Existing stereoscopic imaging algorithms can create static stereoscopic images with perceived depth control
function to ensure a compelling 3D viewing experience without visual discomfort. However, current algorithms
do not normally support standard Cinematic Storytelling techniques. These techniques, such as object movement,
camera motion, and zooming, can result in dynamic scene depth change within and between a series of frames
(shots) in stereoscopic cinematography. In this study, we empirically evaluate the following three types of
stereoscopic imaging approaches that aim to address this problem.
(1) Real-Eye Configuration: set camera separation equal to the nominal human eye interpupillary distance.
The perceived depth on the display is identical to the scene depth without any distortion. (2) Mapping Algorithm:
map the scene depth to a predefined range on the display to avoid excessive perceived depth. A new method
that dynamically adjusts the depth mapping from scene space to display space is presented in addition to an
existing fixed depth mapping method. (3) Depth of Field Simulation: apply Depth of Field (DOF) blur effect
to stereoscopic images. Only objects that are inside the DOF are viewed in full sharpness. Objects that are far
away from the focus plane are blurred.
We performed a human-based trial using the ITU-R BT.500-11 Recommendation to compare the depth
quality of stereoscopic video sequences generated by the above-mentioned imaging methods. Our results indicate
that viewers' practical 3D viewing volumes are different for individual stereoscopic displays and viewers can
cope with much larger perceived depth range in viewing stereoscopic cinematography in comparison to static
stereoscopic images. Our new dynamic depth mapping method does have an advantage over the fixed depth
mapping method in controlling stereo depth perception. The DOF blur effect does not provide the expected
improvement for perceived depth quality control in 3D cinematography. We anticipate the results will be of
particular interest to 3D filmmaking and real time computer games.