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Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems XI (2004)
Proceedings of the SPIE Volume 5291


Welcome to Proceedings of SPIE Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems XI volume 5291. This proceedings combines in one volume the papers from two separate but complementary conferences: Stereoscopic Displays and Applications XV and The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2004. These conferences were two of the 25 conferences that comprised the Electronic Imaging 2004: Science and Technology Symposium, held at the San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, California, USA, in late January 2004.

Stereoscopic Displays and Applications

This year's Stereoscopic Displays and Applications (SD&A) conference, the 15th in the series, had very good representation from a diverse group of attendees. The conference was held during the three-day period 19-21 January 2004 and featured a broad range of topics, presentations, and events. Significant advances are being made across the wide range of stereoscopic topics covered by this conference. This is certainly an exciting time to be working in the field of stereoscopic imaging.

The first day of the SD&A conference started with a session on Human Factors, chaired by John Merritt. The five papers in this session discussed topics that included display evaluation, perception, monitoring of eye vergence, and a summary of studies that measured human eye separation. The latter paper should be very useful for stereoscopic display designers because it highlights the range of human eye separation which stereoscopic display designers should accommodate in their designs.

The second session of the conference was titled "Stereoscopic Compression", chaired by Lew Stelmach. Three papers in this session discussed methods for the reduction of the bandwidth of stereoscopic still images and stereoscopic image streams, as well as perceptual evaluation of the performance of stereoscopic image compression. A standby paper was also presented in this session on controlling viewing zones in integral 3D images [5291A-62].

The third session of the conference "Stereoscopic Image Processing and Rendering" was chaired by Janusz Konrad. This was a very popular session and the six papers presented discussed a wide range of topics including rendering stereoscopic images for increased visual comfort, improving and assessing the quality of images rendered onto multi-view autostereoscopic displays, making digital mosaics of stereoscopic images, and a new stereoscopic display technique based on the phantogram. One of the papers in this session used a term "ZDP" standing for Zero Disparity Plane. This is essentially equivalent to another term "ZPD" which stands for Zero Parallax Distance.

The fourth session of the conference "Stereoscopic Camera Systems" was chaired by Andrew Woods. The five papers in this session discussed various systems for acquiring real world stereoscopic images for a range of different stereoscopic display formats. The topic of camera convergence methods was also discussed; this time from a vision research perspective.

The final formal session of the day was the 3D Video Screening Session, chaired by Andrew Woods. The purpose of this session is to showcase large screen examples 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:

  • "The Dolphin Animation" by Lightspeed Design Group - a short piece featuring a computer animated dolphin. [*4]
  • Continental Teves "Safely There" by Lightspeed Design Group - a product promotional piece advertising a motor vehicle accessory. [*4]
  • "The Toughest Sport on Dirt" by Paradise FX Corp. A fast action piece featuring professional bull riding set to country music produced for screening at the 2003 Professional Bull-Riding Association's World Finals in Las Vegas. [Originally filmed in HD3D video but screened here in dual-channel 3D NTSC using *4]
  • "Jako and the Pet Thief" (ride version) by Enxebre Sistemas (Spain). [*4]
  • Samples of three productions by Enxebre Sistemas (Spain): 1. "Je Te Aime" - a fun love history with mosquitoes and landcapes of Galicia, Spain. 2. "Ritos y Leyendas de la Catedral" - a production for the Xacobeo 2004 year. 3. "Talking Fish in 3D" - an amazing story about a fisherman using live underwater and cgi 3D footage. [*4]
  • "SOS Planet" by nWave pictures. An animated documentary about the plight of our fragile planet. [*1]
  • "Zaragoza in 3D" by Tresdedos (Spain). A travel documentary about the Spanish city Zaragoza. [Dual-channel 3D PAL using *4]
  • "Cyberheidi 3D" by Virtual Experience (Germany). A German language drama about a man stuck in a 3D video game. [Dual-channel 3D PAL using *4]
  • "A Tinkerdoodle Christmas" by Powderkeg. An award winning combination of computer graphic and stop motion stereoscopic special venue film. [*4]
  • "Unisys Business Blueprinting" by 21 st Century 3D. A computer animated stereoscopic promotional video for an IT/business consulting service. [*2]
  • "Avandavision 2004" by 21 st Century 3D. An Animated/live action promotional video for the GSK Pharmaceuticals Avandamet product. [*2]
  • "Vision tests" by NHK Science & Technical Research Laboratories (Japan) - A variety of vision test materials as contained in Annex 1 of ITU-R Rec. BT. 1438. [*3]
  • "Simulation R" by NHK Technical Services, Inc. (Japan) - A short dramatic story about the delivery of an important package to head office using a new and untested computer technology. Features many kinds computer graphics and live video of cars driven on the city highway, snow road and a racing circuit. [*3]
As in previous years, a wide range of 3D video sources and playback systems were used this year, including:
      [*1] NTSC Field-sequential 3D DVD
      [*2] "960P" dual DVD playback system
      [*3] NHK 3D-HDTV Playback system
      [*4] DepthQ 3D Cinema dual-HD playback system

