Tuesday, May 26, 2009

AMR codec source code and Standards docs.

Adaptive Multi-Rate (AMR) is a patented audio data compression scheme optimized for speech coding. AMR was adopted as the standard speech codec by 3GPP in October 1998 and is now widely used in GSM and UMTS mobile phone standards.
AMR is also a file format for storing spoken audio using the AMR codec. Many modern mobile telephone handsets will allow you to store short recordings in the AMR format, both open source (see the external links) and commercial programs exist to convert between this and other formats such as MP3, although it should be remembered that AMR is a speech format and is unlikely to give ideal results for other audio. The common filename extension is .amr.
3GPP - 3rd Generation Partnership Project
Technical Specification Group Services and System Aspects
Performance characterization of the Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) speech codec

Location of Standards Docs and Codec source code:

The Foundry Demos Technology to Nuke CMOS Artifacts

FROM: http://www.studiodaily.com/hdstudio/post/10934.html

Rolling-Shutter Skew Can Make Motion Tracking a Drag
By Bryant Frazer
May 26, 2009 Source: HD Studio

Digital motion-picture imaging has come so far, so fast, that it’s easy to forget, sometimes, that we still have a long way to go. A case in point is one of the many bits of cool software engineering being showcased at last month’s NAB show in Las Vegas — The Foundry is experimenting with technology that would remove the rolling-shutter artifacts often associated with images captured by CMOS sensors.

Rolling-shutter artifacts occur because CMOS chips don’t update an entire frame at exactly the same time. The image is captured line by line, moving across the sensor in one direction, meaning that the picture may suffer from temporal artifacts. For example, a straight horizontal line may appear skewed as the camera pans past it, since the camera has actually swiveled some distance between the time that the top lines in the frame were captured and the time that the bottom lines are recorded. The effect can be seen to varying degrees on everything from cheap cell phone cameras to footage captured with pro cameras.

It’s a bit of a hassle for the VFX business because the CMOS artifacts can introduce a kind of wobbling effect to elements in the image, making it hard to do good motion tracking. That’s why The Foundry, which makes motion-tracking plug-ins like Furnace and Ocula, has been working on a tool that leverages the company’s understanding of motion to analyze an image and then shift the appropriate portions to correct those artifacts in the course of tracking.

At NAB, the company was showing it as a compelling aspect of its future motion-tracking systems and not necessarily as a standalone technology. But, in the course of running demos during the show, The Foundry found that there is keen interest in using such a system simply to get rid of the Jell-o-like effect that can plague CMOS-acquired footage.

The Foundry isn’t estimating a date when such a tool might be available, but the company is aware that the technology will likely have an expiration date. As in-camera hardware and software improves, manufacturers are getting better at minimizing rolling-shutter artifacts, especially in their high-end gear. As technology marches on, there may be only a two- or three-year window in which filmmakers find it necessary to correct CMOS artifacts before the camera vendors build the fix into their own systems.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

3-D Video and Cinema

Side-by-side Format 3D HD video signal displayed in normal video mode.
taken at the 3ality Digital booth at NAB, JVC GD-463D10 LCD Monitor

3D was one the the technologies that really stood out at NAB this year.
Sony, JVC, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung and Hyundai all had 3D displays running.

Xpol 3D system
Xpol polarizing filter method of 3D TV with is done by bonding a circular polar filters to each line on the LCD display. With passive polarizing filter glasses it creates a very high quality 3D image. Since both right and left images are displayed on one screen at the same time there is no flicker. The nice part is the polarizing filter glasses could be very inexpensive like the ones made by American Paper Optic, rather then more expensive LCD shutter glasses.

Xpol is from Arisawa an LCD display manufacturer.

Currently, there are only a few broadcasters such as BS11 (a satellite channel in Japan) with available 3D programming; therefore, Asuna Corporation has developed a device called a TriDef DVD player that will convert commercially available 2D content software into 3D video content by simply connecting a 3D monitor and commercial DVD player to it.


FASE FA System Engineering of Japan 3D Hi-Vision (HD) display manufactured by Asuna Corporation

"naked-eye" and WOW 3D systems
Both developed by Philips Electronics the "naked-eye" 3D system that does not require polarizing glasses but uses a special lenticular lens. The problem is the position of the viewer is critical.
This system inserts black and white depth information (called Depth Map) to conventional 2D images to create 3D images.

For-A Co

Mitomo Co., Ltd. world's largest 3D LCD monitor. The 65-inch monitor was developed by VisuMotion of Germany and like the monitor manufactured by Philips Electronics, it also incorporated a "naked-eye" 3D system. This LCD monitor was released in June 2008, and the company said that it will be able to develop even larger 100-inch+ sized displays using LEDs. The company has also succeeded in developing a commercially viable mobile phone with 3D-image capability and this product is expected to hit the market in the near future.

Shutter Goggle system
To be continued.

Other resources:
3D Consulting from Florian Maier

I put up an excellent paper on 3D Cinema here.
The Stereoscopic Cinema: From Film to Digital Projection

Saturday, May 16, 2009

How Google's High Speed Book Scanner De-Warps Pages

From Slashdot:

"Patent 7,508,978, awarded to Google, shows how the company has already managed to scan more than 7 million books. Google's system uses two cameras and infrared light to automatically correct for the curvature of pages in a book. By constructing a 3D model of each page and then 'de-warping' it afterward, Google can present flat-looking pages online without having to slice books up or mash them onto a flatbed scanner. Stephen Shankland writes that the 'sophistication of the technology illustrates that would-be competitors who want to feature their own digitized libraries won't have a trivial time catching up to Google.' First, a book is placed on a flat surface, while above it, an infrared projector displays a special mazelike pattern onto the pages. Next, two infrared cameras photograph the infrared pattern from different perspectives. 'The images can be stereoscopically combined, using known stereoscopic techniques, to obtain a three-dimensional mapping of the pattern,' according to the patent. 'The pattern falls on the surface of (the) book, causing the three-dimensional mapping of the pattern to correspond to the three-dimensional surface of the page of the book.'"

