3D-News Archive June 2004


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IRIS-3D Autostereoscopic Display
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2004 (14:21 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


IRIS3D (Interactive Real-time Imaging Solutions), a UK-based manufacturer of advanced 3D display systems, has announced the world's highest resolution, glasses-free 3D LCD monitor. Designed to deliver unrivalled image clarity, resolution and, most importantly, user comfort for 3D visualisation, the 20.1in. IRIS-3D (160x100x140cm, 145kg) has already been snapped up some big players in the oil and gas industry, with those in Geosciences, 3D Telepresence and Medical Imaging also showing an interest. Designed for desktop environments that require razor-sharp, high-resolution autostereoscopic visualisation (new breed of no-glasses 3D screens), the IRIS-3D features a unique dual-channel 3D projection display system (uses a concave mirror to eliminate the ghosting associated with some other stereoscopic viewing devices) that can output up to a native resolution of 1600x1200 pixels (16.7 million colours). Other key features include a brightness of just 250cd/m2, contrast ratio of 600:1 and average response time of 25ms. Graphics inputs are relatively accommodating and include two DVI-D, two VGA (15 pin D-Sub) and two S-video ports, although there are no component video inputs.

With today's computer systems generating torrents of complex data the need for sophisticated visualisation tools is critical to business success. Now, with the release of the IRIS-3D, companies can generate razor-sharp, high resolution autostereoscopic visualisation from the desktop environment, through a unique dual-channel 3D projection display system.

The IRIS-3D is the first workstation to incorporate a concave mirror system that re-directs 3D images back to the viewer and eliminates image crosstalk - the bane of more conventional autostereo display systems. For the viewer this means exceptional image clarity and viewing comfort with UXGA resolution and no glasses in sight. For industries like oil and gas, Geosciences, 3D Telepresence and Medical Imaging it means a technical revolution in the way that 3D imaging is processed.

The IRIS-3D workstation is aimed squarely at professional users who demand the ultimate in image resolution and viewing comfort. The system can take input from DVI, VGA, S-Video and composite signals and can lift data from imaging sensors like cameras, x-rays or display computer graphics from existing desktop computer systems.

Shell Exploration and Production Ltd are already using the IRIS-3D to extend their leading edge 3D subsurface visualisation capabilities. As well as a geyser of interest from the oil and gas industry its potential application within the fields of Geoscience, 3D Telepresence and Scientific Data Visualisation should not be underestimated. There has also already been significant interest from within the world of Medical Imaging.

Jacques Henri Latrigue Exhibition in London
3D-News Posted: Monday, June 28, 2004 (14:54 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


This is the first major showing in Britain of the work of the acclaimed French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986). On loan for the first time outside of Paris, and central to the exhibition, are 100 photo albums that form an extraordinary and compelling record of life in twentieth century France. 120 framed photographs are shown alongside, including rarely-seen vintage prints, and some of his cameras and diaries. The exhibition has been organised by the Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and the Donation Jacques Henri Lartigue. It opened at the Hayward Gallery, South Bank Centre, on June 24th 2004 and will be shown until September 5th-

From the age of six, Lartigue avidly photographed his family and friends. Enamoured with life, he delighted in using his camera to capture moments of happiness. Over the next 85 years he created an extraordinary archive of albums. Fashionable beauties, French high society at play, the Côte d'Azur, motor racing exploits and early experiments in flight: Lartigue photographed them all with breathtaking ease, spontaneity and vitality, revealing himself as an innocent modernist and an innate genius with the camera.

Some of Lartigue's most captivating images are of sensationally stylish ladies through the ages, including his three wives and his lovers. He married Madeleine Messager, ('Bibi'), in 1919; they had two children Dani and Véronique. In 1930 Renée Perle, a Romanian-born professional model became both his companion and favourite muse for two years. He then married Marcelle 'Coco' Paolucci in 1934. He met his third wife, Florette Orméa in Monte Carlo in 1942.

Throughout his life Lartigue moved freely in artistic, aristocratic and political circles. Among the many well-known friends and acquaintances he photographed were the French stage stars Sacha Guitry and Yvonne Printemps; artists such as Picasso and Jean Cocteau; and film directors including François Truffaut and Federico Fellini. He met John F Kennedy in France in the 50s and, in 1974, was appointed official photographer to mark Valéry Giscard d'Estaing's seven years as the President of France.

