imcube 3D Multiview
2D-to-3D Conversion for
Autostereoscopic TV Displays – 3D TV without glasses
The new video standard H.265/HEVC, which MPEG and ITU passed in January, will become the basis for the new generation of UHD TVs. The 4K-display resolution of these devices provides the ideal environment for autostereoscopic 3D television (“glasses-free 3D”). The entertainment industry expects glasses-free viewing to be the breakthrough technology for 3D usage in living rooms, considering that 3D technology has now established a permanent position in cinemas despite the use of glasses.
“Stereo 3D” is based on two views which are captured, encoded, transmitted and decoded separately all the way from the lenses of the two stereo 3D cameras to the viewer’s eyeballs.
Autostereoscopic 3D differs from the well-known “stereo 3D” in that its effect is not based on two views but on up to 28 views, which are generated by the television device. Depending on their position, each person in front of the TV is provided with “their own” left and right view for an optimal 3D impression. Generally, the computational basis for these 28 views consists of few views (e.g. three), all of which also provide depth information for each pixel. It is these views and their accompanying “depth maps” that are encoded at the source, e.g. the broadcast station, and then transmitted to a television receiver, where they are decoded and transformed into the number of views required for the specific display. The users of such TVs can locally manipulate the depth maps to regulate the 3D effect.
Thus “autostereoscopic 3D” or “multiview 3D” requires multiple views and their depth maps to be captured, encoded, transmitted and decoded in the display simultaneously.
MPEG and ITU have chosen to standardise this method for the transmission of 3D content from senders to receivers in an extension to the H.265/HEVC standard, namely the “H.265 Extension for 3D Video Coding” or, in short, the 3D-HEVC standard.
imcube labs’ creation of television images for “glasses-free 3D”
If the three views and their accompanying depth maps were not created during the original production process of the 3D film, they need to be produced during a “stereo 3D to multiview 3D” conversion process.
The highest quality “multiview 3D” experience on television can only be achieved by employing “native 3D” recording with simultaneous depth map creation or, alternatively, a manual conversion from 2D footage to “multiview 3D.”
imcube labs is introducing its “multiview 3D” conversion as an add-on option to imcube’s well known 2D-to-stereo-3D conversion process. Dr. Sebastian Knorr, imcube’s Founder and Director of R&D says: “imcube’s patented software solution for the conversion of 2D images to stereo 3D already includes process steps, which make it possible to lay the groundwork for ‘multiview 3D’ conversion during a 2D-to-stereo-3D conversion process.” Wilhelm F. Mittrich, imcube’s Director of Corporate Development adds: “We are aware that today’s content requirements of 3D broadcasters don’t provide a sound business model for the conversion of film libraries when 3D with glasses is only a transitional step towards the ‘killer app’ of UHD smart TVs with glasses-free 3D. Our free option for a future-proof 3D conversion solution aims to unlock the 3D potential for great content that is worth converting to 3D, and to provide the much needed 3D content pipeline for 3D at home today and tomorrow.”
imcube’s multiview 3D option is offered at no additional costs to all present customers for 2D to stereo 3D conversion services. At the time that the market requires delivery of “multiview 3D” material for “glasses-free 3D”, imcube labs will finish the inpaint process based on the customer’s depth requirements and render the six streams for the “multiview 3D” format in the same high quality as the stereo 3D version, and at a marginal fee. This ensures that any 2D-stereo-3D conversion undertaken for today’s market doesn’t lose its value when glasses-free 3D is introduced and 3D TV operators start looking to fill the content pipeline in this new format.