Category Archives: 3D Photography

General information about Almont Green’s autostereoscopic 3D photography

Is there a secret problem with depth maps?


It sounds like a great idea to utilize a depth map to extract information and control the depth depicted in an image or series of images. It sounds great for converting a 2D image into a 3D image. It sounds like a great tool for plenoptic cameras to interpolate the data into imagery with depth. Alpha channels are great to use for transparency mapping – so a depth map should be equally useful, shouldn’t it?

Take a look at this depth map:

icedepthmapThis is a depth map created from a plenoptic camera shot of a bunch of ice bits. It is a grayscale image with 256 shades of gray to depict the parts of the ice that are closer to the camera and the parts of the ice that are farther away from the camera. This information is used to adjust the depth of those bits that are closer and farther away by stretching or compressing pixels.

Now check out a rocking animation that uses motion parallax to depict the depth (items closer to you appear to move differently than items that are farther away).

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Right away you can notice a few errors in the depth map, and for complex images this is typical and can be edited and “corrected”. But there is something else. Take a close look at the parts of the image where the depth map is seemingly correct. Sure, you can see the depth but does it really look like ice? If you are like me, the answer is no. Ice reflects and scatters light in a way that is unique for each perspective. Indeed, there IS binocular rivalry where one eye sees light reflection and distortion that is not present in the other eye’s perspective. This disparity tells us something about the texture and makeup of what we are looking at. Stretching or compressing pixels eliminates this information and only provides depth cues relating to the spatial position of things. For most people, I suspect it is reasonable to assume that this creates a perception conflict in their brains. There is something perceptually wrong with the image above. It does not look like ice because the light coming off of the two perspectives looks the same. A depth map does not provide information regarding binocular rivalry and creates errors as a result. Errors that can’t be fixed. Herein you see the flaw in using a depth map. It throws away all of the binocular rivalry information. In other words, it throws away the information between perspectives that is different.

In my opinion, depth maps take the life out of an image. It removes important texture information which, I believe, is gleaned from how light shifts and changes and appears and disappears as you alter perspective.

This is the secret fundamental flaw with depth maps. Now you can subjectively look at the image above and deem it to be cool and otherwise amazing. That is all good and well, but the truth is that, compared with looking at the real ice, it is fundamentally lacking and does not depict what is seen when you look at the ice in real life.

So, people ask themselves if this is important and some will say yes and some will say no. And there are many examples where you could argue both points of view. I don’t have an argument with that. My position is only to point out that this flaw exists and it should not be ignored.

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Filed under 1, 3D, 3D Photography, autostereoscopic, S3D, stereopsis, stereovision

Amped 360: Featured Attraction At Boston Tattoo Convention


COME SEE THE 50 CAMERA AMPED360 ARRAY! 

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The standard for tattoo imagery is about to change and Almont Green is out to change it. Coming to the Boston Tattoo Convention, rotational imagery display systems and do it yourself training will be part of a huge AMPED3D exhibit at the show. A fifty camera AMPED 360 array will be set up to capture tattoo images for rotation in addition to information on how rotational images can be created using a single camera and uploaded to the AMPED360ink.com website for display on Facebook and easily embedded within websites. Giant hologram type AMPED3D images will also be on display at the show and available for purchase.  “Right now galleries across the globe are still using photo albums to display 2-dimensional images of their 3 dimensional artwork. With 3D and 360 degree rotational imagery now available, it’s a natural next step in the evolution of tattoo imagery to use smartphones, tablets and display systems to take portfolios to the next level. “– Almont Green, Amped360ink.com

Click and drag to rotate (or swipe with finger) to see the effect! 

One innovative tattoo business, “Visions Tattoo & Piercing” of Medway, MA already understands the importance of this concept and will be displaying their work on a custom designed rotational monitor system at their booth. “We want both new and existing customers to be able to see our work the way it was meant to be viewed.”- Canman, Visions Owner & Artist

During the show rotational image display systems, training programs and rotational image web hosting options will be available for purchase.  Amazing hologram like AMPED 3D images will also be on display at the event and available for sale at special pricing.

