May 13, 2008

The Foundry Launches Ocular Plug-ins

London - Visual effects software developer The Foundry has announced the developed Ocula, a collection of plug-ins that solve common problems with 3D stereoscopic imagery, boost productivity in postproduction, and help to deliver a more rewarding 3D-stereo viewing experience.

The new plug-ins, previewed at NAB 2008, are designed to take the headache out of 3D stereo postproduction by automatically replicating key processes on left and right channels, and to remove headaches from the final viewing experience by providing tools that help artists polish and refine 3D-stereo material.


The Ocula tools are based on new disparity-mapping algorithms, created by The Foundry's R&D team. Disparity maps track and correlate the differences in positional space and movement between corresponding pixels in the left and right cameras, and then deliver pixel-level control over images. Knowing where disparities occur, Ocula tools apply corrections by warping, stretching, and squeezing only those areas of an image that require treatment. Image manipulation using disparity maps is different to the X, Y, or Z-axis shifting of images, where only whole image planes are being shifted.


Users can correct horizontal alignment issues with Ocula's Interocular Distance Shifter. Using disparity map data, a new "virtual€VbCrLf view is created between the original left and right eye positions, with the result being that objects of different fore, mid, and background depths are resolved more accurately for the viewer. This is different to an X-axis shift where only the image plane is moved.


Ocula's Vertical Aligner will attempt to vertically align corresponding image features in each view, to minimize or eliminate the effect known as "key-stoning.€VbCrLf


Ocula plug-ins will be available for the next point release of Nuke, Version 5.1, expected to be July 2008. Nuke is available on Linux, Windows, and Mac platforms.