Feeds

Disney finds new way to give movies depth

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

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.