YouTube Video Sends Guatemala Into Crisis

Several have sent word that a YouTube video of recently assassinated lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg has sent Guatemala into a tailspin. The video of Rosenberg claims that if you are watching, he has been murdered by President Alvaro Colom with help from presidential secretary Gustavo Alejos. "The video spread across the Internet after family members handed it out during Rosenberg's funeral on Monday. In the 18-minute tape, a seemingly calm Rosenberg, sitting behind a desk and microphone, alleges that Colom, the First Lady and two associates were involved in murder, corruption and money laundering. The group, he says, filtered public funds through a state-owned bank for personal gain and to finance drug traffickers. Rosenberg then claims that after Khalil Musa, a prominent businessman and bank board member, had learned of the Coloms' scheme, Musa and his daughter were shot to death in front of a shopping center in April. Rosenberg says the President signed off on the killings."

Hardware: DisplayLink Releases LGPL USB Graphics Code

from Slashdot:

"USB graphics should be coming to Linux soon: DisplayLink has released an LGPL library that talks to one of its graphics chips over a USB connection. DisplayLink aren't one of the big guys in graphics, but it's always nice to see a hardware manufacturer go the open source route. Now, when can I get one of these touchscreen MIMOs on my Linux HTPC?"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Good article links.

I have a video technology group on facebook I have been posting article and links in, here are some of them.

Why TV Lost
Source: news.slashdot.org

Akamai CEO: The Online-Video Tipping point is here.

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- How big of a game changer will the online video watching ultimately be for the television industry? And when will those changes really start to happen big time? According to Akamai CEO Paul Sagan, we're watching the tipping point occur right now and sweeping industry upheaval may come sooner and more dramatically then many imagine. Mr. Sagan was Keynote speaker at this week's Streaming Media East conference.


-- my comment --
With Adobe offering TV vendors to incorporate flash for free in to New TV Sets, TV will be able to play web video clips directly from the internet without interference from Cable TV providers and without a special Set Top Box or even a PC, I expect this is really the Tipping point!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hologram video-calling technology could be found in homes ‘within next five years’

FROM : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

Holograms – the mainstay of science fiction films – could become a regular fixture in our living rooms within the next five years, according to industry experts.

By Claudine Beaumont Last Updated: 6:08PM GMT 06 Feb 2009

Soon, entire houses could be designed around the idea of having a ‘viewing room’ with high-speed internet access and a display screen to allow virtual face-to-face conversations between people.

While hologram technology is nothing new, technical constraints have meant that until now, hologram appearances have had to be pre-recorded. But now, thanks to improvements in the speed and stability of broadband internet connections and video compression technology, ‘live’ holograms are able to converse with one another in real time.

“This is cutting-edge stuff,” said Ian O’Connell, director of Musion, a company that is pioneering the use of live hologram technology. “One of the main uses we envisage is celebrity cameos at big conferences or concerts,” he said. “Prince Charles famously appeared by hologram at a conference, pre-recorded. This technology would allow him to appear live, and take questions from the audience.

“And a number of musicians we’re talking to want to see this technology used to provide live cameo performances from stars at their concerts.”

Mr O’Connell also said that holograms could be used for distance learning projects, or as part of education programmes in developing nations.

However, hologram technology doesn’t come cheap. Anyone wanting to carry out live hologram broadcasts will need to be connected to a fast, next-generation broadband internet network with a minimum guaranteed constant speed of 20 megabits per second. In addition, people will also need a screening room with compatible lighting and video technology, which costs in the region of £100,000 to install, as well as a display screen for viewing the holograms on, priced at around £150,000.

Nonetheless, Mr O’Connell believes more consumer-focused versions of hologram technology will be a mainstay in homes of the future, perhaps even within the next five years. “It’s going to necessitate a change in architectural design for residential homes for it to be embraced fully,” he said. “It’s going to need a room that can accommodate the screening and delivery technology.

“But I think we’re five years away from holograms being a ubiquitous, affordable tool.”

Monday, May 11, 2009

RED Digital Cinema Update

WEVA NEWS MINUTE: From NAB 09 - Update on RED Scarlet
April 30, 2009 Las Vegas, NV - Just last winter, RED Digital Cinema declared it was rethinking the on-going design of Scarlet (photo from www.red.com). Soon after a countdown clock appeared on the RED website, ticking off the hours and days until the redesign for the camera would be unveiled, the company said. When the clock, stopped RED announced all bets were off until NAB 2009, held this month in Las Vegas, NV.

WEVA NEWS MINUTE producers Sue Lawson and Bruce Himmelblau caught up with RED's Ted Schilowtiz at the NAB show to check on Scarlet's current status, and more. Watch HERE! (Allow for QT download). For more information visit www.red.com.

3-D Real-Time Video Display System

I ran across Physical Optics Corporation they have a really interesting 3D display technology.

Holographic Display Screen http://www.poc.com/emerging_products/3d_display/default.asp