Computer Graphics World

Edition 2 2020

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64 cgw e d i t i o n 2 , 2 0 2 0 a different way of reproducing a captured or approximated light field than, say, a VR headset. With the current volumetric display de- vices, the visualization is delivered through a physical display in the same world as the viewer – they're not being asked to be taken out of their current world. What are some of the specific obstacles to achieving light fields, and why are they important? The volume of data is orders of magnitude greater than conventional imagery, and the weight and size of capture equipment is sig- nificant compared to current camera tech- nology. While there aren't any compelling reasons to support the technology (benefits on set, benefits in post-production, or benefits to a viewer), it is highly unlikely that adoption will happen any time soon. The movement of such large amounts of data is impractical, and the energy requirements (and heat output) of prototype displays are very large. Assuming the above problems of storage, computation, and transport can be solved, there also needs to exist the production pipelines for working with light fields, from capture to post-production and delivery. On the post-production side, deep images – which are an image-based, camera-view-de- pendent projected volume approximation – have been used for VFX and animation for a while now. Even though the data rates are significantly lower than light fields, they are still substantial enough to make working with deep images challenging. Again, the investment required and the timescales to produce are huge. How does one go about solving these issues? Like all technology advances, we see a lot of dogged persistence by innovators in capture technology and in display technol- ogies. Once one of these finds a niche that is commercially viable, there's a chance that niche can expand. We may not need to solve capture to post-production to viewer all in one go. When we finally do overcome these is- sues, what will the result look like? I'd start from the answer to the above question, 'How important is light fields to achieving a realistic visualization experi- ence?' If we have that, then there are some first things we can think about that might be practical enterprise applications before the tech could one day evolve to home use: Large displays used for on-set back- drops, replacing LED walls with environ- ments that have the correct perspective from multiple viewpoints and allow natural focus pulls into synthetic environments. Large displays used for future cinema, to maintain a premium viewing experience for big-screen entertainment. Large displays used for live events. Why do light fields have the potential of eliminating viewing gear in VR? Digital CAVE environments aren't new but could be greatly improved with light field display panels, removing the need for head gear while greatly improving the experi- ence. This isn't likely to be viable in a home environment, but we think that the switch from headsets to an immersive wall display could be very compelling, adding a sense of immersion without necessarily needing a full wrap-around experience. In either case, the ambition would be to move away from stereo display technology, which is a very poor approximation for a human visual system. Is there any other information about light fields you would like to highlight? Foundry has been developing light fields re- search as part of SAUCE, a collaborative EU Research and Innovation project between Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Foundry, DNeg, Brno University of Technology, Filmakad- emie Baden-Württemberg Animationsin- stitut, Saarland University, Trinity College Dublin, and Disney Research to create a step-change in allowing creative industry companies to reuse existing digital assets for future productions. The goal of SAUCE is to produce, pilot, and demonstrate a set of professional tools and techniques that reduces the produc- tion costs of enhanced digital content – in particular, targeting the creative industries by increasing the potential for repurposing and reusing content as well as providing significantly improved technologies for digi- tal content production and management. For more insights into light fields and related topics visit Foundry's Insights Hub at A light field array built by the Saarland Informatics Campus. 2020, Issue 2: COMPUTER GRAPHICS WORLD (USPS 665-250) (ISSN-0271-4159) is published bi-monthly with special additional issues in January and July resulting in 8 issues per year by COP Communications, Inc. Corporate offices: 620 West Elk Avenue, Glendale, CA 91204, Tel: 818-291-1100; FAX: 818-291-1190; Web Address: Pe- riodicals Postage Paid at Glendale, CA, 91205 & additional mailing offices. COMPUTER GRAPHICS WORLD is distributed worldwide. 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