A new technique for implementing fully complex spatial filters with a phase mostly deformable mirror device (DMD) light modulator is described. The technique combines two or more phase-modulating flexure-beam mirror elements into a single macro-pixel. By manipulating the relative phases of the individual sub-pixels within the macro-pixel, the amplitude and the phase can be independently set for this filtering element. The combination of DMD sub-pixels into a macro-pixel is accomplished by adjusting the optical system resolution, thereby trading off system space bandwidth product for increased filtering flexibility. Volume in the larger dimensioned space, space bandwidth-complex axes count, is conserved. Experimental results are presented mapping out the coupled amplitude and phase characteristics of the individual flexure-beam DMD elements and demonstrating the independent control of amplitude and phase in a combined macro-pixel. This technique is generally applicable for implementation with any type of phase modulating light modulator.© (1991) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.