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Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems XII (2005)
Proceedings of the SPIE Volume 5664



Introduction

Welcome to Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems XII, Proceedings of Electronic Imaging volume 5664. These proceedings combine in one volume the papers from two separate but complementary conferences: Stereoscopic Displays and Applications XVI and The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2005. These conferences were two of the 23 conferences that comprised the 2005 IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging: Science and Technology Symposium, held at the San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, California, USA, in January 2005.

Stereoscopic Displays and Applications

This year's Stereoscopic Displays and Applications (SD&A) conference was the 16th in the series. The conference, held during the three-day period 17 to19 January 2005, featured a broad range of topics, presentations, and events.

The first day of the SD&A conference started with a session titled "Convergence Accommodation Issues", chaired by Andrew Woods. Most stereoscopic displays are unable to provide changes in accommodation (focus) corresponding to changes in convergence. This session included papers that discussed new displays capable of producing changes in accommodation, thus preserving the link between convergence and accommodation of human vision. Many people were impressed with the description and images provided of a 128-view autostereoscopic display constructed at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. Understandably the actual display could not be transported to San Jose for the demonstration session, due to its size and complexity, but many attendees were left wishing they could be immediately teleported to Japan to see it.

The second session of the conference, titled "Human Factors," was chaired by John Merritt. Three of the papers presented in this session discussed topics that included: stereo-foveation, accommodative load, and smoothness of multi-view images. A standby paper on a multi-view autostereoscopic display was also presented.

The third session of the conference, "Stereoscopic Image Processing," was chaired by Mike Weissman. This was again a very popular session, and the five papers presented discussed a wide range of topics, including arbitrary viewpoint imaging, rendering gaseous substances, depth mapping, stereoscopic video coding, and recovering missing colors from stereoscopic images.

The fourth session of the conference, "Autostereoscopic Displays," was chaired by Neil Dodgson. The five papers in this session discussed various ways of implementing and optimizing displays that can present stereoscopic images to an observer without the need for the observer to wear any viewing apparatus (e.g. glasses). Displays discussed included two-view and multi-view autostereoscopic displays.

The final formal session of the day was the 3D Video Screening Session, chaired by Andrew Woods and Chris Ward. The purpose of this regular session is to showcase examples of how 3D video is being used and produced around the world. This year the following 3D material (or segments thereof) was screened on the conference's high-quality polarized stereoscopic rear-projection system:

  • "Fish" by NHK (Japan) - a 5-minute piece showing the wonderful undersea life at Zamami, Okinawa, Japan. [*8C] [This code represents the 3D format and the playback system - see the explanation following.]
  • "Robogirl" and "Choices Homero" by Lightspeed Design Group (USA) - two short computer animated pieces. [*8C]
  • "Giants Exist" by Continuum Resources (Australia) for Whale World (Australia) - a 16- minute documentary style piece about whales on the southwest coast of Australia. [*5C]
  • "3D Aurora" by Brian McClave (UK) and George Millward - an experimental piece showing actual stereoscopic video of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). [*2C]
  • "Metro Safety Kids" by Dynamic Digital Depth (USA and Australia) for the Los Angeles Metro Transit Authority (USA) - a predominantly computer-animated piece that teaches kids how to travel safely on the Los Angeles Metro rail system. The piece also included compositing of real-world video into the computer-animated world and 2D to 3D conversion of real-world video. [*3C]
  • "The Bermuda Triangle Undersea Adventure" by Powderkeg (USA) - a 4.5-minute computer-animated underwater ride-film. [*8C]
  • "The Creeps" - a movie originally filmed in 3D in 1997 for cinema release and recently released in field-sequential 3D DVD format by ‘3D for your TV’ (USA). [*1A]
  • "Alaska 3D - Flora, Fauna and Fishin! (teaser)" and "Carstensz Pyramid - Adventure in Irian Jaya (teaser)" by Tom Riederer, TreeD films. 3D adventure videos shot in exotic locations. [*1C]
  • "Avandavision 2004" by 21 st Century 3D (USA). A piece designed to advertise a new Avanda pharmaceutical to doctors and sales representatives. [*4B]
  • "Swimming with Phytoplankton" by Iona Scott for Kew Gardens (UK) - a short computer-animated piece illustrating various forms of phytoplankton. [*7C]
  • "Barney (the Owl) in 3D" (informal title) by Inition (UK) for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) (UK) - a short piece illustrating the difference between the life of Barney the owl and a typical human and their effects on the environment. [*6C]
  • "Toyota product shots" (informal title) by Cobalt Entertainment (USA) - a beautifully filmed piece showing various models of Toyota vehicles in an advertising style compilation. [*8C]
  • "Moon Man" by The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) - a stereoscopic computer animation inspired by the Canadian folk song "Moonman Newfie" about Codfish Dan, a folk hero fishing on the Milky Way. The animation was developed using an IMAX SANDDE stereoscopic animation workstation. [*8C]
  • "Falling in Love Again" by The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) - a delightfully amusing computer animated piece set to the music "Falling in Love Again" sung by Marlene Dietrich. A playful take on the vertigo of falling in love. The animation was developed using an IMAX SANDDE stereoscopic animation workstation. [*8C]
As in previous years, a wide range of 3D video sources and playback systems were used, including:
          [*1] Field-sequential 3D NTSC
          [*2] Field-sequential 3D PAL
          [*3] Dual-channel 3D NTSC
          [*4] "960P" Dual-channel progressive 3D NTSC
          [*5] Dual-channel 3D PAL
          [*6] Dual-channel widescreen 3D PAL
          [*7] Dual-channel 3D 800x600
          [*8] Dual-channel 3D High-Definition (HD) Video
          [*A] played back from a single standard consumer DVD player and demultiplexed to the two video projectors by a 3D Video Demultiplexer
          [*B] played back from the “960P” synchronized dual DVD playback system
          [*C] played back from the DepthQ 3D Cinema Server

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

The second day of the SD&A conference commenced with a symposium-wide plenary session that was particularly related to the SD&A conference. Dr. Justin Maki from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, California) presented a talk titled "20 Cameras on Mars: The Mars Exploration Rover Imaging System". Dr. Maki’s talk reviewed the camera hardware on the rovers (which includes 4 stereoscopic camera pairs on each rover), and also the history of the mission from the landing of the first of the two rovers on Mars in January 2004 (including the "Cosmic Hole-in-One," whereby one of the rovers landed by chance in the middle of a small crater) up to the present day. He also provided an inside view of how the staff at JPL processes the data received from the two rovers and use this data to make mission decisions. The talk included polarized stereoscopic projection of a selection of stereoscopic images from the mission to the approximately 600-strong audience. Images were shown from all of the rovers’ stereoscopic cameras and included a number of stitched stereoscopic panoramas and a number of computer-generated stereoscopic images created from special usage of the microscopic imaging camera. The talk was well received and provided an important insight into how stereoscopic imaging is being used in planetary science.

The first technical session of the SD&A conference for the day was "2D to 3D conversion" chaired by Gregg Favalora. The two papers in this short session discussed two methods, automatic and manual, of converting 2D images or video to 3D.

The next session was "Stereoscopic Video" chaired by Andrew Woods. The four papers in this session covered topics including HD stereoscopic video cameras, pre-rendering of stereoscopic video animations, autostereoscopic monitor image pattern creation methods, and a method of showing 3D video on integral 3D displays.

After lunch a session on "Stereoscopic Developments" was chaired by Vivian Walworth. The session contained four papers that discussed a wide selection of topics relating to new methods for displaying stereoscopic images.

This was followed by a short two-paper session, "Depth Mapping," chaired by Vivian Walworth. The purpose of this session was to provide focus on methods for extracting and processing depth maps for stereoscopic content.

