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Comments

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New Technique Creates 3D Images Through a Single Lens

Rui del-Negro Re:Depth Field Camera? (56 comments)

Oh, I knew they could extract (very limited) parallax information from the plenoptic image data, I just didn't know they had coded that into their software (they didn't have it the last time I checked, they were only doing refocusing).

about a year ago
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New Technique Creates 3D Images Through a Single Lens

Rui del-Negro Re:astrophotography? (56 comments)

You could... if your lens was about the size of a galaxy. ;-)

about a year ago
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New Technique Creates 3D Images Through a Single Lens

Rui del-Negro Re:Depth Field Camera? (56 comments)

I stand corrected. Last time I'd checked out their software all it could do was refocus. Once they finally support simultaneous refocusing and wiggling (which is technically possible, by limiting the amount of each)... their cameras will still be just as useless.

about a year ago
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New Technique Creates 3D Images Through a Single Lens

Rui del-Negro Re:Not exactly new, and pretty limited (56 comments)

No, it isn't. The only information you can get is the one from the light hitting the lens. That's effectively limited to parallax information between the edges of the lens (in reality, less than that, but let's pretend). In other words, as I wrote above, "unless the lens is wider than the distance between two eyes, you can't really use this to create realistic stereoscopic images at a macroscopic scale".

about a year ago
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New Technique Creates 3D Images Through a Single Lens

Rui del-Negro Not exactly new, and pretty limited (56 comments)

Having two lenses is not a requirement to capture stereoscopic images. It can be done with a single (big) lens, and two slightly different sensor locations. But you're limited by the distance between those two sensors, and a single large lens isn't necessarily cheaper or easier to use than two smaller ones.

What this system does is use the out-of-focus areas as a sort of "displaced" sensor - like moving the sensor within a small circle, still inside the projection cone of the lens - and therefore simulating two (or more) images captured at the edges of the lens.

But, unless the lens is wider than the distance between two eyes, you can't really use this to create realistic stereoscopic images at a macroscopic scale. The information is simply not there. Even if you can extract accurate depth information, that is not quite the same as 3D. A Z-buffer is not a 3D scene; it's not sufficient for functional stereoscopy.

Microscopy is a different matter. In fact, there are already several stereoscopic microscopes and endoscopes that use a single lens to capture two images (with offset sensors). Since the subject is very small, the parallax difference between the two images can be narrower than the width of the lens and still produce a good 3D effect. Scaling that up to macroscopic photography would require lenses wider than a human head.

about a year ago
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New Technique Creates 3D Images Through a Single Lens

Rui del-Negro Re:Depth Field Camera? (56 comments)

No. Lytro's software allows refocusing in post (at a huge cost in terms of resolution). It does not try to extract any parallax information from the image.

about a year ago
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Linus Chews Up Kernel Maintainer For Introducing Userspace Bug

Rui del-Negro Swiss Tony (1051 comments)

> Being a Kernel Developer is a lot like being a Navy Seal [...]

Being a Kernel Developer is a lot like making love to a beautiful woman. First you PEEK, then you POKE. You think you're doing great, but suddenly she tells you that you're too BASIC, and gives you a C. Treating her like an object can be a plus (or two), but if you get linked to her publicly you might have to commit. And if you fail an interrupt and some of your bugs make it into the kernel, you'll end up supporting that mistake for the rest of your life.

about a year and a half ago
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For work, I communicate mainly through...

Rui del-Negro Re:Although ... (221 comments)

No, they probably aren't not.

about 2 years ago
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The Hobbit's Higher Frame Rate To Cost Theater Operators

Rui del-Negro Re:Not even 60 FPS (710 comments)

Not sure if you're trolling or just very ignorant.

Any good 35 mm film camera in the market can do up to 120 FPS, usually 240 (and these aren't even specialized slow motion cameras). Slow motion is far easier and cheaper to do with film than digital sensors. All you need to to is speed up the camera motor, and compensate the exposure by using higher-sensitivity film.

more than 2 years ago
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The Hobbit's Higher Frame Rate To Cost Theater Operators

Rui del-Negro Re:Not just video footage which suffers from 30fps (710 comments)

Because some idiots think the stuttering look of lower FPS gives it a more "film-like" look, which looks more intellectual.

