Sunsetting the Quad Lightfield File Format

Hey everyone,

After much consideration, we have decided to sunset support for the Quad Lightfield file format (a.k.a 2x2).

It was originally created as Leia’s version of SBS: a way to create a standard 2D media file that has multiple views to drive our 4-view 3D Lightfield displays. This was obviously a kludge, and we quickly established better methods like Leia Image Format (LIF) to allow full backwards compatibility with 2D displays and forwards compatibility with Leia products. We think this format is the future, and we expect other companies will begin supporting it in 2023.

As time has gone on, we’ve seen less and less usage of Quad Lightfield, and these days, nearly all of our users use either LIF or SBS. Future Leia devices and displays may not be 4-view devices, as such and due to the limited adoption of the Quad Lightfield format, it no longer makes sense for ongoing support. Support will continue through the end of the year, and will terminate on December 31st, 2022.

What does this mean for you?

Well, if you don’t use Quad Lightfield photos or videos, then great! It means nothing.

If you do, we will not break support on existing LitByLeia products like RED Hydrogen One or Lume Pad. This includes LeiaPlayer, LeiaPix, and LeiaFrame on those devices, which should continue working and supporting Quad Lightfield for the foreseeable future. However, we will be sunsetting software and tools that export in Quad Lightfield, including Lightfield Studio and some of our plugins. In addition, all future software and hardware released by Leia will not support Quad Lightfield files.

If you’d like to make your Quad Lightfield media compatible on 3D TVs, VR headsets, and future Leia devices and apps, we are providing users with these FFMPEG scripts to convert your Quad Lightfield media to SBS. We also plan to release paid conversion tools in 2023 that will make it easy to convert your Quad Lightfield content to SBS or LIF.

We know that many creators loved playing with Quad Lightfield media, and for some it will be sorely missed. But we think our new focus on pure stereoscopic media and its universal support across the 3D and XR industries will be an asset for everyone involved. If you have any questions please let us know. We want to ensure this transition is as painless as possible for those affected!

Sincerely,
Nima & the Leia Team

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Recently I have played a bit with 2x2 pictures, since I’ve played also with matrices of multiple images (quilts) for another toy… , and the 2x2 was a special, but nice, case. I have just obtained the 4 views from a translation of a 4k video. I liked some of the original examples (e.g. the optometrist) which was clearly obtained out of 4 frames/pictures, since the 4 views had independent and error-free lights, and the effect with lights was amazing (when the 4v come by the AI from a stereo, there are typical artifacts, sometimes bending, and sometimes some issue in the “hidden parts” that become visible during the translation of the camera). But I understand the point (I had to create separately a 4v for my H1 and Lumepad, and a SBS for the other devices). I only hope a full backward compatibility.

There is certainly a big loss of fidelity for shots or renders from four cameras, especially with lights and reflections, after down-converting these to only two views. The question is, how many actually shoot 3D with four or more cameras and is it worth the support. Nevertheless, the spectacular effects that are possible with 4+ views as showcase for the Leia dispays will be missed.

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I wanted to highlight something that can be related to this topic (but I could be wrong). Recently I see in Leiapix many pictures with issues that probably reflect the transition toward sunsetting the quad file format. In practice, many pictures have 4 views with different arrangements (they could be two frames of the higher part of a scene and two of a lower one, or simply 4 frames where a couple are distorted) that probably comes from some testing; in my Leiapix on Hydrogen, where I can still select if seeing the images in 4v or 3D, I can see the bad views in the initial carousel and when looking an image in 4v and I have assumed this is just a problem of backward compatibility, while the 3D view is generally acceptable. Looking in Lumepad, those images are generally proposed in 3D, so they look acceptable (even if not completely, since many appear to come with a small vertical offset, that the brain compensates but creates some kind of dizzy view), but the initial carousel is still in 4v, so populated by an impressive number of unintelligible images.
Recently I had initialized an H1, so Leiapix proposed initially the older pictures that were simply amazing (e.g. the quad of the optometrist, or the truck in the sunset etc) and I can imagine the disappointment of someone that on the other hand evaluates this amazing technology looking at the distorted images now crowding Leiapix :slightly_smiling_face:

@m.farina Thanks, we’ll be looking into it. Though I can’t guarantee we’ll be able to do anything with unsupported platforms like Hydrogen, we want to ensure the transition away from Quad Lightfield media doesn’t negatively impact Lume Pad at all.