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Phyxel: Realistic Display using Physical Objects with High-speed Spatially Pixelated Lighting


Phyxel is a realistic display that makes a desired physical object appear at spatially pixelated locations. The created image appears to be essentially real and can be manipulated, like a virtual image. Toward the realization of Phyxel, it is essential to closely coordinate the lighting and motion for the perceptual reality. In the developed system, we manipulate the motion of various objects at high speed and control their perceived locations by projecting a computed lighting pattern using a 1000-fps 8-bit high-speed projector. We can utilize this novel visual media in various fields, such as entertainment, digital signage, design industry, exhibition, and so on. We introduce three type of feasible applications.

1. Dynamic Stop Motion

Dynamic stop motion allows the visual effects which have been created by the conventional stop motion method to be seen in real time and for naked eyes, using the dynamic relocation of material appearance. Also, we can change the contents dynamically by control of lighting patterns.You can see the red felted-fabric car move in front of the blue wool background in the figure on the left.

2. Layered 3D Display

Using material layers with a different height along the optical axis of the projector, 3D shapes with complex texture can be created. We perceive its volumetric shape because of binocular fusion. As a demonstration, we can see the rotating gears at a different layer in the figure on the center.

3. 3D Shape Mixture

3D shape mixture offers the visual recomposition of prepared 3D objects. From a small number of base objects, multi- ple figures are visually generated. Comparing with an ordi- nary 3D zoetrope method, this system has more degrees of freedom of expression.In the figure on the right, preparing two 3D-printed models of horse and human, you can see combination of models, such as a kentauros.


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  1. Takatoshi Yoshida, Yoshihiro Watanabe, and Masatoshi Ishikawa: Phyxel: Realistic Display using Physical Objects with High-speed Spatially Pixelated Lighting, SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies, 2016.
  2. 吉田 貴寿, 渡辺 義浩, 石川 正俊: 実物体の周期運動と高速時分割構造化光を用いた形状と質感を再現するリア リスティックディスプレイ,第21回日本バーチャルリアリティ学会大会論文集, 33C-01,(2016)
  3. Takatoshi Yoshida, Yoshihiro Watanabe, and Masatoshi Ishikawa. 2016. Phyxel: Realistic Display of Shape and Appearance using Physical Objects with High-speed Pixelated Lighting. In Proceedings of the 29th Annual Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 453-460.
Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory, Department of Information Physics and Computing, Department of Creative Informatics,
Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, University of Tokyo
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