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A promising technique to produce stereoscopic 3D video and film for 3D TV is Depth Image Based Rendering (DIBR). For each frame of a conventional 2D video, two stereoscopic views are synthesized using a depth map. The depth map stores the distance between the camera and an object in the scene for each pixel of the corresponding 2D frame.
2D to 3D Conversion:
To convert conventional 2D video to stereoscopic 3D using DIBR, it is necessary to obtain depth maps for all 2D video frames. One way to do this for existing 2D video material is Depth Tracking: starting from a few initial depth maps (possibly manually created), the rest is synthesized by applying the results of a motion analysis of the 2D video.
Below, you see the first, middle, and last frame of a 18 seconds scene from a NASA mission video, along with simplistic hand-drawn depth maps.
This minimal initial depth information was used to create a stereoscopic 3D video. Test viewers watching the video on an autostereoscopic 3D display rated its quality "good" on average.
When viewing stereoscopic 3D video, the depth perceived from stereopsis depends on the display size and distance. In other words, ideal viewing conditions for a given stereoscopic video are limited to a particular display setup.
When depth maps are available, video player software can perform view synthesis in realtime to adapt the stereoscopic video content to the current display situation. This improves perception quality without the need to retarget a given stereoscopic video for all possible different viewing conditions.
Bino is a free video player for stereoscopic 3D video. It runs on all common systems and supports a wide variety of input and output formats, as well as multi-display setups, high precision colors, and scripting. The player is free software and can be adapted for special purposes such as research projects. Contact us if you need help.