Although he exhibited with fellow photographers such as Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Man Ray, Lartigue found international fame only in his late sixties, when his first solo exhibition, selected by the renowned curator and writer on photography John Szarkowski, opened to rave reviews at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1963. The exhibition, together with the publication of a portfolio of his photographs in Life magazine, put Lartigue on the map and his best-known images, most of which are included in the Hayward exhibition, are now icons of twentieth-century photographic history.

Lartigue was born in Courbevoie, France in 1894, into one of France's wealthiest families. The family moved to Paris in 1899. A year later Lartigue took his first photographs with his father's help and camera. Soon he was developing photographic prints and noting down his thoughts and impressions on pieces of paper, which were to become the beginnings of his lifelong diary. An unfailingly curious amateur, he experimented with all the available photographic techniques, from stereoscopic images and autochromes to multiple exposures, meticulously arranging his several thousands of images in large albums. In 1915 he attended the Académie Jullian to study painting, which he pursued professionally and from 1922 onwards he exhibited in the salons of Paris and southern France. In 1979 Lartigue donated his entire photographic collection to the French State, which later formed the Donation Jacques Henri Lartigue. He died in Nice in 1986.

A fully-illustrated hardback catalogue, Lartigue: Album of a Century, accompanies the show. It includes facsimile pages from Lartigue's albums accompanied by six essays written by experts on his work: Quentin Bajac, Clément Chéroux, Maryse Cordesse, Martine d'Astier, Kevin Moore and Alain Sayag. Available at the Hayward Gallery Shop at a special exhibition price of £35. (ISBN: 1-85332-242-3) Thames & Hudson's hardback edition of Lartigue: Album of a Century will also be available in bookshops nationwide (25 June 2004, £48.00, ISBN: 0-500-54291-0).

Binocularity and brain evolution in primates
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, June 22, 2004 (14:29 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Primates from bush babies to bishops see stereoscopically: they have frontally directed, highly convergent orbits or, to put it another way, two eyes in the front of their heads. Robert Barton, an anthropologist at Durham University, argues in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (June 15, 2004) that binocular vision may be linked to the evolution of bigger brains.

He looked at the degree of orbital convergence from 76 primate species, and matched it with bodyweights from 160 species, and brain weights obtained from 43 species to see how well the size of the neocortex might line up with double vision. The big evolutionary question is: why do humans have bigger brains? Anthropologists have variously linked bigger brains to evolutionary steps such as bipedal stance, opposable thumbs, tool use and even the discovery of fire (because cooking food releases those calories needed by bigger brains). In March a University of Pennsylvania team reported that the evolutionary accident of weak jaw muscles might have helped to make room for more brainpower (because strong jaw muscles would have constrained skull growth).

Dr. Barton reports that orbital convergence correlates with expansion of visual brain structures and therefore with overall brain size across the primate order. So better information processing might explain the drift towards bigger brains. "Specific information-processing benefits of increased brain size have been notoriously difficult to identify," he writes. Seeing in stereo, perhaps linked with colour processing, might be among those benefits.

5 days of public 3D Events and a 3D movie premiere
3D-News Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2004 (13:32 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


The National Stereoscopic Association (NSA) will hold its annual 3D Exposition in Portland, Oregon July 7 through July 12, 2004. The public event will open with a full day of 3D movies at Cinema 21 followed by four days of events at Jantzen Beach Doubletree including stereo slide and digital projections, workshops and special interest meetings, an auction of 3D paraphernalia and two days of the world's largest 3D trade fair.

This year's Expo, hosted by the Cascade Stereoscopic Club of Portland, will have several special features including a full day of 3D movies on Wednesday from 9:15 am to 5 pm. The 3D movies are open to anyone registered for Wednesday's activities or for the full convention. A highlight is the American premiere of The Little Magician. New York based actor/producer, Tirlok Malik's Little Magician (http://www.littlemagician3d.com) was produced in 2003 and is a magical tale about the adventures of a little boy who moves from India to New York City and befriends 3 American kids and a dog. The majority of this 3D film is shot in New York City and represents the first time that both American and Indian children have acted together. Little Magician has achieved success at the Indian box office and will be released in the U.S. soon by the NRI TV Film Club. Malik will be present after the screening to answer questions and tell a little about the filming.

