In the last decade we have seen movie effects spiral into a mind-twisting experience that most of us talk about long after the movie has ended its run on the box office charts. Who will ever forget the amazing scene where Neo dodges the slow motion bullets in The Matrix, and the multi-viewpoint angles used that make your mind go numb out of excitement. I bet most of you wondered how those scenes were created, and what it took to generate all that video data.
It seems it won’t be long until we will see these multi-viewpoint effects again. NHK is currently developing a multi-viewpoint camera system that will allow those Matrix-like slow motion scenes to be shot in real time and then played back instantly. The system could be used for sports events, for example, in order to give the viewer a whole new perspective of the event’s important happenings.
The multi-viewpoint camera setup consists of a series of cameras all linked to one master camera, each with tilt and pan functionality. Not only that, but all cameras share lens data which makes it possible for them to zoom in unison. With the help of a powerful processor, the smoothness of switching cameras is calculated in real time, which further adds to the overall effect and creates a highly appealing angular panning solution.
With this multi-viewpoint camera system, we will be able to view and review events and shows on TV in a way not previously possible. The system also allows images to be sent out after as little as one minute of processing, which makes it one of the most sophisticated live performance solutions ever created. I am sure once this is widely implemented, we are going to watch live broadcasts of sporting events in a whole new way, and that’s just the beginning.
When you think about it, this multi-viewpoint camera system can be used within a wide range of events coverage and even movie making of course. However, I think few of us will be as impressed by the effect if it’s implemented into movies again now that we have seen and marveled over it in the The Matrix movies.