3D-News Archive March 2006

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Superman Gets Bigger: IMAX 3D version in the works
3D-News Posted: Friday, March 31, 2006 (10:10 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

Warner Bros. and IMAX Corp. announced that Superman Returns will become the world's first live-action feature film to be converted from 2D to IMAX(R) 3D. IMAX will use its proprietary conversion technology to convert about 20 minutes of the film into An IMAX 3D Experience(R).

"Releasing select sequences of Superman Returns in IMAX 3D marks a groundbreaking moment in movies," said Warners' Dan Fellman. "This film is going to give fans an opportunity to be immersed in a major live-action motion picture like never before."

"The test scenes that have been converted into IMAX 3D look, sound and feel absolutely amazing," Superman Returns director Bryan Singer said. "The magic of IMAX 3D will envelop audiences in this story, enabling them to feel the emotion, drama and suspense in a completely new and unique way."

Superman Returns will be simultaneously released to IMAX(R) and conventional theatres on June 30. During select sequences, a visual cue designed by Singer will indicate when audiences should use their IMAX 3D glasses.

British Geological Survey Installs Second Virtalis System
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 (13:49 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

Last year, the British Geological Survey (BGS) installed a Virtalis StereoWorks visualization system at its Keyworth HQ. Following the success of that system, an almost identical one has been installed at BGS, Edinburgh, enabling geologists based there to explore their geological data in full stereo 3D.

Dr. Martin Smith, head of Station, BGS, Edinburgh, explained: "Geologists naturally think in 3D, but until now they have had to translate their ideas onto a 2D record. This 2D record, in the form of a map, was then re-interpreted into 3D by other geologists. With this tool the need to move from 3D to 2D and back again is negated. We have experience of visualization with the oil and gas industry, but what has impressed me about the Virtalis system is how it encourages teamwork. A project team can work together to construct a 3D model, interact with the data and interpret them as a group. I believe this could become a great training tool for young geologists, as, with a 3D model, it quickly becomes apparent what aspects require more survey work. When planning or analyzing a field survey, we can use the system to assimilate material from various sources. For example, aerial photographs can be draped onto a digital terrain model and radar, satellite imagery, digital bore holes, mine plans and any previous geological data can be overlaid, giving us the most complete picture possible."

Bill Hatton, program manager, Information Systems Development, said: "Following on from the success of the first system at Keyworth, I fully expect this investment to have the same impact for our stakeholders in the northern part of the UK. BGS has many opportunities that the Virtalis system could be a valuable part of, such as the 3D Characterization of Coast, Continental Shelf Margins and UK onshore programs."

Andrew Connell, Virtalis' technical director, explained: "This StereoWorks configuration consists of a single large screen onto which stereoscopic images are rear projected by a Christie Mirage S 4K projector, which is capable of extremely high resolution and brightness. We integrated all of the room's functions into a control system operated by a wireless touch panel, so that light, sound and other inputs can be controlled by a single button press. Additionally, to provide enhanced communication between remote locations, both systems have been provided with access grid video conferencing functions. The theatre will seat 18 people, but, as it also features a wireless IS-900 tracking system from Intersense, two to three people will be able to interact immersively with their models."

BGS Edinburgh's geologists are currently employed on several projects in Northern England and Scotland both onshore and offshore, including the Northwest Highlands Geopark, the Firth of Forth, Hadrian's Wall, the Lake District and Snowdonia. They are using various software packages to help them develop their 3D models, including GoCad, ArcScene and Fledermaus. Virtalis has also helped develop a software application to aid interpretation of geology within the Assynt area and the North Pennines Geopark. Using the tracking system, a geologist is consequently able to immerse himself in the geology and landscape and explore the data virtually.

Dr. Stuart Clarke, a survey geologist at BGS and responsible for the development of many of the 3D models, commented: "The reaction to the Virtalis system has been very positive. Now groups of between five and seven geologists can work on the pre-survey planning together, as well as the post survey analysis. The 3D element doesn't just interest geologists. It makes our data available to visitors and external clients by bringing them to life. Being able to represent in 3D what already exists could help tear down the barriers between specialists and non specialists."

VRCO and Fakespace Enable Immersive Virtual Reality Capabilities for Autodesk AliasStudio 13
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 (13:47 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

VRCO and its affiliate Fakespace Systems announced the availability of Conduit™ software for AliasStudio™ 13, formerly known as Alias StudioTools. As a member of the Autodesk Conductor Program, VRCO integrated Conduit as a plug-in to AliasStudio, thereby allowing designers to view and interact with native, three dimensional (3D) AliasStudio models in large-scale, interactive stereoscopic environments such as the Fakespace Power Wall™, walk-in immersive rooms or high-resolution tiled displays driven by Windows® PC clusters.