The featured 3D short subject will be Sea Dream, the award winning and popular film by Academy Award winner Murray Lerner. Lerner created a fundamental breakthrough in the creative use of 3D with Sea Dream at Florida's Marineland and Magic Journeys for the Kodak Pavilion at EPCOT. Not only has Sea Dream won a number of awards, but it was also the first of only two 3D films to be officially included in the Cannes Film Festival. It has been licensed worldwide by major theme parks over twenty countries, including Korea, Australia, England, Holland, Germany, U.S. and France. In many of those venues it has run for 5-10 successive years. A rare print of the film has been restored and is being provided for the screening. Lerner will be the keynote speaker at the convention’s awards banquet Saturday night. Spacehunter and Friday the 13th, Part III will begin the day of movies.

Another notable first for the Expo is a specially designed postal cancellation which will commemorate the event. An employee of the Post Office will be present on Saturday to cancel postcards and envelopes for anyone who would like to collect what is believed to be the first postal cancellation in 3D. The cancellation will continue to be available for one month at a local post office.

Three days of workshops, 3D digital and slide projections, displays and exhibitions will culminate in an awards banquet Saturday night with a keynote address by Murray Lerner. Best known as the director of From Mao to Mozart, for which he received the Academy Award, Lerner will discuss his career in film making and his continued interest in 3D filming. Virtually every film Lerner has produced, whether 3D or not, has won an important award at a major film festival; Secrets of the Reef was voted one of the "Ten Best" by Time Magazine, To Be a Man won a Blue Ribbon First Prize at the American Film Festival, and Festival, a full length documentary about the Newport Folk Festival featuring Bob Dylan, won the San Giorgio award at the Venice International Film Festival as well as an Academy Award® nomination.

The NSA convention and 3D Expo draws 3D enthusiasts from all over the world. Schedule and registration information are available at http://www.nsa2004.com or by calling 1 (503) 655-5326. Registration for the expo is available now online or in person at the Doubletree Jantzen Beach beginning Tuesday, July 6. Wednesday's 3D movie day registration will also be available at Cinema 21 beginning at 8:30 am, Wednesday, July 7.

Chip Miniaturizes Holography
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 (14:35 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Researchers from Chiba University and the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) in Japan have built a hologram generator on a single circuit board.

The device could eventually be used for three-dimensional television, three-dimensional visualization of statistics, and three-dimensional medical imaging.

The researchers' system consists of a special-purpose computer chip and a high-resolution liquid-crystal display panel. The system generates holograms on the screen with a half second delay for an object that consists of 1,000 points, according to the researchers.

The key to generating a hologram in near real-time is being able to compute a very large number of pixels very quickly. A good three-dimensional picture must have a dot pitch, or pixel size, of less than than 5 microns to look right to both eyes. A hologram that is 10 centimeters by 10 centimeters with a 5-micron dot pitch contains 20,000 by 20,000 pixels.

A real-time reconstruction of an image with that many pixels requires a computation speed faster than today's computers by one million times, according to the researchers. The researchers' scheme speeds the computation by programming the chip to calculate the data in parallel streams. The scheme is also scalable; multiple chips can be used to increase the speed of the system or the size of the image.

The device could be used in practical applications in five to ten years, according to the researchers. The work appeared in the May 3, 2004 issue of Optics Express.

Henry Ford Hospital Creates Operating Room of the Future
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 (14:30 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Henry Ford Hospital (Detroit/MI, USA) has designed and built a new operating room with 3-dimensional technology that takes modern robotic surgery to new levels.

Surgical teams are now performing robotic surgery for prostate cancer with enhanced efficiency, comfort and communication using this unique technology.

Aided by two 60-inch by 80-inch flat projection screens, advanced lighting, and a data monitoring and intercom system, the entire surgical team works in 3-D wearing special polarized glasses.

