The Pixel Farm is to launch PFDepth, a new off-the-shelf tool for post-converting 2D footage to stereo, at NAB.
According to the news release (below), PFDepth benefits from the “unique technological capabilities” of PFTrack, the developer’s flagship camera-tracking software.
PFDepth will become one of the few off-the-shelf tools available for dimensionalisation work, and the first we’re aware of to have been specifically designed for the task: The Foundry’s Ocula plugins for Nuke, although used in post-conversion, were originally designed for general stereo production.
Currently, most specialist tools are proprietary, and developed by major studios, such as Prime Focus’s View-D system and In-Three’s Dimensionalization process. In-Three was later bought by Digital Domain.
An off-the-shelf product could make the rapidly expanding field of post-conversion accessible to much smaller facilities. It will be interesting to see what price point The Pixel Farm chooses for PFDepth.
PRESS RELEASE (Excerpts)
The Pixel Farm Ltd, developer of innovative image processing systems for VFX, DI and restoration, today announced PFDepth – a new, fully integrated toolset for spatial scene reconstruction, depth creation and 2D to 3D conversion. The Pixel Farm will publicly debut PFDepth at NAB 2012 April 16th to 19th at the Las Vegas Convention Center, booth #SL13408.
Benefiting from the unique technological capabilities of PFTrack already being used by facilities globally, PFDepth is a radical evolution of the processes involved in representing the perceived geometric shape and depth of two-dimensional objects in 3D. Performing 2D to 3D conversion by assigning accurate depth cues relative to the camera’s position over time, dynamic adjustments to the perceived dimensionality of the scene are animated automatically, making PFDepth truly distinctive amongst stereoscopic post production tools.
“Through speaking to our users who do this type of work, we’ve learned a lot about the significant complications encountered when trying to build a workflow around various loosely-connected applications,” says Daryl Shail, VFX Product Manager at The Pixel Farm Ltd. “When we set out to develop PFDepth, we approached it as a total solution to directly address the specific challenges of 2D to 3D conversion, with an emphasis on productivity, intuitiveness, and flexibility. As a result, you can literally drop PFDepth into any existing post production pipeline, and start cranking out shots from day one.”
Like all ‘PF’ products, data is designed to be interoperable, making PFDepth a natural extension to PFTrack’s Geometry Tracking, Image Modelling and Z-depth tools. Elaborate models, detailed aggregates and accurate topography are easily created, achieving a degree of realism in shots previously considered to be too time consuming using previous piecemeal processes.
PFDepth has further reaching market opportunities, such as restoration and remastering, due to its ease of use and unified working environment. New doors have opened to facilities who once considered 2D to 3D conversion to be a cost prohibitive service offering, and has created ‘sell-up’ opportunities for facilities looking to expand beyond traditional restoration and into the growing dimensionalisation market.
“At The Pixel Farm, we have gained a reputation as a company that can both innovate and deliver technologies, then package them into game changing, usable applications that constantly produce class leading results,” Says Michael Lancaster, Managing Director at The Pixel Farm Ltd. “We feel confident that PFDepth is set to continue that trend.”
Whether converting monoscopic footage to stereo, or reconstructing entire environments in 3D for VFX purposes, in PFDepth, even the most labor-intensive tasks become fast and painless. Entire sequences can be created in minutes, as opposed to hours or days marking a revolutionary advance in stereoscopic filmmaking.