The final session of the day featured 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. 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:
  • Robert-Paul Berretty and Frans Peters from Philips (Netherlands) demonstrated a new Philips multi-view autostereoscopic display based on a switched lenticular lens array filled with liquid crystal.
  • Nic Beames from Dynamic Digital Depth (Australia and USA) demonstrated DDD software "TriDef Autostereo 3D tools" and "TriDef Player" on a newly released Sharp Mebius PC-AL3DH autostereoscopic 3D laptop, and a 30" µPol 3D LCD display from Arisawa (Japan), viewed using polarized 3D glasses.
  • Igor Troitski demonstrated a large selection of laser-induced volumetric images inside crystals.
  • RAFAEL (Israel) demonstrated automatic video-to-stereoscopic-video conversion software.
  • Nick Holliman from University of Durham (UK) demonstrated new methods for creating stereoscopic images with controlled perceived depth on a Sharp RD3D laptop.
  • Hongen LIAO from University of Tokyo (Japan) demonstrated a long viewing distance integral photography autostereoscopic display.
  • Peter Wimmer from Johannes Kepler University (Linz, Austria) demonstrated his shareware "Stereoscopic Player" and "Stereoscopic Multiplexer" software. Connected to his laptop were a stereo-pair of Sony handycams and also a stereopair of USB web-cam eye-ball cameras that were set up to show live stereoscopic video on the laptop screen in anaglyph format.
  • Liang Zhang from Communications Research Centre (CRC) (Canada) demonstrated the results of their study into disparity estimation and multi-view video generation.
  • Mark Feldman from StereoGraphics (California) demonstrated their "SynthaGram 404" (40" autostereoscopic LCD), "SynthaGram 202" (20" autostereoscopic LCD) and their Photoshop "3D imaging" plug-in.
  • Jason Goodman from 21st Century 3D (New York) demonstrated the "3DVX" stereoscopic video camera.
  • Kazuki Taira from Toshiba Corporation (Japan) demonstrated a prototype autostereoscopic display on a Toshiba notebook computer.
  • Alan Sullivan from Lightspace Technologies (Connecticut) demonstrated the DepthCube 3D volumetric display.
  • John Miller and Brad Nelson from Dep3D (California) demonstrated a variety of stereoscopic PC games and applications on their 40" dual rear projection circular polarized stereoscopic display.
  • Scott Robinson and Chuck McLaughlin from Planar Systems (Oregon) and McLaughlin Consulting Group (California) demonstrated the StereoMirror 3D display.
  • Steve Schklair and Bernie Butler-Smith from Cobalt Entertainment (California) demonstrated their dual 720P high-definition stereoscopic video camera.
  • Andrew Woods from Curtin University of Technology (Australia) and Tony Hall from Welaptega Marine Ltd (Canada) demonstrated their 4000m depth rated underwater stereoscopic video camera and example stereoscopic video filmed with the underwater camera played back from a field-sequential 3D DVD on a Sharp RD3D autostereoscopic laptop.
  • Steven Smith from VRex Malaysia and Mike Roche from VRex USA introduced the "AutoBin Clipon," a product that allows for the after-market attachment, via a magnetically enabled frame, of either a TNµPol (twisted nematic micro-polarizer) or a two-view autostereoscopic parallax barrier to allow a standard LCD to be used for stereoscopic display. Introduced also was a 17" TNµPol micro-polarizer, which allows a range of 17" consumer LCD displays to be used for stereoscopic display. They also demonstrated SterVu TM - a 2D to 3D image conversion software suite.
  • Samuel Zhou from IMAX Corporation (Canada) provided a range of technical literature about the IMAX 3D process and showed movie posters from two recent IMAX 3D movies: "The Polar Express" and "NASCAR 3D".
  • Steve Berezin from Berezin Stereo Photography (California) demonstrated a wide variety of consumer stereoscopic products, including various 3D glasses, viewers, books and software.
  • Chris Chaleki from Progressive 3D (Maine) demonstrated a digital stereoscopic video camera (1024x768 x2) with camera-link interface.
  • Alan Silliphant from Anachrome 3D (California) demonstrated the Anachrome 3D glasses and images.
Pictures of the demonstrations listed above are available at the conference website: www.stereoscopic.org

Following the demonstration session, the 13 SD&A conference poster authors presented their posters in the symposium-wide poster session.