The evening concluded with an enjoyable evening meal at the BoTown Chinese Restaurant in downtown San Jose. It was a good chance for about 50 of the conference attendees to mix and talk in a relaxed atmosphere.

The second day of the SD&A conference commenced with three consecutive sessions on the topic of Autostereoscopic Displays, chaired by Neil Dodgson and Shojiro Nagata. The 11 papers covered a wide range of topics including optical system alignment and design, human-computer interaction, multi-viewpoint image generation, and new display system methods for various types of autostereoscopic displays including parallax barrier displays, lenticular displays, pupil projection displays, and volumetric displays.

The fourth session of the day was Stereoscopic Video, chaired by Andrew Woods. This session contained three papers that discussed the use of stereoscopic video for surgical training, visual comfort of high-definition stereoscopic video displays, and a computer based stereoscopic video playback system.

The final session of the day was a discussion forum on the topic "3D and 4D Attractions: The New Stereoscopic Cinema", chaired by Lenny Lipton of StereoGraphics Corporation. The panel members were Jason Goodman, 21st Century 3D; Max H. Penner, Paradise F.X. Corp.; Chris Ward, Lightspeed Design Group; and Samuel Zhou, IMAX Corporation. A detailed review of the discussion forum appears separately following this proceedings introduction.

The third day of the SD&A conference started with a session on Integral 3D Imaging chaired by Shojiro Nagata. The two papers in this session discussed optimized alignment of an integral lens array over a display and conversion of data for compatibility with different integral imaging displays.

The second and third sessions of the day were on Stereoscopic Developments, chaired by Lew Stelmach and Vivian Walworth. The five papers discussed a diverse range of topics including the display of stereoscopic images in such a way that monoscopic viewing is still possible, the inclusion of accommodation response in stereoscopic displays, image quality of anaglyph stereoscopic images, and a stereoscopic display based on stacked LCD panels.

Next, the Poster Pop Session chaired by Vivian Walworth allowed the poster authors to provide a short oral review of their posters. The posters were made available for viewing during the following demonstration session.

This year's Keynote Presentation titled "Stereoscopic Gaming: Technology and Applications" was presented by Dave Cook from nVidia Corporation. Dave's presentation highlighted an application area of stereoscopic imaging which is a perfect illustration of how advances in various technologies have converged to produce impressive results. Dave's presentation discussed the theory and application of stereoscopic displays and stereoscopic computer graphics particularly in the area of computer gaming. His presentation was richly illustrated with examples of how stereoscopic gaming has evolved over the years. There is now a huge range of games (over 1000) that can be experienced in stereoscopic 3D simply by the installation of a stereoscopic driver and an appropriate graphics card.

In addition to providing a review of how stereoscopic hardware for computer graphics applications and stereoscopic APIs have evolved over the years, some estimates of the size of the computer gaming market were also provided: 63% of U.S. households participate in digital gaming (PC and consoles), game industry revenue (hardware and software) is now bigger than the movie box office (in the U.S.A.). The market size of stereoscopic gaming hasn't been measured, however if only 1% of PC 3D API gamers are stereoscopic gamers, that represents about 1 million people (in the U.S.A.). Dave finished off by highlighting some areas that he felt were important for the future of stereoscopic gaming: better and cheaper stereoscopic display technologies, more marketing (people have to see it to believe it), and the development of stereoscopic compatibility guidelines for computer game developers. One further point that Dave was also careful to point out that this technology is not limited to stereoscopic gaming (although it is definitely a popular application) - it can also be used for a huge range of other applications including scientific visualization, medical imaging, and virtual reality.

