3D-News Archive March 2003

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Dynamic Digital Depth and CAChe Group of Fujitsu America Debut Molecular Modeling in 3D With No Glasses Required
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2003 (15:32 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

DDD Group plc ("DDD") in conjunction with CAChe Group, a division of Fujitsu America, yesterday announced the debut of DDD's TriDef(TM) Visualizer at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in New Orleans at the Morial Convention Center, March 24th - 26th.

Using TriDef Visualizer, CAChe's award-winning molecular modeling software will be presented at CAChe Group's booth (#908) on a 20" 3D LCD and a 42" glasses-free 3D plasma display. TriDef(TM) Visualizer enables the CAChe software to output to glasses-free stereoscopic 3D displays in real-time, thus enabling scientists to visualize the true spatial relationships of molecular models without the need to wear 3D glasses.

Using DDD's unique approach, the CAChe molecular modeling software, developed in OpenGL, has been integrated with the latest 3D LCD and plasma displays without making any changes to the CAChe software application. Through the TriDef(TM) Control Panel the end user is able to simply and quickly select among a broad range of 3D LCD and plasma displays from manufacturers including 4D-Vision GmbH and StereoGraphics Corporation. The CAChe molecular models may be viewed simultaneously in 2D and 3D on separate screens, making the adoption of 3D displays by existing CAChe software users a very simple and straightforward process.

"Since we introduced the CAChe molecular modeling software over a decade ago, it has always supported 3D stereo presentation, which is an important aspect of understanding the structure of molecular models," commented David Gallagher, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of CAChe Group. "With DDD's TriDef Visualizer, it has been very easy for us to extend the capabilities of our product, which will enable our customers to adopt the emerging 3D LCD and plasma displays."

"OpenGL software applications are extensively used in the scientific, visualization and simulation industries," said Chris Yewdall, President & CEO of DDD. "TriDef Visualizer makes it possible for us to simply and quickly enable many of these for use with 3D displays, further broadening the potential applications and customer base for DDD's products and services."

The CAChe suite of software tools for molecular modeling, originally launched in 1989, has won a variety of awards and is primarily used by experimental chemists conducting life sciences and materials research, as well as educators at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Fujitsu Limited is a leading provider of comprehensive information technology and network solutions for the global marketplace, with world-class hardware and software technology in computers, telecommunications and microelectronics around the world.

DDD is transforming the viewing experience with applications for glasses-free 3D displays. Its patented technologies enable 3D viewing without glasses; supply of 3D content through 2D to 3D conversion; simple integration of computer graphics applications with 3D displays; and 3D transmission over existing networks. More information is available at www.ddd.com.

An experience for all senses - as of 2003, Europa-Park visitors can experience the world of 4-D
3D-News Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2003 (16:07 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

4D Cinema. EuropaparkBeginning in April 2003, visitors of Germany´s largest theme park will have the chance to travel into the 4th dimension. The new 448-seat 4-D theater, opening at the beginning of the 2003 season in the French themed area, will be a spectacular attraction for the whole family.

Equipped with surround-sound and a gigantic screen measuring 19 x 9 meters, the "Magic Cinema 4D" will provide visitors with a different view of the Earth and its wildlife. In the film "Panda Vision", visitors will meet a panda daydreaming of a better world. They will dive into the dream, encounter other animals and go on a wonderful expedition through the marvels of our Earth. The sea turtle will take the visitors into the depths of the ocean with its colourful reefs and the diverse flora and fauna. Children as well as adults will be thrilled by the little monkey that romps around the treetops of the jungle, swinging from branch to branch. Also the clear and icy landscape of the Antarctica with its jolly penguins and clumsy polar bears will fascinate everybody – in "Panda Vision" the visitors will surely be enchanted by the animal world and nature of our Earth.

