: Bring back the ‘70s with this filter that adds an aged, vignetted look to your pictures. Click to un-age parts of your scene and see them come back to life, disco suit not required.


For now, these features aren't available to Lytro owners, but on December 4, the software update will go live, and all of your pictures—old and new—will work with the new effects. [Lytro]



It's weird, but no one seems to care much about Lytro. You can even look at the number of times this article has been viewed. 35oo, while an article about a giant ring built by China gets 35,000. I'm starting to wonder if this is one of those products that is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Nice, but no one really wants (or needs) to spend the money on it.