In traditional robotic surgery, only the surgeon, who sits at a remote console controlling tiny instruments, has a magnified view.

"This operating room is going to change the way operations are done. It is light years ahead of anything else that exists in the world," says Mani Menon, M.D., director of Henry Ford's Vattikuti Urology Institute.

"The benefit of everyone seeing in 3-D is they are all synchronized. Everybody sees the same thing and it increases surgical precision by a quantum leap."

The enhanced technology also makes the operating room a powerful teaching tool, Dr. Menon says. Images from the operating room can be sent, in 3-D, anywhere in the world to help train other surgeons.

"When a pilot takes a 747 off the ground, even if he's doing it for the first time, he's practiced it 100 hours or 1,000 hours in a simulator. When a trainee does an operation, the 3-D screen virtually allows the assistants to do the same thing," Dr. Menon says.

Dr. Menon says the "enhanced" reality operating room at Henry Ford is being used primarily for urological surgery. But it will be used in the future for other specialized procedures like heart, bariatric, vascular and orthopedic surgeries.

"I think for precision work, when tissue handling is very important, when a millimeter makes a difference, 3-D brings us that benefit," Dr. Menon says. "Surgery is something that should be delicate and precise. It should be more like painting than construction work. And this OR helps you paint your way through an operation."

Currently, the operating room is being used to perform robot-assisted prostatectomy using the da Vinci™ computer-enhanced, minimally invasive surgery system.

Using a tiny camera at the end of one laparoscope, the surgeon can operate miniaturized instruments at the end of other laparoscopes, all from a remote console with a 3-D view. This allows the surgeon an unprecedented view of the surgical site. But up until now and the development of Henry Ford's new OR, the surgeon at the console was the only member of the team with this unique view

Having performed more than 1,000 cases, the Vattikuti Urology Institute has performed more robot-assisted prostatectomies than any other hospital in the world.

With this procedure, the patient's pain, blood loss, risk of incontinence, impotence and recovery time in the hospital and at home are significantly reduced. With traditional radical prostatectomy, people are usually in the hospital for between two and three days. With robotic prostatectomy, most patients are discharged one day after surgery.

StereoGraphics Announces the SynthaGram 204 Desktop LCD; New 20'' Glasses-Free 3D Monitor for Advertising, Retail, and Tradeshows
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 (14:25 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


StereoGraphics(R) Corporation, the world's leading supplier of Stereo3D(TM) visualization products, has added to its already extensive line of SynthaGram(TM) Glasses-Free 3D(TM) monitors by launching the SynthaGram 204 Desktop LCD. The SynthaGram is a glasses-free 3D monitor that creates extremely crisp, bright and wide-angle still and moving images that rivet viewer's attention.

"The SynthaGram 204 is the best glasses-free 3D product we have ever tested," said Chris Ward, President of Lightspeed Design Group, a professional visual communications company experienced in 3D design. "The 3D appearance and contrast are excellent, and very effective in catching the eye. The 2D content is also very good. We are very enthusiastic about the SynthaGram 204."

The SynthaGram 204 is StereoGraphics' mid-range monitor with high resolution (1600 x 1200). It can be used for both desktop and countertop displays such as advertising, retail point of purchase and tradeshow displays.

The SynthaGram 204 has a new stylistic design and takes advantage of new advances in glasses-free 3D technology to create even brighter and more realistic 3D images than ever before. In addition, the SynthaGram 204 can automatically transition between DVD-quality 2D and 3D.

Pricing and Availability

The SynthaGram 204 is currently available for MSRP US$ 4,764.

For additional information on the SynthaGram Glasses-Free 3D monitors, please visit http://www.stereographics.com/synthagram, or call 800-783-2660, outside the United States 1 (415) 459-4500.

Model Shows Her Bloody Side
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 (14:08 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Bloody Roar 4 model meets fans and sells photo books.

Yuuko Ogura is a seemingly sweet woman with a hidden side. When played as a videogame character in Bloody Roar 4, she'll morph into a vicious beast. To premiere her latest photo book and meet with some videogame fans, Ms. Ogura held an event to combine both her interests in modeling for the camera and doing 3D modeling for a game.

