Meant to be Seen, the foremost authority group on stereoscopic 3D gaming and home entertainment has joined forces with Hill Thompson, a talented MTBS member, to release Photoforms, a software program that lets anyone create true stereoscopic 3D images from a 2D picture.
Similar to the experience movie goers get in 3D theaters, gamers use S-3D technology at home for superior game immersion, visual beauty and game enjoyment. In video games, stereoscopic 3D hardware makes explosions fly out of the screen and adds a depth that makes the display look like a window rather than a flat projection. Sample hardware includes iZ3D 3D monitors, TDVision head mounted displays, and a growing selection of 3D HDTVs.
Photoforms works in conjunction with free stereoscopic 3D driver software that supports windowed 3D viewing. While the utility has been tested with iZ3D LLC drivers, additional compatibility is expected as alternate driver developers offer the same ability. A future update is expected to include full screen support as well.
"Photoforms lets you transform any 2D picture into a true, stereoscopic image. The process requires the artful eye of the user. Using simple built-in tools, you manipulate the image in a real-time 3D environment with the help of 2D image depth cues and easy mouse control. The end result is a stereoscopic image that is as breathtaking as you want it to be. When you are satisfied with your piece, just take a screen capture of it, and it will be stored as a stereo image that can be played back on any 3D solution," explained Hill Thompson, Photoforms' author.
Photoforms can dimensionalize a landscape or even accentuate the 3D details of a human hand. Combined with stereoscopic drivers and a 3D display, the end result can look like a window, or have objects or people seem to reach out to the viewer.
"Hill and I are in agreement that this is a great way to draw attention to the benefits of stereoscopic 3D technology. 3D gaming and cinema are obvious, but free do it yourself 2D/3D photo conversion is an opportunity our industry can't afford to miss," said Neil Schneider, President & CEO of Meant to be Seen.
While Photoforms has an independent website, the official forums, image galleries, and beta releases of the software are being made available at mtbs3D.com, and jointly connected through the Photoforms website.
"There is a short learning curve in getting this software to work with your favorite photographs. MTBS has the largest 3D community base in the world, and we already have very active forums and galleries. This is a great addition to help grow our industry, add some fun, and let new Photoforms users benefit from our members' experience," Schneider explained.
"I have personally converted all types of images into 3D. Paintings, landscapes, people...the opportunities are endless. I think everyone will enjoy this program, and I like the idea of my software being used to help grow 3D awareness. Neil offered to help launch the software, which I thought was a great idea since Meant to be Seen is a terrific site that serves as the 3D industry's community," said Hill Thompson.
Jointly with AMD, iZ3D, Blitz Games Studios, The Game Creators, and Guild Software, Meant to be Seen is also completing its final month of survey collections for the U-DECIDE Initiative. U-DECIDE is the first industry backed effort to determine the true opinions about 3D technology in the home and cinema by experienced 3D gamers, and customers who don't yet own 3D equipment.
By visiting http://www.mtbs3D.com/udecide.shtml, respondents can let their voice be heard and have a chance of winning one of nearly 60 great prizes donated by U-DECIDE sponsors. Prizes include 3D monitors, ATI 4800 series graphics cards, and a wide selection of video games. The survey closes January 1, 2009.
"The Photoforms software is compatible with anaglyph (red/blue) glasses for those who don't yet own a true 3D display. However, just by completing a U-DECIDE survey online, you could win a 3D monitor of your own," said Schneider.
Preliminary U-DECIDE Initiative results already demonstrate that nearly all respondents want game developers to officially support stereoscopic 3D technology, and over 90% of gamers think that 3D is either "must have" or "intriguing" technology. These statistics include gamers who don't yet own 3D equipment for themselves.
To download a free copy of Photoforms and participate with its galleries and forums, visit http://www.mtbs3D.com or http://www.Photoforms.com