Nav: Home

Disney Research transforms movie-quality animations for interactive viewing

May 16, 2017

Cinema-quality animations and virtual reality graphics that need to be rendered in real-time are often mutually exclusive categories, but Disney Research has developed a new process that transforms high-resolution animated content into a novel video format to enable immersive viewing.

The end-to-end solution the researchers devised will make it easier to repurpose animated film assets for use in video games and location-based VR venues. Viewers wearing head-mounted displays can interact with movie animations in a new way, based on the position and orientation of their heads.

"This new solution promises huge savings on the most costly aspects of interactive media production," said Professor Kenny Mitchell, senior research scientist.

The researchers will present their real-time rendering method May 16 at the Graphics Interface 2017 conference in Edmonton, Alberta.

"We've seen a resurgence in interest in virtual reality in recent years as companies have released a number of head-mounted displays for consumers," said Professor Markus Gross, vice president at Disney Research. "The subsequent demand for VR and other immersive content is driving innovations such as this ground-breaking set of methods for reusing rendered animated films."

Virtual reality scenes must be rendered in real-time and that performance requirement means using animations that are less complex than the highly detailed animations typical of feature films. That means when artists produce an interactive experience tied-in to the film or a related video game, they have to convert the film animations into a lower-quality form compatible with real-time rendering or game engines. That process is both laborious and expensive.

Mitchell and his colleagues opt instead for an approach that relies on automated pre-processing: The 3D scenes are rendered from the perspective of a number of camera positions calculated to provide the best viewpoints for all of the surfaces in the scene with as few cameras as possible and encode it all in a modular video format. This content can then be rendered in real-time from an arbitrary point of view, allowing for motion parallax, head tilting and rotations.

"This process enables consumption of immersive pre-rendered video in six degrees of freedom using a head-mounted display," said Babis Koniaris, a post-doctoral associate on the team. "It can also be used for rendering film-quality visuals for video games."

In addition to Mitchell and Koniaris, the research team included Maggie Kosek and David Sinclair. The research was partly supported by the Innovate UK project #102684, titled OSCIR.

Combining creativity and innovation, this research continues Disney's rich legacy of leveraging technology to enhance the tools and systems of tomorrow.
-end-
For more information on the process, including a video showing example scenes, visit the project web site at http://www.disneyresearch.com/real-time-rendering-with-compressed-animated-light-fields/.

About Disney Research


Disney Research is a network of research laboratories supporting The Walt Disney Company. Its purpose is to pursue scientific and technological innovation to advance the company's broad media and entertainment efforts. Vice President Markus Gross manages Disney Research facilities in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Zürich, and works closely with the Pixar and ILM research groups in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Research topics include computer graphics, animation, video processing, computer vision, robotics, wireless & mobile computing, human-computer interaction, displays, behavioral economics, and machine learning.

Website: http://www.disneyresearch.com

Twitter: @DisneyResearch

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DisneyResearch

Disney Research

Related Virtual Reality Articles:

Easing the burden of coronavirus with virtual reality
A new article discusses the psychological stresses imposed by the coronavirus pandemic and suggests that virtual reality can help alleviate the psychological impact of the need for social isolation.
Virtual reality makes empathy easier
Virtual reality activates brain networks that increase your ability to identify with other people, according to new research published in eNeuro.
Physiotherapy could be done at home using virtual reality
Virtual reality could help physiotherapy patients complete their exercises at home successfully thanks to researchers at WMG, University of Warwick, who managed to combine VR technology with 3D motion capture.
Using virtual reality to help individuals with autism spectrum disorder
Novel interventions using virtual reality to aid individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) handle common scenarios may include helping youngsters navigate air travel.
Virtual reality illuminates the power of opioid-associated memories
The brain acts differently when remembering environments associated with drug use.
Virtual reality could help flu vaccination rates
Using a virtual reality simulation to show how flu spreads and its impact on others could be a way to encourage more people to get a flu vaccination, according to a study by researchers at the University of Georgia and the Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Virtual reality becomes more real
Scientists from Skoltech ADASE (Advanced Data Analytics in Science and Engineering) lab have found a way to enhance depth map resolution, which should make virtual reality and computer graphics more realistic.
Is virtual reality the next big thing in art therapy?
Researchers from Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professions in the Creative Arts Therapies Department conducted a study to see if virtual reality can be used as an expressive tool in art therapy.
Intuitive in the virtual reality
Through the crafty use of magnetic fields, scientists from HZDR and Johannes Kepler University in Linz have developed the first electronic sensor that can simultaneously process both touchless and tactile stimuli.
An artificial skin that can help rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality
EPFL scientists have developed a soft artificial skin that provides haptic feedback and -- thanks to a sophisticated self-sensing mechanism -- has the potential to instantaneously adapt to a wearer's movements.
More Virtual Reality News and Virtual Reality Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.