Fraunhofer advances VR and Light Field at IBC
September 2016 – Fraunhofer Institute from Germany released several advancements that have come from their commercial R&D activities at the IBC show in Amsterdam. There were three (3) main areas of the announcements at the show – those related to VR, those related to light field and those related to their easyDCP Software Suite.
The VR development included advances in their Omnicam system which has a Tile based HEVC codec. This allows for specific areas to be transmitted as a portion of a panoramic image. This helps 360 video and VR generated imagery to only sending the portion that is being viewed in each frame rather than the data for the full 360degree view. To demonstrate this capability at IBC this year they will be showcasing the transmission of a 10K x 2K panoramic video signal via satellite to multiple devices.
The panoramic signal will be received at the SES stand and transmitted to an Ultra HD TV display, as well as a set of virtual reality (VR) head-mounted devices. The viewer can choose a viewing angle, zoom in and out, turn the picture on the TV display using a simple remote control - or choose to wear a VR headset, where the video signal is delivered simultaneously. This is demonstrating the codec they have designed as well as HTTP TV delivery for VR.
To go with the image, they were also showing their object based audio production tools. These allow for direct rendering of the audio and placement of the sound object anywhere is full 360degree sphere centered on the user of a VR headset. The full surround audio is designed for standard 2 speaker headphones.
Also being shows was their improved plug-in for camera area management and stereo camera operation. The new plug-in manages the restrictions needed to create functional images. The new plug-in supports multiple standards for light field and sound field for VR. The new plug in for VR and Light-Field Technology enables special effects previously only possible with CGI and multiple reshoots. These include “the Matrix” bullet effect, refocusing or virtual camera movements along with 3D and depth processing via Light-Field Technology for a more immersive viewing experience. The use of Light Field allows a single shot through a multi-camera array that can be processed by subsequent image analysis to create multiple immersive sequences in one capture.
These are all based around Fraunhofer IIS’ easyDCP Software Suite is the leading solution for creation, playback and quality control of Digital Cinema Packages (DCP) and Interoperable Master Format Packages (IMP), both based on ISO and SMPTE standards.