Ms. Ogura posed in different outfits, met with her hordes of fans, posed for a stereoscopic camera, and received large pink stuffed whale-type things. It was truly an event that sent everyone home with a grin and perhaps a new book of soft-focus photographs.

3D at Neo Erotica 2004
3D-News Posted: Monday, June 14, 2004 (22:57 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


The premier New York City gallery for figurative images and erotica: Art@Large will show a medium format stereoscopic transparency by Boris Starosta in their 2nd annual juried show "Neo Erotique" - July 8 to 24. This very selective show features the most promising new fine artists in the erotic genre from all over the world.

The image "Azi Zoe Reflecting" will be shown as an original medium format 3D-slide, mounted in a self illuminated stereoscope, installed in a nice looking wall mounted frame.

Other recent erotic stereoviews by Starosta are visible in Boris' image gallery (people squeamish about images with sexual themes should not go here)

About 35 artists are represented in the show, which was juried by Grady T. Turner, New York based art critic, curator and author of "NYC Sex: How New York City Transformed Sex in America." Turner writes regularly for publications including Art in America, ARTnews, Flash Art, New York Times and Bomb.

Boris' stereoviews portfolio: http://www.eroticaphotographica.com/boris

Sharp Introduces 3D LCD Color Monitor
3D-News Posted: Sunday, June 13, 2004 (14:50 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Sharp Corp will introduce a 15-inch LCD color monitor called "LL-151D" that provides a 3D (stereoscopic) display without employing special glasses.

The monitor also allows switching to a conventional 2D (planar) display of images.

The monitor provides 1,024 x 768 pixels (XGA) when displaying in a 2D mode, but reduces the pixels by half horizontally in the 3D mode. The brightness of the display is 370cd/m2 in 2D mode and 140cd/m2 in 3D mode. The price is open and is expected to be around 115,000 - 120,000 yen at shops.

Sharp will accept orders for the new monitors from June 18, and initiate sales in the United States in July and in Japan in August.

Sharp launched a mobile phone employing a 2-inch LCD panel with the same 3D capability in November 2002 and a notebook PC with a 15-in 3D LCD panel in October 2003.

Like these predecessors, this new LCD monitor utilizes a parallax barrier by projecting respective images for the right eye and left eye on the screen for 3D display. The viewpoints for stereoscopic display are two, and thus enable stereoscopic vision only by watching the screen straight on.

LCD monitors are expected to hold the largest potential demand for 3D display of images. Such demand is especially strong in those areas like medicine, chemistry, education, equipment design, architecture and PC games.

In particular, Sharp has received many inquiries from the area of chemistry.

"Currently, scientists specializing in chemistry use a conventional monitor and a 3D display monitor together with a PC. They can do their job with just one LL-151D instead," said an official at Sharp.

Sharp plans to commercialize larger 3D LCD monitors up to a maximum size of 19-inches. The company sees the need for a different system of stereoscopic display to develop larger monitors than 19-in types.

Most 19-in. and smaller LCD monitors are for personal use. As users watch the screen straight on in most cases, the current two-viewpoint system works well enough. But monitors of 20 inches or larger usually have an audience of more than one person and so require a panel technology enabling more viewpoints.

In the future, Sharp expects to realize a capability of stereoscopic displaying only a selected part of the screen.

King of 3D Comics Featured Artist at the 3D Center of Art and Photography
3D-News Posted: Thursday, June 10, 2004 (13:18 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


The king of 3D comics, Ray Zone, is featured at the 3D Center of Art and Photography. Zone's career spans four decades and includes hundreds of 3D comic books, anaglyphic coloring books, t-shirts, murals, and other applications. The Center will display several 3D conversions by Zone and examples of work created by him during his career. Zone, who won the "Special Achievement in the Field of 3D Comics" award, has had his work displayed at the Pacific Science Center and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. Zone will be at the Center for a special artist's reception on Tuesday, July 6 from 6 - 8 pm. He will sign his comic books purchased in the Center gift shop and answer questions about his career and current projects.

The Exhibition opens on June 25 and ends on July 25, 2004.

