Monthly Archives: August 2011

Seeing With The Brain.

Common sense tells us that we see with our eyes. Afterall, when we close our eyes we stop seeing. Right?

Well, when you think for a minute you realize that’s not true. There is this thing called the mind’s eye and dreaming and envisioning, etc. Truth is, the eyes are little more than data acquisition devices that feed the brain with information. Actually, to be more precise; the eyes stream flawed data to the brain with tons of errors and giant missing pieces of data.

The amount of processing the brain performs to make vision possible is staggering. Scientists have written that up to 1/4 of the entire brain is involved in vision processing and interpretation. How we see and what we see is influenced by everything we have seen before. It is also influenced by what we hear, what we smell, what we taste and what we touch. Don’t believe it? Well, science proves it. One example, off the top of my head, was demonstrated at an audio engineering society convention in New York City many years ago. There were rooms with different resolution video monitors and different speaker systems. As it turned out, the room deemed to have the highest video quality was not the one with the best video monitor, but the one with the best sound system.

Much of the time what we think we see really doesn’t match with reality. Much of what we see doesn’t even make it out of our subconscious. So, when 3D cinematographers obsess over camera spacing (inter-axial distance) and convergence and depth of field as it relates to eye geometry, they are misguided in my humble opinion. The brain is not limited to the geometry of the eye, or it’s limitations. If it was, we would have two big black circles where the eye has no receptors (where the optic nerve is connected).

Indeed, how we see and what we see varies greatly from person to person. Then, there are people with eye problems and vision impariment. People that can’t fuse and have double vision.  Who’s to say that in a room filled with 99 people who have strabismus and one person who can see with stereopsis that the people with strabismus wouldn’t be “normal” given that they represented the majority?

How the majority of people see is the result of evolution and natural selection. Human vision is not the best of what nature can create. There are examples of eyes that are superior to human eyes in terms of clarity, detail, color, focus, etc. In the near future, there will be machine to biological connections that might enhance or even replace our eyes with superior devices.

My point to this rambling is that it is a mistake to limit the way multi perspective imagery is created to analytics based solely on eye geometry and how the eyes work. As I begin my research into analyzing the brain and how it responds to multi perspective imagery, I hope that there are discoveries that enlighten and enrich our perception of the space between things and the importance of textures and reflective properties to the interpretation of the world around us.

There is more to it than this:



Filed under 3D, Perception Conflicts, stereopsis, stereovision, strabismus

Does This Light Look Funky To You? Are My Retina’s Burning?

Am I the only one that sees something that doesn’t look quite right in a room illuminated with CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs or fluorescent lights? They do not emit the same kind of light as “regular” light bulbs or the sun – but does that matter? Well, I kind of think it does. Check this out:

And look at the spikey nature of the light from this diagram on wikipedia:

And given that this type of light uses UV light to create visible light is there any potential for retina damage? I’m no doctor but I can’t imagine UV light is good for retina’s? Can one of you vision guru’s out that that read my blog weigh in on this?



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The Trend Towards Authenticity… Image Authenticity!

Finally! A growing backlash against photoshopped artificial image constructs. Thank you.

I’ve waited a long time. Back in 1999 with the release of the Matrix movie, written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski and starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano and others (a very good cast by anyone’s standards) I really thought there would be a widespread recognition that there was a difference between “real” and “alternate” realities and perceptions. It has taken over a decade for people to really start paying attention and noticing that most of the imagery of today is FAKE!

The simple reason is the proliferation of cheap digital cameras and cameras in phones and the massive distribution network of the internet. Just take Hugo Weaving as an example. A quick Google search of “Hugo Weaving photo” yields over 20,000 results! Indeed, millions if your search is less specific. With Google maps you can see practically every location on earth within a few seconds. Click some more and get NASA photos from space. There’s Flickr, Facebook, Fotki, Freeimagehosting… and those are just a few that start with the letter “F”.  YouTube streams billions of videos (yes BILLIONS with a “B”) every week.

All of this instantly available content from every source imaginable means that we now have a growing reference for every image that is created. It is easy to reveal a fake image and this is happening more and more frequently. On my commercial blog: I even show a link to a website dedicated to showing the difference between a “real” cheesburger from Burger King vs. the imagery Burger King uses in their promotional materials. And the poor guy running the website is asking for donations because of all the bandwidth he is needing to handle all of the hits.

So, how does this demand for authenticity grow and gain traction?

Through better and better cameras and imaging technology. It makes for a compelling argument for the adoption of multi perspective imagery and imagery with much higher levels of resolution and detail. For years, I’ve been fussing about with camera systems and printing technology and lens development all for the purpose of creating imagery that reveals in an authentic manner. For me, the holy grail is an image that presents exactly as you perceive what the image represents in real life. I don’t know if I will ever truly achieve it, but each day I get a bit closer.

The time has come for me to step up my camera rig to the next level. Fourteen 21 megapixel cameras just don’t cut it anymore. I am in the process of building my next camera prototype utilizing an array of 60 to 80 megapixel sensors. It is ridiculously expensive, but now that I am able to begin leveraging my knowledgebase with consulting and other endeavors, it makes this transition possible.

I’ll be documenting the details here on my blog as things progress.

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