Posts Tagged ‘3D’

New Technique Could Lead to Glasses-Free 3D in Theaters

Wired reported on research published in the journal Optics Express detailing a promising new system for glasses-free 3D viewing — long considered the holy grail of 3D technology, especially for home viewing. The system involves a polarization-preserving screen and a physical “parallax barrier polarizer” that allows four different screen views to be broken up vertically and delivered to only one eye at a time. It’s not immediately clear how well the system would work as viewers move around a room or cock their heads from side to side, but the scientists involved say they believe it will be useful for next-generation 3D theaters. Wired talked to a University of Arizona physicist who said the technology “is still in its infancy,” so you’ll probably have to break out those 3D glasses for Avatar 2 after all.

from Wired.com

3D offered in major venues for the Olympics


The London Olympics this year seem to keep surprising us in 3D even before they start! Now Ultra-D 3D may be incorporated at the 3D Olympic coverage this year also.

Stream TV Networks, Inc. announced today that they choose London as the location of the first Ultra-D(TM) TV public viewing location in Europe. The Walkabout in Covent Garden at 11 Henrietta Street in London, will have installed the first ever Ultra-D display unit in the UK in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics, broadcasted live on the BBC, Sky and ESPN. Live 2D and with-glasses (stereoscopic) 3D broadcasts of the Olympic Games will be auto converted into the stunning 3D without glasses Ultra-D format in real-time, using the Ultra-D SeeCube(TM) Conversion Box. The viewing location will also host demos to highlight the Ultra-D technology’s compatibility with the iPad®, iTunes®, Appstore® and the Apple TV®. Matthew Young, European representative for Stream TV Networks in the UK said: “We chose Walkabout for the first ever screen as it’s well known as the best live sports venue in London.”

The manager of the Covent Garden Walkabout Bar, Dal Jones, states that Ultra-D is “1000% better than anything else I have seen in 3D without glasses. I am very pleased and truly excited to be the first UK bar to be able to offer this to our customers.”

Stream TV Networks is placing demo units at high traffic venues in metropolitan areas in the US, Europe, Taiwan and China to showcase the Ultra-D technology to consumer before products become available at retail. In the US, the first venue to showcase Ultra-D will be Blondies Sports® ( www.blondiessports.com ) in New York City located at 212 West 79th St., also in time for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Ultra-D enables the seamless autoconversion of 2D and 3D with glasses content into autostereoscopic (glasses-free) 3D in real-time, so that virtually every kind of video feed can be viewed in 3d without glasses. The Ultra-D technology has also been optimized for the iOS® and Android® operating systems for enhanced connectivity to peripheral devices.

Additional consumer viewing locations for Ultra-D(TM) technology will be announced in the coming weeks and will include additional venues in New York, Philadelphia, London and various locations throughout China.

“Ultra-D is the first 3D without glasses solution that has been able to eliminate viewing angles and offer the high quality, glasses-free 3D experience we’ve all been waiting for,” says Matt Young for Stream TV Networks. He adds, “Being able to offer this in time for the Olympics just adds to the viewing experience and enjoyment of the games being in London.”

The Walkabout in Covent Garden is “the Home of the Awesome Spirit of Australia in Central London, and also the West End’s Premier Sport’s Bar and Party Shack!” The Walkabout is located at:

11 Henrietta Street London, Greater London WC2E 8PY

Ultra-D viewing units are available. For information regarding sales or business relationships please email contact@ultra-d.com or myoung@streamtvnetworks.com

Source: www.StreamTVNetworks.com

Quantel’s Part 2 Examination of the Rise of Digital Film

In the second part of our look at the uptake of digital technology in the movie business we explore filmmaking innovators who are taking digital filming and post production to new levels of excellence.

Filmmakers and post-production specialists are breaking new ground in visual storytelling facilitated by the increase in technological capabilities during acquisition, post and exhibition. The advances in Stereo3D are inextricably linked to developments in digital capture: James Cameron pioneered shooting on digital cameras that were custom built for Ghosts of the Abyss – the first feature length 3D IMAX production released in 2003. Then Avatar set the bar for 3D features; however Vince Pace, co-chairman of CAMERON | PACE Group recently told The Hollywood Reporter that they  “were experimenting with Avatar” and that they “could have gone further, but we wanted to make sure we found ourselves somewhere in the middle of concentrating on a good film and focusing on 3D elements. We didn’t want to compromise the actual film by taking away from the story for the sake of 3D.”