Also on display on Tuesday and Wednesday was a Phantogram Exhibit organized as an event of both the Electronic Imaging Symposium and the Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference. The Phantogram Exhibit collected the works of a wide selection of artists and authors to form the largest ever collection of phantograms in one exhibit; about 100 phantograms were on display. For those not aware of what phantograms are, they are a relatively new art form based on the use of standard stereoscopic display techniques but with a special geometric modification that makes the images look as though they are part of the real world viewing volume in front of you. Phantograms are usually laid flat on a table and viewed from a 45-degree angle (however there are other types). If constructed well, the virtual three-dimensional images look as though they are sitting there right in front of you - part of your world, not a virtual world. A large part of the exhibit was dedicated to phantograms of the Mars surface - constructed from stereoscopic images captured by the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity. It was fortunate that we were able to exhibit these images on the same day as the plenary presentation by Dr. Justin Maki from JPL on the topic of the Mars Exploration Rovers. The phantogram exhibit included works from the following authors and artists: Achim Bahr (Germany); Boris Starosta, Starosta.com; Steve Aubrey; Owen (Wes) Western, 3D on the Level; John Adlersparre, Magic Mosaics (Canada); Gilbert Detillieux (Canada); Takashi Sekitani, StereoEye (Japan); Steve Hughes; Terry Wilson, Terryfic3D; and Andrew Woods (Australia). We appreciate the permission of Steve Aubrey and Owen (Wes) Western, who each hold patents relevant to the topic of phantograms. The phantogram exhibit was coordinated by Terry Wilson and Andrew Woods.

The third day of the SD&A conference started with a discussion forum on the topic "Crimes against 3D". The forum was chaired by Lenny Lipton (StereoGraphics) with panelists John Rupkalvis (Stereoscope International), Samuel Zhou (IMAX Corporation) and Josh Greer (Real D). Paraphrasing Lenny Lipton’s opening remarks:

The title of this discussion was chosen to provoke discussion. Because of the people on the panel the discussion will probably be motion picture centric but it can be much broader. As I see it, the discussion can fall into two categories - one would be system design involving primarily engineering, and the other portion of concern would be how the pictures are captured and generated. 3D has had a long and troubled history since 1838, when Wheatstone announced the discovery of stereopsis and the invention of the stereoscope. Over the years stereoscopy has come and gone. In the Victorian era the stereoscope was the equivalent of today’s television. But I recall I found in an 1898 magazine a critique of stereo mounting complaining that the cards were improperly mounted. Skipping ahead, Polaroid Corporation put a lot of effort into stereoscopic projection with polarized images in the 1950s. There was a large boom of 3D movies peaking in 1953 but it did not continue long term. What we have today is a growing number of 3D theatres in theme parks and IMAX 3D theatres, and attempts are now being made to reintroduce 3D into the mainstream theatrical cinemas. Having said that, as I say to my kids, you have to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and don’t mess with Mr. In-between. What do you perceive to be the greatest stumbling block, what needs to be overcome, what crime against 3D needs to be addressed?
A spirited and well-intentioned discussion ensued. The discussion forum received very good input from the audience, and the panel responded with good humor and good insight. There was general consensus that we all need to work hard (as creators and critics) to maintain the high quality of 3D (systems and content) now possible and educate the purveyors and consumers of 3D so as to avoid poor-quality 3D.

