Generalized Phase Contrast (GPC) can be used to sculpt light both statically and dynamically. Static GPC is demonstrated below for tripling the light throughput of an SLM aperture.
Dynamic GPC is typically implemented using a real-time reconfigurable spatial light modulator (SLM). A contemporary application of dynamic GPC is for parallel two-photon excitation used in optogenetics and neurophotonics.
Laser beam shaping is another light sculpting modality that can generate a variety of beam trajectories along the optical axis. An example is the Helico-Conical beam that makes both light phase and intensity spiral along the optical axis.
The ultimate light sculpting is 3D real-time holographic. By using multi-core CPU-enabled or GPU-enhanced software it is possible to obtain near-arbitrary 3D light distributions.