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  • Mon 27 Jul 2009

    3DUI Grand Prize

    Published at 10:11   Category VR Applications  

    I’m very pleased to announce that I’m co-chairing the first 3DUI Grand Prize !


    The 3D User Interfaces (3DUI) Conference (http://conferences.computer.org/3dui/3dui2010/) is running a new contest: the 3DUI Grand Prize. It is opened to anyone interested in 3D User Interfaces, from researchers, to students, enthusiasts, and professionals. The goal is to find innovative solutions to classic 3DUI problems (travel, selection, manipulation), so think outside the box, unleash your creativity and show your ideas to the 3DUI community! You can use whatever software and hardware you want (from simple mouse/keyboard, to spacemouse, haptics devices, multitouch tables, 3d trackers, a HMD, a CAVE etc) to achieve the task. See Note 1.
    Organization and Special Dates:

    • October 15th, 2009: Registration date for teams.
    • January 11th, 2010: Submission date.
    • February 1st, 2010: We will submit acceptance notes to finalists on this date
    • March 20-21, 2010: Contest date

    The contest chairs are:

    • Pablo Figueroa, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
    • Sebastien Kuntz, 3DVIA Virtools / Dassault Systèmes, France
    • Yoshifumi Kitamura, Osaka University, Japan

    For any question regarding the contest you can contact the contest chairs at 3DUI2010_contest (at) inria (dot) fr.

    To subscribe to the contest mailing list, send a mail to 3DUIGrandPrize2010-subscribe (at) nowan (dot) fr.

    The mailing list archives can be found here. The registration scheme will be indicated on the website of the contest later : http://conferences.computer.org/3dui/3dui2010/cfp/contest.html

    Teams of any number of people could be registered. If your team cannot come to the 3DUI conference, which is highly recommended, we will also accept video-only submissions as a separate category. We will select the best solutions to be presented at 3DUI, in a special contest session. Participants of the video only category should submit their video with all the necessary information for the evaluation. Participants of the full 3DUI contest should provide the following material:

    • A file AUTHORS with the authors of the solution
    • A file INSTRUCTIONS with the instructions of use and requirements
    • A video of the interface in action. It should show both the user and the display
    • If possible/desired, a copy of the software/source code developed, plus a file INSTALL with the installation instructions

    Questions will be answered on the contest mailing list and stored in a FAQ page of the contest webpage. Selected participants of the full 3DUI contest should bring all the necessary equipment for their solution (See Note 1). During this session, they will be asked to run their application with new data, and train some novice users. We will collect data of several runs, both with expert and novice users, and we will videotape these sessions. Finally, participants will have a space beside the poster’s exhibition where attendees will be able to see the different solutions and mark them.  Your solution should be run several times. It should provide at the end the following information: Time of execution, average frame rate, if the task was completed or aborted.

    The judges of this contest will take into consideration the following issues in your solution:

    • Average values for completed tasks (time of execution, frame rate)
    • Fitness of your solution to the problem, but also genericity
    • Ease of use of your solution
    • How enjoyable is your solution
    • Average public marks


    There will be prizes for the three best solutions. There will also be a prize for the best video-only submission. The winners will be announced at the reception.

    Prizes include : Novint Falcon haptic devices, 3DVIA Virtools licenses and 3D Connexion SpacePilots. The authors of the winning solutions will also be given the opportunity to co-author an article about the event in the IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications (CG&A) journal.
    Description of the Problem

    The experimental environment looks like a supermarket where the racks are located in the 3D space. Starting at a given position inside the shop, your interaction should allow the user to travel inside the shop to a given destination without running into objects (no need for collision detection). Once arrived at this destination, the user will have to find (ie. select then manipulate) among a given set of objects, the one object that holds a particular mark and then place it at another given destination in a precise position/orientation (travel then manipulate).

    The final environment and exact task will be provided later this summer.On the day of the contest, the entire scenario (i.e. cabinets, destinations, and choice of objects) will be changed.


    Here are some resources :

    Note 1

    If you require special equipment or you can´t bring yours to 3DUI, there is a slight possibility that we can ask people at the exhibition to lend some equipment for the contest. Let us know as soon as possible to see if we can arrange something, ideally before 3DUI´s registration. First come first served basis.


    Wed 15 Jul 2009

    3D photo (by Fuji)

    Published at 13:39   Category VR Displays  


    Last year, Fuji announced a set of devices to capture/display 3d pictures. Now this is getting closer to reality. This 3D camera has two lenses and an autostereoscopic LCD on the back.