The advanced visualization capabilities of Conduit enable creative designers to move beyond desktop tools to better manage the tight deadlines and development demands caused by rapidly changing consumer trends. Viewing photorealistic virtual prototypes in one-to-one or larger scale, with the added insight of stereoscopic depth, can reduce the number of physical models required for design reviews and thereby save time, money and shorten development cycles. Realistic virtual prototypes also improve collaboration among design teams for better decision making. For sales and marketing applications, immersive viewing enhances customer research, creates more powerful presentations and engages potential customers for better understanding of design alternatives.

As a graphics distribution middleware, Conduit duplicates the flow of 3D commands to multiple PC graphics channels and pipelines, creating stereoscopic image formats and accommodating for the multiple graphics outputs needed by advanced, large-scale immersive and interactive displays. For more natural interaction with computer generated models, Conduit gives AliasStudio users the advantages of more advanced VR features such as motion tracking that provides realistic perspectives as the viewer moves around a model. Conduit also enables intuitive navigation and manipulation of models with wireless virtual wands and gloves.

The ability to work with native AliasStudio data in immersive environments has additional productivity benefits. Previously, in order to view 3D models in VR environments, engineers would have to convert their data to a third party viewing application, which typically required a software specialist and a significant amount of time. Furthermore, the conversion process often resulted in data integrity loss or compromises in image quality. The use of the Conduit plug-in eliminates the need for data conversion thereby saving time and ensuring the best quality data to support decision making.

"Companies who see design as imperative for competitive advantage will now have more tools available to facilitate faster, better decisions," said John Gibson, Director of Engineering Products, Autodesk. "With AliasStudio and Conduit, designers can now move seamlessly from the desktop to advanced, large-scale immersive and interactive displays for enhanced insight into their designs."

"We are pleased to be part of the Autodesk Conductor Program and to have the opportunity to expand the features of AliasStudio," said Julien Berta, VRCO's Product Manager for Conduit. "AliasStudio already promotes creativity and productivity. Conduit will literally bring another dimension of capabilities to the design and decision workflow."

StereoJet Prints and Classic American Cars in Cuba at the 3D Center of Art and Photography
3D-News Posted: Friday, March 24, 2006 (15:58 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

Jim Gasperini, multimedia artist and co-producer of the Burning Man Opera, displays his intriguing back-lit StereoJet prints, an experimental technology in which the left and right images of a stereo pair are printed on opposite surfaces of a multi-layer, transparent substrate using inks that show different colors when viewed from different angles.

In the stereo theatre, world-renowned stereographer Simon Bell presents Los Caros Viejos: Classic American Cars in Cuba, a celebration of the classic motor vehicle in stunning and colorful 3D. The Show will be accompanied by traditional Cuban music.

Please join the organizers for an artist's reception with Jim Gasperini on Thursday, April 6th at 6pm.

The show opens on April 6, 2006 and runs through May 21, 2006.

The 3D Center also houses a collection of antique and contemporary stereo cameras, viewers and other devices. Information panels and interactive displays explain the phenomenon of 3D vision. The Center's collection of stereocards are available for viewing and the reference library is open to visitors. There are daily 3D slide projections.

Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays from 1 pm until 5 pm. Open First Thursday from 6 pm until 9 pm. Admission by donation. 1928 NW Lovejoy, Portland/Oregon, USA. Tel.: 1 (503) 227-6667, Web: http://www.3dcenter.us

3 Dimensional Monitor to be Introduced at Global Gaming League Event at Time Warner Center in New York
3D-News Posted: Friday, March 24, 2006 (15:40 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

Neurok Optics, LLC, manufacturer of the iZ3D monitor for gamers is a sponsor of the upcoming TransAtlantic Showdown Event. Both gamers and attendees will be the first to experience the latest games in 2D or 3D at the iZ3D display during the free event in the 5th Floor Atrium from March 24-26.

The GGL Showdown will feature Europe's best against North America's best in four popular games: Counter-Strike 1.6 (5v5), Quake 4 Team Deathmatch (4v4), Quake 4 Duel (1v1), and Warcraft III: Frozen Throne (2v2). Gamers will battle it out for over $100,000 in cash and prizes.

"Due to improvements in video technology, our 17-inch 3D monitor is ideal for casual to professional gamers. This advanced technology is compatible with all popular current applications and allows users to gather more information and to use that information in a more sophisticated way than standard two-dimensional monitors permit," commented David Chechelashvili, Vice President of Marketing for Neurok Optics LLC.

"The iZ3D offers great image quality, a wide viewing angle and accommodates multiple users. It does not give players headaches or disorientation as earlier 3D versions did, this allows for extended periods of use and it's compatible with most current games," Chechelashvili added.

Not exclusively designed for gaming, the user-friendly monitor can be an upgrade to a standard monitor because users can easily switch between 2D and 3D modes, for word processing or cruising the web. A bright, wide viewing angle allows four to six people to experience 3D action at the same time, without any degradation to image quality.

iZ3D is an advanced video monitor capable of displaying impressive into-screen and out-of-screen 3D images with passive polarized glasses. Priced at $1,299.00 the new monitor offers a resolution of 1280x1024; a 500:1 contrast ratio; 8ms refresh rate and requires an nVidia card with two connectors.

