Chapter 1
Introduction

“I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.”


Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter.

This chapter starts with an introduction to the fundamentals of three-dimensional (3D) imaging through an historical perspective. Following this, the chapter surveys 3D television and free-viewpoint video applications, after which we discuss 3D video systems recently proposed for those applications. Subsequently, we propose an alternative 3D video system and introduce its main components, i.e., the acquisition, the compression and the rendering. We conclude with an overview of the individual chapters, indicating the relevant publications and contributions.

 1.1 Fundamentals of stereo visualization
 1.2 Applications of multi-view imaging
  1.2.1 Stereoscopic displays
  1.2.2 Free-viewpoint video
  1.2.3 Video editing and special effects
 1.3 Three-dimensional video systems layout
 1.4 Multi-view acquisition, compression and rendering problems addressed in this thesis
  1.4.1 Acquisition problem
  1.4.2 Compression problem
  1.4.3 Rendering problem
 1.5 Thesis outline: the multi-view video system
 1.6 Contributions of this thesis
  1.6.1 Contributions to depth estimation
  1.6.2 Contributions to image rendering
  1.6.3 Contributions to multi-view video coding