Pace continues to state that Martin Scorsese’s Hugo does far more than Avatar to showcase 3D filmmaking’s full capacity due to Scorsese not forcing elements of 3D but instead molding it to get maximum effect from the artists and the creative team’s vision. The technological advancements in S3D that have been made since Avatar also enabled the Hugo team to utilise bespoke systems and equipment to watch high quality stereo dailies, perfect the acquisition of stereo on set and finish Hugo to such a standard the stereo grading contributed to Scorsese earning a ‘Best Director’ nod at this year’s Golden Globes.

We asked Jonathan Tustain, Editor of leading website 3D Focus, to give us his take on future advances in the digital pipeline. “No doubt higher frame rate projection will become commonplace over the next few years thanks to influential directors like Peter Jackson and James Cameron filming big budget movies like The Hobbit and Avatar 2 at 48 frames per second. Cinema chains will be able to upgrade their digital projectors with a simple software update and, like 3D, the improved picture quality, particularly during fast motion sequences, will be marketed to draw audiences in.”

Digital drives quality

Stereoscopic 3D is not the only aspect of digital that is evolving on our cinema screens. As previously mentioned in part 1, 4K digital cinema projection systems are gathering momentum in the US/Europe with audiences increasingly experiencing high resolution movies screened as the filmmaker intended the scenes to be consumed in theaters.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one of the largest 4K movies to date, making up almost a quarter of a million frames at 45 megabytes each.  It was shot in 4.5k – 5K resolution on RED Epic MX and Epic cameras and was finished at Hollywood Post facility Light Iron on Quantel Pablo. The sheer volume of data captured needed twocolor correction systems working non stop to deliver a 4K DI 9 reels long which is the equivalent of around six 2K two hour movies. The end result, when seen on a 4K projector, is arguably another cinematic milestone demonstrating the amplified creative / visual control for the filmmaker and a higher standard of picture quality for the movie-going public.

We spoke to Michael Cioni, CEO of Light Iron. He explains why he feels that his data-centric post house will continue to work on more productions like The Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo. “My experience with most archetypes on the set has been the common desire to incase creative control. Creative control of the crew, control over the studio, image capture, performances, editing, art direction and even the overall pace of shooting are all things filmmakers tend to want to have creative control over. Yet film as a medium physically limits a degree of control in every category simply because you cannot inspect film until after it is developed. 18-48 hour delays are normal procedure for film review which presents a massive boundary around the evaluation component of creative control. In the upcoming documentary ‘Side-by-Side,’ director Christopher Nolan says ‘There isn’t yet a superior or even equal imaging technology to film.’ In my opinion, subjective interpretation of film’s benefits is not the issue that warrants discussion. From my perspective, it is becoming ever clearer that the simplicity of how work flows ultimately commands what format is adopted. For the average filmmaker this renders aesthetic opinions on the subject a lesser priority (I see this happening at all budget levels). In the hands of the masters, the apex of today’s digital cameras has breeched every measurable category that film used to champion as technically superior. In 36 months time, the gap will be so significant that this debate simply will not exist.”

The Case for Film

There are traditionalists and big names in cinema that are sill firmly camped in film’s corner. Steven Spielberg shot the acclaimed War Horse on 35mm and was recently quoted saying “I’m still planning to shoot everything on film. I guess when the last lab goes out of business, we’ll all be forced to shoot digitally and that could be in eight-to-ten years. It’s possible in ten years’ time there will be no labs processing celluloid.” Of course Spielberg has already dabbled with digital technologies and 3D with Tintin, albeit in a motion capture sense, however he stressed “It’s 100% digital animation but as far as a live-action film, I’m still planning to shoot everything on film… I love film.”

Christopher Nolan’s forthcoming conclusion to the Batman trilogy The Dark Knight Rises was filmed in 35mm and 70mm IMAX. Nolan resisted pressure from studio bosses at Warner Bros. to shoot and/or convert the final Batman in 3D. Quentin Tarantino is passionate about working with celluloid and from his remarks in the video below, like Spielberg, is not switching to shooting in digital anytime soon.