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 Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays from 1 pm until 5 pm. Open First Thursday from 4pm until 9 pm. Admission by donation. 1928 NW Lovejoy, Portland/Oregon, USA. Tel.: 1 (503) 227-6667, Web: www.3dcenter.us.

Trinigy and SeeReal announce cooperation: 3D screens for future computer games
3D-News Posted: Thursday, June 10, 2004 (13:14 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Trinigy GmbH, Germany's market leader in 3D Game Engines, and SeeReal Technologies GmbH, one of the world's leading manufacturers of autostereoscopic displays, announced their cooperation in the games market. Trinigy's Vision 3D Game Engine will feature an optimized stereoscopic mode for SeeReal's 3D monitors, enabling all Vision developers to easily add stunning 3D effects to their games by adding a single line of code.

The cooperation of the two German technology companies finally brings Virtual Reality to the consumer-level games market and defines new quality standards: While objects displayed on traditional monitors look completely flat, the new 3D screens make game scenes appear vivid and tangible. "From the first day on, I was deeply impressed with the 3D effect", Trinigy’s managing director Florian Born explains. "Gaming on a 3D screen is a completely new, impressive experience – with excellent image quality and completely without any annoying goggles or head-mounted devices."

Until now, 3D monitors were exclusively used in research and industrial applications, where they enable the visualisation of complex three-dimensional objects and processes. New, highly sophisticated display technologies developed by SeeReal simplify the production process of 3D monitors significantly, bringing prices down to a level where stereoscopic displays become highly attractive for use in computer games. Trinigy’s and SeeReal's joint step is a logical consequence of this evolution and prepares the ground for the new notion of virtual reality in the consumer market.

Micoy Films Revolutionary Sports Training Video
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, June 9, 2004 (16:15 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Micoy, the world's only provider of True Immersive Video™ announced that it recently filmed immersive video footage to be used in an innovative sports training application to be announced later this year.

The application being developed to employ this footage will be viewed with stereoscopic (3D) depth on head-mounted displays, allowing athletes to look in any direction as they experience a true-to-life environment of real competitive action. The training product will later be offered in other formats and media as well.

"This project marks another example of one of Micoy technology's 'killer apps' – situational awareness in an immersive environment that goes beyond simple photorealism to provide three-dimensional depth," said Peter Porto, Micoy's vice president of product development. "Using the training product that is being developed with this Micoy immersive video footage, athletes will be able to train and be coached in a controlled virtual environment that is the most true-to-life available."

For more information, visit Micoy at www.micoy.com.

3DIcon Corporation Offers Vision and Steps to Commercialize Holographic Technology
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, June 8, 2004 (14:53 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


3DIcon Corporation, a communications development company, unveiled its plans for the commercialization of digital Holography.

"Imagine being able to see and talk with people anywhere in the world as if they were right in front of you," announced CEO Martin Keating. "Real-time, 360-degree, full-color images. Think of the possibilities for business, education, the military, arts and entertainment."

Keating continued. "No more telephones, televisions, personal computers, or PDAs. No more voice mails, pagers, or needless travel. In short, no more business as usual. The new holographic communications and entertainment industry, fueled by astonishing technologies now underway, promises to be bigger and vastly more significant than the Industrial Revolution and today's Internet combined. It will forever change the world. Few people really comprehend what lies ahead. Ten years from today, the names of dozens of multi-billion-dollar companies not yet started will be household words."

3DIcon recently announced that it has retained the University of Oklahoma to help it pursue the research and development pathways most likely to result in the successful commercialization of digital holography. The program is expected to take six months. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

A spokesman for the University of Oklahoma said, "Digital holography is a technology area that shows promise in three-dimensional imaging and visualization applications. The purpose of this study is to investigate the current state-of-the-art research and development activities taking place in the field of digital holography, particularly emerging technologies."

3DIcon's Keating added, "Two things have hindered the commercial development of the enhanced hologram as a communications device: (1) the cost and non-portability of the laser (not to mention that it's technically not the best medium) and (2) the lack of bandwidth. The replacement of the laser as the image carrier or replicator is upon us, and bandwidth is now everywhere. As a matter of fact, bandwidth is like a multi-lane highway looking for traffic. Holography will supply the cars.