 

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CONTACT ALMONT GREEN STUDIOS at 508-533-0333

http://amped360ink.com

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Amped 3D images are images you can see into. Amped3D photography, created by the artist Almont Green, is accomplished using a unique combination of complex camera hardware, sophisticated proprietary software, materials and painstaking manufacturing techniques. Digital images are precision aligned, processed, and printed with a modified high-resolution printer with each perspective occupying a vertical strip 1/2000th of an inch wide. An amazing, world’s highest resolution 30″x30″ human skull image that comes right out of the frame will be on display and available for purchase.

The result of years of work, Almont Green developed AMPED 3D photography with the help of neuroscientists, brain research centers, vision experts and leading technologists. The images simply must be seen in person to be believed!

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Filed under 1, 3D, 3D Photography, autostereoscopic

A Day With Sue Barry…


I had an incredible day with neuroscientist Sue Barry, author of “Fixing My Gaze”. She has a very unique insight on seeing with stereovision — she didn’t acquire it until her late 40’s.  Her perspective and understanding provides a lot of insight into what the rest of us take for granted.  Here is a snippit of what she had to say, looking at my AMPED 3D tattoo images.

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In 1838 Wheatstone Opened Eyes To The Physiology Of Vision…


My friend Gregg Favalora, principal at Optics for Hire in Arlington, MA posted a thread on the linkedIn Non-Glasses 3D Display Technology group about how amazing it was that Sir Charles Wheatstone “started our field with just one sentence in 1838”.  This really got me thinking…

Creating 3D illusions and the study of the physiology of vision has been going on for at least 173 years within the scientific community. Present a slightly different perspective of something to each eye and bada bing it can be perceived with spatial information. Even if those two perspectives are imaged on flat surfaces (drawings or photographs) depth is perceived. That was a pretty cool observation in 1838.

While the physiology of vision is indeed fascinating, I am much more intrigued by what the brain is doing with the information that is provided to it. I think it is time to move on from the thinking of the nineteenth century and the obcession with physiology. 

Did you know that other senses (like feeling heat or hearing certain sounds for example) play a role in what people characterize as vision–or have some effect with regards to what is perceived visually. Blind people see things with their mind. Some people see words and letters with color (synesthesia) and some people see little color. Some of this is physiology but the part that is purely brain processing provides new scientific pathways to explore in the 21st century.

The Star Trek oil filter visor worn by the character Geordi La Forge may one day be a reality that offers a completely new way to see and perceive the world. (it probably won’t be made from an oil filter though…)

What if we could perceive sound visually? Or “see” the wind? What would expanding or compressing our visual abilities with regards to color, luminance and spatial components do or offer?

There is much to do and accomplish in our lifetime. Wheatstone set the bar pretty high, but we should all strive to set it higher! There is much to learn. And guess what? I’m still trying to perfect AMPED 3D photography well over 100 years after 3D photography was invented! The whole 3D industry still has a very long way to go before we deserve the word “perfection” used to describe what is the present state-of-the-art. I, for one, don’t believe we will get there until we have a greater understanding of the role the brain plays in seeing the space between things.

What do you think?

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I am presenting a paper at SPIE January 25, 2011 at 5:30 PM Paper 7863-49


SPIE (the International Society for Optical Engineering)  See:
http://spie.org/x16218.xml is holding a conference on 3D imaging from Jan. 23 – 27 in San Francisco, CA. My paper and presentation: “Human perception considerations for 3D content creation” is about the problem of perception conflicts as they relate to 3D imagery and what to do about them.

I first started thinking about this when I saw an old lenticular photograph of Queen Elizabeth. The photograph could be viewed with stereopsis but the Queen looked like she was dead. Watching the movie Beowulf, while not in 3D, also gave me the creeps as the characters had a dead aspect to them. I noticed some 3D lenticular photographs of people presented with a doll-like character. I then started to notice things in 3D movies that didn’t seem right. When details disappeared into blackness or got blown out to white I noticed an uneasy feeling while looking at that part of the 3D presentation.

Indeed, every time something was presented in 3D that was atypical or not possible to see in the real world, I could detect a feeling of conflict present at some level in my subconsious and I started to manifest a sensitivity to it with regards to recognizing when it was happening.

All of these observations got me thinking about the various mechanisims that we use to see and interpret depth, space and texture. Certainly vergence is the primary mechanism, but as I became more aware of supporting clues like accommodation, motion, luminance dynamic range, binocular rivalry, field of view and so on, I came to a realization.  I realized that when non-vergence depth clues weren’t complementary that those elements or perceptions in conflict required suppression to continue viewing without some sort of physical effect occurring (typically unpleasant such as headache, nausea, etc.).