It's even worse when the original animator rendered it at 60 fps and someone decides to change it later, because then they make the 30 fps version by deinterlacing, which means they don't just lose fluidity, they also lose vertical resolution, and you end up with something that stutters and looks pixellated or blurry.

more than 2 years ago
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The Hobbit's Higher Frame Rate To Cost Theater Operators

Rui del-Negro Re:Woudln't a 3D projector would pull it off easil (710 comments)

If you remove the polarizing filters both eyes will see both images and you lose the 3D effect (you just get ghosting). The polarizing filters (on the projectors and glasses) are what makes sure each eye only sees images from the correct projector, they're not related to the projection speed.

Alternating frames requires active shutter glasses, which are more expensive. And, indeed, that's how active shutter 3D works, but, until now, one eye was seeing the film 1/48th of a second behind the other, since the two cameras were typically in sync to make post-production easier. With 48 fps cameras, active shutter systems will finally be able to feed each eye 24 "correct" frames per second (i.e., one eye will see frame 1L, then the other eye gets frame 2R, then 3L, 4R, etc.). Of course, if they just speed up the current system, they'll be doing 96 updates per second and one eye will still be slightly behind the other (but now just be 1/96th of a second), but my point is that 48 fps cameras have an advantage for active shutter stereo 3D even if that final movie is played at 24 fps.

more than 2 years ago
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Magician Suing For Copyright Over Magic Trick

Rui del-Negro The actual claim seems a bit dodgy (296 comments)

Here's the problem with Teller's claim:

"As a direct and proximate result of such unfair competition, Plaintiff [Teller] has suffered, and will continue to suffer, monetary loss and irreparable injury to his business, reputation, and goodwill."

I give him the last one; his goodwill definitely comes out of this injured, but how exactly has Teller suffered "monetary loss and irreparable injury to his business [and] reputation" ? Teller wasn't selling a kit with the trick, so he's not going to lose any "potential sales". No one seriously believes that people planning to go see or hire Penn & Teller will change their minds and hire Gerard Bakardy instead, and Bakardy made it perfectly clear that his trick was inspired by Teller's, so there's no damage done to Teller's "reputation", either (i.e., there's no suggestion that Teller may have copied Bakardy).

In other words, this smells like a pure "copyright troll", trying to deny someone else a chance to do something similar even though that person is in no way a competitor or a threat.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Copy Protection Advice For ~$10k Software?

Rui del-Negro Re:Two words: (635 comments)

Can you please show us, on this doll, where the hardware engineer touched you?

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Copy Protection Advice For ~$10k Software?

Rui del-Negro $10k for video editing? Are you from 1992? (635 comments)

Apple's Final Cut Studio costs $1.2k (and includes not only video editing but also DVD / BD authoring, sound mixing, compositing and muti-format compression).

Adobe's CS Production Premium costs $1.4k (and includes all the above plus Photoshop, Illustrator, and a few other well-established applications).

Avid's Media Composer costs 2.3k (that's about $2.2k for the Avid logo and $100 for the software - still slightly overpriced).

All three packages above are production-proven, well-established in the professional market, supported by most relevant equipment manufacturers, and have hundreds of high quality plug-ins available from 3rd parties. And you say you're trying to sell (unknown) "video editing software" for $10k? Good luck with that.

Even assuming you're including some high-end compositing software (not that you'd need to; After Effects has come a long way), you can get Production Premium + Nuke (or Fusion) for $6.3k, and that would give you access to both AFX and OFX plug-ins. You could even throw in 3DS Max or Maya ($3.5k) and still be under $10k.

Did this article somehow get lost in the depths of the Slashdot queue for 20 years?

more than 2 years ago
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Non-Copied Photo Is Ruled Copyright Infringement

Rui del-Negro Re:And that is why not reading TFA is wrong (657 comments)

Wait, so when a judge uses copyright law to protect an artist from a company trying to rip off his work without any payment or acknowledgement, that's "why copyright is wrong"...? So I guess you think that if Sony or Universal decided to rip off some indie band's songs, put together an autotuned boy band to sing them, and then sell that version without any compensation or mention of the original authors, it would be "wrong" to sue them?