"The communications and entertainment revolution is just beginning. Your imagination is your magic carpet to our astonishing future."

ISU workshop at NSA Convention
3D-News Posted: Monday, June 7, 2004 (22:20 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


This year the International Stereoscopic Union (ISU) will be having both a table and a workshop to promote membership at the trade fair during the National Stereoscopic Association (NSA) Convention in Portland/Oregon, USA.

The workshop will take place on Friday July 9, 2004 from 1-1:50pm.

The International Stereoscopic Union is out to unite the world of 3D photographers. President, Bob Aldridge will present an overview of the organization and its activities. Jan Burandt, Editor of "Stereoscopy" (the quarterly ISU magazine), will talk about the new aims of the publication. Shab Levy, organizer of the ISU Online and Club Folios, will describe how you can share your images with an international audience for critique.

Active ISU members from around the world will be present; come meet them and hear about the benefits of ISU membership.

See http://www.nsa2004.com for more information about the NSA convention - and http://www.isu3d.org for more information about the ISU.

Singapore's Nanyang Technological University to host 2 big Virtual Reality meetings
3D-News Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2004 (12:02 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) will play host to Graphite 2004 and VRCAI 2004, two major conferences on computer graphics, Virtual Reality, and its applications in industry, from 15-18 June.

The conferences aim to reach out to developers, users, and researchers from the technical, academic and business communities. They are expected to attract over 200 delegates from more than 20 countries.

Graphite 2004 and VRCAI 2004 will be held at the same time as BroadcastAsia2004, an electronic media trade show at the Singapore Expo.

Highlights of the conferences include technical sessions by three keynote speakers.

Professor James Foley of Georgia Institute of Technology will speak on the 'Grand Challenges in Computer Graphics' on June 16.

Professor Jose L Encarnacao, a pioneer in computer graphics research and development, will deliver a keynote session on 'The Vision of Ambient Intelligence and How to Make It Happen' on June 17.

Dr Jackie Morie from the University of Southern California will speak on 'Augmented Cognition and Augmented Art: The Evolution of Traditional VR' on June 18.

There will also be tutorials given by computer graphics experts, an electronic theatre display screening top computer graphics, a stereoscopic show on three-dimensional animation, and an emerging technology display.

Bringing the Martian landscape to the silver screen
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, June 2, 2004 (11:08 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


A bowl of blueberries by the thousands, a rock called "Lion Stone," dunes of red sand, the shoreline of a salty sea, wind-sculpted volcanic rock -- all of these features of the Martian landscape come to three-dimensional life for faculty and students when they don their 3-D glasses and step into the Visualization Laboratory at Northwestern University.

Northwestern is believed to be the only university in the country offering its faculty and students the opportunity to view 3-D images of the red planet from NASA's two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER), Spirit and Opportunity, as a component to enhance the classroom experience and for research purposes.

Suzan van der Lee, assistant professor of geological sciences, used the Mars images in her Exploration of the Solar System class to discuss the question of whether or not there was water on the rocky planet.

"Everyone had the funny glasses on in the lab, and we were able to view the same images used by NASA scientists to conclude that there was a shallow, salty sea on the surface of Mars," said van der Lee, who brought 50 undergraduate students to the Vislab in small groups during the winter quarter. "The students were very excited and thought the experience was cool. The 3-D images make Mars more real."

Scientists from Northwestern, the University of Chicago and the Adler Planetarium are bringing these images to the silver screen by taking raw data transmitted daily from the rovers, and, using involved computer programming and processing, turning black-and-white images into full-color 3-D images for academic use.

Northwestern astronomy and geology students, classes visiting from other schools, including Evanston's Roycemore School, and participants in this year's Take Your Daughter to Work Day at Northwestern have all been wowed by the spectacular images. (The 3-D images are also available to visitors to the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum.)

When NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) launched the rovers last summer, NASA recognized there would be great public interest in the mission. JPL gathered together more than 70 museums and planetariums and formed the Mars Visualization Alliance. The alliance is key in the dissemination of images from the MER mission and in explaining and presenting results of the mission to the public for educational purposes.

