What is Free-Viewpoint Video?

Free-view­point video is filmed con­tent that sup­ports view­ing with six degrees of free­dom (6DoF). While peo­ple often use the more gener­ic term “vol­u­met­ric video” to iden­ti­fy free-view­point video, this can be con­fus­ing as there are a num­ber of tech­nolo­gies that fall under this cat­e­go­ry (e.g. light field cap­ture). In free-view­point video, a real-world per­for­mance is cap­tured in a green-screen stu­dio using an array of cam­eras. While arbi­trary shapes can be cap­tured, in prac­tice this per­for­mance is usu­al­ly a human char­ac­ter. The sur­face shape and appear­ance of the per­for­mance are then 3D recon­struct­ed to cre­ate a video-tex­tured, ani­mat­ed mesh. This mesh can then be viewed in AR and VR devices.

Investigating the Strengths and Limitations of Free-Viewpoint Video: Example scene

As part of our inves­ti­ga­tions into the user expe­ri­ence of free-view­point video, we con­duct­ed a qual­i­ta­tive study with experts in AR/VR con­tent cre­ation. We have made an exam­ple scene avail­able to help read­ers assess how the type of con­tent under dis­cus­sion in this arti­cle com­pares against oth­ers. The demo scene can be down­loaded here.