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AT PHOTOKINA: KODAK DEMONSTRATES NEW DEPTH IMAGE TECHNOLOGY

 AT PHOTOKINA: KODAK DEMONSTRATES NEW DEPTH IMAGE TECHNOLOGY
 COLOGNE, Germany, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: EK) today demonstrated a new depth imaging technology that enables images captured on photographic film to be produced and viewed as high-resolution, multi-dimensional pictures.
 During his Photokina presentation, Leo J. Thomas, president of Eastman Kodak Company's Imaging Group, referred to the new technology as elegant science with intriguing commercial possibilities.
 "What this means to most people is the best stereo imagery ever seen without glasses," Thomas said. "Three-D systems failed not because people don't want 3-D, but because a poor stereo image is less satisfying than a good photograph."
 To create the high-quality depth images, Kodak scientists in Rochester, N.Y., use track-mounted 35 mm cameras with electronically triggered shutters to capture a scene from several different perspectives. Six to twelve exposures typically are used to fashion a single depth image; with the current process, up to 24 individual exposures can be combined into a depth image. The film is processed normally and scanned by a Kodak Photo CD scanner into digital information.
 Then, using Kodak proprietary computer software to manage and compile the digitized images, Kodak technicians repixelize the photos into a single image file, which is then transferred to a Kodak LVT film writer. The depth images seen at Photokina were printed on Ektachrome transparency film. Pictures actually become depth images when layered with a transparent optical material called a lenticular screen.
 The depth images take on a stereo-optical appearance when viewed. Objects within depth images appear to protrude or recede from the 'depth window,' depending on their position in the overall scenes.
 Unlike stereographic pictures, Kodak depth images maintain their depth realism even when viewed from different angles. No special glasses or viewing devices are necessary to see the depth appearance of the images.
 Thomas observed that ordinary "past 3-D print systems failed because...a poor lenticular image is less satisfying than a good photograph. They displayed too much optical noise -- what the scientists call stutter -- to please the human eye. With depth images, stutter is largely eliminated. The picture is sharp, from front to back."
 The 28 x 35.5-centimetre depth images featured at Photokina were back-lit transparencies, but Thomas noted that "there is no theoretical reason why this technology would not work well with prints." Kodak scientists can produce depth images as large as 40.6 x 50.8 cm; the limiting factor is the output device used.
 Because of their high-resolution display properties, depth images have broad potential applications in professional and commercial photography, said Roland R. Schindler, project manager. Schindler said his group has created depth images on Kodak Duratrans and Duraclear display materials.
 Kodak has not decided whether to bring this film to market.
 "We're still at the technical demonstration stage," Schindler said. "But we have shown it to a few potential customers privately, and we're encouraged by their reactions. "Depth images could be ideal in retail point-of-sale displays, in cinema displays and for exceptionally striking portraiture."
 -0- 9/16/92
 /CONTACT: Paul C. Allen of Eastman Kodak Company, 716-724-5802/
 (EK) CO: Eastman Kodak Company ST: New York IN: LEI SU:


SM -- CL005 -- 9986 09/16/92 09:18 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 16, 1992
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