In cooperation with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF Germany), the world’s biggest nature conservation organization, Europa-Park presents a fantastic voyage in 4-D through the natural wonders of our planet - colorful, memorable and full of surprises. With the help of advanced computer animation animals and landscapes, which "surround" the visitors and take them into another reality, have been created. The awareness of our environment is being improved by presenting it as something fascinating and great, but also showing that it is vulnerable and can be easily destroyed. A unique and breathtaking experience - welcome to the Fourth Dimension!

For companies the Confertainment Center also offers the possibility of using the new facility, with its state-of-the-art equipment, for meetings and conferences.

Europa-Park is open daily between 9 a. m. and 6 p. m. from April 5th to November 9th, 2003 (longer opening hours during the peak season), and in winter from November 29th, 2003 to January 6th, 2004 (except December 24th and 25th).

More information is also available at the Europa-Park Website at http://www.europapark.de.

Southern Cross International Exhibition of Stereo Photography
3D-News Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2003 (14:09 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

Entries to the 23rd Southern Cross International Exhibition of Stereo Photography close in Sydney, Australia on March 28, 2003.

It is recommended that entries from thee US and Europe be airmailed no later than Friday March 21st.

Entry fee is US$8

Results are promptly emailed to those who give E-Mail addresses and also put up on the appropriate website.

Entry forms can be downloaded from the PSA-SD website at: http://home.attbi.com/~psastereo/

10 Awards are given as follows:

    Best of Show - PSA Stereo Division Medal (Gold)

    Second Best of Show - PSA Stereo Division Medal

    Contemporary (including computer assisted) - Kodak

    Use of early or late light - Phil Hollis Memorial
    Medal (donated by Victorian 3-D Society)

    Photo-Travel - Southern Cross Silver Medal

    Action - Southern Cross Silver Medal

    Living Animal or Bird or Flower - Southern Cross
    Bronze Medal

    Stereoscopic Effect - Sydney Stereo Camera
    Club Medal

    Landscape / Seascape - Harold Grenenger Memorial

    New Southern Cross Exhibitor - H A Tregellas Medal
    (donated by the Australian Stereoscopic Society)

Being an Australian National Stereo Convention year, this year's exhibition will be projected first in Sydney and then at the Australian National Stereo Convention in Bendigo Victoria. It is expected that more than 200 people will see the two showings.

3D Consortium Formed to Create 3D Display Market
3D-News Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2003 (2:50 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

Five major Japanese companies have recently banded together to form the 3D Consortium whose aim is to enhance the potential market for 3D by working to develop and expand I/O devices for 3D displays, improve the environment for the development and distribution of 3D content, and promote the commercial exploitation of this new technology in a wide variety of application areas.

The five steering members of the Consortium are:
Itochu Corporation (Tokyo; Uichiro Niwa, President & CEO)
NTT DATA Corporation (Tokyo; Toshiharu Aoki, President & CEO)
SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. (Osaka; Yukinori Kuwano, President & COO)
Sharp Corporation (Osaka; Katsuhiko Machida, President)
Sony Corporation (Tokyo; Kunitake Ando, President & COO)

The 3D Consortium is composed of 70 companies (as of March 4) including 65 standard-member companies that include the five steering members, hardware manufacturers, software vendors, content vendors, content providers, system integrators, video production houses, broadcasters, academic organizations and other interested parties. In the future, with the goal of encouraging the growth and development of a full-fledged market for 3D applications and products, the Consortium plans to implement an extensive educational campaign intended to promote the development and adoption of 3D in hardware areas such as manufacturing I/O devices and software fields such as developing content.

Compared to conventional planar (2D) displays, stereographic (3D) displays are not only capable of realistically depicting the positional relationships of objects in space, but Consortium members are also convinced that this ground-breaking technology will open up new worlds of video imaging that will provide a realistic sense of immediacy never before possible. A variety of usage scenarios are being envisioned in fields as wide-ranging as industrial design including CAD, medical, educational, entertainment, advertising/PR, broadcasting, electronic books, and more.

