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Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems IX (2002)
Proceedings of the SPIE Volume 4660



Introduction

Welcome to the proceedings of the 13th annual Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference and the 9th annual The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality conference held at the San Jose Convention Center as part of the IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging 2002 and Photonics West 2002. In this introduction we will take the opportunity to discuss the many highlights of this year's conferences—an aspect of the two meetings that cannot be garnered from just reading the conference papers alone. The conferences not only provided the opportunity for the presentation of research results but also provided a venue for those active or with an interest in the field to meet and take part in social exchange.

This year's Stereoscopic Displays and Applications (SD&A) conference was held over the three day period 21-23 January 2002 and combined technical sessions with complementary activities such as the demonstration session, keynote presentation, standards forum, 3D video screening session, and the author/attendee dinner. The first day started with our regular session on "Human Factors in Stereoscopic Imaging," chaired by John Merritt. The four papers presented topics which included: stereoscopic image overlap in teleoperation applications, comfortable stereoscopic depth range, convergence accommodation mismatch in HMDs, and the perception of stereoscopic misalignment on large format theater screens such as IMAX 3D.

The second session of the conference was on "Stereoscopic Video," chaired by Andrew Woods. The five papers in this session discussed topics such as 3D HDTV, 3D DVD authoring, software for the correction of alignment errors in stereoscopic video, and ghosting in time-sequential stereoscopic displays. The paper presented by Sharp Labs of Europe dealt with the desirable attributes of a digital stereoscopic still camera. The audience enthusiastically inquired whether they were preparing to release such a camera soon but unfortunately the answer was no - for the time being at least... John Rupkalvis' presentation (co-authored by Daniel Dupont) was illustrated by some 3D DVD segments from the 1982 movie "Parasite." This DVD is believed to be the first anamorphic 3D DVD conversion.

The afternoon sessions started with "Digital Stereoscopic Imaging," chaired by Vivian Walworth. Four papers discussed topics including 2D to 3D conversion, intermediate view reconstruction and stereoscopic video compression. Phil Harman and James Tam's presentations used stereoscopic video to illustrate their presentation.

The last technical paper session of the day was "Integral 3D Imaging," chaired by Stephen Benton. This is the first time in the conference's history that we have had a full session dedicated to this display technique, showing a renewed interest in this display technique, which dates back to 1908. The five papers presented covered topics from integral image generation and integral image processing to display system enhancements and assessment.

This year's 3D Video Screening Session held on the Monday evening was again a very well attended session. The purpose of this session is to provide a snapshot of how 3D Video is being used and produced around the world. This year we screened the following 3D material (or segments thereof) on the conference's high-quality 3D rear projection system:

  • "Corkscrew Hill", a digitally projected stereoscopic ride attraction at Busch Gardens (Williamsburg, Virginia). Written and directed by Jeff Kleiser and Diana Walczak, and produced by Kleiser-Walzcak (North Adams, Massachusetts).
  • "Santa Lights Up New York", a 70mm stereoscopic film directed by Jeff Kleiser and Diana Walczak for Radio City Music Hall (New York). Produced by Kleiser- Walczak (North Adams, Massachusetts).
  • A 10 minute clay animated film titled "The Box" filmed in 3DHDTV and produced by NHK Technical Services (Tokyo, Japan).
  • "Fossil" by Brian McClave (London, UK), with music by George Millward.
  • Segments from the two of the world's first commercially released fieldsequential 3D DVD titles "Encounter in the Third Dimension" and "Haunted Castle". These films were originally produced for IMAX 3D theatres by nWave Pictures (Brussels, Belgium) and distributed on 3D DVD by Slingshot Entertainment (Burbank, California).
  • A product promotion piece titled "Fresh Ideas Inspired by Dreams" produced by 21st Century 3D (New York, New York) for Broan/NuTone (Hartford, Wisconsin). This segment was also played back from field-sequential 3D DVD and featured footage filmed with the new 3D lens for the Canon XL1 digital camcorder, as featured at last year's SD&A demonstration session.
  • "My City of Ruins WTC 9-11 3D" from CinemaVision3D (Oceanside, New York).
  • Several music videos converted from 2D to 3D by Dynamic Digital Depth (Perth, Australia and Santa Monica, California)
The evening came to a close with a delightful meal at the nearby BoTown Chinese Restaurant in downtown San Jose. It was a good chance for some of the conference attendees to mix and talk in a relaxed atmosphere.

