3D-News Archive June 2014

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Research on the film 'The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug'
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 (10:41 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

We received a request by Darren Elliott, who is a student from New Zealand, completing his thesis through the University of Waikato.

Darren is researching the film 'The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug'. The research is centered on how the stereoscopic 3D and HFR elements showcased in of the film impacted audiences immersion and perceptions of reality.

He has an online questionnaire that is open to individuals around the world. It is a research project that will be adding new knowledge to the academic literature surrounding stereoscopic films. It is an area of research that is worth exploring further as there is a clear lack of existing qualitative literature surrounding audience engagement with stereoscopic film. The results so far have been very interesing and diverging, so it would be great to get a larger response number to give greater validity to the research.

The Questionnaire can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/smaug

DreamWorks Animation's How To Train Your Dragon 2 Soars To IMAX US-Theatres Starting June 13
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 (9:56 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

IMAX Corporation announced that How to Train Your Dragon 2, the second chapter of DreamWorks Animation's beloved How to Train Your Dragon franchise, will be digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX® 3D format and released across all IMAX® theatres domestically in select engagements starting June 13 , the same day the film - which will be distributed by 20th Century Fox - opens wide in the US. The film will also begin playing in select IMAX® theatres internationally on this date.

Dean DeBlois returns to direct the follow-up to the 2010 Academy Award-nominated How to Train Your Dragon, which grossed nearly $495 million at the global box office and more than $277 million internationally. Stars Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler , Craig Ferguson , America Ferrera , Jonah Hill , T.J. Miller , Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Kristen Wiig reprise their respective voice roles, joined this time by Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett, Djimon Honsou and Kit Harington .

Currently one of the best-reviewed movies of the year, How to Train Your Dragon 2 returns to the fantastical world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon, Toothless. The inseparable duo must protect the peace - and save the future of men and dragons from the power-hungry Drago.

"This is one of the most cinematic animated movies we've ever seen, and the epic nature of the film coupled with the incredible new technology DreamWorks used to create it makes this simply stunning in IMAX 3D," said Greg Foster , Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. "As with several movies that have recently taken off in IMAX, this is one of those rare films that will come to life in an incomparable way through our immersive format. Our audiences will truly feel like they are flying on the back of Toothless, and we're pleased to once again be partnering with DreamWorks Animation to bring this adventurous film to life."

The IMAX 3D release of How to Train Your Dragon 2 will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX's customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

For more information about How to Train Your Dragon 2, please visit DreamWorks Animation's official website at http://www.howtotrainyourdragon.com

Verizon Digital Media Services Launches Advanced Video Technology to Improve Content Delivery and End-User Experience
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 (9:55 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

Verizon Digital Media Services has launched a new technology designed to make the delivery of video content more efficient and to improve the viewing experience of end users.

The technology - ImageIQ® Video Bandwidth Reduction, provided by A2Zlogix - significantly reduces the size of video files without the color banding and degradation that occurs with other noise-suppression technologies. It also extends efficiencies for delivery of linear, live and video-on-demand broadcasts.

"As video content delivery drives the need for increased bandwidth capacity, Verizon Digital Media Services looks for ways to strengthen the video experience for our customers," said Chris Carey, chief product officer, Verizon Digital Media Services. "A2Zlogix's VBR technology gives our customers the ability to maintain video quality while reducing storage and transmission capacity."

This technology addresses the rapid growth of video requirements across the network without requiring large-scale infrastructure investment or sacrificing video quality. VBR technology works on the full spectrum of static and mobile devices, ranging from IMAX 3D movie screens to smartphones.

"Verizon Digital Media Services is a premium service provider in the market, and the addition of A2Zlogix technology further differentiates Verizon's service offerings with customers," said John Galluzzo, vice president of sales and business development, A2Zlogix.

VBR uses sophisticated patented algorithms based on optical-flow technology to selectively remove artifacts such as excessive film grain and noise, reducing the video file sizes and bandwidth requirements while preserving the quality of the video. This improves efficiencies in video transmission and storage and improves the end-user experience. VBR integrates seamlessly into the existing video delivery services offered by VDMS and adds a compelling enhancement that is new to the market.