To deal with a number of specific issues, subcommittees are being established within the Consortium to discuss issues such as spreading image formats appropriate to various applications and I/O devices, and developing guidelines and authoring tools for creating content. In the future, the Consortium will not limit its activities to Japan, but will expand its efforts globally into various fields, and plans to aggressively promote educational activities to encourage the widespread application and expansion of 3D. The ultimate goal is to generate an unprecedented new industry and market for 3D technology.

Overview of the 3D Consortium (as of March 4, 2003)
  • Name
  •  3D Consortium
  • Date of Founding
  •  March 4, 2003
  • Steering Members (in alphabetical order)
  •  Itochu Corporation
    NTT DATA Corporation
    SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.
    Sharp Corporation
    Sony Corporation
  • Officers
    ChairmanMikio KatayamaGroup General Manager, Mobile Liquid Crystal Display Group, Sharp
    Vice ChairmanKenji TorasawaGeneral Manager, Digital Systems Laboratories, Technical Development Group, SANYO Electric
    Vice ChairmanKeiichiro ShimadaPresident, Vaio Notebook Computer Company, Mobile Network Company, Sony
    ComptrollerHaruhiko KatohDivision General Manager, Media Service Division, Business Development Group, NTT DATA
  • Consortium Business Office
  •  Digi-Book Japan Inc.
    1-3-6 Nishi-Kanda
    Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
    Tel: +81-3-5283-8640
    E-mail: jimmukyoku@3dc.gr.jp

    Media Liaison Contact Information:
    Itochu CorporationCorporate Communications DivisionTel: +81-3-3497-7293
    NTT DATA CorporationPublic Relations DivisionTel: +81-3-5546-8051
    Sharp CorporationPublic Relations DivisionTel: +81-6-6625-3006 (Osaka)
    Tel: +81-3-3260-1870 (Tokyo)
    SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.Corporate Communications Team, Corporate StrategyTel: +81-3-3837-6206 (Tokyo)
    Tel: +81-6-6994-3546 (Osaka)
    Sony CorporationCorporate CommunicationsTel: +81-3-5448-2200

    Redefining Creature Features: Max-T's Sledgehammer HD!O is Newest Addition To Jim Henson's Creature Shop™
    3D-News Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2003 (23:49 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

    Sledgehammer HD!O Powers High Resolution Computer Animation Production

    Maximum Throughput Inc. (www.max-t.com), a developer and provider of high-performance, enterprise-class networked storage solutions, announced yesterday that London, UK-based Jim Henson's Creature Shop (www.creatureshop.com) has acquired a Sledgehammer HD!O system for its computer graphics department. The visual effects facility bearing the name of its founder has recently been busy revisiting denizens of perhaps the world's most familiar street as they finalise work on "Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic" (tentative name) for Universal Studios Japan™. The stereoscopic film is part of a new ride attraction at the theme park.

    Aurelio Campa, Technical Manager of computer graphics at Jim Henson's Creature Shop, comments on the purchase: "We deal with a huge variety of digital imaging projects including high-definition TV, digital film effects, stereoscopic theme park rides, and file sizes up to 54 MByte per frame at 30 frames per second. We needed a shared storage workhorse that provided the enormous bandwidth required to simultaneously feed multiple clients, and a render farm. Max-T has pushed NAS into a new realm, providing SAN level performance with reduced management issues and rock-solid reliability. The fact that they utilize commodity hardware and transferable licenses means our TCO is as low as possible and our investment as secure as can be."

    "Since Sledgehammer HD!O was put into production at Henson's it has remained in production. It has not been rebooted nor have any operational delays been experienced. We run a variety of other servers (SGI, SAN) and at various times have had to devote attention to them. We now have 3D operators singing the praises of an NFS server," added Steve MacPherson, systems architect at The Creature Shop. "Max-T's Sledgehammer in particular has proven to be an impressive workhorse and contributed significantly to 4K stereoscopic production at Jim Henson's Creature Shop."

