This cyber-sculpture installation exhibits the recent achievements brought about through the close co-operation, communication and growing understanding that has developed between fine art sculptor Keith Brown, and the Imaging Technologies Group at De Montfort University (DMU). Over the past two years they have worked closely together to produce cyber-sculpture using different aspects of integral imaging and specialised hardware and software developed at DMU. This work is an installation of a 3D integral large screen projection of 3D computer-generated objects into real space.
The 3D image is a single frame from a twelve minute animation sequence, which was especially generated with a view to explore the potential of integral image projection. The integral image makes visually manifest cyber objects that would be extremely difficult to realise by other means.
The Imaging Technologies Group at DMU have dweloped a system capable of real-time capture and replay and methods of computer generation of synthetic integral images. A computer generated synthetic integral image exhibits continuous parallax within a viewing zone dictated by the field angle of an array of micro-lenses. The replayed image is a volumetric optical model, which exists in space at its generated location independent of the viewer’s position. These images may be interrogated optically to obtain an accurate depth map. 3D integral imaging offers a new means to realise cyber-sculpture as full three-dimensional optical constructs, facilitating a potential application of computer generated objects for use in sculpture installation and architectural contexts. Large screen integral projection of cybersculpture allows the viewer to see participants occupying the same space as the projected 3D cyber object, uniting the virtual and the actual.
The cyber-sculpture was created in 3D Studio Max and then rendered as an integral image using the in-house software at De Montfort University (DMU). The 3D integral image is replayed through a wide-aperture integral camera/projector (developed by the Imaging Technologies Group at DMU) using a high-gain retro-reflective screen to position the virtual object in real space beyond the viewing window.
- Keith Brown is Head of Fine Art Sculpture and Director of Art and Computing Technologies at The Manchester Metropolitan University. He is President of FasT-uk (Fine Art Sculptors and Technology in the UK). His current research involves “integral imaging”, “3D printing, computer-animation ” and “computer printmaking”. Malcolm McCormick, Neil Davies, Matthew C. Forman, Graham Milnthorpe and Rohit Kotecha are all members of an internationally recognised research group specialising in integral 30 imaging and 30 image data processing. The gmup are actively investigating “live capture integral television”, “computer generated integral imaging”, and “medical/industrial applications of true 3D image acquisition and presentation”.