3D photography: Is there still hope for 3D TV’s stillborn cousin?
This is neat:
Researchers at Brigham Young University, Utah, working with Adobe, have created a 3D version of content-aware fill. The first step is to produce a depth map of every pixel in the image, which is achieved by analyzing the stereo images with a clever computer vision algorithm, divining the depth of most non-occluded objects. Once you have a depth map, you can perform most normal Photoshop functions, including content-aware fill — and it might also enable new features, such as manipulating a photo’s light sources.
But the overall article is asking about why 3D still photography has not yet taken off?
With most people viewing their photos on digital displays of some type, the advent of glasses free 3D viewing on tablets and phones seems promising for 3D.
However, taking 3D photos and then properly aligning them is something only more serious hobbyists will undertake. There are a lot of serious 2D hobbyists so it stands to reason that there could be a lot of serious 3D hobbyists in the future.
There’s only 3 ways for most people to take a 3D photo today:
- Use an integrated 3D camera
- Use two cameras
- Use one camera for taking separate left and right images of a stationary subject.
Just as 2D photography is about light and, it seems, depth of field, 3D photography is also all about lens spacing. No consumer level integrated 3D camera has adjustable lens spacing. That leaves the use of dual cameras, which may be cumbersome and somewhat pricey (you don’t need top of the line cameras, fortunately).
3D photos, even taken on 3D cameras, can be optimized with a bit of post processing. And that tends to mean serious hobbyists who care to do that. (Much of this could be done “in camera” too, making the job simpler.)
Finally, there is “How to view them?” For most people, its on their computer or tablet – or perhaps they can view them on their 3D TV. The latter adds yet another post processing step, even if it is only transferring the files to somewhere that the TV can display them, or perhaps creating a 3D video slide show. Either way, its more work.
This points to need to simplify as many of these steps as possible. The technology pieces are all out there to make this simplification happen.