First 3D Technology Photography in Viet Nam

Reporters of Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper have interviewed Dr. Pham Hong Duong, chief of the research group, about the 3D technology.

Reporter:  Could you please give us some basic information about 3D technology? What are the

Dr. Pham Hong Duong

differences between 3D and normal method?
 
Dr. Pham Hong Duong: In the real world, when the observer moves himself around a certain object, its relative positions in his eyes will change. In 2D photograph or picture, we can not see this effect.

Furthermore, when looking at an object, we can perceive the distance between us and the object. This experience comes from the property of human stereoscopic vision.

It means that two eyes perceive two images from different perspectives.
3D technology consists of 3D photography (still image), 3D movie (dynamic imaging) and 3D virtual imaging (games, virtual reality). 

For simplicity we discuss only the 3D photography. 3D technology requires several steps: 3D shooting, 3D processing and 3D printing or displaying. Each step has its particularities compared with conventional 2D technology.

For shooting stereoscopic photo, we need a camera with two lenses, separated at about seven centimeters, the distance between two eyes. To observe it, we need stereoscope to separate two images for two eyes.

An alternative method is the anaglyphic technique, which can overlay two images with different colors corresponding to two perspectives.

You can feel also the stereoscopic effect when looking at those 2 side-by-side photos above with cross-eye observing technique. But it requires some training.

Side-by-side 3D arrangement (cross view) (Photo: Pham Hong Duong)

The disadvantage of this displaying method is that the maximum size can not exceed seven centimeters. Over this limit, we cannot see the perspective changing effect of stereoscopic pictures.

Our technology is called integral photography, which is different from 2D and stereo photography. We have to take a lot of photos (normally from 10 to 30) around the object on the same horizontal plane.

When shooting successively, we can also incorporate the time scale into our final 3D photo. These photos are then interlaced into a composite picture and printed out.

In order to separate the left and right photo, we have to apply a lens sheet on the surface of the composite picture. When looking at our 3D picture, we can perceive both feelings: the virtual depth of the objects and the perspective changing effect.

We can also incorporate the motion effect into our picture. In summary, integral photo is the best tool to record and display the beauty of the reality.

Reporter:  How long have you and your group spent researching the technology? Have you developed it on your own or on other technologies? 3D pictures have appeared in China for a long time, are they different from yours?

Dr. Pham Hong Duong: We have devoted our time for 3D technology since 1996, first to implement 3D stereoscopic film projection by polarization technique.

The best 3D makers belong to France, US, Germany, England and Japan, but the low cost markets are developed in Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and China.

3D shooting (Photo: Pham Hong Duong)

China is one of the 3D technology followers. They are specialized mainly in lenticular printing and some pseudo-3D pictures (layered). We carry out all researches by ourselves in reading publications from others.

Our main achievements are on the 3D photography of human. In the market, we often see the 3D pictures of still objects, landscapes, but rarely of the models. Sometimes people mistake true 3D picture for flip or layered 3d picture, as explained in detail in www.cooplab3d.com.

We have advantages (even worldwide) in the quality and price of 3D photography, since every step must be done manually. In industrialized country, the design cost for each 3D picture is very high (several hundred dollars)
 
Reporter:  What’s your opinion about this technology and its future when it is publicized?

Dr. Pham Hong Duong: In our opinion, the development of 3D technology is obvious. In advertisement domain, the business amount is doubled for 5 years consecutively.

All the big companies are devoting their intensive research on the 3D technology such as 3D computer (Sharp, Toshiba), 3D games (Sega), 3D movies (Waltz-Disney, Universal Studio...); 3D TV will become popular in some years.

Today, 3D technology is still a subject of intensive research. It has been used by some professional photographers to make still images and landscape photography. In the advertisement industry, the lenticular products increase its proportion very quickly.

In Vietnam, there are some companies having learned the technology of lenticular printing from Taiwan (New Tech Co.), Hong Kong (Kado Digital). However their technology is limited only to layered 3D picture, which does not require 3D shooting.

In near future, we plan to share our technology with some partners in using their strong sides. We call for the cooperation with the photographer, CAD 3D designers, architects and eventually CAD painters. We have a laboratory to print their 3D pictures and photos.

Reporter:  As your research and the achievements are highly valued, are there any other plans to do more projects on this method?

Dr. Pham Hong Duong: The development of new technology is a continuous process, so we have to carry out a permanent research to improve the quality, the size and the esthetic beauty of our products.

As explained previously, 3D technology consists of still and dynamic image technology, so we are now working also in 3D dynamic imaging and displaying, namely, 3D movie and 3D stereo simulation.

Together with our partner (Cadpro Co.) we will upgrade our car driving cabin from 2D to 3D simulator very soon. We will try also make and project 3D stereo films by passive polarization technology.

Interviewed by Hoang Uy and Tuong Chau

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