Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed techniques for combining the views of 480 video cameras mounted in a two-story geodesic dome to perform large-scale 3D motion reconstruction. The techniques might eventually be applied to large-scale reconstructions of sporting events or performances captured by hundreds of cameras wielded by spectators.
In contrast to most previous work, which typically has involved just 10 to 20 video feeds, the camera system can track 100,000 points at a time. The research team developed a technique for estimating visibility that uses motion as a cue. In contrast to motion capture systems that use balls or other markers, the researchers used established techniques for automatically identifying and tracking points based on appearance features — in this case, distinctive patterns. For each point, the system then seeks to determine which cameras see motion that is consistent with that point.
In their laboratory, called the Panoptic Studio, the researchers have 480 video cameras, plus an additional 30 high-definition video cameras, arrayed all around and halfway up the walls of a geodesic dome that can easily accommodate 10 people.