I have a feeling you didn't bother to read the actual verdict or understand what this case is about (but somehow still thought your opinion would be relevant). At least I hope you didn't, otherwise what you're saying is that there's no point in trying to make a living as an artist, because any company should be allowed to copy your work and keep all the profits.

about 2 years ago
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Non-Copied Photo Is Ruled Copyright Infringement

Rui del-Negro Re:Maps (657 comments)

No, clearly you didn't get it. Go read the actual verdict and stop making a public show of just how much you didn't get it.

about 2 years ago
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Non-Copied Photo Is Ruled Copyright Infringement

Rui del-Negro What planet do you live on? (657 comments)

Did you even bother to read the verdict? Nevermind, it was a rhetorical question (if you had, you would know that there no connection between this case and stock photography, because the basis of the verdict isn't even the photo itself, it's mainly the artistic work done on the photo, and the events that led to the creation of the "knock-off" image).

1. Company X was using artist A's image commercially (on its products' packaging) without giving credit or paying royalties.
2. (2011 verdict) Court ordered company X to pay the artist.
3. Company X director decided to create a similar image, to avoid paying the author.
4. Company X director wasn't even able to take a similar enough photo so he photoshopped elements from an image bank plus some of his photographs (and removed people, erased the sky, etc.) to create something similar to the work of artist A, and used it in his company's packaging instead of the original.
5. (this verdict) Court rules that company X is still trying to profit from artist A's work and must compensate him.

Which part of this do you have a problem with, exactly? How do you expect "society" to punish company X through "good taste" ? How are the people buying company X's products even supposed to know that their packaging uses a knock-off version of someone else's art? Do you think Microsoft or Zynga should be allowed to copy any independent game they come across without any compensation or acknowledgement of the original authors' work?

Good taste and not lawsuits should dictate our behaviour.

What planet do you live on? Is this some sort of Hyacinth Bucket form of free capitalism? "Oh, dumping all those chemicals into that river was in such poor taste. No, Richard, don't sue the factory, let's just glare at them disapprovingly, I'm sure the people buying their products on the other side of the world will vote with their wallets and everything will magically fix itself."

Laws exist for a reason, and, if anything, this case shows that (occasionally) copyright law can still be used to protect the actual artists. I'd expect Slashdot's readers to praise the judge, but of course, for that they would have to actually read the verdict, which I guess is asking too much. It's so much easier to post self-important rants about how clueless judges are and how any verdict spells doom for mankind due to [insert totally unrelated comparison].

about 2 years ago
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Where does your electricity come from?

Rui del-Negro Re:I have no idea (498 comments)

If they can develop cheaper sources, they will develop them anyway. The incentive is the fact that they are cheaper (and therefore more profitable to the company); you as a consumer will not have to pay more.

There is no such thing as "clean watts". By the time it arrives at your sockets, electricity tastes the same, no matter how it was produced. Without legal consequences, they'll tell you that "your" electricity is coming from their single solar plant, while spending your money on marketing or on new coal plants (or whatever kind of plant gives them the higher profit margin).

The only things that will make companies invest in less profitable power sources are:

a) Fear of running out of their primary resource. This will make them diversify a bit, but does not make clean sources more appealing than dirty ones.

b) Legislation that actually makes them pay the full cost of their current operation (including the damage they cause to the environment and people's health). This effectively makes dirty sources less profitable than clean ones, in the long run.

Extra "green fees" charged to consumers are a scam (not just in electricity, several other industries have been profiting from similar marketing tricks).

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Tips On 2D To Stereo 3D Conversion?

Rui del-Negro The only viable algorithm is called "interns" (125 comments)

I work in post-production, and while some of the stereo-handling algorithms are impressive from a technical point of view (like the stuff in Eyeon Dimension and The Foundry's Ocula), and while I think stereo 3D is here to stay for video games (at least after consoles add some improvements to head tracking), I doubt it will be more than a passing fad for movies. It's simply not compatible enough with human vision, even when done properly (head movements spoil the effect, the difference between convergence point and focus plane puts stress on your eyes, etc.; it's as if someone nailed your head to the cameras). When I'm watching a movie, I'm a spectator, I don't feel any need to be "in" the movie; I'm fine with being an infinite distance way. Anything that makes watching the movie less comfortable is going to detract from the experience.

Anyway, although there are ways to extract 3D information from 2D image sequences (not from individual images), as done by camera trackers such as SynthEyes, PFTrack, etc., the result is a very low resolution point cloud, which is really only useful to calculate the camera position and / or track some scene features, not to create a usable stereoscopic image pair.