Verizon Digital Media Services offers enterprises a suite of robust and flexible end-to-end video solutions for best-in-class TV Everywhere and superior over-the-top experiences. Built on one of the world's most advanced networks with a video-optimized platform, Verizon Digital Media Services delivers a vast range of content management and delivery services with carrier-grade quality, reliability, security and scale. For more information about Digital Media Services, visit http://www.verizondigitalmedia.com

Rembrandt 3D's No Glasses 3DTV Amazes Viewers at 'Fallingwater' Exhibit
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 (9:55 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

Rembrandt 3D Corp (http://rembrandt3d.com) and 3D film Producer Ken Love, announced the successful completion of their exhibition of their 3D joint film effort, Frank Lloyd Wright's "Fallingwater in 3D." Displayed on the Rembrandt 3D No Glasses TV, at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, in Greensburg Pa., the exhibit drew rave reviews.

Maureen Zang, public programs coordinator for the Westmoreland Museum remarked, "Seeing Fallingwater in 3D without glasses, without eye strain or artifacts on the Rembrandt 3D TV was quite amazing." She went on to say:

"The viewer response to the 3D has been overwhelming positive. Visitors are consistently surprised at the clarity of the picture and the perception of depth that is achieved. I feel privileged to have been involved in this project in making it available to the public."

The five-minute Ken Love 3D film featuring the world renowned Frank Lloyd Wright House, Fallingwater, was displayed at the Westmoreland Museum daily from April to June. Ken Love's film, "Fallingwater in 3D" has been well received at a variety of venues. After a February showing at the Fallingwater House site, the film was premiered at the New York Architects of America, (AIA) presentation honoring Frank Lloyd Wright protege, Edgar Tafel.

The event was hosted by the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University and the AIA NY Historic Buildings Committee. Robert Silman of Robert Silman Associates, structural engineer to Fallingwater, the Guggenheim and other iconic American architectural structures, moderated the event. Mr. Silman was particularly impressed by the richness of Frank Lloyd Wright's spatial designs as captured in the No Glasses 3D film. The film received high marks from its AIA audience for both its cinematic artistry and for the technical richness and clarity of the Rembrandt 3D No Glasses 3D image quality.

Stephen Blumenthal, Rembrandt 3D CEO noted that viewers were particularly impressed with the 'truth' of the AS3D architectural perspectives and for its 3D realism. Ken Love stated that the NY AIA crowd comments ranged from "I love it, you feel like you're in the house, it's almost like being there," to "I was just there, and the 3D realism is spot on."

Ken Love noted that the Westmoreland Museum is virtually in Fallingwater's backyard, and that seeing Fallingwater in 3D brought the house to a wider audience, exciting interest in a local phenomenon of global significance. The Westmoreland Museum is in Greensburg Pa., a short 30-minute drive from the Fallingwater House, which is located in Mill Run, Pa.

The Westmoreland Museum is currently undergoing renovations and expansions. Beginning July 17, 2013, the Westmoreland will reside at its temporary location, Westmoreland @ Route 30 (1000 Village Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601), and remain there until spring of 2015, during the expansion and renovation of the existing building.

Blumenthal went on to say, "We are delighted with the Westmoreland Museum's response to our 3D technologies artistic application. We are currently focusing on the museum exhibitions and 3D displays for office lobby art, in preparation for our Consumer AS3D product launch for fall 2014."

"At the AIA we demonstrated that the Rembrandt 3D, 4K AS3D is ready for the consumer market and I believe that the endorsements from the museum community of the Rembrandt 3D No Glasses 3DTV image quality, positions us as the undisputed leader for Picture Perfect 3DTV. Rembrandt 3D's groundbreaking advancements provide a natural, artifact free 3D experience second to none, and it's coming soon to a 'home' near you. Rembrandt 3D Auto Stereoscopic 3DTV has arrived."

Venture 3D Taps cineSync Pro for Stereo Conversion Pipeline
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 (9:55 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

Los Angeles-based 3D conversion facility Venture 3D has been involved in producing dozens of 3D versions of well-known films over the past few years, including arguably the most successful conversion of all time, Titanic 3D.