SGI Technology Powers Award-Winning CAVE at Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 (14:53 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

First Five-Sided VR Environment Powered by SGI in Finland; Key to Display of Billions of Polygons for Manufacturing and Industrial Planning

To perform highly realistic walk-throughs and simulations of engineering, industrial planning and design projects, the School of ICT at the Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences selected technology from Silicon Graphics (OTC: SGID - News) for a Virtual Reality (VR) CAVE environment. The VR CAVE at the Finnish university, formerly called Seinajoki Polytechnic, enables them to offer their services to local, national and international companies interested in the use of cost-saving VR techniques in businesses ranging from pulp paper production to design of oil drilling platforms. University students learn the basics of VR technology, as well as using the Silicon Graphics® visualization system to write programming for the CAVE and to write new software using SGI® OpenGL® Performer. Some of the unique industrial planning and design software that has been created over the past year will allow the university to partner with CAD software manufacturers. The School of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) offers degrees in Mechatronics, (mechanics, electronics and computer control), Software Engineering, and Embedded Systems (microcontrollers for various devices).
The CAVE is Finland's first five-sided VR visualization environment, which uses the SGI system, projectors, tracked wand and stereo glasses. The floor, three walls and a ceiling, each side a 3 meter x 2.4 meter screen. Christie Digital U.K. provided the Mirage 4000 projectors and screens and the long term SGI partner Atea Finland Oy installed the SGI system with six graphics pipes. Users of the CAVE can access and study a building, and simulate and program virtual prototypes of machines, production lines or entire factories before they are built. The SGI solution was chosen for its unsurpassed ability to realistically display and instantly moves the immersive 3D CAVE images, which are composed of hundreds of millions to billions of polygons.

Since the opening of the CAVE, the School of ICT has hosted over 200 demonstrations, visualization occasions and events, and over 1,000 people from around the world have seen how the SGI-powered VR environment could benefit their businesses. These include representatives from companies that build logistics systems, two companies that build harvesters -- including John Deere and Ponsse in Finland -- and Finnish wood processing company, Metso Paper and offshore oil platform construction companies, Technip Offshore and Pl-Rauma. The most recent visitors were 10 representatives from Nautor, manufacturer of the Swan line of luxury sailing yachts, who were given the opportunity to visualize their boat model, Swan 46. An announcement of a mutual project with the university and Nautor is expected in the fall of 2006.

For most of the CAVE demonstrations, the School of ICT runs VRcontext's Walkinside(TM) 3D software on the Silicon Graphics system. The software shows a highly accurate model of an oil platform with very detailed textures. Because light and shadows are not mapped to the textures, but calculated by the computer as people move around in the CAVE, the model is very realistic.

"Whether we're showing the oil platform demo or visualizing a company's model for their potential customers in our CAVE, we run Walkinside software on the SGI system because these are incredibly huge models," said Tapio Hellman, laboratory engineer, School of ICT, Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences. "Other software does not have the capacity to run these huge models in real time and with the SGI system we have the processing power and graphics capability to run it completely. Not just a few thousands of polygons, but millions and billions of polygons are displayed realistically. We looked at PC clusters but the PC software solution would have restricted our system to be just a browser of VR models. It would have been very difficult for us to create our own software, which was very important to us. We wanted to do something else, we need the detail of billions of polygons, and the SGI graphics system has served us well."

The Virtual Seinajoki City Center

The first project created using the CAVE and the Silicon Graphics system was on behalf of the Urban Planning / Zoning Unit of Seinajoki, who wanted the School of ICT to create software and a 3D model of the planned new center of the city. The City Planning department wanted to be able to visualize the different buildings that were being designed. The project started in May 2005 and ended last fall. The school created the 3D model of the entire city center with approximately 20 new buildings using information from the city's 2D drawings on paper. They added aerial photos of the area to make it more realistic. Using the SGI system in the CAVE, they created the 3D model of the first six blocks of the new city center and, using SGI OpenGL Performer, students also created the software which allows the CAVE user to walk through the city center, select different buildings from a menu, and move, place, and rearrange the buildings in the 3D model, in real time. The university is continuing to enlarge the model within their 3D modeling course, using 3ds Max.

Virtual Reality for Pre-Construction Choices

The pre-fabricated housing industry is a large industry in Finland, along with wood products of all kinds and paper mills, because one of the country's major resources is its vast forests, known in Finland as "green gold."

The students at the School of ICT at Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences are currently involved in coding a 3D software concept for pre-fab housing manufacturers, which would allow potential customers to be able to visualize different house types, interactively for pre-construction design choices. The user would walk through the virtual house, selecting different colors or different materials for walls and floor and ceiling, and see how they affect the model in real time. What color marble in the bathroom? What color paint on the walls? Wood floors or carpets? Which carpet colors? Using the SGI-powered CAVE, the school is exploring the VR addition of furniture and kitchen appliances to the project as well. Once competed, the University will partner with a manufacturer of CAD software to release the product.

