John Romant's Technology Blog

If it's technology, I want to know about it.

THE LION KING 3D Conversion Images Show Off Depth of Field.

Original article by Bill Graham    Posted:August 9th, 2011 at 6:38 pm

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Disney’s The Lion King will release into theaters this year in a new 3D format for the very first time on September 16th. The film was a childhood favorite of mine, and every time I hear “The Circle of Life,” I get goosebumps. Needless to say, I look forward to viewing the film on the big screen, something I may have done when I was little but can’t recall. However, I do wonder how a film from the ’90s will hold up, animation wise, and how a 3D conversion of it will fare on the big screen.

Today, Disney sent over some images showing just what the conversion process entails, including adding notes of depth and then using filters to key in on what will be in the foreground, background, and everywhere in between. The process is a lot more difficult than this, but it gives us a great idea of what the process entails on a basic, easy to understand level. Hit the jump to view those images, including a description of what we are looking at, a discussion with the stereographer Robert Neuman about the procedure itself, and my impressions of the scenes they showed before Cars 2.

First, let’s get to the good stuff. Disney sent over two scenes that show off the process. The first is of Pride Rock and the second is of Scar. The basic process is taking a finished image, adding a layer and marking depth details, and then using a layering system to key on those depth markings in the image to tell the computer where to place the image. Here are those images [click to enlarge]:

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Here are the captions Disney sent over as well, explaining the images in more detail:

1. The original film image.

2. The 3D Depth Map created by Robert Neuman, the 3D Stereographer on the film. Positive numbers refer to the amount of pixels the image will come out of the screen and negative numbers refer to the amount of pixels the image will go deeper into the screen, creating the 3D depth.

3. Grey Scale – The final image in the computer representation of depth. Darker images will be furthest away, and lighter images will be closer to the viewer.”

….click here to continue reading original article.

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