Uncorporeal are unveiling what it terms as it’s “Holographic Photography Technology” which the team claim will allow anyone with a smartphone to create 360 VR viewable scenes with 3D parallax from a few dozen photos.

Static photogrammetry, the process of capturing and recreating a three dimensional spaces from photography, has seen significant progress since the advent of the latest wave of VR technology. The prospect of virtually visiting a photo-realistic recreation of a location without ever leaving your home is enticing on many levels, and that’s without considering the educational potential of such technologies. But right now, photogrammetry can be expensive to pull off, requiring not only expertise but the capture of 100s of photos in some cases.

Uncorporeal are claiming they’ve come up with a solution for ‘normal’ end users that allows them to take 20-30 photographs with standard cameras ranging from the pro-sumer level to the average smartphone, and from that build a spherically projected, 3D rendered scene which can convey depth and parallax to a user wearing a positionally tracked VR headset and, potentially in 360 degrees (depending on how many images you capture of course). So whilst not quite “holographic”, certainly a technically impressive claim.

“Our team is thrilled with this technology because we’ve never experienced anything that quite makes you feel like you’re actually inside of a photo,” said Sebastian Marino, CEO and co-founder of Uncorporeal Systems. “By creating a three-dimensional environment, at real-world scale, we’re able to give the viewer a sense of presence that is fundamentally missing from 360 degree panoramic experiences. Compared to traditional photogrammetry, our method requires an order of magnitude fewer images, making the process available to everyone and even quite fun.”

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Uncorporeal have just released a new demo for the HTC Vive on Steam which attempts to convey what can be achieved using their capture and processing pipeline. The demo features a collection of scenes captured by the Uncorporeal team for you explore.

However, this is just the ‘viewer’ portion of the pipeline. Uncorporeal’s key selling point here is being able lower the bar of entry for photogrammetry, allowing the capturing scenes and memories to revisit immersively by every day folk. Clearly that’s something not demonstrated here and we’re looking forward to seeing that in action because if they can pull it off, it could be quite something.

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  • Alex Coulombe

    Wow.

  • What is the advantage to using Uncorporeal, instead of Google Cardboard Camera or a similar app, that allows you to capture a single, ready to view 360 degree panoramic image? With SmartPhones that can capture 13Mp quality Images costing <$200, is there enough of a low-end market to support this?

    • beestee

      Parallax occlusion. Similar differences exist between a standard Stereoscopic 360 image and Light Fields.

      It has a great impact on sense of scale.

      I believe there is a strong demand in Architecture and Real Estate for a more user friendly approach to photogrammetry.

      • OgreTactics

        Could explain “parallax occlusion”? In other words they’re just using -3D- 360° camera, which most people aren’t?

        • beestee

          If you move your head left and right, the foreground will obscure and reveal the background in a realistic way. If the foreground was, say, a lamp, parallax occlusion will allow you to see to a limited extent what is behind that lamp when adjusting your perspective.

          To capture enough data from one vantage point with a typical single sensor camera to achieve this as is the claim here, is unique. Capturing from multiple vantage points is typically required, as seen with something like matterport, but the result is also a much more navigable space.

          • OgreTactics

            Ok I understand, but Isn’t that just…Lightfield? They claim to be able to do it from a single photo, where do they get the extra-information from?

          • Minority_Taxi

            you would need more than one camera or one photo to enable this. If you took your first reference photo in the middle and a couple either side the system could work out some 3d mapping components. Then maybe you take a whole heap more photos around objects in the way

          • OgreTactics

            They show their rig on their page, this is high-end RED cameras 360s rig paired with Lidars that captures depth points overlaid on video, so they can then remap it in 3D as you said.

      • OgreTactics

        Oh wait it’s photogrammetry so you don’t need a 360° camera. Then what is Parallax Occlusion?

    • Minority_Taxi

      360 head-on-a-stick photography doesn’t shift perspective or display parallax

  • I guess there was no word on when the capture tech would be available, or the article would include it :) This seems very nice, not environments to walk around it, but vantage points at least. I’m very interested in what kind of recommendations they will have for capture, if any camera/lens can be used, if it’s only a mobile app or also a PC app. Looking forward to learning more about this, for sure!

  • yag

    “we’ve never experienced anything that quite makes you feel like you’re actually inside of a photo”
    Then they should try ‘Destinations’ or ‘Realities’ or ‘The Lab’…

  • MainFragger

    Its not quite 360, but you can actually feel like you are in a 3D photo by merely watching a stereo image in 180 mode and zooming in just enough that the edges are beyond your field of view. I’d imagine you can technically create a decent VR scene with 8 stereo pairs. There are now softwares that can convert a single image to a stereo pair..so you can technically get away with 8 images..but I suspect that they need the extra 4 to preserve the roundness of the field of view area.

  • Oskar

    Nice expressive photos have an excellent effect for using this service. I processed my photos online by special photo processing service: https://www.slrlounge.com/instagram-takes-aim-at-snapchat-yet-again/