    "It's gratifying news," said Simon Brett, managing director of Tyrell, one of the UK's premier solution providers and among the first dealerships to embrace Max-T technology. "We were familiar with both Henson's production requirements as well as the extreme throughput capabilities of Sledgehammer HD!O, and knew the two would be a good fit."

    Michael Hughes, vice-president of business development at Maximum Throughput, added: "Tyrell's reputation for product -- as well as production -- savvy is well-deserved. Their knowledge of both sides of the equation was instrumental in making this new relationship possible -- in a manner of speaking, they could indeed tell us how to get to Sesame Street."

    Sledgehammer HD!O is a combination of smart software and commodity hardware, optimised for moving digital content at unparalleled speeds onto or off of an IP-based network. Sledgehammer HD!O can consolidate all the storage needs of a post-production facility, including HD material, regardless of the data sets in use. Sledgehammer HD!O provides, via a web-based interface, real-time SD and HD resolution video I/O capabilities, including the capability of capturing EDL-defined material. And since Sledgehammer HD!O is a true NAS device (in fact the world's fastest NAS), all networked users can access the same data at the same time regardless of the client platforms in use (Windows, UNIX, Linux, Mac, etc.).

    Unique in the industry, Max-T has no license transfer fees associated with its products. So, as commodity hardware gets faster, so will Sledgehammer HD!O -- with no additional software-related costs. Customers need only purchase their own new hardware at prevailing commodity pricing.

    About Maximum Throughput
    Maximum Throughput Inc. (www.max-t.com) is a networked storage developer whose products deliver SAN level performance over TCP/IP. The company's unique solutions provide many times the storage bandwidth of other NAS and SAN products, using software that runs on industry standard hardware. Maximum Throughput's products offer unparalleled performance, capacity management, and capacity availability, and have the lowest total cost-of-ownership in their class.

    About Jim Henson's Creature Shop™
    Jim Henson is famously known for creating series such as The Muppet Show. Academy Award-winning Jim Henson's Creature Shop is one of the pre-eminent character-building visual effects facilities serving the international film, television and advertising industries, with a reputation for creating memorable and moving film stars in such films as Cats & Dogs, Lost in Space, Babe, Brotherhood of the Wolf and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as well as Jim Henson Television's long-running drama series, Farscape (BBC).

    About Tyrell
    Tyrell is a leading provider of digital non-linear solutions. With fully operational premises in London, Bristol, Manchester and Dublin, Tyrell is able to supply and support customers across the UK and Ireland on a local basis. Tyrell's product portfolio includes Discreet, Avid, Softimage, Digidesign, Apple and other software and hardware products. For more information visit www.tyrell.co.uk.

    News of the 2003 ISU Congress
    3D-News Posted: Monday, March 10, 2003 (19:23 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

    As far as you know, the Stéréo-Club Français is in charge of the 14th Congress of the International Stereoscopic Union, which will take place at Besançon (in the East of France) from Wednesday, May 28th (2 pm) to Monday, June 2nd (late in the evening), 2003. Besançon is two hours and half from Paris (six direct fast trains per day). If you have trouble organising your trip to Besançon, the travel agency in charge of managing the registrations can help you. The address is on the Registration Form.

    An ISU Congress is an unique opportunity to meet the most famous stereo photographs in the world, with equipment and image exhibitions, outlets so that you could take stereo pictures of the best places in the area and discuss with the other participants, and it is an avalanche of the best stereo slide shows from all countries.

    It is still time to register, up to April 30th. You could also register on your arrival at
    the congress, but you cannot be sure to find an hotel or seats for the excursions, and your name will not be on the congress list. It is also still time to propose a slide show (double 50x50 or 41x101 mm), but only up to March 31st, since after that date we still need some time to organise the projection schedule and write the congress program to be distributed to the participants on their arrival.

