News Stories

Technology: Disparity-aware Stereo 3D Production Tools

[Philip Lelyveld comment: This article is a brief overview of developments at Disney’s 3D research group in Zurich.]

[3D Roundabout . com]

By Aljosa Smolic, Disney Research Zurich

Stereoscopic 3D (S3D) has reached wide levels of adoption by consumer and professional markets. The current success of S3D technology is due to the fact that technology and understanding about content creation has reached a high level of maturity. However, production of high-quality S3D content is still a difficult and expensive art.

S3D production has to consider fundamentals of human 3D perception as well as capabilities and limitations of 3D displays, and combine them with artistic intent. To help with this, Disney Research Zurich has developed advanced S3D production tools, algorithms, and systems, a key component of which is awareness of disparity or depth composition of the input S3D content


Fundamentals and limitations of stereo 3D perception

Computational stereo camera

Stereoscopic analyser

Depth script visualisation, disparity histograms

Nonlinear disparity mapping by image-domain warping

Stereo to multiview conversion

Interactive 2D-to-3D conversion using discontinuous warps

Automatic 2D-to-3D conversion for sports


Producing high-quality S3D requires highly-skilled and experienced individuals, and can be an expensive and difficult process. By developing tools for estimating disparity, either by involving some user interaction or being fully automatic, we are confident that we can help in the drive to make the production process easier and keep costs down, while ensuring the best possible experience for the audience.

Dr Aljosa ‘Josh’ Smolic is Senior Research Scientist and Group Leader of Advanced Video Technology for Disney Research Zurich, the research centre of The Walt Disney Company, related to ETH Zurich.

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