As many of you know, ever since the 3D film Avatar, stereo and multiview video entertainment (aka 3D) has become a very popular trend. However, as the realm of 3D cinema increases, many viewers have steered away from the new technology. Why? Many viewers report that the special effects in the 3D films cause eyestrains and headaches.
And so, in an effort to understand these technical problems, the Graphics and Media Lab CMC at Lomonosov Moscow State University, conducted research and analysis on the stereoscopic camera systems in five popular 3D films. Utilizing a unique tool for stereo video quality measurement (VQMT3D), the lab found that the key reasons for visual discomfort from 3D film viewing were (1) horizontal
disparity (2) vertical disparity (3) color mismatch (4) sharpness mismatch.
Ross Copeland, a post-production stereographer, reports that “filming 3D is
complex, and even the best rigs and crews can end up with some issues in shots
that must then be fixed in postproduction. Some problems can be fixed easily,
some are very difficult and some cannot be fixed at all…(However, the
development of software tools), will help improve 3D filming, helping produce a
much more comfortable viewer experience.”
Based on an analysis of Resident Evil: Afterlife and Galapagos: the Enchanted Voyage, a few of the detected problems they found were:
1) Huge inter-view color and geometry mismatches
2) Excessive positive parallax artifact, which causes viewing to be painful when projected on a big TV or 3D projector due to eye divergence
3) Inter-frame sharpness mismatch
The lab analyzed 10 different movies that showed color mismatches in the 3D frames based on their respective color mismatch metric numbers.
Even more so, the lab created a histogram that laid out the mismatch metric values distribution throughout each film.
Ok, great. So what does this all mean?
Well, the decreasing number of color mismatches on the charts shows that improvements are being made in stereo quality, meaning less eye strains and headaches for 3D viewers! The Graphics and Media Lab are constantly working to improve the viewer experience and soon hope that a high 3D video quality will result in more viewers leaving the theaters with less annoyance and good impressions from the image quality and storytelling.
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