"Productive Idea" Award

The CAVE is also used for walk-through applications by nearby commercial companies. Additional commercial use and possible Finnish and international partnerships are in the works, thanks to a national "Productive Idea" award the University recently received, which has brought them national publicity, especially in financial and economic publications.

The School of ICT was invited to submit their VR CAVE for the yearly Productive Idea competition by Junior Chamber International (JCI) Finland; JCI is a worldwide federation of young leaders and entrepreneurs. The competition is arranged by JCI Finland together with Finland's major financial newspaper (Kauppalehti Optio), the OP Bank Group, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Finnish Industry Investment, Ltd., Tamro Corporation, Federation of Finnish Enterprises, the Central Chamber of Commerce and the Association for Finnish Work.

The Productive Idea judges' comments included: "The creation of the CAVE is something exceptional, including a remarkable social impact which will last a very long time. It is an excellent example of Finnish technological know-how and product development. The idea is unconventional and very up-to-date. It also has very promising economic possibilities."

The virtual reality CAVE, officially opened in February 2005, is powered by SGI Onyx®4 UltimateVision system with 10 CPUs, 14 GB main memory, and 6 graphics pipes.

XPANDing 3D Cinema
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2006 (14:30 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

XPAND, a flexible digital cinema solution that combines a wide variety of 2D & 3D entertainment content with theme park features, made its U.S. debut at ShoWest. The entertainment company's flagship product, XPAND, offers a powerful integration of dramatic digital imagery and multi-channel sound with the excitement of a theme park or location-based entertainment experience.

XPAND's digital 3D projectors, available in 1.5k resolution, 2k resolution, and DCI compliant versions, can accommodate screens up to 18-meters (59 feet) wide, and for giant-screen theaters (including Domes), digital projector systems are available in resolutions up to 8k. To the already 3D immersive experience, XPAND adds participatory features with enhanced moving seats that offer multiple effects options, such as air blasts, ticklers, and lightning. All of these special effects can be custom-synchronized to the action of each movie title. These SFX seats not only provide a dual-motion ride but a wired interactive system, which can be employed to create truly interactive experiences and to play interactive games. An industry advanced lighting system and effects including rain, wind and fog can also be programmed individually for each entertainment title.

XPAND's extraordinary melding of advanced entertainment technologies is the result of a brand new joint venture between Kolosej Entertainment Group, a fast growing European entertainment company and part of the financial-based KD Group and Edwards Technologies, Inc., a Southern California designer and provider of digital 3D theatre systems for theme parks, museums and entertainment venues worldwide.

"XPAND transforms the cinema complex into a dynamic and very attractive entertainment environment," says Sergej Racman, President of XPAND. "Just imagine watching the movie 'Shrek' and being able to ride with him on his horse with the SFX Seats, feel the wind and rain during a storm or even smell the flowers along the ride. There's no home theatre or even digital cinema - no matter how advanced - that can create an experience that even comes close to this."

The flexibility of the XPAND digital cinema solution is unparalleled in the industry. The system can be easily configured to provide diverse entertainment opportunities to four distinct markets:

  • Blockbusters. Turn your cinema into an immersive digital experience with the XPAND system. Digital versions of feature-length blockbusters are ideal for movie lovers who prefer the pristine images and 3D immersive sound. Audiences enjoy the added thrill of XPAND's special effects, which can be custom-programmed to suit any movie.
  • Digital Giant Screen Content. You'll have access to 45 films from the giant screen "IMAX" library. Both 2D and 3D films including "Bugs", "Mysteries of Egypt", "Sharks 3D", "Wild Safari 3D" and "Haunted Castle" are among those available, a sure sell for family entertainment. XPAND is a distributor of content by Attraction Media, nWave Entertainment and K2 Communications.
  • Edutainment presentations, targeting schools, groups and families. Groups, companies and institutions can take advantage of the different capabilities – including personalized interactivity, special effects and digital projection.
  • Multi-sensory experiences turn the multiplex into a destination for afternoon and late night crowds. Multi-channel digital audio, 2D and 3D digital projection, interactive games, customized lighting effects and a variety of sensory effects can be programmed to create compelling creative experiences.
XPAND plans to partner with a minimum of ten international exhibitors who will enjoy substantial financial support from XPAND with regard to technology, installation, ongoing operations and marketing.

XPAND comes in three turnkey solutions:
  • The full solution includes a 3D digital system (HD 1.5k, 2k, or DCI-compliant projection, sound system, screen, server, control console), SFX moving seats and in-theater effects.
  • The enhanced solution includes the 3D digital system with in-theater effects.
  • The basic solution includes the exceptional 3D digital cinema system.

Naked eye 3D
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2006 (14:17 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

sax3d.com has teamed up with NewSight to develop a daylight compatible autostereoscopic 3D-projection system called "NewView with HOPS.-3D". This system allows to perceive lifelike and special images with the naked eye – there is no need for glasses.