    Back at Dimension3, I had the chance to test a cell phone with stereo capture and autostereo screen, and it worked much better than I expected, so I’m quite optimistic about this!

    <nearly out of topic>

    I nearly bought a stereo lens for my DSLR but some other 3D geeks told me that by ‘simply’ taking two pictures with the help of a special tripod head it was easy and less expensive. But it only works for very static objects.

    I’ve heard that people taking pictures for autostereoscopic prints are doing exactly this, with some automation. The camera slides quite fast on a trail and shoot as many pictures as needed (from 8 to much more) in a short timeframe. The geeks from Alioscopy even created an asymmetric camera where the sensors slides, in exactly the same way and for the same reasons as our VR asymmetric cameras do!

    </nearly out of topic>

    But of course taking two pictures at the same time is the easiest way to go, and it’s really nice to see that this is coming to 3D geeks near you, and I hope this will reach even more people than that!

    Fuji also plans to have sell an autostereoscopic photo frame, and an online service to print lenticular pictures.


    From Electronista :

    The 10-megapixel 3D camera will first appear in Japan sometime this summer, while Europe and the US will get it during September. Pricing will be set at around $600, with the photo frame costing a few hundred dollars as well. Prices haven’t been set yet for prints, though Fujifilm doesn’t anticipate customers accepting high prices.

    From me :

    I can’t wait to have to manually adjust my convergence settings =)

    Sat 11 Jul 2009


    Published at 10:50   Category VR Displays  

    I’ve just found myself wanting to test some OpenGL stereo and I couldn’t find the old-school OglPlane.exe program.

    It’s a simple program opening an OpenGL window with quad-buffer stereo and displaying a stereoscopic wireframe paper plane :


    We use that regularly to debug stereo :

    Client: There is no stereo in Virtools! It’s all your fault, I hate you!

    Us: Could you run oglplane and tell us if it’s in stereo ?

    Client: No it’s not, I’m sure Virtools broke everything!

    Us: Could you activate the stereo in the graphics card drivers ?

    Client: Ha, now the plane is in stereo, but still not Virtools, you morons!

    Us: Could you change the Virtools stereo parameters ?

    No answer from client.

    Alright maybe it’s because of the Virtools’ documentation =)

    OglPlane was developped by Stereographics, makers of the famous 3d glasses and stereo handbook, which was bought by RealD.

    It seems the software was hosted on RealD website but I really can’t find it, so I got it on my work laptop and uploaded here:


    (If you’re from RealD, don’t sue me, let’s talk about it ;)

    The zip also contains the source code and visual studio project so you can also learn how to setup quad-buffered OpenGL.

    First edition : 1991. Wow, that’s really old-school 3D !!

    //  OGLPlane.cpp
    //  by Bob Akka, StereoGraphics Corporation, July 1998
    //  Some history:
    //      April 1991: Original SGI GL program, by Bob Akka, StereoGraphics.
    //      Date unknown: Converted to OpenGL by Silicon Graphics Corp.
    //      March 1995: Modified (Motif), by James S. Lipscomb and Keh-Shin Cheng,
    //          IBM Research.
    //      December 1996: Converted to use OpenGL Utility Toolkit,
    //          by Rick Hammerstone, Digital.
    //      February 1998: Converted to use WIN32 OpenGL GLAUX Toolkit,
    //          by Dave Milici, StereoGraphics.
    //      July 1998: Rewritten in plain OpenGL, for MFC Windows environment,
    //          program simplified in some ways, EnableStereoWindow() is brand new,
    //          DrawAirplane() carefully restored to original classic April 1991
    //          geometry, real-time stereo and rotation adjustments added, and…
    //          StereoProjection() overhauled & comments added (StereoProjection()
    //          is now so thoroughly commented that it is practically a tutorial),
    //          by Bob Akka, StereoGraphics.
    //      September 1999: Blueline index support added (this is used by some SGC
    //          hardware systems)
    //  Note: This program does not deal with the possible situation where the
    //      user switches Windows display settings while this program is running

    Thu 9 Jul 2009

    Autodesk stereoscopic whitepaper

    Published at 14:17   Category VR Displays  

    I’m working several projects recently, one of which you’ll soon hear about (and will be able to participate in ;)

    Autodesk has released a really interesting whitepaper on its Stereoscopic Filmmaking page :

    Read about the current state of the stereoscopic filmmaking industry, the business case of S3D, as well as the technical and creative considerations faced by those looking to make compelling stereoscopic movies.

    It covers a lot of the ground necessary to have a good understanding of stereoscopy. Of course a lot of this applies for VR and 3D games.

    Its older brother, the Stereographics Developpers Handbook, is still interesting though.