philippe bekaert

Presentation abstract

Immersive video: bridging the gap between computer graphics and video (Break-out session Immersive Experiences)

Immersive experiences can be based on either computer graphics (CG) or on video. CG offers tremendous flexibility when it comes to creating synthetic virtual environments, as it allows to compose such environments at will by adding and modifying virtual objects, editing their appearance, adding illumination. Objects can be animated, and interaction and navigation modes defined. In spite of thousands of man-years or R&D efforts in the area, creating a convincingly realistic synthetic environment is a painstakingly costly task still today. This is in contrast with video or film, which preserves realism from scene to screen, unless equipment and processing is modified for the purpose. Video however does not nearly offer the tremendous flexibility of CG in creating environments for immersive experiences, and in particular navigation and interaction possibilities are rather limited. As a result, todays immersive experiences are usually limited in interaction and navigation modes, or they are cartoon like. This talk will highlight some recent developments that aim at bridging the gap between the complementary media of CG and video, illustrating with omnidirectional video as a maturing case. As some of the main problems are related with the creative use of the resulting new media, the importance of collaborative research with creatives in this area will be pointed out.


Philippe Bekaert is associate professor in computer science and project leader at the Expertise Center for Digital Media of Hasselt University in Diepenbeek, Belgium.
His research interests include image and video based modeling and rendering, in particular omni-directional (“surround”, “immersive”) and free viewpoint video, high performance graphics, global illumination and Monte Carlo methods.

He is leading 15 researchers  in these areas at Hasselt University.
He has co-authored over 75 papers at all major fora in these fields, as well as a book on advanced global illumination, published by A.K.Peters. He is work package leader in several large scale regional and european research projects, including 2020 3D media and FINE, and has led several projects on the intersection of arts and informatics-multimedia technology. He strongly advocates combined creative and technological research in this area.

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