The only vaguely acceptable way to get stereo is to project the frames onto a (simplified) hand-made 3D model of the shot (typically a grid deformed by a displacement map), and then render it from two virtual cameras. This can take ages (to set up; rendering is quick) and is generally the kind of work you offload to some intern you don't like much. Even then, the results are generally less pleasant to watch than the original (mono) footage. If you're interested in seeing how this is done, search for "Stereo Conversion NAB" on YouTube, and you should find a few examples.

There is no way to convert individual frames from 2D to 3D in real time for the same reason that "digital zoom" can't show you text that was smaller than the sensor's pixels; the information is simply not there. You can, obviously, write an algorithm that adds made-up depth information to any image, just as you can write an algorithm that adds random text to zoomed images, but I doubt that would improve your movies in any way.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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European Commission VP calls SOPA "bad legislation

Rui del-Negro Rui del-Negro writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Rui del-Negro writes "After stating that "there is no EU version of SOPA; internet regulation must be effective, proportionate, and preserve the benefits of the open net", EC Vice-President for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has now gone all the way and tweeted that she is "glad the tide is turning on SOPA" because "we don't need bad legislation when we should be safeguarding the benefits of the open net". Later she added that "speeding is illegal too, but you don't put speed bumps on the motorway" (presumably to get through to those people who can only think in terms of car metaphors).

In stark contrast with US politicians, Kroes seems to think that the current copyright and distribution models hurt artists more than piracy does. Also in stark contrast with the backers of SOPA, Kroes says she is proud to be a geek ("It pays my mortgage and keeps my family fed. I also wash everyday too!") and seems to understand how issues like privacy and open standards affect that series of tubes known as the internets."

Link to Original Source
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European Commission Vice-President calls SOPA "bad

Rui del-Negro Rui del-Negro writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Rui del-Negro writes "After stating that "there is no EU version of SOPA; internet regulation must be effective, proportionate, and preserve the benefits of the open net", EC VP for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has now gone all the way and tweeted that she is "glad the tide is turning on SOPA" because "we don't need bad legislation when we should be safeguarding the benefits of the open net". Later she added that "speeding is illegal too, but you don't put speed bumps on the motorway" (presumably to get through to those people who can only think in terms of car metaphors).

In stark contrast with US politicians, Kroes seems to think that the current copyright and distribution models hurt artists more than piracy does. Also in stark contrast with the backers of SOPA, Kroes says she is proud to be a geek ("It pays my mortgage and keeps my family fed. I also wash everyday too!") and seems to understand how issues like privacy and open standards affect that series of tubes known as the internets."

Link to Original Source
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Data, image and video compression

Rui del-Negro Rui del-Negro writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Rui del-Negro writes "A few months ago, a link to an article described as an "in-depth look at video codecs" was posted on Slashdot's main page. Many of Slashdot's readers immediately pointed out the flaws and misinformation in that article and, in the course of the discussion, I posted links to a series of three articles about data and media compression that I had recently written. I received several positive comments from Slashdot's reader base, so I decided to update them and post them on my site.

The updated articles cover some of the most common algorithms and techniques used for data and media compression, and compare the resulting file size and quality of several formats (ex., PNG, JPEG-2000). I have tried to avoid excessive or misleading simplifications while keeping them accessible to average computer users (with little or no programming experience and only basic knowledge of mathematics). The three parts of the article cover, respectively, lossless compression, lossy compression of stills and audio and video compression."
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Data Compression Basics

Rui del-Negro Rui del-Negro writes  |  more than 6 years ago

RMN writes "A few months ago, a link to an article purporting to explain video compression to the masses was posted on Slashdot's main page. Thankfully, most of Slashdot's readers were quick to spot the fundamental flaws in the article and, in the course of the discussion, I posted links to a series of three articles about data and media compression that I had written. I received several positive comments about those, so I decided to update them and post them on my site.

The updated articles cover some of the most common algorithms and techniques used for data and media (image, audio, video) compression, both lossless and lossy. I have tried to avoid excessive or misleading simplifications while keeping them accessible to average computer users (with no programming experience and only minimal knowledge of IT and mathematics)."

Link to Original Source

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