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Modelling Natural Images for Synthesis and Animation

Objective

MONALISA's prime objective is to develop and integrate technologies (algorithms, software and hardware) required for the construction, handling, and fast synthesis of 3D models for creating image sequences. Its demonstrator (ELSET System) will aim particularly at two important domains, namely TV-HDTV production with electronic film-sets and generic analysis/synthesis imaging systems.
The objectives of the MONA LISA project were to integrate technologies for
the construction , handling and synthesis of three dimensional models to create image sequences. Specifically, the project built a Virtual Studio demonstrator operating in a studio environment. Combining in real time blue screen video and computer generated images, the Virtual Studio is a new tool for television production offering more creativity in the programmes design as well as a reduction in costs for intensive production. Using the Virtual Studio concept as a driving force, MONA LISA project adopted a modular approach to develop and integrate expertise in various technical domains. This approach has been decomposed in two main steps: Virtual set creation and Virtual Studio production.

In Virtual set creation the automatic reconstruction of three dimensional models from video sequences was a major investigation topic in which three complementary approaches have been implemented to generate different kinds of three dimensional objects or environments. Usiing generated models as the imput, interactive three dimensional tools for the manipulation of virtual scenes and for the creation of textured and lit environments have also been developed.

In Virtual Studio production, one of the main challenges was the development and integration of an image analysis based camera tracking, making use of the video signal to compute the camera position in space.
Technical Approach

MONALISA is based on strong user demand. Emphasis has been placed on the definition of possible products likely to come out of MONALISA by investing end-user effort into the specification of an electronic film-sets system for use in TV studio and post-production environments including schemes for generic synthetic scene elaboration. This will mix objects generated synthetically, with those recorded from real scenes.

Key Issues

- Development of software algorithms capable of delivering symbolic descriptions from natural image sequences.
- Development of innovative software for the synthesis of images.
- Development of a hardware accelerator and associated system software for fast image analysis and synthesis.
- Integration of the algorithms, software and hardware accelerator into a workable system in studio environments, for implementing and evaluating the studio interfaces, image analysis and synthesis techniques developed in the project.

Expected Impact

Electronic film-sets, (to replace the studio scenery made from physical materials such as wood, plastics etc.) will dramatically reduce the day-to-day production and post production costs of a TV studio and will decrease the cost of image materials to be transmitted.

Three dimensional, symbolic description has the potential to dramatically reduce the amount of data required to define and transmit high definition moving images, and progress in that area will surely open up new market opportunities in fields such as education and training systems, visualisation of scientific models or sale support systems.

Coordinator

THOMSON BROADBAND SYSTEMS
Address
Avenue De Belle Fontaine
35510 Cesson-sevigne
France

Participants (8)

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
United Kingdom
Address
Kingswood Warren
KT20 6NP Tadworth
DAIMLER-BENZ AG
Germany
Address
Wilhelm-runge-straße 11
7900 Ulm
DVS DIGITALE VIDEOSYSTEME GMBH
Germany
Address
Krepenstraße 8
3000 Hannover
Queen Mary & Westfield College
United Kingdom
Address
Mile End Road
E1 4NS London
SIEMENS AG
Germany
Address
Otto-hahn-ring 6
8000 München
UNIVERSITY OF BALEARIC ISLANDS
Spain
Address
Math And Computer Science Dept, Cra Valldemossa, Km 7,5
7071 Palma De Mallorca
Universität Hannover
Germany
Address
Appelstraße 9A
30167 Hannover
VIDEO ART PRODUCTION GMBH
Germany
Address
Kleiner Kielort 10-12
2000 Hamburg