Feeds

Disney finds new way to give movies depth

2D pic to 3D background tech came too late for 'The Lone Ranger'

High performance access to file storage

Disney Research in Zürich is working on ways to improve how 2D composite images can be turned into 3D models.

The basic techniques are well known, but – according to the research the group presented at the recent SIGGRAPH conference – there are limitations. Lasers can capture data to present a 3D surface, but are blocked by obstacles; and in cluttered environments, blending large numbers of photographs to derive a 3D image is very processor-heavy.

To make processing manageable, Disney Research says in a (PDF) press release, “Most existing stereo reconstruction techniques have been tailored for resolutions of just 1 or 2 megapixels”.

Disney's work has concentrated on the algorithms that calculate the difference between 2D scenes to calculate depth estimates. Even though they say they can work at much higher resolution (the demonstration scenes were shot on a DSLR at 21 megapixels), and calculate depth at the individual pixel level, the image data “can be processed efficiently with a standard GPU”, they claim.

To overcome the processing problem, the researchers use the coherence in “massive light fields” as the basis of their algorithm (it would seem to Vulture South that detecting single-pixel coherence is a feat in itself, but we're happy to be corrected on that point). From there, they say, the algorithm:

  • Computes depth estimates around object boundaries rather than interior regions – this is because object boundaries are where it's easiest to calculate differences;
  • Then, “more homogeneous interior regions are … processed in a fine-to-coarse procedure rather than the standard coarse-to-fine approaches.”

The Disney research paper states that a hundred 3 megapixel images could be depth-processed in 162 seconds per view.

In spite of the levity in the headline, there is of course a serious point to all of this, dead centre in Disney's business: movie-making. The world of CGI is famous for its consumption of processor cycles, and this offers an efficient way to create city-scape 3D backdrops with a GPU and StreetView-style image captures. ®

Watch Video

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.