Fraunhofer Unveils Industry Momentum to Drive Light-Field Technology Adoption

The Fraunhofer IIS Department Moving Picture Technologies, the leading provider of future-oriented solutions for enhanced digital media workflows, is one of the industry leaders in driving widespread development, standardization and adoption of light-field technology. These advances will be pivotal in meeting the demands and challenges of this technology in how we generate and deliver future immersive viewing experiences.

“Light-field technology is an industry game changer, enabling new, creative possibilities to meet consumers’ expectations for immersive digital cinema and media,” said Dr. Siegfried Foessel, spokesperson, Fraunhofer Digital Media Alliance. “This includes simplifying and enhancing any workflow for processes that combine the real world and CGI, such as 3D or virtual reality (VR). Before professionals can tap into all this technology has to offer, strides must be made.”

 Standardization of various components are needed for workflows to truly support light-field technology. In line with the roadmap developed by JPEG and MPEG, Fraunhofer IIS highlights the following initiatives to push light-field technology forward:

The Interoperability of Tools:

The number of companies developing cameras, content and devices for immersive services, such as VR, is growing rapidly. Several technologies are necessary for VR, including image stitching, metadata enrichment and video coding. This leads to an array of different types of formats, coding, delivery mechanisms, 3D projection, metadata or signaling. The result is market fragmentation. Each of these components must be standardized for optimal interoperability.

Light-Field Coding:

Light-field technology enables many special effects, like the Matrix Bullet effect, refocusing or depth-based editing. 3D processing in combination with audio wave field processing allows a much more immersive viewing experience, especially for next-generation cinematic movies. This results in heavy transmission bandwidth requirements, along with the burden of extensive editing and rendering required for 360 degree and 3D viewing for VR. Standardizing coding that will properly compress light-field data will alleviate this burden.

Point Cloud Compression:

Because of the limitation of data points during capturing, point clouds are often sparsely distributed. Point clouds enable 3D representations, allowing new renderings from different viewpoints. Point clouds typically use thousands or up to billions of points to represent scenes that can be realistically reconstructed. They are typically captured using multiple cameras and depth sensors in various setups, but as usual in JPEG and MPEG, acquisition is outside of the scope of the standard. The standards target efficient geometry and attribute compression, scalable/progressive coding, and coding of sequences of point clouds captured over time. The compressed data format must also support random access to subsets of the point cloud.

 For the past five years, Fraunhofer IIS has played a major role in the innovation of light-field technology. Along with developing the first technology for use in moving pictures, Fraunhofer IIS works jointly with and holds leadership positions with relevant standardization groups, including JPEG and MPEG.

 The Fraunhofer IIS Department of Moving Picture Technologies is a member of the Fraunhofer Digital Media Alliance. The goal of the Alliance is to provide new technologies and innovations for each step of any digital media or cinema workflow for immersive viewing and audio experiences that enable customers to stay ahead of the market.

IBC attendees can see a demo of Fraunhofer IIS’ Light-Field Technology at stand 8.B80. Further information is also available at:

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