The new projection surface, HOPS.-3D, developed by sax3d.com, works on a holographic principle. The image on the screen is only visible to one eye when the light of the projector hits the screen at a specific angle. Incoming light from other angles don't interfere with the image quality.

REAL D Unveils 'REAL D Ready' Program to Elevate Quality 3D Standards
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2006 (17:34 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

REAL D launched "REAL D Ready" to guide the exhibition and creative communities as they prepare for the widespread rollout of digital 3D cinema. REAL D Ready assures critical cinema components are fully interoperable "out of the box" for the flawless exhibition of digital 3D content. As part of REAL D Ready, the company is also working with the entertainment industry to equip studios, post-production houses and screening rooms with REAL D Cinema systems, so filmmakers can perfect content for the platform.

"As the industry leader, it's our obligation to the community to make the migration to digital 3D cinema as easy and seamless as possible," said Joseph Peixoto, President of Worldwide Cinema, REAL D. "The REAL D Ready program elevates quality 3D standards by eliminating the guesswork for exhibitors and content creators."

REAL D Ready

Only REAL D offers the theatrical industry a market-proven 3D system that seamlessly integrates with existing digital cinema projection technology to deliver compelling entertainment experiences to audiences. REAL D Ready was established to guide theater owners in upgrading cinema equipment as they prepare for the massive rollout of 3D cinema, expected to surpass 1,000 screens globally in 2007. Additionally, REAL D is providing studios and post-production houses with REAL D Cinema systems so filmmakers can produce, test and screen content in the REAL D Cinema format in order to deliver the highest quality 3D entertainment experiences to viewing audiences.

REAL D Ready digital cinema partners include Barco Digital Cinema, Christie Digital Systems, Doremi Cinema, Kodak Digital Cinema, NEC Corporation and QuVIS.

In the future, the REAL D Ready program will include theater screen manufacturers to further guide theater owners in the selection of high-gain screens tailored for 3D exhibition.

REAL D 3D Forum

REAL D also launched the "REAL D 3D Forum" to give moviegoers, filmmakers, scientists and engineers - anyone interested in 3D - a place to interact and learn more about the creation, exhibition and science of 3D. As the worldwide leader in 3D visualization technology, having provided solutions to cinema and scientific/R&D organizations, REAL D is best-suited to share leading practices with the community to elevate the 3D medium. REAL D has gathered valuable insights and techniques on all aspects of 3D that will be shared as part of the REAL D 3D Forum, which includes Executive blogs by REAL D executives and guest blogs from industry leaders, Bulletin boards, where participants can post questions to be answered by 3D industry professionals and Interactive forums focused on 3D cinema, content creation and science. The REAL D 3D Forum is available at http://www.reald.com/forum.asp

REAL D Cinema Exhibition Partners

REAL D Cinema has installed systems in theaters in seven countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, UK and Germany. Among REAL D Cinema's North American theatrical partners are AMC Theatres, Century Theatres, CINEMEX, Cinepolis, Dickinson Theatres, Harkins Theatres, Loews Cineplex Entertainment, MMCinemas, Muvico Theaters, National Amusements, Rave Motion Picture Theaters and Regal Entertainment Group.

Sony Pictures Animation's Open Season to be simultaneously released as IMAX(R) 3D film in September
3D-News Posted: Thursday, March 9, 2006 (14:10 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

IMAX Corporation and Sony Pictures Entertainment announced that Sony Pictures Animation's first CG project Open Season, an animated feature from directors Roger Allers, the acclaimed director of The Lion King, Jill Culton, whose credits include Toy Story 2 and Monsters Inc., and co-director Anthony Stacchi (credits include ANTZ) will be released in IMAX® 3D simultaneously with the motion picture's premiere in conventional theatres on September 29, 2006. The motion picture will be digitally converted into IMAX 3D and re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® through IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. Sony Pictures Releasing will be the exclusive distributor of the motion picture to IMAX® theatres worldwide.

Open Season stars the vocal talents of Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Debra Messing and Gary Sinise.

IMAX's 2006 film slate now includes six new digitally re-mastered Hollywood films scheduled to be released day-and-date to IMAX theatres, and one original IMAX 3D film, Deep Sea 3D, which opened last weekend. Open Season brings the total number of new IMAX 3D releases for the year to four. The deal marks the second IMAX DMR release for Sony Pictures Entertainment, following the studio's 2004 release of Spider-Man® 2: The IMAX Experience.

"The amazing immersive quality of IMAX 3D will give moviegoers an opportunity to experience the first full-length animated motion picture from Sony Pictures Animation in a very special way," said Rory Bruer, President of Domestic Distribution Releasing. "This is a format that has proven especially successful with family features, and the IMAX theatre network helps generate incremental revenue for event titles such as Open Season. We are pleased to be an important part of IMAX's 2006 lineup."

