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Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems IV (1997)

Proceedings of the two conferences:
Stereoscopic Displays and Applications VIII and The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality IV (1997)


Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems IV,
S. S. Fisher, M.T.Bolas, and J. O.Merritt Editors
Proc. SPIE 3012 (1997)

This volume 3012 of SPIE proceedings, Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems IV, combines the presentations from the conference on Stereoscopic Displays and Applications VII, and the complimentary conference, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality IV.

The Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference continued this year for its eight successive year. The conference continues to track the recent developments in stereoscopic imaging technologies as well as maintaining a focus on the applications of stereoscopic displays, investigations of the human factors requirements of stereoscopic displays and human performance of using stereoscopic displays. The purpose of the conference is to permit practitioners and researchers in this field to exchange current information on stereoscopic display technologies and applications.

The conference commenced with a half-day session on human factors of stereoscopic displays, chaired by John Merritt. Papers in this session examined a wide range of perceptual aspects of stereoscopic imaging, as well as results of recent studies analysing the effectiveness of using stereoscopic displays.

The next session of the conference, chaired by Andrew Woods, focused on stereoscopic camera systems. Four papers were presented covering a broad range of camera systems.

The third session on stereoscopic image generation was chaired by Shojiro Nagata. Three papers discussed various aspects of stereoscopic image processing and generation.

Next, a special half-day session on autostereoscopic displays was co-chaired by Scott Fisher and John Merritt. This session is a regular feature of the conference and provides a continuing focus on techniques of displaying stereoscopic imagery without the need to use glasses or other viewing apparatus encumbering the user. A total of eight papers were presented in this session providing an insight into recent world-wide developments in this field. A standby paper in this session, presented by Andrew Woods, demonstrated the capabilities of a shareware program "3D-MAP" which illustrates the effect stereoscopic video system configuration parameters have upon stereoscopic image distortions.

The fifth session of the conference on stereoscopic image formats and compression methods was chaired by Andrew Woods. Three papers were presented, some of which generated significant discussion.

The sixth session on new developments in stereoscopic displays, chaired by John Merritt, presented the latest innovations in the field. Of particular note in this session was the presentation by Jay Scarpetti and Vivian Walworth of the Rowland Institute for Science on a process allowing full-colour polarised 3D prints and transparencies (vectographs) to be generated using a standard ink-jet printer.

The seventh session on applications of stereoscopic displays was chaired by Scott Fisher.

Continuing last year's example, a keynote speaker was invited to provide a review of a specific area of stereoscopic imaging. Peter Anderson had the audience riveted for well over an hour with his presentation titled "Large-format 3D film in special venues". Peter's talk discussed the adversities of working with stereoscopic film with particular relevance to his two latest productions, "T2-3D" installed at Universal Studios, Florida and a new feature to be installed at Busch Gardens. Special thanks to Ms. Linda Buckley from Universal Studios Florida and Mr. Bob Hoffman from Digital Domain for making it possible to show actual stereoscopic clips from T2-3D to augment Peter's presentation.

As a continuing highlight of this conference, many of the presentations were augmented by actual stereoscopic image projection using polarised slide projectors or stereoscopic video projection. We greatly appreciate the support provided by QD Technology in providing their "3D black screen" stereoscopic rear-screen video projection system for the duration of the conference. We must also thank Virtual i-O for providing and operating the dual Betacam SP decks used to screen the footage shown during the keynote presentation.

Following the conference on Stereoscopic Displays and Applications VIII was the associated conference, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality IV, which specifically focused on the emerging medium of VR from a systems and application-specific point of view.

The conference was divided into four sessions highlighting: creation and evaluation of virtual environments, chaired by Jim Humphries; immersive displays, chaired by Mark Bolas; augmented reality & medical applications, chaired by Henry Sowizral; and Viewpoints on VR, chaired by Scott Fisher.

A major highlight of this year's conferences was a half-day, hands-on demonstration session of new stereoscopic and VR technologies and applications, many of which were described in papers given in the two conferences. The session was chaired by Michael Weissman. Demonstrations included:

  • Full colour polarised 3D prints and transparencies from the Rowland Institute for Science which can be printed using a consumer grade ink jet printer.
  • Multi-view 3D LCD displays from Philips Research Laboratories
  • Stereoscopic images of space and minerals, supporting the presentation by David Mark.
  • Stereoscopic display technologies from 3DTV Corporation
  • Two stereoscopic books showing the work of artist Sugiyama Makoto were displayed: "3D Museum" (with an inbuilt lensed viewer) published by Shogakukan Publishing of Japan and "3D Classic Pictures" (with an inbuilt mirror viewer) published by ThinkLab Inc. of Japan.
  • An online demonstration of stereoscopic images over the World Wide Web using the "SimulEyes VR" liquid crystal shutter glasses from StereoGraphics Corporation.
  • A live video demonstration of the StereoGraphics stereoscopic video system.
  • A stereoscopic rear-screen video projection display from QD Technology.
  • A stereoscopic video multi-standard converter from Curtin University of Technology (Australia) showing 3D video being converted for display on the PAL i-glasses from Virtual i/O.
  • An autostereoscopic display from the Advanced 3D Telecommunication Project, Shinagawa Research Centre, Japan.
  • Stereoscopic video cameras and production equipment from D3P Multidimensional Media.
Numerous stereoscopic videotapes and slides were presented in the adjacent screening room. Footage included "Concerto in 3D" from VRex and Animusic, "Escape" from D3P Multidimensional Media and the teleoperation of a front-end loader in a copper smelter from Curtin University of Technology (Australia). As a new addition this year, poster presentations submitted to the conferences were also on display during the demonstration session.

It is pleasing to see the increasing popularity of the two conferences. Attendance at the conferences continues to increase compared with previous years. The conferences would not have been as successful as they are without the diligent efforts of the conference co-chairs, conference committee, authors and those who provided equipment for the conferences and the demonstration session. The conference also owes its success to its attendees who represent a broad cross-section of the stereoscopic and VR technology community and initiate many important discussions during the sessions. Finally we would like to express our appreciation for the efficient and competent logistics support provided by SPIE and IS&T personnel, who helped in many ways to make the conferences proceed successfully.

Scott S. Fisher
Telepresence Research, Inc.
San Francisco, California

John O. Merritt
Interactive Technologies
Princeton, New Jersey

Mark T. Bolas
Fakespace, Inc.
Menlo Park, California

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Revised: May 8, 1997.