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System Automatically Converts 2d Video to 3D

By MIT News

November 4, 2015

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A project between researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Qatar Computing Research Institute has yielded a system that automatically renders two-dimensional (2D) soccer game video footage as three-dimensional (3D) video.

The technology leverages the graphics-rendering software that powers sports video games, and the converted video can be played back over any 3D device.

The researchers configured a Microsoft soccer game to play in a loop, and used Microsoft's PIX video-game analysis tool to continuously store screen shots of the action. For every shot, they also took out the corresponding 3D map. They then weeded out all screen shots except those that best captured the range of possible viewing angles and player configurations the game presented, with an algorithm for gauging the difference between two images. Each screen shot and the associated 3D map was stored in a database. For every frame of 2D video of an actual game, the system seeks about 10 shots in the database that best match it, and then looks for the best pairings between smaller video feeds and smaller screen shot regions. Once those are established, the system superimposes the depth data from the shots on the corresponding sections of the video feed, and then re-integrates the sections to generate a convincing 3D effect.

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