During Dave's presentation he provided some examples of stereoscopic computer gaming in action on the conference's large rear-screen stereoscopic projection system. The games shown were "Need for Speed: Underground", "Empires: Dawn of the Modern World" and "Joan of Arc". Dave's presentation was an eye-opener for many attendees and many people came up after the presentation to ask questions and experience the high-quality interactive stereoscopic computer graphics first hand. We thank Dave for providing an inspiring and provoking keynote presentation.

The final session of this year's Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference was our ever-popular Demonstration Session. This session is the perfect chance for attendees and visitors to obtain a hands-on and eyes-on experience of the latest in stereoscopic displays and imaging systems. One particular item made a big splash this year, the new Sharp RD3D laptop computer that has an integrated two-view autostereoscopic display. No less than eight of these laptops were on show throughout the demonstrations. It was pleasing to see such a large array of different stereoscopic imaging systems on display and an even larger audience actively engaging with the various displays.

This year the following items were on show at the demonstration session:

  • A poster outlining activities of the 3D Consortium
  • Don Pierce from Micoy demonstrated their stereoscopic panorama software on a Sharp RD3D laptop.
  • Mercury 3D demonstrated their real-time 2D to 3D conversion software on a Sharp RD3D laptop.
  • Jack Yamamoto from Sharp (Japan) demonstrated a Sharp RD3D laptop using a range of different 3D software.
  • Shojiro Nagata of Intervision demonstrated an autostereoscopic display and stereo-printings
  • Charles McLaughlin from the McLaughlin Consulting Group demonstrated the StereoMirror 3D display.
  • Alan Shulman from for3d demonstrated their real-time 2d to 3d video converter.
  • National Displays demonstrated a medical stereoscopic display based on two LCD panels and a half mirror.
  • Justus Ilgner from Aachen University Hospital demonstrated 3D videos and images in support of his paper presentation "Production and evaluation of stereoscopic video presentation in surgical training" on a Sharp RD3D laptop.
  • Nick Holliman of University of Durham showed a range of stereoscopic images in support of his paper presentation "Mapping perceived depth to regions of interest in stereoscopic images" on a Sharp RD3D laptop.
  • Dan Huenergardt from Studio Fusion demonstrated a range of stereoscopic art.
  • StereoGraphics demonstrated their "SynthaGram 404" (40" autostereoscopic LCD), "SynthaGram 202" (20" autostereoscopic LCD), and "SynthaGram 222" (high-resolution 22" autostereoscopic LCD)
  • Ian Mathew from Sharp Corporation (USA) demonstrated a Sharp RD3D laptop running a Kayaking game in stereoscopic 3D and a small handheld computer with an autostereoscopic display.
  • Shmuel Peleg of Hebrew University of Jerusalem & HumanEyes Technologies Ltd. demonstrated IMPACTIO Stereo Mosaicing Software on a Sharp RD3D laptop.
  • Ingo Relke from X3D Technologies demonstrated the 'X3D-19 Display AD' 19" autostereoscopic display
  • Phil Harman from Dynamic Digital Depth (DDD) demonstrated their 3D software products on a Sharp RD3D laptop.
  • John Miller from dep3D demonstrated their 40" dual rear projection stereoscopic display using a variety of stereoscopic PC games and applications.
  • Lightspeed Design Group demonstrated their DepthQ High Definition Stereoscopic Media Server
  • The University of Tsukuba demonstrated a camera system for autostereoscopic display using floating real image.
  • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Advanced Technology R&D Center demonstrated their autostereoscopic display using a scanning back light
  • Takashi Kawai of Waseda University demonstrated an autostereoscopic 3D display and content for a Pachinko gaming machine, and StereoEdit software.
  • Carl Tung from VREX and InventQjaya showed a range of information about VREX's stereoscopic technologies and InventQjaya's new R&D facility in Malaysia.
  • LightSpace Technologies Inc. demonstrated their DepthCube volumetric 3D display.
  • Andrew Woods of Curtin University of Technology demonstrated a 3D phantogram poster.
  • A large StereoJet stereoscopic panorama of the surface of Mars from the Pathfinder mission from JPL was on display.
  • Dave Cook from NVIDIA Corporation demonstrated a range of stereoscopic games on the conference big screen running on a PC equipped with an NVIDIA graphics card.
In addition the four poster authors presented their posters and three Pentax Optio digital still camera owners were seen congregating (taking 3D pictures).