The first technical session of the day was on "Volumetric 3D Displays" and was chaired by Gregg Favalora. The four papers in the session discussed topics including using lasers to produce permanent static volumetric images inside large crystals, new technologies for displaying volumetric images, and methods of interacting with data displayed in volumetric 3D displays. The final paper of this session showed some particularly good videos that illustrated well the interaction methods discussed in the paper.

This year, for the first time in the history of the SD&A conference, it was necessary to run two parallel sessions in order to squeeze in some more papers that we felt should be presented at the conference. One of the parallel sessions was titled "Integral 3D Displays" and was chaired by Nic Holliman (University of Durham, UK). Integral 3D displays are a blossoming area of interest, and the four papers in this session discussed a broad range of methods for displaying integral 3D images as well as processing of integral 3D image data. The other session held at the same time was "Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies," chaired by Andrew Woods and Ian McDowall. This session was born out of our attempt to continue the "Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies" conference series, which was last held in Boston at Photonics East in 2001. Unfortunately we did not receive sufficient papers to run an entire conference on this topic. However, we still did wish to have a selection of those papers presented. Hence this session was held as a joint session between the Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference and The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality conference. The first of three papers discussed a small-scale study conducted in conjunction with Intuitive Surgical to explore the performance changes when the stereoscopic camera separation is reduced in a laparoscopic surgery environment. The second paper was intriguing and showed the ability to stream panoramic video at a resolution of 1344x672 from a 6-view camera. The video was streamed into a web browser that provided mouse-type interaction to explore the remote location. The final paper in this session, which outlined an implementation of a flammability model, showed the integration of that model into a fire training application.

The next session was "Stereoscopic Display Applications," chaired by John Merritt. The single paper presented in this session discussed the historical and developing usage of stereoscopy in orthopedics. The author reviewed the many benefits that can apply in this field and, on a practical level, what tools can now be used to implement stereoscopy. The other two papers originally scheduled for this session were not presented.

The final session and highlight of this year's Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference was the Keynote Presentation titled "Digital Technology and the Resurgence of Commercial Stereoscopic Entertainment," presented by Steve Schklair from Cobalt Entertainment.

Not since the 1970s has there been so much activity in stereoscopic cinema in the commercial and corporate film sector. Advances in digital technologies enabling both efficient capture and exhibition have eliminated most of the obstacles faced by previous generations of 3D entertainment. At the front end are new high-resolution digital cameras on "intelligent" motion-controlled shooting platforms. In the middle are new digital post-production tools. At the back end is the coming rollout of commercial digital cinemas accompanied by recent developments in stereoscopic projection technologies. Taken together, these tools and techniques are behind the new wave of stereoscopic filmmaking that is changing the paradigm of the mainstream Hollywood movie business.
In Steve’s presentation he stressed that the future is bright for the stereoscopic world, but it is also a world that will demand uncompromising quality. And as the audiences become more visually and stereoscopically literate, they will continue to expect higher and higher standards. Steve’s presentation was interspersed with the stereoscopic projection of some of his recent 3D HD works. Titles shown on the specially setup 14 x 8-foot front-silvered screen included "NFL Football 3D Test", "Toyota product shots", and "Superbowl to the Max trailer". We thank Steve for his insightful presentation and look forward to seeing more of his 3D HD footage at future conferences.

