Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

IBR demo system

A software platform has been developed for real-time visualization of real scenes using Image-Based Rendering (IBR). The visualization platform enables a user to visually explore a real scene by moving around within a given region-of-exploration (REX).

Everywhere inside the REX the user has full freedom to look in all directions (omni-directional viewing potential).

The software platform supports a range of display systems, i.e, it supports Head Mounted Displays and multi-surface display systems, such as CAVEs. Regardless of the employed display technology the scene is rendered to the user in response to user tracking information giving the user's position and viewing direction. The scene is visualized in stereo at video frame rate.

In addition to rendering the real scene based on IBR the platform can also render virtual objects super-imposed on the IBR imagery, and the platform can render sounds on multi-speaker configurations or using headphones.

The size of the REX is limited by the number of images that can be stored on the computer. Since all images have to be stored in memory there is a limit to how many images can be utilized for a given scenario, and thereby there is a limit to the size of the REX. When running the system on a single computer the REX is a disc with a radius of up to 60 centimetres. Alternatively, the system can visualize the scene as viewed "through a window", and in this case the user can move freely around relative to the window (but in this case the window limits the available field-of-view).

The platform supports distributing the image data-base and the rendering on any number of networked computers, which in principle enables the system to run with an arbitrarily large image database without causing performance reduction.

The main scientific/engineering result of this effort is that it has been demonstrated that real-time image-based rendering can be performed in stereo on a single standard computer, requiring only a head-mounted display and tracking equipment, both of which are commercially readily available pieces of equipment. This makes it feasible for any company or organization to utilize the IBR technology for presenting users/customers with photo-realistic representations of real places, and letting them explore such places interactively.

A transportable, stand-alone version of this system has been assembled and taken to exhibitions where hundreds of people have experienced the technology first-hand. A copy of this system has been assembled and brought into operation at a scientific collaborator outside the project.

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Reported by

Niels Jernes Vej 14
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