Triaxes – a company that specialises in stereo to auto-stereo (glasses free 3D) have launched two new products – Triaxes Legend and an update for 3DMasterKit. They also exclusively reveal work on a real time glasses free 3D video solution for 2012.
The following article features exclusive video coverage which includes a stunning 3D poster that allows the viewer to look behind objects.
Triaxes are known for creating solutions for both the lenticular 3D photography and stereo 3D to auto-stereo 3D conversion video market, the latter enabling regular S3D content filmed with a stereo pair to be displayed on large multi-view (Nview) glasses free 3D displays.
Triaxes Legend is the company’s new high end solution for printing large format 3D posters as well as morph and flip effects. Regular 3D lenticular poster creation usually involves the lamination of a picture (interlaced with multiple viewpoints) onto a lenticular sheet or ‘lens’. The Triaxes Legend solution prepares the image to print directly onto the lens which results in a higher quality result.
Triaxes Legend was presented to Mimaki plotter users during a seminar in Moscow last week where they watched the entire large format lenticular printing process of images created by the Triaxes software tools – Triaxes StereoTracer, Triaxes Morpher and the new Triaxes Legend product.
Triaxes have also updated their popular 3DMasterKit software which is used by professional photographers and enthusiasts to create 3D, morph and flip images. 3D Masterkit is fully compatible with Triaxes depth map creation software StereoTracer that enables the production of glasses free 3D lenticular images from two images (or even one!).
3DMasterKit 6.0 is more efficient due to an overhaul of the internal algorithms for raster encoding and interpolation. The 3DMasterKit 6.0 structure has also been modified to fit a 64-bit operating system and became available last week (a demo version is available here).
During a visit to the Triaxes Headquarters in Tomsk, Russia, 3D Focus TV was shown the latest Triaxes solutions. One of the core aspects of all Triaxes products (both 3D video and photography) is the principle of using two depth maps rather than one. A depth map is a greyscale bitmap image that represents how far a screen element comes ‘out’ of a screen or goes ‘into’ a screen (Z information). Absolute black represents the most extreme positive parallax and absolute white represents the most extreme negative parallax. The 254 greyscales (8-bit) in-between indicate a screen element’s position in-between those two extremes.
The auto-stereo file format is called 2D + Depth and most of the time; one depth map is used for glasses free 3D displays. Triaxes is unique because their solutions use two depth maps to generate a higher quality glasses free 3D result (2D + 2 Depth Maps). Using two depth maps also solves the issue with transparency and overlapping of background objects.
During IBC 2011, Triaxes CEO Alexey Polykov showed 3D Focus TV Triaxes NetJet – a solution that converts a live feed from a stereo camera set up into a format displayable on Dimenco glasses free 3D displays (video here) but during our recent visit to the company’s headquarters in Tomsk, Russia, we were shown DepthGate, their post conversion tool. This utility converts a pre-recorded side by side 3D video feed into a format suitable for most auto-stereo displays (AS3D) rather than just Dimenco displays. The next step is to apply this technology to real-time conversion of a pre-recorded feed to compete with companies like iPont who were showing a real-time conversion of the Astra 3D channel during IBC.
Talking to 3Dfocus.co.uk, Triaxes Product Manager Marina Pinzhina said “Triaxes has already proven it's concept for 3D TV. Its solution for real time shooting, encoding, video transfer and play out at autostereoscopic display was released at NAB 2011 and tested in a number of events during this year. The next step is to run stereoscopic – autostereoscopic conversion on the fly. The same Triaxes solution could receive the video not only from Stereocam (or 3D camcorder), but from any other source (e.g. 3D TV over IP or DVB). This new option is to be released early in 2012”.
The vision of Triaxes is to integrate its technology within the broadcast chain so only one feed is required to be displayed by a range of 2D and 3D displays.
In October, Triaxes opened a Vietnamese office. During the official launch, the company streamed a live 3D video feed to stakeholders not able to attend.
3D Focus TV recently visited the Triaxes Headquarters in Tomsk. The following video includes a stunning poster produced by Triaxes client and 3D photography expert Martin Haeusler where the viewer can actually look behind objects.
The Glasses Free 3D Challenge
The inherent problem with existing glasses free 3D display technology (parallax and lenticular) is that the video needs to be filmed in a certain way. Glasses free 3D requires at least 5 cameras capturing the action during production or the additional viewpoints can be recreated digitally as a post production process. Small glasses free 3D devices like the LG Optimus 3D smart phone and Nintendo 3DS do not require the extra viewpoints because they are designed for single person viewing, hence the very restrictive viewing zones with such devices. This restriction would not be workable on larger displays but Triaxes solutions are able to recreate the additional viewpoints digitally both in real time and as a post preparation process.
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