A general procedure for the analysis of the diffraction capabilities of a three-dimensional low-efficiency hologram is presented. Tightly coupled to a description of the hologram in terms of its three-dimensional spatial Fourier modes, the procedure uses the angular spectrum theory for decomposing the reading light into plane waves. The convolution in the Fourier domain between the two Fourier distributions produces the angular spectrum of the diffracted light. Of special interest are the angular moments of the diffracted light, as a means of detecting the average orientation and distortion of the fringes in the hologram. These vary, in the case studied here, as a consequence of the uneven motion of the supporting media, which subjects the hologram to convection, rotation, and deformation. Diffusion takes place simultaneously, reducing the hologram modulation. Computed time evolutions of diffracted spots from holograms deformed by simple case flows are presented. In this paper we deal only with the readout process of deformed holograms; the effect of the fluid motion on the hologram is studied in detail in the first part of this series [ J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 5, 1287 ( 1988)].
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