An imaging model provides a mathematical description of correspondence between points in a scene and in an image. The dominant imaging model, perspective projection, has long been used to describe traditional cameras as well as the human eye.We propose an imaging model which is flexible enough to represent an arbitrary imaging system.For example using this modelwecan describe systems using fisheye lenses orcompoundinsect eyes, which violate the assumptions of perspective projection. By relaxing the requirements of perspective projection, we give imaging system designers greater freedom to explore systems which meet other requirements such as compact size and wide field of view.We formulate our model by noting that all imaging systems perform a mapping from incoming scene rays to photosensitive elements on the image detector. This mapping can be conveniently described using a set of virtual sensing elements called raxels. Raxels include geometric, radiometric and optical properties. We present a novel ray based calibration method that uses structured light patterns to extract the raxel parameters of an arbitrary imaging system. Experimental results for perspective as well as non-perspective imaging systems are included.
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