Seeing through Obscure Glass

  • Qi Shan
  • Brian Curless
  • Tadayoshi Kohno
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6316)


Obscure glass is textured glass designed to separate spaces and “obscure” visibility between the spaces. Such glass is used to provide privacy while still allowing light to flow into a space, and is often found in homes and offices. We propose and explore the challenge of “seeing through” obscure glass, using both optical and digital techniques. In some cases – such as when the textured surface is on the side of the observer – we find that simple household substances and cameras with small apertures enable a surprising level of visibility through the obscure glass. In other cases, where optical techniques are not usable, we find that we can model the action of obscure glass as convolution of spatially varying kernels and reconstruct an image of the scene on the opposite side of the obscure glass with surprising detail.


Latent Image Small Aperture Blur Kernel Entrance Pupil Camera Placement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Supplementary material

978-3-642-15567-3_27_MOESM1_ESM.avi (14.7 mb)
Electronic Supplementary Material (15,065 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qi Shan
    • 1
  • Brian Curless
    • 1
  • Tadayoshi Kohno
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Comptuer Science & EngineeringUniversity of Washington 

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