The 3D@Home Consortium (San Jose, CA) has launched two publicly-available interactive easy-to-use diagrams that are designed to assist broadcast, distribution, display and electronics industry professionals in better understanding implementation path for stereoscopic 3D. Guest article
The Adobe Flash®-based 3D Eco-System Chart and the 3D Display Technology Matrix are one-of-a kind tools the Consortium has developed to help foster communication about key 3D industry issues and to tie together the various 3D activities underway in many bodies, companies and associations.
“Since we founded the 3D @ Home Consortium over four years ago, one of the key missions has been to help create educational tools and information that can be used throughout the entire 3D ecosystem,” said 3D@Home managing director Heidi Hoffman. “These latest tools continue this tradition, offering deep insight into the various 3D distribution paths along with roadmaps for development, as well as a matrix of common 3D display technologies.”
3D Eco-System Diagram
The 3D Eco-System diagram was initially conceived as a useful way to illustrate the various pathways that 3D content can be distributed to the home. Over time, it grew to also include additional details and metadata components to become even more useful to the professional 3D community.
Figure 1 below illustrates the top-level components of the 3D eco-system: Production, Distribution and Consumption.
To show the various connection paths, users need only click on one of the submenus under Production, Distribution or Consumption. The result is shown in the Figure 2. Here, our mouse hovers over Live TV under the Production menu. Note that some of the colored boxes in the top level menu area are now a white color. This indicates the pathways that Live TV can flow from the content creation through distribution and into the home. This is very useful to help users understand the big picture of content flow as it illustrates the complexity of these pathways.
Figure 3 results when users click on the “view” option. This shows even more detail on that aspect of the 3D Eco-System, or in this case specifically, the workflow for Live TV Post Production. The user can look at all the options under the three main areas and in many cases, drill down more deeply to get additional details. In some cases, roadmaps are also given.
“Many of the companies who worked on the 3D eco-system diagram also participate in various standards bodies activities,”, noted Thierry Borel, project leader with Technicolor, who led the effort as chair of SteeringTeam2: Distribution and Transmission (ST2). “As we worked on this eco-system chart we realized the chart provided a very good opportunity to note which standards organizations were involved in the various parts of the 3D eco-system. As a result, the Metadata table was developed as a handy cross reference to identify where known standards bodies are working on key issues in the 3D eco-system”
Figure 4 shows this metadata chart. Metadata, which is the ancillary data created during the capture and production process, is an area of great interest in the 2D and 3D community.
The reasoning is that metadata helps create a more streamlined production and post production workflow that can produce more accurate images. And, if some of this metadata is carried all the way to the home, it provides additional ways to optimize the content for the consumer’s particular playback and display system.
Borel also noted that, “We wanted to identify the areas that have been successfully debated and agreed upon, but also show the areas that still need attention. We will continue to work with our established liaison in the standards organizations to see if they can begin the discussion within their committees.”
3D Technology Matrix
3D@Home’s Steering Team 4: 3D Consumer Products (ST4) sponsored the creation of the new 3D Technology Matrix, as illustrated in Figure 5.
This new interactive chart is an update to one originally published three years ago in wall poster form and was well received by the 3D industry. The update focuses on commercially available products providing a “family tree” type of architecture that is organized into four main branches:
• Stereoscopic – The display of a pair of images with slightly different perspectives which are separately delivered to the left and right eyes, usually featuring eyewear.
• Autostereoscopic – The display of a pair of images with slightly different perspectives that are directed to the left and right eyes without the aid of eyewear
• Volumetric – A display device that fills a volume of space with pixels (Volume-pixel or voxel) and requires no eyewear to see the 3D effect
• Light Field – A display device that creates pixels whose light output is different depending upon the viewing direction. No eyewear is needed to see the 3D effect.
Within each branch (revealed by clicking the “+” sign), additional details are provided on the display technology and implementation, the need for and type of eyewear used, and the commercial status.
“The creation and review processes were rigorous and the conversations were kept spirited, to ensure we provided accurate information,” noted Juan Reyes, chair of ST4 and CTO of BluFocus, a leading advanced quality assurance and certification facility. “We created this diagram for those who need a handy reference to different 3D display technologies. They are likely in strategic decision making roles in broadcast, 3D content creation, system development, or even 3D application development. 3D displays impact a broad number of professionals in many different industries, so we are trying to provide the tools to aid in their decision making processes.”
To view the diagrams, visit http://www.3DatHome.org/images/3d-ecosystem.html or go to www.3DatHome.com and click on the 3D Eco-System diagram graphic in the middle of the page. The diagrams were created by 3D@Home’s steering teams, comprised of members leading the roll-out of 3D, including: Blu-Focus, Harris Corp., Holographika, Intel, Insight Media, ITRI, ETRI, Masterimage, Samsung, Sensio, Sigma Designs, SpatialView, Sony, Technicolor and THX.
About 3D@Home Consortium
Comprised of more than 45 companies from North America, Asia and Europe, representing the entire 3D development channel, the consortium is working to accelerate the creation and adoption of quality 3D technology in the home by enabling an entire "system" of products that will broadcast, play, and display 3D content.
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