Chapter 1

Foundation

1.1. Introduction

Audiovisual production has, for a number of decades, used an increasing number of ever more sophisticated technologies to play 3D and 4D real and virtual content in long takes. Grouped under the term “3D video”, these technologies (motion capture (Mocap), augmented reality (AR) and free viewpoint TV (FTV) and 3DTV) complement one another and are jointly incorporated into modern productions. It is now common practice to propose AR scenes in FTV or 3DTV, either virtual or real, whether this relates to actors, sets or extras, giving virtual characters (both actors and extras) realistic movements and expressions obtained by Mocap, and even credible behavior managed by artificial intelligence.

With the success of films such as The Matrix in 1999 and Avatar in 2009 (see Figure 1.1), the acronym “3D” has become a major marketing tool for large audiovisual producers. The first, The Matrix, popularized a multiview sensor system containing 120 still cameras and two video cameras allowing slow motion virtual traveling, an effect known today as bullet time. This system has since been subject to various improvements which today not only allow the reproduction of this type of effect (FTV), but also for complete or parts of 3D reconstructions of scene content. The success of Avatar marked the renaissance of 3D cinema, a prelude to 3DTV even if it is not yet possible to free viewers from wearing 3D glasses. Glasses-free, or “autostereoscopic”, 3D display ...

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