EU metadata plan waits on SMPTE20 June 2011
An EU funded initiative to standardise metadata across the 3D production chain has been sent for SMPTE approval. Whether or not SMPTE accepts or rejects the proposal which has the backing of 35 companies, the project’s organiser plan to publish their findings. The Initiative on 3D Metadata (M3DI) has been in development since 2008 as part of the 20/20 3D Media Spatial Sound and Vision research project, funded to the tune of €9.9m by the European Union (total project cost is €15.2m). M3Di proposes a standard for 3D metadata communication in order to make interoperable lenses, cameras, rigs and stereoscopic image processors, in a way that would allow final customers to replace any item of the production chain without any major impact on the 3D workflow. A paper has been submitted to SMPTE but if nothing is heard before the body’s July conference in New York, M3DI will publish regardless. "We are waiting for SMPTE to accept or reject our paper before we publish,” explained Jordi Alonso, head of 3D at Spain’s Mediapro Research. “Even if there is no response we will distribute the paper freely to gain feedback and hopefully more support.” The initiative has the support of 35 companies but notably absent are lens manufacturers and camera manufacturers, apart from Grass Valley. Backing the project are ESPN 3D, rig vendors Element Technica, Stereotec, Binocle, i-magic and Kronomav, the 3D@Home Consortium, EVS, Doremi, Deluxe USA, Filmlight, Iridas, SGO, Nvidia, Technicolor and The Foundry. Companies invited to participate but who have yet to confirm include lens manufacturers Angénieux, Arri, Canon, Cooke, Fujinon; camera developers Hitachi, Ikegami, JVC, Panasonic, RED, Silicon Imaging, Sony, Toshiba; post solutions vendors Adobe, Assimilate, Autodesk, Avid, Final Cut and Quantel; rig manufacturers including 3ality Digital, Genus, Inition, Kerner, Pace, P+S Technik, Swissrig and broadcasters BSkyB, Canal+, Discovery 3D, Orange, TV3 and Wowow. The project is not to be confused with M3DI, the cooperative effort announced by Panasonic and XpanD in April to standardise consumer 3D glasses technology.