    Already nearly 150 people registered, from many countries including very far away. You and your friends also are welcome. Your registration form is on the ISU Congress Website, http://stereoscopy.com/isu-2003, as well as all other information on the congress.

    Inventory Clearance Sale on DTI 2D/3D 18.1" Flat Panel Displays
    3D-News Posted: Saturday, March 8, 2003 (13:12 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

    Dimension Technologies, the world's only manufacturer of commercially available desktop 2D/3D switchable flat panel displays and holder of most of the world's major patents on this advanced technology, today announced a limited-time inventory clearance price on its popular 2018XLC 18.1" 2D/3D switchable display.

    The 18.1" 2D/3D switchable display, previously priced at $4995, is available for only $3495 each. Quantity discounts are available.

    Shipping is free anywhere in the world when ordering before March 21, 2003.

    The 2018XLC features an 18.1" LCD with 1280 x 1024 resolution, the ability to handle all common stereo 3D formats, and instant switchability between 2D and real depth 3D display.

    For additional information, contact Arnie Lagergren at +1 (888) 813-6950 or visit the DTI web site at www.dti3d.com

    IRIDAS Introduces World's First Uncompressed Film Resolution Playback Systems for Stereoscopic Content
    3D-News Posted: Tuesday, March 4, 2003 (22:20 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

    FrameCycler 3D and DDS Bichannel offer instant access to stereoscopic playback and precise sequence analysis

    IRIDAS, a leading developer of uncompressed digital playback technology for the film and broadcast industry, today announced the release of FrameCycler 3D and FrameCycler DDS Bichannel. With these new playback systems IRIDAS adds real time stereoscopic capabilities to its product line. Now digital artists, research facilities, and large format 3D filmmakers have immediate access to stereoscopic playback allowing for precise sequence analysis of work in progress and film resolution client reviews.

    In contrast to other 3D playback solutions, FrameCycler 3D allows artists to review sequences at variable speeds, pause, scrub, and even play backwards all in stereo vision. FrameCycler 3D supports both dual image stream or interlaced content. With a professional graphics card, the application allows for full speed film resolution playback.

    Unlimited Stereoscopic Playback Direct-From-Disk

    FrameCycler DDS Bichannel goes a step further with advanced IHSS (IRIDAS High Speed Stream) technology to stream two hi-res channels direct-from-disk. Its RAID array support means that facilities can view uncompressed sequences of any length in real time. Both FrameCycler 3D and FrameCycler DDS Bichannel are compatible with all windowed OpenGL stereo mode capable graphics adaptors and shutter glasses.

    "At times it felt we were really pushing FrameCycler DDS Bi-Channel into unknown territory," said Steve MacPherson, Systems Architect at Jim Henson's Creature Shop�. "Our project is a large format 3D Sesame Street presentation with some verrrrry long shots! Being able to review material in stereo film resolution at 30fps on high-end commodity hardware has been a lifesaver both in terms of client presentation and in terms of verifying renders." (Read the full interview at http://spotlight.iridas.com/200303/jhcs)

    Pricing and Availability

    FrameCycler 3D is available through selected resellers and from IRIDAS directly at a special introductory price of $399 for a single license. FrameCycler DDS Bichannel introductory pricing starts at $1999 per seat for the SD version.

    Site licenses are also available for both products. Further information about these and other IRIDAS products, as well academic pricing can be obtained by visiting http://www.iridas.com or by calling IRIDAS at +49 (89) 330 40 982.

    About IRIDAS

    Based in Munich, Germany, IRIDAS Digital Interaction Design is a leading provider of software-based digital media playback solutions for the global film and broadcasting industry. Its FrameCycler products are used by major animation and post-production houses including Warner Bros. Animation, Dreamworks SKG, The Walt Disney Company, Jim Henson's Creature Shop, as well as by freelance digital artists. IRIDAS was founded in 2000 and is an independent, privately held company.

