The Pixel Farm has shipped PFDepth, its new software package for stereo conversion of 2D footage and scene reconstruction.
PFDepth – one of the first off-the-shelf tools for stereo conversion work – was originally unveiled at NAB this year, and attracted a lot of positive feedback, winning a CGW Silver Edge award.
The software has since evolved significantly in response to that feedback: something you can read about in more detail in the fxguide article linked at the foot of this story.
Existing IP, such as US patents held by Digital Domain following its acquisition of pioneering dimensionalisation firm In-Three, was also a consideration.
“We have some bitching technology, but it will be all for nothing if we fail to find a way around this most important roadblock,” Daryl Shail, The Pixel Farm’s VFX product manager, told 3D World magazine at the time.
Happily, studios can now try that bitching technology for themselves on Windows, OS X and Linux. There is currently no PFDepth product page on The Pixel Farm site, but the company has announced its price as $3,300.
Updated 14 September: Daryl Shail has been in touch to clarify that The Pixel Farm has never been in discussions with Digital Domain regarding patents. You can read his full comment below.
PRESS RELEASE (Excerpts)
The Pixel Farm Ltd, a leading developer of innovative image processing systems for VFX, DI and restoration, today announced the immediate availability of PFDepth: a new, fully integrated toolset for total scene reconstruction, 2D-to-3D conversion and depth map creation.
PFDepth is a radical evolution of the intricate processes involved in accurately representing the perceived geometric shape and depth of objects, buildings and terrain in 3D, making it easy to build complex geometry, detailed per-pixel depth maps, and stereoscopic renders of any 2D scene.
PFDepth is a truly unique product due to its use of real-world camera models. Using The Pixel Farm’s renowned 3D camera tracking technology as its foundation, accurate depth cues are assigned to each pixel in the image relative to the real-world camera’s position over time, while dynamic adjustments to convergence can be animated automatically. The result is scene reconstruction and stereoscopy that appears as true to life as the original environment in which it was shot.
PFDepth is also a cost-effective product as there is no need to invest in multiple applications that each only satisfy a small piece of the creative pie. The entire toolchest of innovation will allow artists to create, edit, segment,sculpt, filter and combine objects in world space, without battling the disconnect encountered with other piecemeal processes. For businesses owning other tools, PFDepth can open new doors by supporting their data within its infinitely flexible and creative environment. In addition the Geometry Tracking, Image Modelling and Z-Depth tools found in PFTrack can also contribute to help refine the immense data sets created in PFDepth.
An early version of PFDepth demonstrating its concepts was first shown publicly at NAB 2012 and the response was overwhelming. PFDepth was honored with a Silver Edge Award by CGW Magazine, recognising it as one of the best new technologies exhibited at NAB.
A 64-bit application running natively on OSX, Windows and Linux, PFDepth retails for £2,000/$3,300/€2,500.