In Optics express
Combining image sensor simulation tools with physically based ray tracing enables the design and evaluation (soft prototyping) of novel imaging systems. These methods can also synthesize physically accurate, labeled images for machine learning applications. One practical limitation of soft prototyping has been simulating the optics precisely: lens manufacturers generally prefer to keep lens design confidential. We present a pragmatic solution to this problem using a black box lens model in Zemax; such models provide necessary optical information while preserving the lens designer's intellectual property. First, we describe and provide software to construct a polynomial ray transfer function that characterizes how rays entering the lens at any position and angle subsequently exit the lens. We implement the ray-transfer calculation as a camera model in PBRT and confirm that the PBRT ray-transfer calculations match the Zemax lens calculations for edge spread functions and relative illumination.
Goossens Thomas, Lyu Zheng, Ko Jamyuen, Wan Gordon C, Farrell Joyce, Wandell Brian