As first revealed here, the BBC is to carry out 3D stereo experiments as part of the test transmissions for Super Hi-Vision it is conducting with NHK this week, writes Adrian Pennington.
BBC R&D is using the opportunity of the live tests transmissions to carry out research as part its i3DLive project.
On Wednesday September 29th the BBC and NHK TXed a set by The Charlatans live from BBC TV Centre direct to Japan in Super Hi-Vision (SHV) and followed that on September 30th with a similar transmission of a Team GB taekwondo bout also taking place in TV Centre.
BBC R&D will aim to generate 3D and special effects such as crane shots and steadycam shots without moving the SHV camera. A second test will seek to add stereo to the SHV images using one SHV camera and an array of ten HD cameras in the studio. The 3D footage will be for capture only and not part of the transmission trials.
The results will feed into i3DLive which aims to develop tools for multi-camera capture of live action and allow a virtual camera to synthesise views from any angle – otherwise known as free-viewpoint video.
i3DLive builds on the work of the ORIGAMI and iView projects which set out to develop new tools for the creation of high-quality scenes incorporating both real and virtual objects.
There are currently no available systems offering true free-viewpoint functionality. I3DLive is an attempt to offer a new studio system targeted at TV production in realtime (or near).
SHV is a work in progress format under development at Japanese broadcaster NHK and promising 16 times the resolution of current HD. Recent developments include cameras with three image sensors each of 33 million pixels. Two years ago these weighed in at 40kg. Now the weight is halved to make mobility much more manageable.