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 MacNaughton Inc. (Beaverton, Oregon), VRex Malaysia (Cyberjaya, Malaysia), and IMAX Corporation (Mississaga, Canada). 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 throughout the year ensuring the correct technical direction of the meeting. Sincere thanks go to Neil Dodgson, Gregg Favalora, Janusz Konrad, Shojiro Nagata, Lew Stelmach (in memoriam), 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. Particular thank-yous go to: Brad Nelson of Nelsonex (Los Gatos, California), Chris Ward, Michal Husak, and Dan Lawrence of LightSpeed Design Group (Bellevue, Washington), Steve Schklair and Bernie Butler-Smith of Cobalt Entertainment (North Hollywood, California), Edwards Technologies, Inc. (ETI) (El Segundo, California), Adrian Romero and the staff from Spectrum Audiovisual (Denver, Colorado), Jason Goodman of 21st Century 3D (New York, New York), and Tom Riederer from TreeD Films (Santa Barbara, California). Conference video equipment included DVD player, 3D demultiplexer, two QD line doublers, 8 x 6-foot stereoscopic rear projection screen, two Proxima Pro AV 9400 video projectors (all provided by Nelsonex), DepthQ Stereoscopic Media Server computer and software (LightSpeed Design Group), 14 x 8-foot stereoscopic front-silvered projection screen (Cobalt Entertainment), two Panasonic PT-D7600 projectors (ETI), SVHS Player and general AV equipment (Spectrum Audio Visual), dual industrial DVD players and DVD playback synchronizer (21st Century 3D), and another DepthQ playback system (TreeD Films).
  • Thanks also to Takashi Sekitani (Tokyo, Japan), whose software "3D Slide Projector" was used for digital stereoscopic still image slide presentation at the conference.
  • A special thank-you also 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 praiseworthy.
  • I am sure the authors and attendees appreciated the diligence and hard work of engineer 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 were instrumental in helping organize the conference.
  • Most importantly, we must thank the conference authors and attendees, who ultimately made this meeting such a successful event.
This year two prizes were again 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 Dr. Ezekiel Tan from Royal Newcastle Hospital (Australia) for his presentation "Stereoscopy in orthopaedics." Dr. Tan's presentation was presented entirely in stereoscopic 3D and was richly illustrated with many stereoscopic images. His presentation also included a quick demonstration of a volumetric rendering program with an orthopedic example (in stereoscopic 3D). Dr. Tan's prize was a copy of the book "3D Australia" (by Ken Duncan and Leo Meier, ISBN: 0958054444) featuring stereoscopic photographs taken all around Australia. A runner-up prize was awarded to Serdar Ince from Boston University for his presentation "Recovery of a missing color component in stereo images (or helping NASA find little green Martians)." Mr. Ince’s presentation included a series of full-color stereoscopic images reconstructed from images taken by the Mars Exploration Rovers. Both prizes were provided courtesy of Ken Duncan Panographs (Australia) <www.kenduncan.com>.

During the conference a common discussion point was Applications of Stereoscopic Displays. For the 2006 conference we will therefore attempt to encourage more papers on the topic of Applications of Stereoscopic Displays.

We lost another good friend, colleague, and expert in stereoscopic imaging this past year. Dr Lew Stelmach, who had been a member of the program committee of the Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference since 2002. Lew died from cancer in June 2004. Many conference attendees will have met Lew and know of his work at the Communications Research Centre (CRC) in Canada. This was a hard blow for the SD&A conference committee, with the death of conference co-chair Steve Benton only six months earlier (also of cancer).

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 2006 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 provides a timetable for important meeting deadlines. It also has a significant selection of photographs highlighting 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". A third title will also soon be available. 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: www.stereoscopic.org

The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality

This year's Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality conference began with a session chaired by Mark Bolas on "Systems I". Jesse Eichenlub from Dimension Technologies spoke about a passive method of eliminating accommodation/convergence mismatch in stereoscopic head-mounted displays. The paper discussed out-of-focus and cross-eyed cues, perfect subject matter for a session that began at 8:30 am. The Ecole Supérieure des Technologies Industrielles Avancées sent Fabrice Depaulis to discuss work that fills the gap between computer-based design and the physical assembly of real parts. The project is named ESKUA, which means hand in the Basque language, and is based on using interactors and a handling platform. The goal is not perfect prototyping, but to make the designer aware of problems that might be present at each stage of assembly in a project. Emad Barsoum presented work on creating WebVR: an interactive web browser for virtual environments. It allows real-time web access from within a virtual environment and supports web browser capabilities. This offers a number of advantages, including the ability to interact with such information in a two-dimensional fashion without requiring the user to leave the immersive environment. Dave Pape, a professor in media studies at SUNY Buffalo, presented his work on answering the question: What's 'good enough?': some experiments with projected VR quality. He presented a number of observations on his experiences configuring, using, and showing virtual reality-based art on projection-based systems, and highlighted the interesting trade-offs between stereoscopy, image size, and motion tracking. Closing the session was Sung-Jin Kim, a graduate student at UC Irvine involved in the VIS group, and a member of the DREAM lab. His paper reported on creating a real-time distributed display system and discussed the challenges of creating a distributed system, including response time, fairness, consistency and scalability.