Filmmakers still have a choice when it comes to capturing and translating their vision for the big screen. But partly due to the rapid rise in digital projection, any motion picture captured on celluloid will almost inevitably end up being  digitalized anyway. We return to Light Iron’s CEO Michael Cioni, who sums it all up most eloquently:

“I don’t dislike film, but I do dislike unnecessary complexity. I think if film could be around forever, it would be used on some level forever. Because the art of story telling has infinite possibilities, the ways in which to tell stories should not be quantified into a single format or flavor. By this, I am in favor of film being used whenever deemed appropriate by those who are most comfortable using it. That can be anything from those who are seeking a desired texture or who have a creative preference, such as Mr. Nolan. But there is a bigger question here which presents the real root of the problem: it’s not whether people have a desire to shoot film; the question is whether or not film can afford to be manufactured at all. I predict that man’s desire to shoot film will far outlast the manufacturers’ ability to produce it. Thus, the ultimate decision will be made for us.”

http://blog.quantel.eu/2012/02/the-rise-of-digital-in-motion-pictures-beyond-the-tipping-point-for-film-part-2-of-2/

CEA announces new standards for 3D at home

In an effort to bolster the 3D Home Entertainment industry, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced new standards for closed captioning, active 3D glasses specs as well as display brightness information for manufacturers and consumers.

Brian Markwalter is senior vice president, research and standards, CEA. “CEA’s standards committees are always looking for new ways to help grow the consumer electronics industry through technological cooperation.”

CEA-2038 standard will allow “active” 3D glasses to switch from 3D to 2D when content such as advertising is placed in a 3D program. Known as the “Command-Driven Analog IT-Synchronized Active Eyewear”, the new spec also opens up the possibility of two separate viewers playing a 3D game offering different images or game paths.

Another area which has been a tremendous challenge for providers and viewers is in the area of closed-captioning.  The VEA-708.1 standard provides broadcasters with information on where data should be encoded for closed captioning.  It is expected that the Society of Motion Picture Broadcasters (SMPTE) are developing their own set of standards to be released later this year.

The  CEA Industry Forum is scheduled for October 14-17, 2012 to be held in San Francisco, CA with the Annual International CES meeting to be held January 8-11, 2013 in Las Vegas, NV.

CEA press release

DirecTV blinks when it comes to delivering 3D Content

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Well, in the case of DirecTV they were one of the first providers to step up to the plate offering a 24 hour n3D channel that usually lent itself well to sporting events, live concerts and special events that was backed by Panasonic.  This leaves Sony/Discovery/Imax and ESPN 3D as the only parties left standing as 24 hour providers for DirecTV.

A spokesperson for the Satcaster reported: “While 3D adoption continues to grow and more programming is being developed, DirecTV has decided to move n3D to a part-time channel.” But don’t worry, sports fans, NBC Summer Olympics opening and closing ceremonies will still be available in stereo along with selected events such as gymnastics, diving and swimming.

Is the rationale behind cutting back on 3D offerings because there are not enough displays and audience members to watch?  Or is there simply not enough programming?  As the learned voice of God, in the movie FIELD OF DREAMS pronounced, “Build it and they will come.” Probably not if you look at the nervous faces of the DirecTV execs.

In France, Canal Plus pulled back from 3D offerings this year noting “a lack of enthusiasm among subscribers”.

NBC however will be offering over 200 hours of 3D broadcasting, but like the rest of the events coming out of the U.K. they will be on tape delay and sent out the following day.  However, NBCOlympics.com website will live stream all the events in 2D, of course.

I’m curious to find out how much the British broadcasters will be offering in the way of 3D and likewise if NBC were to advertise more heavily about 3D this summer if that were to spur more sales of the 3D sets at home. Also will regular 3D broadcasts of the NFL by ESPN spur more growth? And when will the auto-stereo displays be more commonplace, thus eliminating the need for those pesky glasses?

- Scott Arundale

For more info:  Consumer Reports

We’re Back and Raring to Go!

After a nearly six month hiatus, the 3D & DIgital Cinema is back on-line. I took a break to tend to some family struggles. Also the Spring semester was one bear of a session with over 40 Senior Thesis projects, 18 Grad Thesis and a whopping 36 Advanced Productions to attend to.

Thank you for your support and patience during what was a very difficult time.

- Scott Arundale

P.S. We will be likely dropping the 3D moniker from our masthead as stereo filmmaking has become very much an integral part of the digital landscape. Also the industry (like the the mainstream filmgoing public) has cooled considerably towards because let’s face it, making 3D movies is more costly, time consuming and frankly a pain in the ass! And as my two lovely daughters remarked about their tastes towards 3D, they wisely observed that it was just a way for the theater to charge more!

That being said we will continue to report on all the trends 3D, 2D or something recorded on a mobile phone. It is all fair game.

Will Scorsese’s Hugo be the first 3D movie to win Best Picture Nod?

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – This was supposed to be a weekend when ground zero for Southern California movie lovers was Hollywood, site of the AFI Fest.