The second day of the conference started with a session on "Volumetric 3D displays," chaired by Vivian Walworth. Two papers discussed CRT illuminated swept volume displays and another paper discussed a laser illuminated swept volume display.

The day's remaining three technical session were dedicated to "Autostereoscopic Displays," chaired by Shojiro Nagata and Neil Dodgson. Eleven papers discussed a wide range of topics related to autostereoscopic displays: new methods, technical analyses, refinements to existing methods, etc. These sessions and the single sessions on volumetric and integral displays illustrate the considerable continued interest and activity in glasses-free 3D displays.

The final session of the day was dedicated to a discussion forum on the topic of Standards for Stereoscopic Imaging. Andrew Woods chaired this session with panel members John Rupkalvis and Vivian Walworth. This forum is summarized in a separate document in this proceedings.

The final day of this year’s Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference started with a session on "Stereoscopic Display Applications," chaired by John Merritt. The three papers discussed topics including stereoscopic computer graphics and aerospace research displays.

The second session of the day was "Stereoscopic Camera Systems." chaired by Andrew Woods. The two papers in this session discussed techniques for the capture of stereoscopic X-ray images for security screening applications, and the development and testing of a 3D adapter for camcorders.

After lunch, the poster pop session, chaired by Vivian Walworth, was the opportunity for the five poster authors to give a brief verbal introduction to their posters, which were on display during the following Demonstration and Poster session.

This year's Demonstration and Poster Session featured the largest ever number of autostereoscopic (glasses-free 3D) displays to be featured at the conference. There were 6 autostereoscopic displays on display, complemented by another 5 stereoscopic displays. The session was once again extremely popular since it gives attendees a hands-on up-close experience with a large range of stereoscopic hardware and software.

The session, chaired by Andrew Woods and Neil Dodgson included these demonstrations:

  • NeurOk (Russia) demonstrated their 3D display based on two stacked LCD panels.
  • Hideki Kakeya (University of Tsukuba, Japan) demonstrated a large lens autostereoscopic display in support of his poster paper.
  • VREX (Elmsford, New York) demonstrated a new 21" uPol based stereoscopic LCD flat panel display. Attendees wore linear polarised 3D glasses to view the display. VREX also demonstrated their dual LCD projector 3D projection system, which could be used with either the VREX VR-Video Converter or the Cyviz XPO.1. Again, attendees wore linear polarized glasses to view the projected 3D image. The playback source was a 3D DVD.
  • Chistophe Grossman from n4 (Hamburg, Germany) demonstrated a lenticularbased autostereoscopic display on a notebook computer.
  • Brad Nelson, Nelsonex (Los Gatos, California) and John Miller, Volumedia (Los Gatos, California) demonstrated a rear-projection 3D TV. Attendees wore linear polarized 3D glasses to view the stereoscopic images sourced from 3D DVD or a dual-head computer running several stereoscopic compatible games.
  • Stereographics Corporation (San Rafael, CA) demonstrated their Synthagram monitor - an autostereoscopic display that outputs 9 different views from a flat panel LCD display using a slanted lenticular lens array. Footage shown was a selection of material converted from 2D to 3D by Dynamic Digital Depth.
  • Shojiro Nagata (InterVision, Japan) showed an image splitter prism attachment for taking side-by-side stereoscopic image pairs with a standard digital camera
  • Markus Andiel (University of Kassel, Germany) demonstrated his eye tracking solution using web-cams.
  • Chao-Hsu Tsai from the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) (Hsinchu, Taiwan) demonstrated a 3D micropolariser array LCD panel laptop computer that is viewed with linear polarised 3D glasses.
  • Dynamic Digital Depth (Perth, Australia and Santa Monica, California) demonstrated their Tridef 3D digital video player with a Stereographics Synthagram autostereoscopic monitor. Footage on show included a range of 2D to 3D converted music videos - as shown at Monday night's 3D video screening session. They also had on display their 3D video demultiplexer and 3D video scan doubler.
  • 4D Vision (Germany) demonstrated the company's 15-in. 4DVision autostereoscopic display based on the use of a wavelength selective parallax barrier.
  • Vision Drei (Germany) demonstrated their 3D camera station and stereoscopic head mounted displays.
  • Masako Omori (Nagoya University, Japan) presented material from her poster paper "Recognition of stereoscopic images among elderly people" from the Human Vision and Electronic Imaging VII conference. This paper will appear in Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 4662.
The four other poster authors were also available to discuss their poster papers.