    IMAX Unveils and Announces First Sale of New Theatre System Targeted to Multiplex Theatres
    3D-News Posted: Monday, March 3, 2003 (20:44 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

    Jack Loeks Theatres Becomes the First Commercial Exhibitor to Sign Deal to Install IMAX(R) MPX(TM) in a Suburban Multiplex

    IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq: IMAX; TSE: IMX) announced today that it has officially launched its new large-format theatre system designed specifically for use in multiplex theatres. Known as IMAX(R) MPX(TM), this new lower cost system allows commercial exhibitors to add an IMAX(R) theatre to an existing multiplex or to retrofit two existing multiplex auditoriums into an IMAX theatre. The development advances the Company's commercial strategy and is expected to have a significant impact on the growth of the commercial IMAX theatre network. The Company also announced that Jack Loeks Theatres Inc. has signed an agreement for the new theatre system, making the exhibitor the first to order the IMAX MPX. The new theatre will be added as part of a multiplex and is expected to open by first quarter 2004.

    IMAX MPX is a new, lighter and easier to use IMAX projection system with lower cost theatre geometries which should significantly reduce construction, installation, facility and operating costs. It will enable more commercial exhibitors to add IMAX theatres in a cost-effective manner and broaden the potential audience for IMAX films, including both Hollywood event films that have been digitally re-mastered into 15/70 format using the Company's proprietary IMAX(R) DMR(TM) technology, as well as traditional 2D and IMAX(R)3D films.

    The announcement was made on the opening day of ShoWest, the largest annual convention for the motion picture industry, where both Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler, co-Chairmen and co-CEOs of IMAX Corporation, will be speaking in front of over 500 motion picture professionals and theatre owners. Following the luncheon, IMAX has scheduled meetings with exhibitors from around the world for more detailed discussions about the new IMAX theatre system.

    "IMAX MPX is a new system which should enable us to grow our network much more rapidly with commercial exhibitors," said Messrs. Gelfond and Wechsler. "We have removed many of the barriers to entry into the commercial IMAX theatre business and are confident that this will have a significant impact on the number of our theatre signings and installations, growing our business and positively impacting our financial performance. We are very pleased to have Jack Loeks Theatres Inc. as the first exhibitor to sign on for the IMAX MPX system. We are confident that this new system offers the best presentation in cinema and when combined with IMAX DMR films, will make IMAX theatres even more attractive as a new release window for major Hollywood event films."

    "We have been extremely pleased with the performance of our existing IMAX theatre in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and are now thrilled to have a product that will enable us to bring IMAX to even more markets," added John D. Loeks, CEO, Jack Loeks Theatres, Inc. "The economics of adding IMAX theatres have been significantly improved, making the return on investment even more attractive, particularly in smaller markets. We are also incredibly excited about the potential of IMAX DMR and feel that this is the way that our customers will want to see event films. We strongly believe that the IMAX brand and The IMAX Experience(R) help to differentiate our multiplexes from our competitors."

    In 2002, IMAX introduced its revolutionary proprietary IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology, making it possible for virtually any 35mm live-action film to be transformed into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience. The first two IMAX DMR films -- Apollo 13 The IMAX Experience and Star Wars(R): Episode II Attack of the Clones The IMAX Experience -- enjoyed highly acclaimed runs in IMAX theatres, serving to position the IMAX theatre network as a potential new release window for live-action event Hollywood films. The IMAX MPX system has the ability to significantly increase the size of that release window, enabling studios to attract new audiences and increase the overall box office for the title they are distributing.

    The IMAX MPX projection system projects 15/70 film, the largest and clearest film format in the world, onto screens up to 70ft. x 44ft. that are curved and tilted forward to further immerse the audience. The theatres, which can seat up to 350 people, will utilize IMAX's proprietary sound system, comprised of multi-channel uncompressed 24bit digital audio. The projector is capable of playing both 2D (long version) and 3D films, and installs into a standard 35mm projection booth.

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