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3DTV production of live sports events presents a challenging problem involving conflicting requirements of maintaining broadcast stereo picture quality with practical problems in developing robust systems for cost effective deployment. In this paper we propose an alternative approach to stereo production in sports events using the conventional monocular broadcast cameras for 3D reconstruction of the event and subsequent stereo rendering. This approach has the potential advantage over stereo camera rigs of recovering full scene depth, allowing inter-ocular distance and convergence to be adapted according to the requirements of the target display and enabling stereo coverage from both existing and `virtual' camera positions without additional cameras. A prototype system is presented with results of sports TV production trials for rendering of stereo and free-viewpoint video sequences of soccer and rugby.
Date of Publication: June 2011