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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Apr 17

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4/17/2012 7:46 AM  RssIcon

Integration of STAN Analyzer Engine into Si-3D system enables perfect 3D Shooting on a single platform with wireless control

LAS VEGAS – April 16, 2012- Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI), a leader in the development of mobile and fixed broadband communication networks, multimedia systems, image signal and 3D, announces its partnership with Silicon Imaging to integrate its STAN Stereo Analysis engine into Silicon’s International 3D Society Technology Award winning SI-3D system. The partnership will enable filmmakers to easily shoot perfect 3D with their favorite cinema or broadcast cameras and stereo alignment rig.

The SI-3D Stereo Monitoring, Analysis, Recording and Transmission (S.M.A.R.T) system captures content from RAW and HD-SDI sources and will utilize the STAN Analysis Engine to generate real-time camera geometry measurements and depth information for use in precision rig alignment and corrected 3D output. This new integration provides stereo visualization, color management, virtual parallax, FIZICS controls and recording in a single portable platform, all under wireless control via an Apple iPad. The synchronized recordings of imagery, audio, motion, correction and timecode can be used for direct 2k/HD editing and finishing or linked with 4k source material recorded in-camera.

The increasing number of 3D productions for movie, broadcast and Internet streaming has created the need for efficient and automated 3D production tools to assist stereographers and camera teams on set and improve the efficiency of post post-production. In the past, a cart full of proprietary processing devices was required to connect to rigs and a nest of cables and power supplies were needed to interconnect various components. Now, thanks to the partnership, everything that needs to be monitored, analyzed, controlled and recorded in synchronized 3D is self-contained, battery optional and can even fit on a steadicam to operate handheld and un-tethered.

“The SI-3D SMART system combines all the tools needed for shooting perfect 3D from HD to 4k from a single portable platform” state Frederik Zilly, manager for the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute's 3-D analyzer project. “Our collaboration with Silicon Imaging, a leader in this industry, is known for delivering the best-in-class stereo production products and technology.”

“The Fraunhofer STAN Stereo Analysis technology is an ideal fit with the SI-3D architecture,” states Ari Presler, founder and CEO of Silicon Imaging. “Initially, we built the architecture for Stereo RAW based on the SI-2k camera. Then, we extended it to use cameras with HD-SDI links with internal 2k to 4k support, such as RED, ARRI, Sony, Panasonic and Canon, to provide the same familiar touch screen experience and synchronized recordings. Now, the SMART system, with integrated STAN engine, can be used to process and analyze either RAW or HD material, and deliver 4k sub-pixel precision correction data.”

The SMART system captures synchronized video streams and combines them into a variety of viewing formats such as Anaglyph, Delta, Split, Interlace and Side-by-side. Each view is independently selectable on dual monitor outputs, for use by the director, operator and stereographer. In addition, source left and right inputs are directly looped out for additional distribution. A built-in 3D LUT processor enables camera Log C or REC 709 format to be colorized with a desired look for on-set visualization and feedback into post for grading.

For more detailed view of depth objects, color-coded vectors can be overlayed on the image to indicate areas that would show up in front or behind the screen plane.

Even the best prime or zoom lens optics and aligned rigs will have some residual errors resulting in focal length mismatch and geometry distortion. Also, when shooting converged or toed-in, keystone errors are introduced. The SMART system determines these errors and uses its WARP engine to correct the image, prior to output.

It’s FIZICSTM engine communicates contains a variety of rigs and motion controllers to capture Focus, Iris, Zoom, Inter-axial and Convergence (aka F.I.Z.I.C.S.) status and sends commands back to the rig for manual or automated controls. It also enables parallel shooting with virtual convergence using Horizontal Image Translation (HIT), eliminating the keystone artifacts introduced by mechanical convergence. Adjustment commands, typically from a hand unit by convergence puller, are received by the FIZICSTM engine and applied as on-screen HIT. As a result, no black borders appear on the outputs, as a fixed percent zoom is applied to leverage the extra resolution found on 2k and 4k camera.

For multi-camera shoots, each SMART unit contains an embedded Ambient precision clockit module. It can be used as the master timecode generator for all other devices on-set including multiple SMART units. Once they are jammed, the SMART units will stay synchronized with less than 1-frame of drift for an entire day of shooting.

The source stereo footage along with rig data, geometry correction, virtual convergence, n-set color, audio and timecode metadata are all recorded into a single Quicktime file, either uncompressed or compressed using the GoPro Cineform codec. This eliminates the need to link left/right pairs, transcode footage and synchronize metadata in post production. Each recording also generates a simple text file, with a line of metadata per frame for parsing and to use in 3rd party VFX and post stereo tools. The stereo files can be immediately played back as original raw footage or output with corrections applied. Stereographers can even override recorded HIT and watch changing virtual convergence during playback.

Fraunhofer HHI will be demonstrating the STAN Analysis Engine integration in SI-3D SMART system at NAB 2012 Booth #C8444.

About Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute

The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute is a world leader in the development of mobile and fixed broadband communication networks and multimedia systems. From photonic components and systems to fiber optic sensor systems, high speed hardware architectures and software implementations, the Heinrich Hertz Institute works together with its international partners from research and industry on the infrastructures of the future Gigabit Society for the international market. At the same time Fraunhofer HHI also develops forward-looking applications with key research foci on image signal processing and transmission, video coding, Ultra High Resolution video, computer vision, 3D production and 3D TV. For more information, visit: http://www.hhi.fraunhofer.de/.

About Silicon Imaging

Silicon Imaging, Inc. is the leader in Stereo 3D camera and acquisition solutions. Silicon Imaging is enabling cinematographers and television production to shoot immersive stereo content with synchronized image and rig metadata, while powerful touch-screen tools assist stereographers with on- set visualization and camera alignment. The modular architecture enables small interaxial handheld, aerial and body-worn capture or integration into a beam-splitter for close-ups on steadicam, shoulder- mounts and even underwater. The Silicon imaging cameras were used for the ground breaking digital shooting for the 8-time Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire and a variety of 3D productions including Transformers, SAW 7 Journey 2, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Dredd, Dark Country, My Bloody Valentine, Africa Safari, Mortician, Jackass, Stormsurfers, River Monsters and Haunted 3D. Visit us on the web: www.si-2k.com

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