"We are excited to expand our partnership with Sony Pictures to bring Open Season to IMAX theatres in September," said IMAX Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. "Sony Pictures has always produced incredible films, and as the studio invests in the animation business, the addition of Open Season to our strong 2006 film slate will enable IMAX theatre operators to attract moviegoers of all ages through the fall season."

"We began a successful working relationship with Sony Pictures several years ago with Spider-Man® 2, and we are delighted to work with them again," said Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. "The popularity of IMAX 3D has never been stronger and we are thrilled to offer moviegoers Open Season as the fourth IMAX 3D title for 2006."

In Columbia Pictures' new action-adventure comedy Open Season, the first feature-length animated motion picture from Sony Pictures Animation, Boog (Martin Lawrence), a grizzly bear with no survival skills, has his perfect world in the tranquil town of Timberline turned upside-down when he meets Elliot (Ashton Kutcher), a scrawny, fast-talking wild mule deer. Elliot arrives in Timberline, missing an antler, and strapped to the hood of a truck, courtesy of the paranoid uber hunter Shaw (Gary Sinise). Against his better judgment, Boog frees Elliot. Elliot attempts to return the favor by "freeing" Boog from his idyllic existence with his beloved Park Ranger Beth (Debra Messing), who raised him since he was a cub. Things quickly spiral out of control. The two troublemakers are relocated together to the wild...just three days before open season! With hunting season upon them and Shaw in hot pursuit, Boog and Elliot must learn to work together and unite the woodland creatures. In a rowdy, madcap battle, they make the woods safe once and for all by turning the hunters into the hunted.

Philips Introduces New 42 Inch 3D LCD Display for a Stunning 3D Experience
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, March 8, 2006 (17:24 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

Enhanced depth performance for exciting out-of-screen 3D effects

Expanding its product portfolio of 3D displays for the professional market, Philips 3D Solutions introduces its 42" 3D WOW display with enhanced depth performance. Featuring an out-of-screen performance, whereby objects virtually fly in front of the screen, it immediately grabs the attention of the viewer. Philips 3D WOW display is intended for use in media rich environments such as stores and shopping malls to attract the visitors' attention and leave them with an extraordinary and entertaining 3D experience.

Philips 3D displays allow multiple users to view 3D content at the same time within a large comfort zone, providing a sustainable 3D viewing experience without the need for special viewing glasses. The 42" 42-3D6W01 WOW is especially designed for applications that require an eye-catching 3D viewing experience. It includes a new lens design based on the slanted multi-view Lenticular lens technology, known from the 3D6C01 Comfort type that was designed for a natural 3D experience. Hence, the same unique advantages are offered: full brightness, full contrast, and true color representation. Besides 3D viewing, the display can also be used as a high-quality screen for standard 2D content, which makes Philips 3D WOW display a versatile presentation tool for a wide variety of applications.

The 42" 3D WOW display is the second WOWvx based product from Philips that promises to help professionals create an amazing viewing experience with the latest technology to make content richer, more exciting, and more entertaining for the end-user so that it's almost "real". WOWvx provides the latest innovation in technology to attract the consumer's attention and is well positioned for use in digital signage, games, gambling, 3D visualization, etc.

At CeBIT the new 42" Philips 3D-WOW display will be demonstrated for the first time in public at the booth of Richardson Electronics GmbH - Division A.C.T. Kern in Hall 25, Stand C29. Here, a selection of 2D and 3D content will be shown including 3D animated commercials and stereoscopic video clips.

Philips 42" 3D 42-3D6W01 WOW display system is sold through Philips 3D Solutions distribution channel at a MSRP of 15,000 Euro, excluding Tax.

SeeReal Technologies show 'Next Generation' 3D Display Technology at CeBIT
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, March 7, 2006 (20:45 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

SeeReal Technologies is unveiling its long-awaited answer to the 3D display market's challenges and limitations. The "Next Generation" display will be shown for the first time at CeBIT, by appointment only to selected potential partners.

Three-dimensional imagery has been adopted early by specific industries including medicine, oil and gas exploration, and GIS. However mass-market adoption has been prevented by current limitations in the technology. These limitations include:

  • Either multi-user capability with low picture quality or single user with high picture quality.
  • Switchable between 2D and 3D with low brightness and fixed viewing position or dedicated 3D with high brightness and freedom of movement.
  • Multi-user with high hardware demands and low compatibility or single user with low hardware demands compatible with most standard applications.
  • None of the current technologies can show 2D and 3D on the screen simultaneously.
The SeeReal Next Generation Technology has overcome all of these obstacles to create a display technology that offers freedom of movement, 2D and 3D simultaneously on the screen, and resolution and brightness comparable to current 2D displays.

The interest for this technology among the large display brands is obvious. Most of the largest manufacturers have already met with SeeReal Technologies either in their headquarters in Dresden or at one of the events where SeeReal have participated.

