RenderingPipeline

from geometry to pixels

Viewing 3D stereo photos in an Oculus Rift

Just for fun I tried out viewing 3D photos in an Oculus Rift. For that I took some pictures with a DSLR and a Loreo 3D lens. The first problem here is that the Rift has a very wide field of view (which is great for virtual worlds and immersion) but the 3D lens has an equivalent of only 44mm focal length which means only 22 degrees vertical FoV / 16 degrees horizontal FoV on a crop sensor DSLR. As a reminder, the Rift has a horizontal FoV of 90 degrees…

So a must have are two wide angle lens adapter to screw in-front of the two filter mounts of the 3D lens. With those I got a equivalent of 18mm focal length which results in a horizontal FoV of 33 degrees and 45 vertically.

I rendered the two photos onto a plane floating in space that I could move around. This way I can figure out which distance is still comfortable to look at and the tracking of the head movements reduce motion sickness (whenever you look at static images or videos with a Rift, try not to move your head!). The reduced FoV of the photos are the reason why I can only use a small portion of the Rifts resolution: Each photo is approximately 360*460 images in size in the final rendering – that’s only 0.33 megapixels for both eyes on a 1 megapixel display!

There are a couple of ways to increase the image quality:

  • Get stereo images with a wider FoV: While I’m not aware of wide angle stereo lenses / cameras, taking two images with a wide angle lens is an option for static scenes. To get 90 degrees horizontally on a crop sensor a 12mm lens is needed, on a 35mm camera (‘full-frame’) 18mm will be enough.
  • Reduce vignetting and distortion in the 3D photos: I didn’t calibrate the 3D lens and undistorted the image. The vignetting can’t be reduced completely as at the edges it gets totally black (only with the wide angle adapters).
  • Increase the resolution of the Rift: That of course will always help ;-)

And here are some sample shots already distorted for the Rift including chromatic aberration correction (view in fullscreen inside a Rift):

stereotest01

An old roman aqueduct.

stereotest02

Statue in-front of the a cathedral.

stereotest03

Statues at a pond.

stereotest04

Freezing time.

stereotest05

Freezing time at a low viewpoint.

stereotest06

Same scene as above positioned a bit higher.

stereotest07

View into the city.

 

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4 thoughts on “Viewing 3D stereo photos in an Oculus Rift
  • nathan O says:

    I can actually see these in 3d with the cross eyed method.
    great way for people not familiar with what stereoscopic 3d looks like

  • will says:

    Cross eye method works for me too. When will there be cameras with a wide enough viewing angle? This is surely a great way to experience photos and could be a great attraction for the rift.

  • Hi Robert,

    Great post! I am just getting my feet wet with Oculus. Would you be willing to share a few pointers on how you accomplished this? Or maybe a github link? I would be using some panorama photos from my iPhone 5.

    Thanks,

    David

    • Robert says:

      Thanks. I started by reading the documents and filled the gaps by reading the example code (Tuscany) and build my apps in C++ directly with the SDK. Panoramas also work fine, they are not 3D and feel more like watching the inside of a pained dome but it still is fun given a wide enough FoV (not sure what the iPhone can offer there).

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