3DTV could make a come back sooner than anticipated if broadcasters follow the lead of ESPN and CBS Sports. Both have trialled technology which extracts 3D data from a 2D image for the illusion of 3D without glasses on standard HD displays.
It is done with a technique called parallax visualisation which, in the case of live action, means adding a small lens to video cameras and shooting through a rotating iris. By moving the iris off the centre of the lens it captures different points of view at the plane of focus.
ESPN is about to begin transmissions using it along with new technology hot from the labs which manipulates virtual cameras in the same manner to create 3D graphics.
“You can add monocular cues to create the illusion of things popping out of the screen,” explained Chris Mayhew, CEO at Washington DC developer Vision III.
“We can play this back on standard mobile devices too,” he said. “High resolution even at 8K won’t give you texture like this. For textural detail you need parallax.” Up to two stops of light is lost in this trade off, he admitted.
Vision III’s lens is available in PL mount for cameras like Arri and in B4 for ENG applications.
IBC Future Zone 8.G4, www.espn.go.com