Fraunhofer HHI Unveil Volumetric Video Studio to aid Rapid Market Development of VR/AR

Last month VRFocus reported on the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications (Fraunhofer HHI) developing a new volumetric video variant known as 3D Human Body Reconstruction (3DHBR) to create naturally moving dynamic 3D models. Now the institute has announced a specialist volumetric video studio will be put into operation after an initial launch in October 2017.

VoluCap GmbH

Called VoluCap GmbH, it was founded by the shareholders ARRI Cine Technik GmbH & Co. KG, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Interlake System GmbH, Studio Babelsberg AG and UFA GmbH. The creation of the studio was down to the necessity to relocate the commercial production to a company is due in particular to the rapid market development of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) and the high demand for volumetric video content.

In November 2017, Fraunhofer HHI carried out the first professional commissioned production for VR experience Ein ganzes Leben (A Whole Life), which premiered at the Deutsche Kinemathek, the film and television museum in Berlin. The company plans on showcasing additional productions from the volumetric video studio to the public in several talks and presentations at this year’s Berlinale.

Plans are underway for the studio to be put into full operation as a commercial volumetric video studio in mid-2018, possibly the first on European continent.

Gateway to Infinity screenshot

The 3DHBR technology which VoluCap GmbH will be using captures real persons with multiple cameras at the same time and creates naturally moving dynamic 3D models, which can be observed from arbitrary viewpoints in the virtual scene. The HBR capture system consists of 16 stereo cameras that create 3D information from all different viewpoints around the person, similar to how humans perceive with their two eyes. This information is fused and transformed to a consistent, natural and dynamic 3D representation of the person.

Beyond the processing of dynamic 3D models, an integrated multi-camera and lighting system for full 360-degree acquisition of persons has been developed. The system enables a controlled, freely configurable and diffuse illumination of the persons, which allows both a subsequent synthetic illumination of the dynamic 3D-models in VR worlds (re-lighting), as well as a targeted dynamic scenic illumination with special lighting moods (campfire, blue light, etc.). As VRFocus learns more about  Fraunhofer HHI’s for 3DHBR we’ll keep you updated.