This year's CeBIT will take place March 9-15, 2006, in Hannover, Germany. With around 30 special presentations and 800 individual lectures, CeBIT is the leading platform for know-how transfer and community building. Furthermore, with 128,000 professionals attending from across the world, no other ICT trade show enjoys such an unparalleled international profile.

Visit SeeReal in Hall 25 Stand C02.

Barco modular virtual environment operational at CETMA research center, Brindisi, Italy
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, March 7, 2006 (20:41 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

Visualization specialist Barco announced that its Modular Virtual Environment MOVE is now operational at the CETMA research center (Centro di Progettazione, Design e Tecnologie dei Materiali) in Brindisi, Italy. For main contractor 3D SRL (Kaitech Group), MoVE proved the ideal solution to meet the demanding requirements, as it allows fast and easy modulation to various configurations for stereoscopic visualization. The CETMA Virtual Reality center provides optimal added value to a wide range of customers active in industrial research, engineering, ergonomics and even production and distribution.

The MoVE at CETMA is an all-in-one solution consisting of three modules which can be reconfigured from a huge flat real-scale screen for project review (CADWall) to an L-shaped position for three dimensional insight in materials and products, to a virtual theater with side wings under an angle of 45 degrees for large team collaboration, and finally to a cube-like environment (I-Space) completely immersing the users in a virtual reality.

Each module is powered by two Barco SIM5 single-chip DLP projectors to deliver impressive passive stereoscopic images on a matching screen of 3.2m by 2.4m per module. Both wing modules can be easily moved to any desired position, always forming a single stereoscopic environment with almost invisible seams. The Barco optimized Infitec high quality color filtering splits the color spectrum to each eye for a ghost-free stereo separation without requiring electronic stereo glasses, so that larger teams can use the VR center and analyze projects with full freedom of motion. When stereoscopic visualization is not required, the system can be switched to mono reproduction.

A new application domain for the CETMA virtual center turned out to be the reconstruction of an archeological site in virtual reality to preserve the, until now lost, local Italian elements of its cultural patrimony. The versatility of the Barco MoVE enables different groups to participate and engage in research and development. Barco's MoVE is the key tool in collaborative, immersive visualization at CETMA.

Improving display and rendering technology for virtual environments
3D-News Posted: Saturday, March 4, 2006 (15:36 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

IMPROVE is an FP6-IST European research project addressing the strategic objective on Advanced Displays. The aim of IMPROVE is to improve lightweight near-to-the-eye displays and tiled stereoscopic large size displays, on both the hardware and software levels.

The aim of this project is to improve lightweight near-to-the-eye displays and tiled stereoscopic large size displays. The improvements on the hardware level consist in developing a unique stereoscopic head mounted display (HMD) using emerging display technology such as OLEDs. For tiled stereoscopic large screen displays improved calibration techniques will be developed to ease and accelerate their use. On the software level improvements comprise the fidelity of the content to be displayed (rendering quality), the interfacing between the user and the displays through innovative 2D/3D interaction techniques for mixed realities and advanced tracking systems. The achievements of IMPROVE are integrated into a collaborative mixed reality product development environment, showcased and evaluated in two application scenarios: collaborative product design in the car industry and architectural design.

The foci of IMPROVE are on the following topics:

  • To develop stereoscopic lightweight transparent eyeglasses with OLED-based micro-projectors. Transparency will be achieved through real optical see-through capabilities (in contrast to commonly applied video-mixing). New features such as partial darkening of the displays will enable mutual occlusion between real and virtual objects in mixed reality applications.
  • Improvements on micro emissive displays. Research will be dedicated to investigating higher brightness microdisplay luminance levels suitable for see-through HMD configurations and for investigating methods of contrast enhancement to create favourable viewing conditions. This research will include work on developing new OLED device structures that emit higher levels of light and will include looking at the use of novel materials, which may include novel polymers, more transparent electrodes and encapsulation materials in MEDs standard OLED device structures. This work will culminate in higher brightness monochrome and colour OLED displays being demonstrated on MEDs existing CMOS backplanes.
  • To improve on tiled large scale displays. Tiled large screen displays are big displays combining together many off-the-shelf beamers aiming at higher resolution and brightness. The tiling entails some problems such as geometric and colour calibration. Within IMPROVE new calibration techniques are developed to ease the use of tiled large screen projection screens.
  • To enhance the realism of the displayed virtual objects, especially in mixed reality scenes through seamlessly melting together real and virtual objects by light acquisition and physically-based light simulation techniques.
  • To improve user interaction with those displays through new interaction metaphors and tracking approaches (e.g. large area tracking for mobile users).
  • To integrate and demonstrate large scale displays with near-to-the eye displays in innovative collaborative mixed reality product development for industrial users.
For more information, see http://www.improve-eu.info

Fakespace Introduces Eight Megapixel Active Stereo Projection System
3D-News Posted: Saturday, March 4, 2006 (15:31 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

Fakespace Systems Inc. announced the availability of the Beacon 8MP, a stereoscopic projection system with an unprecedented 8.85 megapixel native resolution. The incredible spatial detail possible with the Beacon 8MP is ideal for terascale data and image critical applications such as scientific research, vehicle design reviews and geophysical interpretation and drill planning. Two of these projectors will be used to create a 10' x 10', 14 megapixel display at the Virtual Reality Applications Center (VRAC) of Iowa State University during the Human Computer Interaction Forum, April 12, 2006.