Photographs of these demonstrations can be seen at the conference web site (see below).

The final session of this year's Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference was the Keynote Presentation, presented by Vince Pace of Pace Technologies (Sun Valley, California). Vince's presentation titled "TITANIC in 3D HDTV" discussed the work that has gone into the filming of the new 3D film "Ghost of the Abyss" that is expected to be released in IMAX 3D theatres this year. The production crew, led by Academy Award winning Director James Cameron, returned to the famous wreck of the RMS Titanic in August of 2001. Rather than using the large and expensive 70-mm IMAX 3D camera system, a world-class team was brought together to solve the numerous technical problems in imaging the famous wreck site in the new High Definition 24P digital video format under 12,500 ft of water. When edited, the stereoscopic HD video will be slowscan laser transferred to IMAX 70-mm motion picture film for release. Vince's presentation was richly illustrated with a wide variety of photos taken on the expedition and during the camera system's development. Following Vince's presentation, Emory Kristof (National Geographic Society) introduced the 3D Video footage he filmed at the Titanic wreck site back in 1991. The footage was played back from dual Betacam SP decks on the conference's large rear-screen 3D video projection system.

In closing the Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference we took the opportunity to thank those who made this conference successful at the meeting. The staff at SPIE and IS&T are instrumental in helping organize the meeting. The conference committee plays an important role in ensuring the correct technical direction of the meeting. A particular thank you goes to Brad Nelson (Nelsonex, Los Gatos, California), Spectrum Audiovisual (Denver, Colorado), and David Mark (Mark Resources LLC, San Francisco, California) for providing and supporting the raft of audiovisual equipment that we used to present the audience with the wide range of 3D material that was on show during the technical sessions. Thanks also to our outgoing committee member Mike Weissman (Karl Storz Imaging, Santa Barbara, California) who has provided a wealth of support for the conference over the eight plus years that he has been on the conference committee. But most importantly we must thank the conference authors and attendees whom ultimately make this meeting the successful event that it is.

Finally we would like to mention four last items regarding the Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference: the 3D prize, the SD&A virtual library, a technical comment, and the conference website:

This year we again offered a prize for the best use of stereoscopic display methods during the paper presentations. This year's prize was awarded to James Tam from the Communications Research Center in Canada for his presentation on the asymmetrical coding of stereoscopic video sequences which was aptly illustrated by a field-sequential 3D video sequence played back from BetacamSP tape. James's prize was a copy of the Stereoscopic Displays and Applications CD-ROM.

The new Stereoscopic Displays and Applications Virtual Library was opened for business in September of 2001. There are many old texts on the topic of stereoscopic imaging which are now hard to obtain because of their age. The intention of the SD&A Virtual Library is to once again make some of these texts easily accessible—but this time in electronic format. The first book in the Virtual Library is Lenny Lipton's 1983 book "Foundations of the Stereoscopic Cinema: A Study in Depth". The book is available for download from the conference website as a 14- or 32-MB Adobe Acrobat 'pdf' file - a format that accurately captures the original detail of the book in a fully searchable format. Up until the time of the conference over 150 copies of the book had been downloaded. At the conference the next book to appear in the Virtual Library was announced; it is the 1953 book "Three-Dimensional Photography" by Herbert McKay. This should be on the conference website by the time this conference proceedings goes to print.