Papers from the United Kingdom and Japan filled the late morning session on "Mixed Reality" chaired by Mark Bolas. The Nara Institute of Science and Technology presented three papers, continuing to present their ongoing efforts in this field. The first paper, presented by Yoshihiro Yasumuro, was entitled "Projection-based augmented reality with automated shape scanning". This paper highlighted project-specific results from an ultrasound application. Grey-code stripes are projected in the infrared spectrum to determine the surface geometry of a patient’s body, upon which imagery is projected. Continuing research in the use of infrared light was Yusuke Nakazato’s presentation on localization of wearable viewers using invisible retro-reflective markers and an IR camera. Masayuki Kanbara presented the last of Nara's papers with presentation of a system that created 360-degree environments from captured imagery that was summarized in the paper "Three-dimensional reconstruction of outdoor environments from omnidirectional range and color images". Presenting research from the other side of the globe was Paul Kitchen from the University of Southhampton, who cleverly employs vision processing to images of the palm. This system used the palm as a natural fiducial marker, thus providing mapping information for augmented reality applications.

After lunch the session titled "Systems II," chaired by Ian McDowall, included three papers. The first paper, "Large format 3D interaction table," was presented by Mr. J. Gustafson from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. This paper presented their work to create stereo images through the use of reflection holograms. The system employs multiple projectors that cast images onto the reflection hologram. The light reflected from the hologram creates a stereo (or multi-view stereo) image for the viewer when the viewer is at the correct viewing position. The holograms are largely transparent, so they may also be used in an augmented reality configuration. The second paper in this session, "Stereoscopic stimuli are not used in distance evaluation in multicue virtual environments," presented by Mr. A. Kemeny of Renault in Paris, explored the issues of perceived scale in virtual environments. The research compared the perception of distances under several conditions. These conditions included a large format stereo display, a head-mounted display, and the real world. The research explored the relative influence on the perception of distance of several factors, including field of view. The final paper in this session, "ShadowLight: a flexible environment for multipurpose design and evaluation," presented by Mr. K. Leetaru of the University of Illinois/ Urbana-Champaign, presented a software system called ShadowLight. The paper presented several examples of using ShadowLight in a CAVE-type environment. The system is based on a plug-in model where different plug-in modules offer unique interaction and simulation capabilities.

The next session "Systems III," chaired by Ian McDowall, contained three papers. The first paper, "Quantitative comparison of two stereoscopic 3D interaction methods," presented by Mr. Zahir Alpaslan of the University of Southern California, explored people’s perception of different stereo display solutions. The alternatives compared the autostereoscopic Sharp display to shutter glasses with a CRT display. The study’s task was to re-orient a shape to match a sample. The performance and people’s impressions of the task were then evaluated. The next paper, "Experiments in interactive panoramic cinema," was presented by Prof. S. Anderson. The presentation outlined some of the historical efforts to recreate panoramic experiences. These included the 1900 recreation of a balloon ride over Paris that used 10 projectors imaging onto a spherical screen. Immersive experiences in a historical context followed a progression of the Exotic, the Old, and the Violent. At the conclusion of the presentation, two student-created panoramic experiences were presented. The content was recorded using a multiple deck, multiple camera rig that recorded the panoramas. The final paper of the session, "Import and visualization of clinical medical imagery into multiuser VR environments," was presented by Mr. A. Mehrle of the Johannes Kepler University Linz (Austria). The medical source data for the visualizations presented were in the field of ENT (ear, nose, throat) and included visualizations of CT data collected at 160-µm slice thickness. The data was remarkable in that one could see the tiny bones of the inner ear. The segmented data was then displayed at huge scale in a CAVE environment, where it could be explored by one person.

