Compact optical processing systems are being achieved by the assembly of miniature components. This paper considers the development of integrated 2-D optical processing systems based on planar optics structures and free space communication. Active liquid-crystal optical elements in planar optics form are discussed. Attention is drawn to the use of optically addressed liquid crystal spatial light modulators (OASLM) as demonstration vehicles for planar optics structures. An exclusive NOR optical gate is demonstrated in planar optics form using a nematic liquid-crystal OASLM.