Canon “Free Viewpoint” Technology is Straight out of Sci-Fi

Canon is showing off the latest from their imagine labs called “Free Viewpoint” technology. It is basically a virtual camera system that records the entire event in an area. However, unlike regular cameras, it allows for video playback from every vantage point in the 3D space. Yes, ANY vantage point. Do you want to see what the ball is seeing during the entire football match? Do you want to be in the field with Wayne Rooney? or Do you want to hover at the top of the arena in bird’s eye view? You can do all of that and more. This might even be the technology which makes the interactive 2D photo technology from the original Bladerunner movie possible.

To make this magic happen, high resolution cameras all over the stadium are installed. This must provide coverage to every single inch of the stadium or arena. Afterwards, the viewpoints from each camera are uploaded to an image processing engine which extrapolates 3D spatial data. The system then uses those view points to render the scene however the viewer wants to. Not only will this technology revolutionize sports watching, it can also be very impactful for studies and training simulation.

The demo video itself, released by Canon almost looks like a video game. It is taken from a football match and shows various perspectives. It even has the ball landing straight to the camera’s virtual lens without buckling. However, there are still some limitations such as the image quality itself. Some objects such as the landscape appear pixelated when it is not in the focal point. Some tiling effect is also visible, albeit not as distracting as it may seem. The players actually resemble video game characters. See and judge for yourself in the video below.

Canon Free Viewpoint Video Demo

Ron Perillo

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