The final session of The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality conference was "Virtual Reality Works: Demonstration and Panel Discussion," chaired by Margaret Dolinski, Indiana University, and Daniel Sandin, University of Illinois/ Chicago. This session was in a completely different format from the other presentations. Dan Sandin (University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago Illinois), Margaret Dolinski (Indiana University, Bloomington Indiana), Dave Pape (University of Buffalo, Buffalo New York), and Daria Tsoupikova (University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago Illinois) brought a Linux-based VR system for people to experience at the conference in San Jose. Also participating in the experience were Julieta C. Aguilera, Helen-Nicole Kostis, and Josephine Anstey. They controlled avatars that also inhabited the virtual world we experienced. Their presence (both as avatars and through voice) in the environment was created over the network, and they assisted in guiding participants through the various artworks being presented. The content included various artworks created for these immersive environments. The individual pieces were accessed through Confluxus by Todd Margolis, which created gateways or portals to the other worlds. The avatars would gather in Confluxus and discuss where to go next. All the worlds were both visual and auditory experiences. Beat Box by Margaret Dolinsky with Edward J. Dambik offered the participants a world of various musical instruments. The lacey floors of the world and ramps lead to various sound machines including a sequencer, and set of drums. Rutopia by Daria Tsoupikova offers visitors a garden world composed of Russian folk symbols. Geometric trees grow in response to the touch of the avatars and enable the avatars to fly through the space. Kites Flying In and Out of Space by Jackie Matisse, Ray Kass, Tom Coffin, Tom Johnson, and Dave Pape offers a unique way to experience the kites created by Jackie Matisse. The kites can be picked up by an avater and flown through the virtual space. The kites are modeled using finite element methods and flow smoothly as the avatars fly through the space, letting the kites billow and flow behind them. Looking for Water by Daniel Sandin, with sound by Laurie Spiegel (and thanks to Dick Ainsworth and Tom DeFanti), presents an unlikely Martian landscape with several fountains of water. The motion and modeling of the water occurs in real time and can be under the control of the various avatars in the "shower room," where each avatar can pick up a water hose to spray at the others. Animagina by Julieta Aguilera, Helen-Nicole Kostis, Tina Shah, Seung Kang (with thanks to Alex Hill, Geoffrey Baum, and Damin Keenan) explores the nature of symbols. Starting out with a yellow world peppered with classic amphora shaped vases, the vases can be manipulated. One grows large and we enter to find pyramids, stairways and an eye. Paapab by Josephine Anstey, Dave Pape, and Dan Neveu, with music by Dan Neveu and additional modeling by Joseph Alexander, Sara Nohejl, Beth Cerny, and Yalu Lin and software by Ygdrasil, creates a virtual dance floor environment. The dance floor pulses to the beat and is populated with a number of life-sized animated characters. The visiting avatars can go up the light shaft to control and record the dance motion for one of the characters, which then flies off to join the dance below.

Conclusion

Next year the Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference and The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality conference will be held 15 to 19 January 2006, at the San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, California, as part of the 2006 IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging: Science & Technology symposium. The 2006 conferences promise to continue a tradition of presenting and demonstrating the latest technologies relevant to stereoscopic displays and virtual reality. Please consider attending, presenting, or demonstrating at the 2006 Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference and 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 to be part of Photonics West for 2006).

Andrew J. Woods
Mark T. Bolas
John O. Merritt
Ian E. McDowall



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Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference


Maintained by: Andrew Woods
Revised: 19 April 2005.