"Mars is not that different from an arid place here on Earth, and we can show that to people with these marvelous stereo images," said Douglas Roberts, manager of the Visualization Lab (Vislab) for information technology at Northwestern and an astronomer with the Adler Planetarium. "Most other members of the alliance are using non-stereo images prepared by NASA for the press because they don't have the time to create or the technology to project stereo images."

Roberts arranged for Northwestern to share Mars rover images with the Adler by way of the Visualization Lab and took on the labor-intensive task of manipulating the raw images into a viewable format. Each week Roberts and his colleagues receive data for about 200 images and typically make 50 stereo pictures a week, some in color. (The long-term plan is to create a Web-based library of materials -- of the Mars images and other work with which the Vislab is involved -- to share with other universities.)

As Roberts explains it, the Mars rovers are equipped with camera "eyes" and other sensors that feed them information about their environment. Two panoramic cameras (Pancams) on each rover image the Martian surface and sky. The Pancam Mast Assembly allows the cameras to rotate a full 360 degrees to obtain a panoramic view of the Martian landscape.

The range of filters on the Pancam detectors allows them to take multispectral images (images taken at various wavelengths). Using a "color wheel" with various filters, the two panoramic cameras create stereoscopic images that are later combined to produce 3-D data. Two navigation cameras (Navcams) mounted on each rover's "neck and head" also gather panoramic, 3-D imagery, primarily used to navigate the rover on Mars.

The rovers transmit images to radio telescopes in California, Spain and Australia. Image data is loaded into a database and searched for pairs of images with enough color components for a color stereo pair. Stereo visualization, also known as 3-D visualization or stereoscopy, is based on delivering slightly different images to the left and right eyes. The images appear to have depth as they are projected on a special screen.

Turning raw images into viewable images requires computer programming, plus a geowall system -- a combination of stacked projection technology using polarizing filters/glasses, fast graphics cards and inexpensive PCs which makes it possible to visualize images in stereo and to aid in the understanding of spatial relationships.

Roberts built a computer to display the Mars images and used some moderately priced software for image cropping and alignments. He then mirrored the Adler database and housed it on two servers at Northwestern. The geowall system, which was already in place, consists of a computer containing a graphic card with two video outputs. The computer runs programs such as Pokescope, a stereo program for aligning and viewing stereo photographs, and Wallview, a stereo pair viewer used for very large images.

Stereo images taken through different color filters are combined with Adobe Photoshop (graphics manipulation software) to create stereo color images. NASA scientists often take several overlapping pictures of a large area; these images must be "stitched together" and cropped to form the panoramic images and to fill in any gaps.

Two stacked portable projectors with polarizing filters on their lenses send the images to a silver screen, so called because of the metallic substance on the screen to preserve polarization. Finally (and probably most fun) are the 3-D glasses worn by visitors to the lab, similar to those used at Disneyland or IMAX theaters.

Once he had stereo images that were ready for viewing, Roberts contacted Northwestern's astronomy and geology departments to see if there was interest in using the technology in classes. Not surprisingly, both departments were eager to use the Vislab to supplement their curricula.

Northwestern will have access to the Mars images until the mission ends (currently expected sometime this fall). Roberts is working on stereo images that will be used for future Northwestern classes and as well as disseminated to other universities. As long as there is continued interest in using the images to enhance the classroom experience, the Vislab will continue to offer them.

The Mars expedition also creates enormous opportunities for Northwestern to "take the show on the road." Roberts and Mark Robinson, research associate professor of geological sciences and director of Northwestern's Center of Planetary Sciences, have given a number of presentations at the Adler Planetarium in an effort to do additional outreach and bring Mars even closer to home.

As time-consuming as the Mars project is, there are other projects going on in the Vislab. Work is under way on the 3-D visualization of solid objects such as the Eros 433 asteroid that was visited by the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) Shoemaker spacecraft, which sent back images and information about the asteroid for a year. (Eros is an S-class asteroid which means it much larger than a typical asteroid.) Robinson was a project scientist on the imaging team for the NEAR mission.

Work also is being done with Frederic Rasio, associate professor of physics and astronomy, on the visualization of 3-D calculations of dense star clusters and galactic centers.

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Last modified on August 31, 2006


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