Deep Compositing Using Lie Algebras

Tom Duff


Deep compositing is an important practical tool in creating digital imagery, but there has been little theoretical analysis of the underlying mathematical operators. Motivated by finding a simple formulation of the merging operation on OpenEXR-style deep images, we show that the Porter-Duff over function is the operator of a Lie group. In its corresponding Lie algebra, the splitting and mixing functions that OpenEXR deep merging requires have a particularly simple form. Working in the Lie algebra, we present a novel, simple proof of the uniqueness of the mixing function.

The Lie group structure has many more applications, including new, correct resampling algorithms for volumetric images with alpha channels, and a deep image compression technique that outperforms that of OpenEXR.

Paper (PDF)

To appear in ACM Transactions on Graphics