Nintendo announces 3DS

It seems like only yesterday that Nintendo upgraded the DS to DSi, adding a camera and wifi capability to it’s wildly successful handheld gaming device, much to the chagrin of parents like myself of two young girls (6 & 8).  My kids always want the latest and greatest and when they learn that the DS is moving into stereoscopic display (and does not require glasses), they likely will be clamoring for one. This means we will have three different models in use around the house, each with a non-matching  power supply. Yikes!  At least they are backward compatible.  Likely the newest offering will utilize parallax barrier or lenticular-based auto-stereo display with head tracking display.  A sampling of the newest device is shown here:

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The Next Best Thing to Being There

Sky TV viewers in Britain love their football and are packing the pubs to watch favorite teams Manchester United and Chelsea play in front of 3D cameras. These public houses do not have the rights to display the World Cup and British homes can not receive the 3D signal yet, but hey we are on the cusp of something really big and ultimately will become the norm.

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“Captain EO” Returns to Disneyland

One of the longest running narrative theme-park attractions has returned to Disneyland after 13 years.

Captain EO“, starring Michael Jackson, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, produced and written by George Lucas. The short musical was shot in stereo and projected in anaglyph 70mm.

Captain EO Poster

–Tashi Trieu

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How 3D Works

This infographic easily illustrates four common types of 3D display.

The first is anaglyph (red/blue) 3D which has been the standard for many years for both theatrical and consumer electronics displays.

The second is polarized 3D, which is one of the many emerging technologies prevalent in many theaters around the world.

The third and fourth are home-video technologies.

–Tashi Trieu

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3D ‘XXX’ Rob Cohen is back with Vin Diesel

3D ‘XXX’ Moves From Sony To Paramount; Rob Cohen And Vin Diesel Back In Fold

Director Rob Cohen is putting the finishing touches on the first ever 3D Coke commercial. Meanwhile Paramount is taking over the Triple X franchise which has been languishing over at Columbia.  The re-teaming of original director, Rob Cohen with the original star, Vin Diesel promises to re-invigorate this action series.  Will we see 3D images of the inside of an engine pulsing and the pistons throbbing??

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World Cup Soccer drives 3D to the next level

It is commonly acknowledged that sporting events have deep pockets and, in the case of the FIFA’s World Cup, a huge and loyal fan base around the globe.  It is fitting then that broadcasters would foot the bill for what is considered to be an enormous and costly test of Sony’s and Quasar’s equipment.

In Broadcast Engineering’s article the issue is raised that the 3D camera rigs are rather large and require taking over extra seats that would otherwise be sold for top dollar to World Cup fans.

The introduction of this new technology may be premature, or as I refer to as an ongoing test, until the kinks (and the extra camera positions) are worked out.

Are audiences ready and are there enough venues and home displays ready to receive stereo images of the soccer games? Can they get close enough to the action?  Soccer stadiums are huge arenas and the wide angle of each game is generally a camera positioned well away from the action.  Soccer does not enjoy the flying rigs that the NFL has employed which place the camera in the backfield just above the heads of the players.

Many of the technical aspects of 3D continue to be ironed out.  But Sky TV in Europe and ESPN here in the United States plan to roll out their 3D channels this summer just in time for the World Cup.  It took years for theaters to re-equip their screens to handle 3D.  It may take consumers and public venues mere months to update their displays as their investment in the new technology  is considerably less.  It remains to be seen how broad and how quickly the penetration of 3D in the TV market place will be and if audiences are willing to don the glasses in a Sports Bar or in the living room.  Stay tuned.

-Scott Arundale

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Sports are in the driver’s seat

Three thousand dollars will score you a Panasonic 3D display which might be considered reasonable if you are the owner of a Sports Bar.

For the rest of us, we might have to wait until the prices come down, which may not be as long as you think.  Consider when HD displays first went on sale ten years ago with the jaw dropping price of $8,000. Over time more consumers buy into a new technology and the price comes down precipitously.  I bought my first flat panel last year for Christmas from a well known retailer in New York.  With no tax and free shipping, I got mine (Sony Bravia 40″) for under $750.

In the meantime if you’d like to experience Tiger Woods and the Masters in 3D, call around to find out which local tavern will be offering it up or visit your nearest Best Buy.

In 3-D, Masters Does Have Extra Dimension NY Times 3.31.10

Clearly sports entertainment has the big bucks and the audience willing to pay for enhanced viewing. The question remains will 3D cameras covering sports be able to handle quick pans and lots of transient images and fast motion.  And how close must the cameras be placed to make it worth the time and effort?

-Scott Arundale

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NAB here we come

Despite being a tech-head for all these years, I have resisted ever attending the NAB Conference in Las Vegas.  My main excuse has always been that it lands right in the middle of pilot season which traditionally is a very busy time for me.  For the last few years I have been working on my teaching credentials and leaving in the middle of the semester always seemed like an iffy proposition.

The real reason is, I start to get very anxious around all this new technology, amidst an army of strangers, in the barn-like convention center.  A form of vertigo begins to take over, and I am soon ready to flee.

This year Dodge College has generously offered to pay my way for the 2 day Digital Summit to be held as part of the convention.  We currently have a mandate which is to grasp all things related to 3D and employ them both in our facilities and in our pedagogy.  So this is a crash course for me and my colleagues and I hope to share as much of the wisdom as I can glean along the way.

In the meantime I have ordered a raft of books from Amazon and will be doing as much research as I can handle and will share my notes with you. And if you see me in Las Vegas breathing into a paper bag, it’s because it’s just so damn exciting.

-Scott Arundale

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It’s a Brave New World!

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new blog dedicated to all things related to digital filmmaking.  The primary goal is to explore new and emerging methods of acquisition, editing and distribution of filmed entertainment. Topics to be discussed will be cameras, lighting, digital imaging, media management, editing and manipulation, motion graphics, sound and music, playback and display systems, mobile computing, and last but not least all things related to 3D production and consumption.

We are hoping along the way to enlist some help from my friends and colleagues and get their input in areas that will fill the knowledge gap.  I admit that I am not an expert in all of these areas. I bring to the table 25 years of film, tape and non-linear editing experience, and as you will see, I am particularly fascinated in the evolution of film and digital technology and how it has affected storytelling.

The genesis of this blog came from two recent developments in my career.  One is my desire to write a book on the topic of digital cinema.  The other is my latest assignment as member of a 3D Task Force at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts which is part of Chapman University located in Orange, California.  I recently joined the faculty and teach Editing and DI Workflow as well as Location Filmmaking.

I’ve enlisted my colleague, Tashi Trieu to join me in this endeavor and share his wisdom and experiences in the front line of shooting and coloring film.

When our Dean Bob Bassett announced that Dodge College would be converting the Folino Theater to 3D and we would begin exploring ways to support and teach 3D filmmaking, I leapt at the opportunity to participate.  Like many of my colleagues, I find the whole world of 3D to be somewhat mysterious and perhaps uncharted territory. In the course of my research, I will use this discussion page as a repository for ideas and information and I would like to invite you all in and encourage as much discussion and input as possible.

Scott Arundale

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About 3D & Digital Cinema

If you are a tech head, cinema-phile, movie geek or digital imaging consultant, then we'd like to hear from you. Join us in our quest to explore all things digital and beyond. Of particular interest is how a product or new technology can be deployed and impacts storytelling. It may be something that effects how we download and enjoy filmed entertainment. It may pertain to how primary and secondary color grading will enhance a certain tale. The most important thing is that you are in the driver's seat as far as what you watch and how you choose to consume it.