Pictures of the demonstrations listed above area available here:

Many individuals and companies contributed in various ways to make this year's SD&A conference a very successful meeting:

  • This year the SD&A conference was formally sponsored by NuVision by MacNaughton Inc (major sponsor) and VREX / InventQjaya (minor sponsor). Conference sponsorship is a very valuable way for companies to support the running of the conference and gain valuable marketing exposure. We thank the sponsors for their support.
  • The conference committee plays an important role in ensuring the correct technical direction of the meeting and of course, the members play an important role at the conference itself including chairing sessions. Sincere thanks go to Neil Dodgson, Janusz Konrad, Shojiro Nagata, Lew Stelmach, and Vivian Walworth.
  • The ability to present high-quality large-screen stereoscopic images and video at the conference is an extremely important part of the conference. Many people and companies contributed hardware, software, and expertise to make this a truly impressive show. A particular thank you goes to: Brad Nelson of Nelsonex (Los Gatos, California), Adrian Romero and the staff from Spectrum Audiovisual (Denver, Colorado), Chris Ward and Dan Lawrence of LightSpeed Design Group (Bellevue, Washington), Jason Goodman of 21 st Century 3D (New York, New York), and Yuji NOJIRI and Makoto OKUI from NHK Science and Technical Research Labs (Japan). Conference video equipment included Betacam SP player, DVD player, 3D demultiplexer, two QD line doublers, stereoscopic rear projection screen (all provided by Nelsonex), SVHS Player, two Sony VPL-FX50 projectors (Spectrum Audio Visual), DepthQ Stereoscopic Media Server (LightSpeed Design Group), dual industrial DVD players and DVD playback synchronizer (21 st Century 3D), and 3D HDTV playback system (NHK Science and Technical Research Labs).
  • Thanks also to Takashi Sekitani (Tokyo, Japan) who provided a specially modified version of his software "3D Slide Projector" for the purposes of digital stereoscopic slide presentation at the conference.
  • A special thank you also goes to those who helped make the 3D video screening session run so smoothly.
  • Thanks to the demonstration session presenters for making equipment available to show to the conference attendees. Some equipment traveled from overseas, making the contribution to the meeting particularly praise-worthy.
  • I am sure the authors and attendees appreciated the diligence and hard work of Stephan Keith who performed the role of AV monitor this year.
  • Particular thanks are also due to the staff at SPIE and IS&T who are instrumental in helping organize the conference.
  • But most importantly we must thank the conference authors and attendees who ultimately make this meeting the successful event that it is.
This session marked the close of this year's Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference.

This year a number of prizes were offered as part of the SD&A conference. The prize for "the best use of the available stereoscopic presentation tools during the conference technical sessions" was won by Takashi Kawai from Waseda University in Japan for his presentation "Development and evaluation of an amusement machine using autostereoscopic 3D display". Dr Kawai's presentation included field-sequential stereoscopic video sequence developed for the autostereoscopic pachinko machine described in his paper. Dr Kawai's prize was a copy of the new book "3D Australia" featuring stereoscopic photographs taken all around Australia. The second prize was "The best presentation done entirely in stereo." This prize was awarded to Zahir Alpaslan from the University of Southern California (Los Angeles) for his presentation "Three-dimensional interaction with autostereoscopic displays." Both prizes were provided courtesy of Ken Duncan Panographs (Australia).

One theme that came out strongly during this year's conference was fruitful collaborations. The Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference provides a very useful venue for stereoscopic imaging researchers to meet and discuss their work. A number of useful and productive collaborations among SD&A attendees were evident at this year's conference.

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 2005 conference mid-year. You can join a mailing list to receive conference announcements. The SD&A conference website provides a focal point for many activities and a timetable for important meeting deadlines, and highlights the activities of past conferences. The website also hosts the stereoscopic virtual library from which two classic texts are available for free download: Herbert McKay's "Three Dimensional Photography" and Lenny Lipton's "Foundations of the Stereoscopic Cinema". 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: .

The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality

This year's Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality conference began with a session chaired by Shojiro Nagata on Synthesis and Design. The day before, we were fortunate to be able to try prototypes of Shojiro's autostereoscopic displays that were set up at the demonstration session. The first paper by Huanzhuo Ye of Wuhan University concerned itself with the specific issues that arise when there are many moving objects in a virtual environment - for example when implementing a location-based service or a digital battle field. Mingchu Li of Tianjin University then presented a paper on behalf of the authors regarding a distributed architecture-specific virtual reality system, or DARVS. It allows for distributed collaboration between designers through the internet, and is Java3D and XML based.

