Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Alliance Shows Latest 3D, HDR, HEVC 4K Developments at IBC 2013

At IBC 2013 (Hall 8 Stand B.80), the Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Alliance is announcing the latest technologies and future-oriented systems for digital broadcasting, digital cinema and media production. As the leading innovator of solutions that span the entire digital media workflow, the Alliance will feature new cameras and innovative camera technology, post-production tools and transmission techniques.

With its network of deep expertise and intelligence for the development of scalable technologies and international standards, the Alliance enables customers to stay ahead of the market. The Alliance will be making a number of announcements at this year’s show, including:

*Important innovations as an outcome of the SpatialAV Project, including the industry’s most advanced camera and acquisition technologies available

*Latest lightfield acquisition system based on the use of a 4×4 camera array

*Newest developments for HDR processing based either on a single camera with non-regular sampling or a camera array

*New broadcast solutions with HEVC/H.265

*Latest advances in media and cinema content analysis

*An update on the integration of its digital cinema package solutions in Blackmagic Design’s post production/color grading software

*New media and cinema technologies for immersive 3D projections and displays

*Technologies for interactive broadcast viewing experiences

Cameras and Camera Technology for Production

One year of research and development within the SpatialAV Project: First-of-its-kind prototypes and results

Under the SpatialAV Project, scientists from each member institute of the Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Alliance pool their expertise to develop intelligent, modular, multi-sensory recording and production systems for immersive audio-visual media. Over the last year, the project delivered solutions that enhance the future for digital cinema by delivering the highest quality while cutting technical production costs.

Fraunhofer will announce the SpatialAV Project’s latest innovations to enhance and encourage new ways of shooting movies. This includes first-of-its-kind prototypes of cameras and computational imaging methods, including the launch of:

The most innovative lightfield camera recording system to date
Using sparse angular sampling, the new four-by-four array of Fraunhofer IIS provides 16 slightly different views, capturing the lightfield in one shot. Key advantages include different viewing angles, focuses and the automatic creation of depth maps. In the future, this will also lead to the elimination of the need for a green screen in moving picture production. With Fraunhofer IIS’s lightfield technology, professionals can now control artistic effects, such as the Matrix “bullet time” or vertigo effects, in postproduction. The result is a streamlined production process that alleviates costs and provides the utmost creative freedom for producers.

Fraunhofer IIS’s latest HDR developments
There a two ways to get a brilliant HDR image even for the most challenging moving picture applications: A specialized camera or the capabilities of a camera array. Fraunhofer IIS will showcase its newest innovations for each.

Fraunhofer IIS´ HDR camera uses a special filter mask in front of the sensor, allowing it to record one shot with different exposure intensities, which are combined during processing. Utilizing several standard cameras with different neutral density filters, Fraunhofer IIS’ new camera array combines various shots with high-performing algorithms to deliver a single HDR image. The HDR camera and array are ideal for situations in which cameras are unable to cope with lighting conditions on set, enhancing the captured shot and requiring less touch-up during postproduction.

Fraunhofer’s newest, easy-to-use miniaturized OmniCam-360 system
Fraunhofer’s new system enables the real-time acquisition of 360-degree ultra-high definition panoramic video. This scalable, mirror-based multi-camera rig captures ultra-high-resolution 3D video panoramas that are exhibited with a flexible multi-projection system. Viewers are provided with an immersive viewing experience, giving them the feeling of watching an event on-site live from the very best seat.

The first prototype of a microphone management solution for spatial audio
Audio-visual coherence, the joint recording, editing, and matching of acoustic and visual perspectives, is a main focus of the Alliance’s SpatialAV Project. The microphone management solution, an interactive system of 3D audio reproduction for headphones, allows sound engineers to optimize recordings on set by facilitating rapid and intuitive control over the audioscape even with a large number of microphones. This is possible any time, during or after production.


Updates to the MediaExplorer search engine
The only scalable search engine that analyzes video content and automatically assigns reliable keywords in real time now permits the capture of motion characteristics (e.g. “bike race”) to improve search accuracy for motion and action related concepts. This innovation eliminates the need for the laborious, and at times inaccurate, assignment of keywords in the postproduction process.

· Demo of the Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve integration of Fraunhofer IIS’ easyDCP software

Blackmagic Design integrated Fraunhofer IIS’ easyDCP software for the simple, instant creation of digital cinema packages (DCP) and playout in its well-known DaVinci Resolve software package. The integrated Key Delivery Message (KDM) Generator makes it possible so sensitive data can be both created, encrypted and activated for specific players and predetermined play-out periods. In addition to saving time, these safety measures are of great advantage in the exchange process between production and postproduction.


The HEVC 4K Real-time Decoder
Alliance member Fraunhofer HHI, a main contributor to the H.265 / MPEG-HEVC standard, is launching a new decoder that will show the benefits of HEVC coding technology. The resource efficient, multi-threaded architecture enables real-time decoding of 4K 60Hz Ultra-high-definition (UHD) video. It perfectly suits the ever-growing need for high-resolution video in applications ranging from low bit-rate video conferencing over mobile web streaming to high-quality TV broadcasting.

New HEVC Real-time Software Encoder
The new software encoder encodes 1080p HD video in real-time and streams it to Windows, Linux and Mac OS X clients.

· New Real-time Hardware Decoder

· The completely hardware-based, ultra-low delay decoder IP core supports the HEVC main profile. Even without an additional processor core, the decoder provides real-time performance for full HD resolution (1080p30) at a clock frequency below 150 MHz. The design is currently implemented on an Altera Stratix-V FPGA.

Real-time Stereo-to-Multiview Conversion (Hardware solutions for depth estimation from stereoscopic 3D)
Real-time stereo-to-multiview conversion allows playback of 3D Blu-ray content, or any other stereoscopic 3D video content on autostereoscopic displays. Costly offline conversion is no longer needed and personal 3D viewing preferences can be adjusted on the fly. Depth estimation, the heart of stereo-to-multiview conversion, is now available as a pure hardwired IP core suited for FPGA and ASIC implementation. A reference FPGA implementation will be available for evaluation at the show


New features for the Interactive Soccer Experience
The Interactive Soccer Experience, which provides a wide spectrum of automatic analysis capabilities for broadcast soccer, is now capable of player identification and recognition of highlights within a match. The purpose of this technology is the fast and precise retrieval of soccer content, increasing viewer interaction when watching a soccer match.

Sharing Expertise in Digital Cinema:

In addition, as the innovative experts in the field, Fraunhofer Alliance scientists will be speaking at three IBC 2013 sessions. These scientists will also be available at Fraunhofer’s booth for one-one-conversations. This includes:

· Session on the advancement in HDR video

o Dr. Joachim Keinert, chief scientist at Fraunhofer IIS

o Thursday, September 12 at 11:00 a.m. in the Emerald Room

· Session on the development of tools and techniques to improve the efficiency and quality of media production.

o Frederik Zilly, head of the Computational Imaging and Algorithms Group, the Department of Moving Picture Technologies at Fraunhofer IIS

o Monday, September 16, at 1:30 p.m. in the Forum.

· Session on the most recent advancements on lightfield technology

o Dr. Siegfried Foessel, head of department Moving Picture Technologies at Fraunhofer IIS, spokesman for the Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Alliance

o Tuesday, September 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m at the EDFC conference (E102)

· Panel discussion on “The future of DVB-T in Germany”

o IBC Industry Insight by FKTG moderated by Dr. Siegfried Foessel

o Monday, September 16, at 5:30 p.m. in the Emerald room

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