Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Alliance’s Spatial-AV Project Overcomes Technical and Cost Barriers for 3D Production

/ 13.9.2013

The Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Alliance, the driver of enhanced moving picture and audio experiences, today announces new developments and workflow solutions from its Spatial-AV Project, the Alliance’s initiative to automate the procedures of 3D production and provide intelligent, modular, multi-sensory recording and production systems for immersive audio-visual media. One year into the Project’s research and development efforts, Fraunhofer delivers the solutions to further combat technical production costs and enhance creative filmmaking in the era of 3D.

“At Fraunhofer, we’re dedicated to developing new, technical opportunities that let
professionals return to the simplicity of cinema’s past, while achieving the highestpossible
quality and standards to be competitive in today’s market,“ said Dr. Siegfried
Foessel, spokesman for the Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Alliance. “The Spatial-AV Project
makes it possible to focus on creativity, as opposed to the complex technical
adjustments and resources that come along with 3D production.”

Under the Spatial-AV Project, scientists from the Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Alliance pool
expertise to develop future oriented systems for the enhanced production of 3D. This
includes the introduction of first-of-its-kind prototypes of cameras, computational
imaging methods and audio-visual coherence. Recent developments include camera
settings for auto-stereoscopic 3D recording, omnidirectional camera set-ups for 360
degree recording and promising new methods based on lightfield acquisition
technologies for professional video and movie productions.

At IBC, Fraunhofer is demonstrating the Spatial-AV Project’s latest innovations including:

The most innovative lightfield camera recording system to date

Using sparse angular sampling, the new four-by-four array of Fraunhofer provides 16
slightly different views, capturing the lightfield in one shot. Key advantages include
different viewing angles, focuses and the automatic creation of depth maps. In the
future, this will also lead to the elimination of the need for a green screen in moving
picture production. With Fraunhofer’s lightfield technology, professionals can now
control artistic effects, such as the Matrix “bullet time” or vertigo effects, in postproduction. The result is a streamlined production process that alleviates costs and
provides the utmost creative freedom for producers.

New easy-to-use miniaturized OmniCam-360 system

Fraunhofer’s new system enables the real-time acquisition of 360-degree ultra-high
definition panoramic video. This scalable, mirror-based multi-camera rig captures ultrahigh-
resolution 3D video panoramas that are exhibited with a flexible multi-projection
system. Viewers are provided with an immersive viewing experience, giving them the
feeling of watching an event on-site live from the very best seat.

The first prototype of a microphone management solution for spatial audio

Audio-visual coherence, the joint recording, editing, and matching of acoustic and visual
perspectives, is a main focus of the Alliance’s Spatial-AV Project. The microphone
management solution, an interactive system of 3D audio reproduction for headphones,
allows sound engineers to optimize recordings on set by facilitating rapid and intuitive
control over the audioscape even with a large number of microphones. This is possible
any time, during or after production.

Launched in 2012, research and development activities under the Spatial-AV Project are
scheduled to last three years. Further research and development under the project will
follow over the coming two years to deliver additional, future-oriented systems.

IBC attendees can experience demonstrations of the Project’s innovative solutions at the
Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Alliance booth 8.B80. Further information is available at: http://www.dcinema.fraunhofer.de/en/.

About the Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Alliance

The Fraunhofer Alliance Digital Cinema consists of four Fraunhofer institutes
specializing in video and audio technologies. With the start of digitalization in the
moving picture industry, these institutes joined forces in 2004 to offer R&D expertise
with one face to the customer. The institutes are all well known in the industry for
award-winning developments and standards like MP3, H.264, the DCI Compliance Test
Plan for Digital Cinema, IOSONO, easyDCP software etc. In addition, they are
contributing to ISO, SMPTE, ISDCF, EDCF.