Yoav Y. Schechner: Research


Turbulence-Induced Image Distortion

Due to atmospheric turbulence, light randomly refracts in three dimensions (3D), eventually entering a camera at a perturbed angle. Each viewed object point thus has a distorted projection in a two-dimensional (2D) image. Simulating 3D random refraction for all viewed points via complex simulated 3D random turbulence is computationally expensive. We derive an efficient way to render 2D image distortions, consistent with turbulence. Our approach bypasses 3D numerical calculations altogether. We directly create 2D random physics-based distortion vector fields, where correlations are derived in closed form from turbulence theory. The correlations are nontrivial: they depend on the perturbation directions relative to the orientation of all object-pairs, simultaneously. Hence, we develop a theory characterizing and rendering such a distortion field. The theory is turned to a few simple 2D operations, which render images based on camera and atmospheric properties.


  1. Armin Schwartzman, Marina Alterman, Rotem Zamir and Yoav Y. Schechner "Turbulence-induced 2D correlated image distortion," Proc. IEEE ICCP (2017).


  1. Turbulence-Induced Image Distortion (19.2 Mb, PowerPoint).
  2. The ICCP poster (1.63 Mb, PDF)


Matlab codes to create the correlated distortion vector field. Available for non-commercial use. You can use it if you clearly acknowledge the source by citing "Turbulence-Induced 2D correlated Image Distortion" detailed above, in your work.
  1. Matlab files for simulating the distortion vector field (288 Mb, ZIP).

Related Research

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Click to see the original, undistorted scene
  Click to see the image distorted as if it was taken through turbulence.
Click to see our recipe for the distortion vector field.
  Click for the parallel and perpendicular distortion components and statistics.