Feeds

Disney finds new way to give movies depth

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.