Expanding The Third Dimension

»We have a Mission, because Content is often not yet available for New Technologies. We want to fill This Gap.«, Dr. Matthias Kunter and Dr. Sebastian Knorr, imcube labs GmbH

Photo: Volker Döring

Cars that race at us, actors who reach out and touch us and action scenes that happen around us have all become reality thanks to three-dimensional films.

Over the last couple of years, the industry has been undergoing an enormous boom caused by digitalization. 3D theaters are springing up like mushrooms from the ground and almost every major film is being offered in 3D format. The basic idea is simple: with the help of a second image, a plastic three-dimensional feeling of spaciousness is created. The natural sense of sight is the prototype for this, whereby the brain composites the images from the left and right eyes into a three-dimensional image.

There are two options for creating a 3D film. Either it will be filmed using 3D cameras or it must be converted into a three-dimensional image from two-dimensional images.

Imcube is working with conversion approach. Until recently, the conversion process was largely a manual process. At 24 frames per second, a second image must be created frame-by-frame.

To accomplish this, every object in the frame must be assigned depth information, so that they can be assigned spatial coordinates.

Even with several hundred employees, this process can often take a year. The innovative software from imcube is now taking over this work in large part and thereby executing this process faster and less expensively. Dr. Sebastian Knorr, CMO, says, “We have a mission, because content is often not yet available for new technologies. Currently, there are not that many 3D films, initially two percent according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

We want to fill this gap by increasing the percentage of 3D films on the market.” There is a licensing partner in India already and cooperative efforts with conversion plants in China.

For Knorr, quality is an important factor, because there are plenty of poor conversions, with consequence for the audience. “One could imagine it, as if watching from a ship. The inner ear tells you that the ship is moving up and down, but your eyes say everything is normal.

Our brains have problems processing this and we become nauseous”, Dr. Knorr explains.

In 2009, the electrical engineering graduate founded imcube with his partner as a spin-off from Technische Universität of Berlin (TU). They feel comfortable on Einsteinufer Street. “At the moment, being here is very important to us, because we are working together with student trainees a lot and the exchange of information with other scientist and the Heinrich-Hertz Institut enriches our work.”

Bettina Tacke
Kluge Köpfe 2011