A new method for capturing 3D video from a single imager and lens is introduced in this research. The benefit of this method is that it does not have the calibration and alignment issues associated with binocular 3D video cameras, and allows for a less expensive overall system.
The digital imaging technique Depth from Defocus (DfD) has been successfully used in still camera imaging to develop a depth map associated with the image. However, DfD has not been applied in real-time video so far since the focus mechanisms are too slow to produce real-time results.
This new research result shows that a Microfluidic lens is capable of the required focal length changes at 2x video frame rate, due to the electrostatic control of the focus. During the processing, two focus settings per output frame are captured using this lens combined with a broadcast video camera prototype. We show that the DfD technique using Bayesian Markov Random Field optimization can produce a valid depth map.
Author: Li, Weixu