What if mechanical engineers could simply manipulate real physical blocks representing parts in their design to uncover assembly constraints normally masked by typical CAD software? Jeremy Legardeur and Ludovic Garreau presented their work toward this end describing their ESKUA platform and showing an example of its use.

The late morning session was set aside for a focused look at the work of two research organizations: the University of Karlsruhe and the Nara Institute of Science and Technology.

Bjorn Giesler of Karlsruhe presented a paper on service robots in unknown environments, such as a home. The robots can distill geometric and semantic models through the sharing of both human and robotic skills. By making the relationship bi-directional, more natural systems can be created - when their robots make mistakes around child users, the result is not frustration, but laughter. What could one do with an experimental 3D display, co-axial cameras, a laser scanner, ViaVoice, an infrared tracker, a Glasstron display, and ARToolKit? The University of Karlsruhe created a game environment complete with laser rays and a robot drone that was used to evaluate head-mounted augmented reality systems in a playful environment.

Koji Makita, a student at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology, discussed work to construct a database of location-specific annotation information for wearable Artificial Reality systems served via a wireless network - thus allowing data to be updated and shared in real time. Further work at Nara was highlighted by Sei Ikeda who proposed a telepresence system that uses an omni-directional multicamera head-coupled to a multi-screen immersive projection system, complete with treadmill used as a one axis locomotion interface. By integrating four projectors with a PC cluster on each of three outward tilting screens, this system appeared to provide a rich sense of presence.

The early afternoon session focused on technology and applications. Building upon their work presented at last year's conference, Keiichi Uchimura outlined work by Matrox Systems and Kuamoto University to create a new generation of car navigation systems that can superimpose virtual road indicators onto the real road. The video demonstration showed that they are getting close to attaining their goal.

A fascinating paper was presented by Jocelyn Faubert, who used an immersive environment to model and study the effects of visual distortion on a user's balance. For example, the distortion caused by wearing simple eyeglasses. The audience was then treated to a video from Ikuko Fujisaki showing a virtual representation of different forests - created from remotely sensed data (LIDAR) - for the analysis of authentic beauty and management decisions regarding forest policy.

Jonny Gustafsson works with a group of researchers who wish to interact with CAD data as if it were simply a real model on a table - but without the need for physical props. At the Royal Institute of Technology, his team developed a 3D interaction table using an array of projectors in a configuration similar to that described in Newswanger's 1989 patent, but not practical until now.

The Electronic Visualization Lab at UIC has for 30 years straddled the borders among art, engineering, and science. Where better to help push the envelope of the Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality? Toward that end, Dan Sandin of the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Chicago assembled and chaired the day's final session: Virtual Reality Works

The session began with a visually rich presentation by Margaret Dolinsky of her work in a number of media, with specific attention paid to her immersive piece BeatBox, which uses percussion, ambient loops, and bass sounds in a virtual environment. Dan then immersed the audience in a single-screen presentation of a shared virtual world that was networked to include Margaret's BeatBox, Josephine Anstey & Dave Pape's PAAPAB and Dan Sandin's Looking for Water on Mars. It was a great ending to the conference with the audience gathering about the screen to vicariously immerse itself in these virtual worlds networked from around the country.


Next year, the Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference and The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality conference will be held in the period 16-20 January 2005, again at the San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, California, as part of the 2005 IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging: Science & Technology symposium. The 2005 conferences promise to be bigger and better than ever, so please consider attending, presenting, or demonstrating at the 2005 Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference or The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality conference. Photonics West will be held the following week also at the San Jose Convention Center (The Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference and the Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality conference are not be part of Photonics West for 2005).

As a final note, we lost a very good friend, colleague, and expert in stereoscopic imaging this past year. Professor Stephen A. Benton died of brain cancer on November 6, 2003. Steve was widely credited as being the inventor of the white light rainbow hologram - he also had vast experience and interest in all things 3D. He chaired the IS&T/SPIE Practical Holography conference for 14 years and co-chaired the Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference for the past five years. We will all miss Steve's insights, enthusiasm and friendship. Two events were held in honor of Steve soon after his passing: "BentonVision" at MIT and "A Tribute to Stephen A. Benton" at the 2004 Electronic Imaging Symposium. The latter of these events is summarized in the proceedings of the 2004 Practical Holography conference.

Andrew J. Woods
Mark T. Bolas
John O. Merritt

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Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference

Maintained by: Andrew Woods
Revised: 19 May 2004.