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Patent Issued for 3D Image File, Photographing Apparatus, Image Reproducing Apparatus, and Image Processing Apparatus

June 18, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- A patent by the inventors Yoshida, Hideaki (Hachioji, JP); Mashitani, Ken (Neyagawa, JP); Nomura, Toshio (Funabashi, JP); Uchiumi, Tadashi (Osaka, JP); Sekizawa, Hidehiko (Tokyo, JP), filed on January 17, 2008, was published online on June 3, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8743175 is assigned to Olympus Imaging Corp. (Tokyo, JP).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to a 3D image file that records stereoscopic image data, a photographing apparatus that generates and records such a 3D image file, an image reproducing apparatus for reproducing such a 3D image file, and an image processing apparatus that generates a 3D image file.

"Various methods are available, which photograph and record the data items representing images of objects, each data item containing stereoscopic information about the image.

"Of these methods, so-called binocular stereoscopic photographing, which records two images that has a parallax with respect to the viewpoints of the left and right eyes, has hitherto been utilized because it is highly effective through relatively simple in configuration and relatively low in cost.

"With regard to terminology, the terms '3D,' 'three-dimensional' and 'stereoscopic' are used in the same meaning in the present specification, unless otherwise defined. Both terms are used to mean the stereoscopic technology accomplishing stereoscopy that reproduces visually real three-dimensional information. In some cases, the terms may be used in different senses in context or by custom. Nonetheless, they are not different in essential meaning.

"To accomplish binocular stereoscopic photographing, a method may be employed, in which a binocular camera that comprises two optical systems having a parallax between the viewpoints of the left and right eyes is used, as is disclosed in Jpn. Pat. Appln. KOKAI Publication No. 8-317425. Binocular stereoscopic photographing may be performed by using two monocular cameras. In this case, the monocular cameras are spaced apart by a distance corresponding to the parallax between the viewpoints of the left and right eyes. Alternatively, one monocular camera may be used to achieve binocular stereoscopic photographing. In this case, the object is photographed twice, by setting the camera first at a position and then at another position. Another method of performing binocular stereoscopic photographing is available, in which a device known as stereoscopic adapter comprising mirrors and prisms is attached to a camera body, as disclosed in Jpn. Pat. Appln. KOKAI Publication No. 2002-77943."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a data structure of a 3D image file recording stereoscopic image data composed of a plurality of monocular images that are constituent elements of one multi-ocular stereoscopic image, wherein the 3D image file is constituted as a smallest unit of image treatment by being added 3D metadata including at least information about homogeneity of the plurality of monocular images to entire or part stereoscopic image data.

"According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a photographing apparatus recording comprising: a recording unit which records a 3D image file recording stereoscopic image data composed of a plurality of monocular images that are constituent elements of one multi-ocular stereoscopic image; at least one imaging unit which acquires a plurality of monocular images which are constituent elements of one multi-ocular stereoscopic image; a homogeneity determining unit which determines the homogeneity of the plurality of monocular images acquired by the imaging unit; and a 3D metadata generating unit which generates the 3D metadata by setting the information about the homogeneity of the plurality of monocular images, on the basis of a decision made by the homogeneity determining unit.

"According to a third aspect of the invention, there is provided an image reproducing apparatus for reproducing a 3D image file recording stereoscopic image data composed of a plurality of monocular images that are constituent elements of one multi-ocular stereoscopic image, the apparatus comprising: an alarm unit which generates an alarm when the information about the homogeneity of the plurality of monocular images contained in the 3D metadata of the 3D image file indicates low homogeneity.

"According to a fourth aspect of the invention, there is provided an image reproducing apparatus for reproducing a 3D image file recording stereoscopic image data composed of a plurality of monocular images that are constituent elements of one multi-ocular stereoscopic image, the apparatus comprising: an interruption unit which interrupts the reproduction of the 3D image file when the when the information about the homogeneity of the plurality of monocular images contained in the 3D metadata of the 3D image file indicates low homogeneity.

"According to a fifth aspect of the invention, there is provided an image reproducing apparatus for reproducing a 3D image file recording stereoscopic image data composed of a plurality of monocular images that are constituent elements of one multi-ocular stereoscopic image, the apparatus comprising: a correction unit which performs a correction process, thereby increasing the homogeneity of the plurality of monocular images when the information about the homogeneity of the plurality of monocular images contained in the 3D metadata of the 3D image file indicates low homogeneity.

"According to a sixth aspect of the invention, there is provided an image reproducing apparatus for reproducing a 3D image file recording stereoscopic image data composed of a plurality of monocular images that are constituent elements of one multi-ocular stereoscopic image, the apparatus comprising: a processing unit which switches the plurality of monocular images when the information about the homogeneity of the plurality of monocular images contained in the 3D metadata of the 3D image file indicates low homogeneity.

"According to a seventh aspect of the invention, there is provided an image processing apparatus for processing a 3D image file recording stereoscopic image data composed of a plurality of monocular images that are constituent elements of one multi-ocular stereoscopic image, the apparatus comprising: a correction unit which performs a correction process, thereby increasing the homogeneity of the plurality of monocular images when the information about the homogeneity of the plurality of monocular images contained in the 3D metadata of the 3D image file indicates low homogeneity; and a recording unit which records, as a 3D image file, a corrected output of the correction unit.

"According to an eighth aspect of the invention, there is provided an image processing apparatus for processing a 3D image file recording stereoscopic image data composed of a plurality of monocular images that are constituent elements of one multi-ocular stereoscopic image, the apparatus comprising: a processing unit which switches the plurality of monocular images when the information about the homogeneity of the plurality of monocular images contained in the 3D metadata of the 3D image file indicates low homogeneity; and a recording unit which records an output of the processing unit as a 3D image file.

"Advantages of the invention will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. Advantages of the invention may be realized and obtained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out hereinafter."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Yoshida, Hideaki; Mashitani, Ken; Nomura, Toshio; Uchiumi, Tadashi; Sekizawa, Hidehiko. 3D Image File, Photographing Apparatus, Image Reproducing Apparatus, and Image Processing Apparatus. U.S. Patent Number 8743175, filed January 17, 2008, and published online on June 3, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8743175.PN.&OS=PN/8743175RS=PN/8743175

Keywords for this news article include: Olympus Imaging Corp.

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Source: Journal of Engineering


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