Stereo Film Material for Auto-Stereoscopic 3D Displays

At IBC 2009, the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlin presents a technology that prepares conventional stereo film material – of the kind now used in 3D cinemas – for auto-stereoscopic 3D displays. This means that such films can be viewed on auto-stereoscopic displays in 3D without any need for special glasses. To make this possible, scientists at HHI have developed a special algorithm used to automatically generate the extra perspectives needed for 3D viewing.

The prospect of viewing 3D video content on auto-stereoscopic displays in the home or on mobile end devices places providers of 3D video content before new challenges. Unlike traditional stereo or 3D cinema which relies on special glasses to create the 3D effect, the basic parameters of 3D recordings for auto-stereoscopic displays like the viewing distance or screen size can vary considerably. To adapt conventional stereo film material to the special requirements of auto-stereoscopic 3D displays so that it can be viewed on them, film content must first be converted to a suitable format.

Scientists at the Image Processing department of the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute have developed a depth-based production format in which special algorithms attach a pixel exact depth map to each stereo image. Depth image-based rendering (DIBR) techniques are then used to generate the missing perspectives. In the simplest cases, the additional depth is automatically generated, while in more difficult situations it can be helpful to support the automated process through suitable adaptation of the parameters or to manually rectify particularly critical spots.

This generic depth-based production format enables adaptation to every kind of 3D display. The specific type of display defines the number of virtual perspectives which are then generated via DIBR.

Source: Fraunhofer HHI