This small book is intended to provide a broad perspective on research trends in 3D video and related issues. At the intersection of many diverse technical fields, 3D video is certainly a difficult topic. The technical details are avoided in this book; rather, the text is developed to meet the needs of a larger reader group who desire to understand the issues, concerns, technical problems, and their currently proposed solutions, as well as the interactions among different components of the entire 3DTV chain.
Current state-of-the-art is presented with a brief overview of the technological span of concepts related to 3D video. Current research activities are then outlined along with goals and results. Finally, the research direction in the field is predicted for the near, medium, and long term. Expected mingling of media in general, and in our case 3D-video-based media in particular, with the future Internet is highlighted.
The work leading to this book is an outcome of the 3D Media Cluster activities to which I also contribute; the cluster consists of 3D-media-related projects that are funded by the European Commission. Currently, there are 10 projects in the cluster; the number changes as projects complete their lifetime and as new projects emerge and enter the cluster. (The cluster has recently changed its name to 3D Immersive Interactive Media Cluster.) One of the cluster tasks was to write a white paper in 3D media technologies. As the content exceeded the appropriate length for a typical white paper, the idea of presenting the material as a small book to a wider readership emerged. I thank the Cluster members for their contributions, comments, and support while this book was prepared. Special thanks go to Dr. Atanas Gotchev and Dr. Aljoscha Smolic, who have provided extensive comments and remarks, which I used to improve the text and the referencing.
Some of the material presented in Chapter 4 is derived from public disseminations of the 3DTV Network of Excellence (NoE) and thus is built upon the work of about 200 researchers, including myself, who contributed to the Network activities. Key sources are given in the list of references. Some of these are archival documents such as books and journal articles. However, some of the references are publicly disseminated technical reports of the Network that can be accessed via the project website www.3dtv-research.org. I thank all 3DTV NoE researchers for their excellent contributions to 3DTV NoE activities and their willingness to share their findings with the public.
The content in Chapter 5 was developed primarily from announcements about the research goals and results of the individual projects. Such announcements are made mostly through project web sites, which can be accessed via the 3D Media Cluster page at www.3dmedia-cluster.eu.
I am grateful to the hundreds of scientists with whom I have had the chance to interact during my 29 years of active research in 3D video and holographic 3D displays. It would be impossible to understand the broad range of issues without their expertise and ideas, and I am especially grateful for their willingness to share these with me and others.
I also thank my students who had the desire and the motivation to learn about the topics and related issues. Their intriguing questions - and sometimes answers - amassed over the years surely contributed to my own understanding of this exciting field of 3D video.
I believe that this book will be useful to those who are willing to delve into the broad range of technical issues within the 3D video field. The book is concise and presents information in an efficient manner. Even though a limited number of references are listed in the book, those references and the literally thousands of papers cited in them collectively provide an almost complete literature for any researcher who would also like to contribute to the field.
Bilkent, Ankara, Turkey