The chairs would like to make comment on a technical issue that was evident during the technical presentations at this year's conference and is also evident in the wider 3D literature. Reference is often made to the "toed-in vs. parallel camera configurations". It has been widely documented that the toed-in camera configuration results in the presence of keystone distortion and depth-plane curvature, and that the parallel camera configuration can be used to avoid these distortions (e.g. Woods, et al, "Image Distortions in Stereoscopic Video Systems", in Stereoscopic Displays and Applications IV, J. O. Merritt, S. S. Fisher, Editors, Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 1915, Bellingham, Washington, USA, pp.36-48 (1993)). However, it is important to point out that the parallel camera configuration must be implemented with some form of horizontal image shift (either at the camera, display or by intermediate processing) for it to be analogous to the toed-in camera configuration (but without the two mentioned distortions). If the parallel camera configuration is implemented without image shift, the convergence or zero parallax distance will be at infinity and all images will be cast in front of the display screen. In most cases the parallel camera configuration should be implemented with some horizontal image shift so that a more suitable convergence or zero parallax distance is defined. Since there is a big difference between the parallel camera configuration with horizontal image shift and the parallel camera configuration without image shift, the alert reader should be careful to identify whether or not image shift is intended when reference is made to the parallel camera configuration. The difference can give a totally different meaning to the results or assumptions of the discussion.

The conference activities don’t stop at the end of the January meeting. The SD&A conference website remains as a focus for conference activities during the time between conferences. We will be seeking abstracts for the 2003 conference mid-year. You can join one of the stereoscopic standards committees via the website. You can also join a mailing list to receive conference announcements. The SD&A conference website provides a focal point for these activities, a timetable for important meeting deadlines, and also highlights the activities of past conferences. Visit the conference website to gain an understanding of the past, present, and future of stereoscopic imaging, and most of all think now about presenting a paper or attending next year’s conference. The Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference website is located at: http://www.stereoscopic.org.

This year's The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality (TERoVR) conference was bursting at the seams with presentations starting early in the morning and extending past the typical conference end. Highlighted papers from the conference concentrate either on systems that increased availability to a wider audience, or VR technologies that were integrated into working systems from other disciplines. Examples of such integrated systems include Wes Bethel's Interactive Stereo Electron Microscopy Enhanced with Virtual Reality; Mario Lanzagorta's look at Usability Engineering for a specific military application; and Guillaume Moreau's presentation of Stereoscopic Displays for Virtual Reality in the Car Manufacturing Industry. Papers highlighting the trend toward ubiquity included Dave Pape's paper on Low-cost Projection-based VR displays; M. Ihara's Cyber Entertainment System using an Immersive Networked Virtual Environment; and R.P. Simpsons work at Midwestern State University on an Objectoriented framework for Rapid Game Prototyping. Special thanks go to Shojiro Nagata and Andreas Simon for their special efforts during this conference.


As a final note, we would like to make you aware that the January 2003 SD&A and TERoVR conferences will be held at a new venue: the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. The Electronic Imaging (EI) symposium (of which SD&A & TERoVR are part) has outgrown its association with Photonics West and is breaking off into a separate meeting. This is not totally unfamiliar territory - the Santa Clara Convention Center is just 7 miles away from the San Jose Convention Center, and is in fact the location where the first Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference was held back in 1990. So please remember, the January 2003 SD&A and TERoVR conferences will be held in Santa Clara as part of the 2003 IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging symposium. They will not be held as part of Photonics West which remains in San Jose but on the week following Electronic Imaging. Please consider attending, presenting, or demonstrating at the 2003 meeting in what should be an even bigger and better event.

Andrew J. Woods
Mark T. Bolas
John O. Merritt
Stephen A. Benton



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Maintained by: Andrew Woods
Revised: 13 June, 2002.