Patent Issued for Image-Processing System, Image-Processing Method and Program Which Changes the Position of the Viewing Point in a First Range and...

Journal of Engineering |

Patent Issued for Image-Processing System, Image-Processing Method and Program Which Changes the Position of the Viewing Point in a First Range and Changes a Size of a Viewing Angle in a Second Range

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Shohara, Makoto (Hachioji, JP); Imae, Nozomi (Yokohama, JP); Harada, Toru (Kawasaki, JP); Yamamoto, Hideaki (Yokohama, JP); Ueda, Yasuo (Sagamihara, JP); Ito, Yoichi (Machida, JP); Sawaguchi, Satoshi (Yokohama, JP); Takenaka, Hirokazu (Kawasaki, JP); Masuda, Kensuke (Kawasaki, JP); Satoh, Hiroyuki (Yokohama, JP), filed on , was published online on .

The assignee for this patent, patent number 9392167, is RICOH COMPANY, LTD. (Tokyo, JP).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Field of the Invention

"The present invention relates to an improvement of an image-processing technique, more specifically, to an image-processing system, an image-processing method, and an image-processing program for projecting a wide-angle image according to a three-dimensional model.

"A panoramic image viewer as a display system for displaying on a flat surface display an image shot by a camera and so on is heretofore known. The panoramic image viewer is a system which combines more than one image of a partly overlapped object image shot from different directions and displays the combined image on a display.

"A well-known panoramic image viewer has various functions which are capable of changing display ranges such as pan (side-to-side movement of viewing field), tilt (up-and-down movement of viewing field), and zoom (magnification and reduction). The panoramic image viewer often has a technique of projecting on a plane surface an image attached on a side surface of a circular cylinder or an outside surface of a sphere with a view from a gravity center of the circular cylinder or the sphere. In this instance, on a flat surface display, an image attached on a three-dimensional surface is projected to be a plane image and is displayed in accordance with each setting value of pan, tilt and zoom set by a user. The image has a focal point according to a side surface of the circular cylinder or a surface of a sphere.

"However, the existing panoramic image viewer has a problem in that distortion or the like is generated on the edge of the field of view in an image when the field of view becomes wider than a certain extent by a changing operation of a display range, in particular, by zooming.

"As a technique designed for displaying a wide angle image such as a panoramic image, a non-patent document (hereinafter, Non-patent Doc. 1), J. Kopf, et al, 'Capturing and Viewing Gigapixel Images', ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG)--Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH 2007, Volume 26, Issue 3, , Article No. 93, ACM New York, is known. Non-patent Doc. 1 discloses a viewer displaying an image with a field of view capable of obtaining a panoramic image. The viewer disclosed in Non-patent Doc. 1 continuously controls its projection method in order to perform a perspective projection in a small field of view and perform a cylindrical projection or a spherical projection in a wide field of view.

"However, because the common art in Non-patent Doc. 1 is such that the projection method is changed according to zoom, the process is complicated and a high performance of calculation is necessary for processing in real time. On the other hand, recently, a panoramic image viewer is frequently provided with not only a personal computer but also a smartphone or a tablet terminal having a relatively low performance of calculation. In such an information terminal device having a low performance of calculation, it is difficult to perform a complicated process such as a real time display with about 30 fps (Frame per Second) described in Non-patent Doc. 1.

"Recently, an information terminal device often includes a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) as a graphic calculator in addition to a CPU. The GPU typically includes a calculating function corresponding to an API (Application Programming Interface) such as an Open GL and so on and is capable of a high-speed image-processing calculation. However, because the GPU provided in a smartphone and so on is a subset version of the Open GL, the calculation model is relatively simple.

"Considering the above-described circumstances, the development of a technique is desired such that the distortion or the like caused from that the top/bottom and left/right edges of an object becoming enlarged while being displayed with a wide field of view can be lowered even in an information terminal device having a limited performance of calculation, at the same time as providing a high-speed display."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention has been made in view of the problems in the above-described existing art. An object of the present invention is to provide an image-processing system, an image-processing method, and a program having a partly-reduced requirement for calculation performance, for displaying a wide field of view of panoramic image display which is capable of lowering the distortion or the like caused from the top/bottom and left/right edges of the object being enlarged, and a high-speed display.

"In order to achieve the object, the embodiment of the present invention provides: an image-processing system including a receiver which receives an input value defining an output range, a generator which generates a three-dimensional model having a target image attached to a three-dimensional conformation, a decision part which decides a position of a viewing point and a viewing angle in accordance with the input value, and a projector which projects the three-dimensional model from the viewing point, wherein the decision part changes a range of a target image inside a viewing field by changing the viewing angle preferentially when the input value is in a first range, and changes the range of the target image inside the viewing field by changing the viewing point preferentially when the input value is in a second range which is a wider-angle side than that of the first range."

For more information, see this patent: Shohara, Makoto; Imae, Nozomi; Harada, Toru; Yamamoto, Hideaki; Ueda, Yasuo; Ito, Yoichi; Sawaguchi, Satoshi; Takenaka, Hirokazu; Masuda, Kensuke; Satoh, Hiroyuki. Image-Processing System, Image-Processing Method and Program Which Changes the Position of the Viewing Point in a First Range and Changes a Size of a Viewing Angle in a Second Range. U.S. Patent Number 9392167, filed , and published online on . Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9392167.PN.&OS=PN/9392167RS=PN/9392167

Keywords for this news article include: RICOH COMPANY LTD.

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