Our team GRAPHDECO at Inria is very excited about working in the multidisciplinary EMOTIVE project, and having the opportunity to work with our cultural and technological partners who are one of the best in their areas respectively. We are also pleased to contribute to the development of authoring tools for creating compelling emotional experiences.
The work performed here in our group is about developing new algorithms and techniques that push forward the process of rendering 3D environments by using actual photographs of a given real-world scene. This method is called Image-Based Rendering (IBR) and its main advantages are that 3D designers are not required to design the scene and that the final rendering is photorealistic i.e., the scene does not look like as if it were made for an old video game.
3D designers are skilled technical people and designing virtual environments takes a large amount of effort and time. Our technique simplifies the process of authoring these virtual experiences and, at the same time, makes them look even more real.
One of the big challenges with IBR is that taking the correct photographs is not an easy task. To address it, GRAPHDECO are developing algorithms that allow lay users to create a 3D representation of a scene using regular cameras. Our algorithms process these images and allow them to be edited. For example, we can remove people from pictures so a scene can be rendered as if no one was there.
The EMOTIVE project has also brought up new, interesting challenges that we hadn’t previously considered. For instance, our working pipeline was not able to process more than a few hundred pictures before. However, when our partners took over a thousand photographs for the reconstruction of Çatalhöyük, we had to develop new techniques to handle that volume of images. This has made our technology more robust and ready to use in a wider variety of datasets.
EMOTIVE is a very enriching experience, giving us the opportunity to showcase our technology out of academia, allowing us to be exposed to industry, expand our partners and plan for future tech transfers.
We are looking forward to see the first prototype of the offline experience for Çatalhöyük in the alpha release that will be by January of 2018.
Blog post written by George Drettakis and Sebastian Vizcay from Inria EMOTIVE team. Find out more about the Inria team here.