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Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute Launches ASP Camera System to Raise Quality and Lower Cost in 3D Production

Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI), a leader in the development of mobile and fixed broadband communication networks, multimedia systems, image signal and 3D, announced at NAB 2013 the new Automatic Stereo Production (ASP) camera system, a concept for a compact, easy-to-use side-by-side camera system with automated pre- and post-processing for 3D stereo data.

The new camera system concept, developed with partners Fraunhofer IIS, Carl Zeiss, KUK Film and P+S Technik, is a result of the ASP project, part of the 3D Innovation Center at Fraunhofer HHI. The system features integrated automation technology that eliminates the need for manual pre- and post-processing.

"The new 3D camera system concept is in line with the mission of the ASP project to raise quality and lower costs in 3D stereo production," said Peter Kauff, head of immersive media & 3D vide group at Fraunhofer HHI. "An important innovation in 3D production, the automated and compact nature of the ASP camera system concept is unmatched in the industry."

To keep the 3D camera system as compact as possible, Fraunhofer HHI and its partners use miniaturized powerful components, such as the zoom objective of Carl Zeiss. In addition, the system's side-by-side setup eliminates the need for mirrors. Mirrors, along with taking up space, being expensive and easily damaged, also have a negative impact on the quality of the 3D image due to loss of brightness and color shifts. These benefits make the ASP camera system easy to operate while reducing the potential for quality loss.

The ASP camera system also features integrated automation technology, which uses complex algorithms to configure and correct the parameters for quality 3D capturing. This includes, for example, color matching and the settings of the two cameras electronically and in real-time. There is no longer any need for the usual lengthy, manual setup procedure for cameras in stereo production or for post-processing once the film is shot.

Fraunhofer HHI's stereoscopic analyzer assistance system (STAN) is an integral part of the ASP camera system. STAN sends the values computed for a particular shot directly to the two cameras and identifies incorrect settings, which can either be manually or automatically. Both production time and costs are reduced, while also guaranteeing improved stereo picture quality.

Fraunhofer HHI is part of the Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Alliance. The Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Alliance consists of Fraunhofer IIS, Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI), Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology (IDMT) and Fraunhofer FOKUS. The alliance provides a network of deep expertise and intelligence for the development of scalable technologies and international standards that allow customers to stay ahead of the market.