The Beacon 8MP uses patent-pending shutter technology developed by Fakespace to produce active stereo image quality and ultra-high resolution without the need to tile multiple projectors of lesser resolutions. At the core of the Beacon 8MP projector are two light engines that each display 4096 x 2160 resolution and 5,000 lumens of brightness. Electronic shutters placed in front of each light engine alternate on and off in rapid succession to generate separate left eye and right eye images. When the Beacon shutters are synchronized with electronic shutter glasses, high quality active stereo images can be viewed. Active stereo at this native resolution cannot currently be achieved any other way.

The Beacon 8MP eliminates the artifacts of projector blending and tiling for continuous detail across the entire projected image. If active stereo-capable DLP® projectors were used to create this resolution, up to six DLP projectors would be required, and they would have to edge matched into a tiled array. Edge matching results in visible lines between projectors that are acceptable for some applications, such as automotive styling. Also, uneven brightness and colors appear across the entire image due to hot-spotting of multiple projectors. An alternative to this is edge blending, which would require up to twelve DLP projectors. While edge blending eliminates the visible line between projectors, a reduction in pixels results due to the overlap of projectors. Further, electronic and/or optical blending technologies can still introduce visible brightness and contrast artifacts that require periodic maintenance.

Fakespace also offers the new 8.85 megapixel resolution in a polarized (passive) stereoscopic configuration, where lightweight paper or plastic glasses can be used. However, the Beacon technology creates significant advantages for applications where image quality is imperative. The alternate light engine shuttering presents just one image for each eye on the screen at one time. There isn't any possibility of crosstalk (ghosting), which can occur with polarized systems where both left and right eye images are on the screen all the time. Crosstalk is very fatiguing for the viewer and reduces the amount of time viewers can work in immersive environments. Further, image contrast improves when only one image is on the screen at a time.

"Beacon 8MP has incredible potential for spatially complex, 3D images used in critical review sessions such as for vehicle design," said Kurt Hoffmeister, Vice President of Engineering for Fakespace Systems. "Imagine the possibility of creating a fully immersive room environment that displays over one hundred million pixels."

3D presentation without glasses – true spatial vision from Spatial View
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, March 1, 2006 (6:53 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

The next step in 3D visual perception is taking a leap forward. Fresh on the footsteps of the advent of the new high resolution TV standard of HDTV, true 3D presentation of digital material in virtual space is now another stride closer. At CeBIT 2006, Spatial View will be showing off the hardware displays and software applications that are making true 3D spatial vision possible, comfortably and brilliantly. Images, objects, and scenes that used to appear flat on the screen are now visible in all their dimensionality, projecting in the space in front of the display as well as in the depth within it.

The specialized and cumbersome 3D glasses needed to see most 3D presentations are outdated and outmoded by Spatial View's software and auto-stereoscopic displays, which can be seen in varying sizes at the Spatial View booth (C 42 in pavilion 25). Among them will be a 24" 3D display equipped with the new optical element form Spatial View Manufacturing (M) of Kuala Lumpur, which delivers high image quality in brilliant resolution while retaining brightness and contrast. With this SVI multi-view technology, several viewers can enjoy the 3D experience at the same time - from different angles, heights, and perspectives and all without glasses.

SVI's latest breakthrough, a single-view prototype auto-stereoscopic display will also be shown by appointment only. Features include the highest precision of glasses-free stereo rendition possible. Courtesy of an eye-tracking system, all resolution, brightness, and range of depth and projection are retained as the viewer moves freely in front of the display. Viewing appointments for the prototype can be made through the Spatial View website or by contacting the SVI Toronto or Dresden offices.

All the products that comprise the Spatial View software suite support these display technologies and can be seen at CeBIT 2006. SVI PowerTools will help everyone get started in the 3D world. Stereo images can be prepared quickly and easily for presentation on any type of 3D display. SVI PowerPlayer now in its new 2.0 version shows rendered images or video sequences on all stereoscopic displays. The SVI Plug-ins for the auto-stereoscopic visualization of data created with 3D software applications like 3ds Max and Cinema 4D will be featured as well.

The patented interaction-device, SVI SpaceTool, is not to be missed. It makes using a mouse superfluous: through purely intuitive interaction – moving the fingers in front of the screen – objects can be manipulated in position and direction. Not only can project teams visualize their 3D construction data in true-space models, but they can also spin and turn those "virtual prototypes" around while discussing and evaluating them.

All can be seen at CeBIT 2006, March 9-15, 2006, Hanover Fair (Germany), Hall 25 Stand C4.

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Last modified on August 31, 2006

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