My paper is a start to the investigation of the importance of supporting perception cues as it relates to stereovision.

*Vergence is the simultaneous movement of both eyes in opposite directions to obtain fixation and the ability to see depth.

*Accommodation is the automatic adjustment in the focal length of the lens of the eye to permit retinal focus of images of objects at varying distances. It is achieved through the action of the ciliary muscles that change the shape of the lens of the eye.

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Filed under 3D, 3D HDR, 3D Health Issues, 3D Motion Picture, 3D Photography, autostereoscopic, binocular disparity, binocular rivalry, HDR, High Dynamic Range, Perception Conflicts, S3D, stereopsis, stereovision

Poster for COVD


The “real” version of this poster will be life size and in autostereoscopic multi perspective extended dynamics 3D which isn’t possible to show on the internet. This AMPED 3D poster will be available for sale exclusively through COVD in the coming weeks and is sure to become a collector’s item. For more information you can contact me and I will forward information to you when it becomes available.

The purpose of this AMPED 3D poster is to raise awareness and generate money for COVD which is a non-profit organization that you should check out at www.COVD.org  Each poster will be personally hand assembled to exacting standards and signed. The supply will be limited and each poster will have a serial number along with artist information.

-Almont

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Filed under 3D Baby Photography, 3D Photography, vision therapy

Perspective Interpolation – Specularity and Refraction Problems


So, how about converting 2D to 3D or converting two perspective 3D into multi-perspective autostereoscopic… Technology certainly should easily make that possible, right?

The answer is a bit complicated. Because for some images it is quite possible to achieve excellent results. Unfortunately, for many images and scenes it truly is impossible to create accurate 3D from 2D and/or interpolate additional perspectives for autostereoscopic displays.

Case in point? Look at the animation below:

In the background painting there are tiny bits of highly reflective particles embedded in oil paint. These dots of light reflect bright points of light depending upon the perspective. They “come on” quickly as you change perspective because of the paint occlusion where you see them in one eye but not the other. Any program that interpolates views would not know what to do with a picture like this. Morph the dots of light? In real life, they don’t morph, they pop on with the light brightening as the perspective angle changes.

Now, take a close look at the glass gems. Notice how their specularity is influenced by the perspective position relative to the background?  Notice the refraction as you see the background through the transparent glass. Unless you modeled the gems in a 3D program and rendered them, there would be no way to interpolate with a pixel warping program what is going on with the look and texture of these gems as they change perspective.

What happens typically with a conversion is an abysmal mess for items with specularity and refraction. It looks 3D for sure – but in no way is representative of reality. And this is the conundrum. There is no uniformity or consistency with regards to 2D to 3D conversions or 2 perspective to multi perspective conversions. It is completely content based and the results are dependent upon the subject matter.

Binocular disparity and as this example demonstrates, binocular rivalry where one perspective contains elements not visible in the other perspective create monumental problems for conversion.

The solution? Shoot multiple perspectives. And this is the path that I have been forced to take to create consistent and uniform results. Indeed, fewer than 10 perspectives does not yield quality, uniform results in my humble opinion. Can fewer than 10 perspectives work? The answer is yes if what you are photographing has no specularity or refraction properties and the texture is smooth and uniform. But as an artist, I find that restriction way to limiting and live in a world that consists mostly of refractive material (water) and glass and gems and metals. Indeed, just look around and the world is filled with specular and refractive content.

Even portraits pose a problem because unless the person has extremely dry eyes, they glisten as the moisture that coats the eye creates specularity and refraction. Of course, if you don’t have a close up or reduce the resolution then it isn’t that noticeable. But here again, as an artist I find that too limiting.

I do not understand the willingness of people to ignore these problems. While it is true that in many cases specularity and refraction are subtle and nuanced. But given that 3D mimics the way we see real life, shouldn’t 3D be subtle and nuanced? Perhaps the gross over emphasized poke you in the eye effects are doing the potential of 3D a disservice?

That’s my view. But what do I know?

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Filed under 3D, 3D Photography, autostereoscopic, S3D, stereopsis