But Martin Scorsese exerts a gravitational pull all his own. So on Saturday afternoon, the action shifted to downtown Los Angeles for a couple of hours, where the Regal multiplex drew nearly 1,000 fans and industryites eager for a look at Scorsese’s 3D adventure “Hugo,” which had previously screened only in a work-in-progress version at the New York Film Festival.

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Throw in a post-screening Q&A with Scorsese, editor Thelma Schoonmaker, production designer Dante Ferretti, cinematographer Robert Richardson, composer Howard Shore and visual effects supervisor Robert Legato, moderated by director Paul Thomas Anderson, and you had a three-hour slice of movie nirvana (plus 39 Oscar nominations and a dozen wins on one stage).

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And in a way, movie nirvana is what “Hugo” aims to be. An adaptation of “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” a children’s book by Brian Selznick, in Scorsese’s hands it is less a children’s story than a knowing and glorious tribute to early cinema from a master moviemaker who also happens to be a master movie-lover.

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The film will be an odd duck to market: It’s partly an adventure tale about a kid who lives in a huge Paris train station, and partly a (fictionalized) story about the silent film pioneer Georges Melies (played by a marvelous Ben Kingsley).

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Not a kids’ movie, not an art film, not a typical Scorsese effort and not necessarily an Academy movie (more on that in a minute), “Hugo” is instead a big shiny ball of imagination, invention and cinematic wonder.

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And a few hours after the downtown screening, a big room full of folks who presumably love the movies gave “Hugo” their own stamp of approval. The film had its official Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences screening on Saturday night — and according to a couple of members in attendance, the response was extremely positive, with sustained applause and a strong buzz in the room afterward.

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(Attendance, though, was not as high as it had been for some other recent Academy screenings, including “The Help” and “Moneyball.”)

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Back at the downtown screening earlier in the day, Scorsese was introduced by Anderson as “the heavyweight champ.” The director used some of the 40-minute Q&A to detail the intricacies of filming in 3D, which he said was “arduous but most of the time a good deal of fun.”

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Shooting in 3D slowed down his usual workflow, Scorsese said, though he and Schoonmaker ended up editing the film switching between 3D and 2D monitors,. He dismissed worries about the move toward 3D, and said that the technology is “just another element to tell a story.” And, he added, it’ll likely be followed by more and newer elements.

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“We’re all headed, if everything moves along and there’s no major catastrophes, we’re basically headed toward holograms,” Scorsese said. “Why can’t you have (a) 3D (movie where) Hamlet comes out into the middle of the audience and does ‘to be or not to be?’ They do in the theater. Why can’t you have it in a movie theater, or at home?”

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In the meantime, he said, he’s simply using the tools that are now available to deliver what moviegoers always wanted to see. ”The first time images started to move, immediately people wanted color, sound, big screen and depth,” he said. “And that’s just what we’re doing now.”

Visual Effects Bill of Rights draws a line in the sand

The Visual Effects Society, the industry’s organization of visual effects artists and technicians, today released a Bill of Rights designed to call attention to problems affecting its membership and Hollywood. The document follows an open letter to the entertainment industry by the VES, which cited a downward spiral of working conditions and benefits as well as earnings for effects pros around the globe.  “In the VES open letter, we said it was time to step up as the voice of the visual effects industry by talking to all parties regarding their concerns,” said exec director Eric Roth. “At this time we have engaged in a vigorous dialog with key stakeholders at all levels and believe our Bill of Rights lays out the vital concerns of each segment of the industry. Our next step is to focus on bringing all parties together to seek solutions.”

source: deadlinehollywood.com

While training and education are crucial to supporting the VFX and Animation industries here at home, what this bill of rights actually reveals is that much of the labor continues to be outsourced to India and China, where working conditions are not regulated and wages are minimal.  Every U.S. industry faces this harsh reality. Despite the fact that we remain the leader in creation of filmed entertainment, producers are content to have the work done in sweatshops around the world, rather than maintain a talent base here at home.

Scott Arundale

3D Arcade Games emerge in Japan

SI Electronics has announced it is developing an arcade board that will support 3D displays – wait for it – without the need for wearing any 3D glasses.

The news comes during a time when manufacturers are showing off their prototype tablets, some of which are 3D, at the electronics fair, IFA 2010, in Berlin.

The board was originally announced at the AOU Amusement Expo and will use a new internally developed processor. According to SIE the processor will allow glasses-free 3D displays and still output full HD visuals while retaining a small footprint and low cost.

A video of this new arcade board will be shown at the Kaga Amusement booth at the Amusement Machine Show in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday.

source: hdguru3d.com

James Cameron shows off his Pace rig

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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.