Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bigger, er, Brighter!

Hey All!

This week, "3D movies got a whole lot brighter." At ComicCon last wednesday, Real D, introduced a new screen using it's "precision white screen technology" with hopes of improving the overall cinematic experience.

We've learned that 3D enjoys light and have observed first hand during productions and screenings that scenes, when shot in 3D, look better when well lit and brighter. Many Directors shy away from the medium specifically because of the inability to capture the necessary amount of light to make the image crisp and powerful. Christopher Nolan said that he refused to shoot Batman in 3D because he found "the dimness of the image extremely alienating." Real D hopes to alleviate filmmakers of this problem with their new white screen technology. CEO and Chairman Michael Lewis said that the screen brings 40% more total light than silver and is the "next step in the premium cinema experience."

The screen has been tested in select locations and has seen big endorsements from effects and production company's, industry professionals (including DreamWork's Jeffrey Katzenberg) and movie house companies alike. Many have applauded the enhancement of 2D films projected onto the screen as well providing a clearer picture with a "forceful visual impact when compared to the silver screen."

Real D is the most widely used system for 3D technology world wide and it's safe to say that we'll all be experiencing a brighter 3D in the months to come.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

NAB: Glasses Free and Rig Technologies

Last week the National Association of Broadcasters held it's annual conference in Las Vegas. The conference features vendors from companies and firms operating within the digital broadcast industry. I was hoping to read about some awesome new 3D technology never before seen and was partially satisfied. The Cameron Pace Group was there pushing the 3D medium and applauding it's evolution and progress. Back in 2011, James Cameron predicted that 3D is the future of broadcast. Since then however, the medium has failed to become a powerhouse in tv like it has in film. We've talked a lot about glasses-free 3D and at NAB, it definitely was the focus. CPG thinks 3D's popularity in the living room is contingent on this technology and the answer to it's slow adoption.

Dolby Digital and Phillips partnered to create Dolby 3D, a new, "end-to-end system" for creating glassess free content. Csilla Andersen, a product manager for Dolby 3D, during the conference was interviewed and advertised "Dolby/Philips' solution covers every aspect of content creation and distribution. It encompasses post-production tools, compression for broadcast and distribution, a format decoder and a Multiview Rendering Engine for playback." Dolby and Phillips worked with software companies and platform services to streamline 3D editing and better integrate workflows. Once produced, the glassess free screen technology enables clear, un-warped 3D picture from almost anyplace in the room, a feature other glassess free screen's lack.

"Glassess free" is only half the battle, and the Germans over at Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute have an answer to high production costs and expensive, timely and tricky post production efforts. They introduced a concept trifocal rig, with help from Disney. The rig described as a "hybrid 2D/3D approach to capturing 3D that effectively combines 3D cinematography with 2D-to-3D conversion." The rig holds three cameras and then during postproduction, depth maps are estimated which allows for the generation of stereo content from the footage. The camera also has the ability to calculate the distance between itself and an object which enables the production of shots without a green screen (very cool). It will be interesting to see this technology in action and how effective or ineffective it is when compared to traditional methods.

For More Information:




Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Jurassic Park 3D and the Conversion Machine

Hey All,

With the rise of the 3D popularity, studios have enjoyed the profits of converting and rereleasing movies in 3D over the past few years. The 3D reviews for many of these rereleases have been less than satisfactory, and the sales show that even with the added 3D element, they are not worth the high price of the conversion. Disney has recently halted plans for converting many of their classics. The Star Wars conversion was recently stopped as well now that they are under the Disney umbrella.

In terms of releasing new movies, however, 3D is still extremely profitable fueling the debate between shooting in real 3d or shooting in 2D and converting, such as in Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity." Shooting in real 3D, as we know, is the better option and despite some few stragglers, in the past few years has become the more popular option (A great site to check out is http://realorfake3d.com/, if you're curious about future and past projects).

Jurassic Park 3D was recently released and I was reading an article discussing the conversion of the movie and the added elements the extra dimension brought to the story and the Jurassic Park experience. The conversion enhanced the experience so much that classification boards in some countries had to up the rating. Spielburg in a article (link is below), thought certain scenes in particular,  such as when they are trapped inside the vehicle, really enhanced the fear and uncertainty in the moment. Jurassic Park in 3D opened with staggering numbers and proves that sometimes the high conversion price is worth it. A friend of mine said seeing Jurassic Park originally was the reason she loved movies and that seeing the 3D version blew her away. It's interesting to think about what movies might and not be successful upon rerelease in 3D. Top Gun, is currently being converted and will see a release next summer. It will be interesting to see if it can garner the same results.



Tuesday, April 2, 2013

3D Phones and Smart TV Apps

Hey All,

This week, LG, one of the leading manufacturers of 3D and Smart TV's has introduced 3doo, a Smart TV, 3D content application. With LG's release, the platform has the ability to reach over 10,000,000 people with 3D capabilities, world wide. 3doo is a platform which enables owners of 3D content to upload, share and sell the content directly to their consumers. Competing against other 3D platforms such as Yabazam and Explore 3D, 3doo is quickly becoming the largest distribution platform for in home 3D content. 3D platforms have seen a spike in content viewing over the last few months in correlation with advances in 3D televisions, cable and production. Last week, I wrote about CPG's advancements in 3D TV and it's effect on the marketplace. 3D entertainment sharing platforms will benefit from these advancements and, in addition, will promote the trend by offering on demand 3D entertainment.


