NAB 2014 – Dolby 3D Details Partnership with Stereolabs

Chris Chinnock

Glasses-free 3D - Dolby 3D has teamed with Stereolabs to bring creation of multi-view 3D images to the movie set or live event market.  It allows for the generation of the multi-view format from a stereo pair for quick review.

Stereolabs is a premier provided of automated stereoscopic 3D acquisition. They make the tools that manage the acquisition parameters like convergence to streamline the live stereo acquisition process.  Two years ago at NAB, the Cameron-Pace Group (CPG) made a big splash about their new cameras and automated live acquisition tools.  But soon afterward, Stereolabs began working with them with CPG apparently adopting the Stereolabs approach.

Automated acqusition is needed for live events because without it, you need a dedicated operator for each camera to do convergence pulling.  That means they are adjusting the convergence or tow-in of the cameras to determine where the screen plane is in the 3D volume.  As a person moves from back ground to foreground, a convergence puller may want to keep that person at the screen plane, so they need to manually adjust the camera to follow the action.  And, sometimes the operators are not fast enough to correct follow the action in the desired way.

What Stereolabs has done is develop algorithms that look at the scene and make decisions on convergence with a human in the loop.  Their system can be used on a variety of 3D rigs as long as there is a feedback path to control the convergence at the camera.  The result is a more pleasing and consistent 3D capture.  A stereographer is still employed for the live 3D shoot, but they are there to set the depth budgets for each camera and determine the convergence rules for each camera prior to the event.  During the event, he can then monitor all 3D camera on one display, thus eliminating a whole team of convergence pullers and their associated equipment.  These parameters can vary by event and geographic sensibilities (i.e. Asian audience may want more pop).

The news from NAB is that Dolby 3D is now working with Stereolabs to add the ability to create the Dolby3D format as one of the outputs from their processor, called Pure, which is a 2RU unit that site in the OB Van.  The Dolby format has left and right eye as well as metadata to create a depth map.  That means that live event producers now have the ability to look at the glasses-free multi-view version of the content in real time – a capability that has not existed to date.  Four new SDI output must be added to the PURE box to support the Dolby3D format, which then connects to the display.  This will be ready shortly.

Dolby 3D representative Guido Voltolina also made the point that more glasses-free monitors and TV are coming into the market this year and companies like Dimenco are now making more 50″ glasses-free display based on 4K panels.  This will offer consistent quality in the displays a very reasonable prices to more wide spread use at a live event.

Creation of the multi-view 3D has always been an off-line process, but now with the integration with Stereolabs and the wider availability of glasses-free 3D display, live review of the multi-view content is now possible.  This can provide great feedback and quality control for any piece of content hat may end up on a multi-view 3D display. -Chris Chinnock

http://youtu.be/YO50ss2wGR4

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