XThe Society for Information Display (SID), the leading global organization dedicated to the advancement of electronic-display technology, announced a unique 3D technology-focused addition to its program line-up for Display Week 2008, May 18-23, 2008, at the Los Angeles (California) Convention Center. The Special Session on 3D in Cinema, slated for Wednesday, May 21, will feature invited talks from leading experts in the field, on topics spanning the full 3D movie process - from content creation (animation and live action) and editing, to post production and theatrical display.
Leading 3D technology and experience provider RealD will provide stereoscopic projection equipment and viewing glasses for audience members, enabling speakers to screen illustrative clips.
DreamWorks Animation, Dolby Laboratories, Quantel, Real D, Sony Pictures Imageworks and 3ality Digital Systems will present at the session.
The session topic is timely, given viewer attendance at 3D versions of recent films such as Beowulf and Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds. Both generated record-breaking per-screen averages from 3D locations, delivering eight times the box office revenues of theaters showing the films in standard format. Moreover, conversion to digital cinema technology continues to escalate rapidly, according to U.K.-based Dodona Research. The cinema-focused consulting and research firm estimates that by 2013, half of all cinema screens worldwide will have converted to digital technology from traditional 35mm projectors, whereas about 5 percent of the global total had made the conversion as of late 2007. And, Dodona emphasizes, 3D will serve as the driver for this explosive growth.
According to the 3D in Cinema session co-chairs, Brian Berkeley and Brian Schowengerdt, "Today's 3D experience isn't, as they say, your grandparents' 3D movie. Some people still associate 3D with the gimmick-filled horror films that first emerged in the 1950s, but the technology today is both more impressive and more subtle. To truly appreciate it, you have to not only see it but understand how it works, as well."
To help Display Week attendees gain this in-depth understanding, SID created the 3D in Cinema session, inviting speakers who are working at the cutting edge of contemporary 3D movie-making to explain how the characteristics of 3D display technologies shape every aspect of the movie creation process. Topics and speakers for the session will include:
Throughout the presentations, session attendees will be treated to clips of such 3D features as Beowulf, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, Monster House, The Polar Express and U2 3D. These and other 3D pictures have each played a part in helping digital cinema continue to move to the next level. The 3D in Cinema special session will kick off with a luncheon keynote address by Andy Hendrickson, VP of technology for Walt Disney Animation Studios, who will delve into the evolution of display technology and the various display-related challenges and opportunities specific to the entertainment industry.
- It's Not Real Life: Stereoscopic Content Creation - Phil McNally, DreamWorks Animation
- Adapting "3D" CG Films for "3D" Presentation: The Technique and Technology - Rob Engle, Sony Pictures Imageworks
- Stereoscopic Live Action: Content Capture and Post Production - Steve Schklair, 3ality Digital Systems
- Post Production for Stereoscopic Movies - Norman Rouse, Quantel
- Making 3D An Integral Part of Today's Cinema Experience: A Pragmatic Approach - Jeff McNall, Dolby Laboratories
- 3D Exhibition in the Digital Age: Bringing a New Dimension to Entertainment - Rod Archer, RealD
Jeremy Devine, vice president of marketing for Dallas-based Rave Motion Pictures, the United States' largest digital-only movie exhibition company, noted that revenues for 3D features can be up to three times those generated by a 2D film. "If you didn't have the killer app of 3D cinema, digital would be limited to running other alternative content, like operas, rock concerts, some sporting events, and some animated and anime products coming down the pike. The reality is that the return on those has simply not been as dramatic as 3D, so it probably would have slowed our adoption process," said Devine.
The technology has implications beyond the movie theater, as well. Gamers have embraced stereoscopic 3D in rapidly growing numbers, as evidenced by the popularity of stereoscopic 3D certification and advocacy group Meant to be Seen (MTBS) - its year-old website has more than 3,000 registered members and 10,000 unique visitors a month. Other markets poised to make the shift to 3D digital within the next few years include home entertainment and professional displays.
The 3D in Cinema special session will be held in the L.A. Convention Center on Wednesday, May 21, from 2:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., with a question-and-answer period to follow. The cost to attend is included in the fee for the Symposium technical program, which features additional sessions on 3D display technologies and applications ("3D Applications and Measurement Techniques" from 3:40 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20; "Novel 3D Displays" and "Stereoscopic Displays" from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the morning of the Special Session; and "3D Integral Imaging and Autostereoscopic Displays" from 10:40 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 22). For those not attending the full Symposium, the session registration cost is $100. More information, including synopses of each talk, is available at http://www.sid.org/conf/sid2008/program/3d.html