I also wanted to include a link to this Asian CNET article introducing a new iphone 5 screen protector which can turn the screen into a 3D capable display. While only the iphone 5 sized screen has been developed to date, the "EyeFly" company is hoping to release more phone/tablet sizes within the next year. http://asia.cnet.com/eyefly-3d-screen-protector-makes-iphone-5-3d-capable-62220998.htm

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

3D TV gets Emmy Nods

Hey All,

We all talk a lot about promoting 3D and pushing the medium in order to popularize the medium and foster more work within 3D. This past Monday I was pleased to see that the Cameron Pace Group, formed by James Cameron and Vicent Pace (CPG), along with ESPN and CBS have been nominated for Emmy awards in sports entertainment broadcasting. In spite of news reports claiming the demise of 3D TV, CPG and ESPN have been gaining traction through their sports broadcasting and have been creating significant television buzz for their coverage of the X Games and PGA tournament coverage in 3D. Now, after securing Emmy nominations, in competition alongside 2D television, CPG is excited about and confident in the future of 3D television. They believe the key to 3D television is to provide productions affordable new technology production which integrates video or film into both 2D and 3D formats. They call this idea "5D." For the X Games, they used 34 cameras with 5 different rig variations suspended as much as 900 feet in the air to get full coverage. For their PGA coverage, 28 cameras and 7 rigs were used.

“Our engineering efforts always focus on ways to enable broadcasters to do more with less,” said Vince Pace, CPG’s co-chairman and CEO. “The X Games were a milestone in demonstrating that 3D innovation can also directly augment 2D production … Our goal at CPG is to enable broadcasters to generate top quality footage under any circumstances, adapting to any approach they select. For this year’s X Games, we were able to do just that.”

CPG and ESPN are very confident in the continuation of the televised medium. Hopefully the exposure and praise will foster increased popularity and prompt other companies to start investing in 3D technology/productions as well so more of us can get work! (That is unless CPG is going to hire all of us...who's crossing their fingers?)

CPG/ESPN/CBS Emmy article: http://good3dtv.com/3d-tv/cameron-pace-group-wins-emmy-nominations-shows-3dtv-isnt-dead-yet/

CPG's 5D tech: http://good3dtv.com/3d-tv/james-caneron-vincent-pace-introduces-5d-tv-tech-claims-better-future-for-3d-tvs/

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Oz and Others, Too Much Tech?

(James Franco attempting to steal your soul).

Oz topped the weekend box office results for the 2nd time in a row and of the reviews, the 3D is definitely in the forefront of conversations. In class we talk a lot about good 3D and how to effectively/ineffectively utilize the technology in our projects. The 3D Oz articles over the last few weeks seem to offer both good and bad aspects of 3D, to be debated, and I thought there were some interesting points.

This first article I found discussed the 3D technology of being too extreme and too digitized: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2013/03/oz-great-and-powerful-3d-hollywood/62920/

The article mainly discusses the digital aesthetic and calls to attention the animated world of The Hobbit in addition to Oz. The author largely pans the new direction 3D, alluding with Jurassic park quote, "In a blind pursuit to top what the other guy just did, they become only concerned with whether they can instead of whether they should." We've had a lot of discussions about the Hobbit's faster frame rate and grand CGI scenes (the troll scenes in particular), in addition to other films', and with 3D features like these currently trending, does it hurt the cinematic quality and experience that live sets and on location productions bring? It highlights an interesting view on how the industry is viewing and evolving 3D film. While I did not agree with a lot of what the writer notes, he definitely makes some good points.

In opposite views on Oz's 3D, there are articles specifically praising the lavish costuming which both critics and audiences say were greatly highlighted by the 3D. The depth of the movie was also apparently very extreme, but in a tolerable and efficient way.

Anyone see Oz over break?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Medicinal Stereoscopy

Hey All,

In stereoscopic news, 3D is becoming a part of microsurgery, and fast! A company called TrueVision has developed a 3D "Visualization and Guidance" platform for microsurgery. The technology was first used last fall on vision correction surgery and now is successfully being utilized for cataract eye surgery. By essentially creating a specialized rig utilizing microscopes, the company's technology allows for traditional surgical recordings to be broadcast in 3D in real time. Doctor's have applauded the technology since the 3D feature allows for an entire surgical staff or teaching unit to see critical depth and surgical details that normally only a single surgeon would be able see (over twice the depth of field). The 3D feed can be broadcasted to any number of 3D capable displays at any location.

While the technology is still very new, the company has noted that it's possible surgical uses within the fields of ophthalmology, neurosurgery, ENT and orthopedics are endless. An interesting use for 3D technology that can help save lives. The company notes that some Doctor's have installed displays in private waiting rooms for families to watch along, although I'm not quite sure I'm ready to stomach that showing.

For more information visit: http://www.truevisionsys.com/