This contribution discusses applications for the use of depth metadata acquired with a production system that is under development in the EU IST-Meta Vision project. The aim of the project is to develop a camera and production system for the capture, storage and distribution of programme material that meets the demands of both the film and television industries. The key idea for cost-effective processing is to acquire and store metadata in addition to the essence data (image material), such as camera and scene parameters.

Available depth sensing techniques are reviewed in order to identify suitable methods. At the current stage of technology no single technique covers all practical production situations, so the use of several complementary techniques, and a framework to integrate them, is proposed. The requirements for representation and sensing of depth information are discussed for specific applications, and some initial results are presented. The applications include the creation of special effects in post-production, optimised image coding and (interactive) stereo viewing (3DTV).

Given at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC 2001), Amsterdam, 13-18 September.