Feeds

Disney finds new way to give movies depth

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

Security for virtualized datacentres

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
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.