Todd Cogan, Executive Producer and Lead Stereographer at Venture 3D has been with the company since its beginning and has seen the industry evolve. From the early - and much maligned - conversion of Clash of the Titans (which Venture 3D was not a part of) to the current slew of big budget 3D blockbusters, 3D has gained great support from profit-driven studios and general acceptance from audiences.

As Cogan says "If your movie is released in 3D, it's still perceived as being a bigger movie. People are more inclined to go see it, because they think it will be bigger, more impressive." Essentially, 3D works as a marketing tool, even to audiences who prefer to view films in 2D, because a 3D version marks a film as an "event film," a major blockbuster. As 3D conversions have improved, driven by the technical innovations of companies such as Venture 3D, Stereo D, Prime Focus and others, the distinction of being shot "natively" in 3D - like Avatar - has become less important. The immersive 3D of Gravity won universal acclaim, even though it was only partly shot in 3D and had extended sequences converted in post production.

James Cameron, a pioneer of modern 3D movie making relied on Venture 3D to convert his 1997 film Titanic. After initially dismissing 3D conversions as being damaging to the "brand" of 3D, Cameron's stance was somewhat softened after seeing Venture 3D's high quality work. In an interview with The Wrap in 2012, Cogan said "Jim has been pretty vocal about his distaste for conversion. Titanic is his baby, so he didn't settle for good enough. He really put us through the wringer - but when it's done correctly, conversion can look better than a movie shot in live action. We have control over every single thing in a shot and that makes enhancing a puddle or a particular object that much easier."

The re-issued Titanic 3D went on to make over $300 million world-wide, proving that audiences have a real appetite for 3D done properly.

Key to Venture 3D's success has been their workflow. With a head office in Los Angeles and a studio in Seoul Korea, Venture 3D has been able to create a remote collaboration pipeline that essentially allows them to work 24 hours a day. Venture 3D are able to review work in progress during their day in LA and then pass on feedback to the Korean studio. As Cogan says, "If we can have all our notes done by 4pm, it'd be 8am over there and they're just sitting down at their workstations, so then they have their marching orders for the day."

For Venture 3D, this was where cineSync Pro became a vital part of their toolset. cineSync, the Academy Award-winning technology from Cospective, is an interactive review and approval tool that allows users to play video, make notes and draw annotations in sync with anyone in the world.

Using cineSync Pro, Cogan could draw annotations right onto the 3D image and communicate frame-specific notes to the Korean studio, ensuring there was no miscommunication. "The thing that I like about cineSync is that it's just so simple. It's straightforward. It's hard to describe changes by email, but a line drawn on the screen just makes sense - it's kinda universal. You can say ‘there's a bump on somebody's cheek right here' and just circle it. It's a no-brainer."

Obviously for this kind of work, being able to review the images in 3D was vital. "The work we do, you can only see it in 3D. If it's a paint artifact, then you can see that in 2D, but if it's a 3D issue like ‘his nose is too long, or his cheek is too sunken-in', then you need to see that in 3D."

Importantly, since every 3D viewing system is different, 3D review tools need to be able to output to various different devices, which cineSync Pro had to do to meet Venture 3D's requirements.

The cineSync team worked with Venture 3D to refine cineSync Pro's 3D viewing tools and Venture 3D's crew were an invaluable source of technical information and real-world experience throughout the development process. As a result, cineSync Pro became the world's standard for interactive remote review of 3D material and Venture 3D had access to a toolset that suited them perfectly.

In recent times, Venture 3D has been focussing on diversifying, while keeping their 3D conversion business active. Venture 3D was responsible for converting the 3D Metallica concert movie, overseeing the marketing material for Spiderman 2, some emergency work on OZ and Steven Chow's Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons which was #1 at the box office in China with over $200 million in revenue. In addition, they worked closely with Stereo D on Star Trek: Into Darkness, Pacific Rim and the Jurassic Park 3D re-issue, among other titles. They've also been busy with setting up an international animation project that will see them working with animators in Europe, while still being based in Los Angeles.

As for the future, Cogan says "We're looking forward to seeing what happens next and we're excited about the next stage in the evolution of Venture 3D."

The Foundry Releases OCULA 4
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 (9:54 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

The Foundry has announced the launch of OCULA 4, the latest version of its software plug-in toolset for NUKE, designed to address the problems with stereoscopic imagery.

OCULA 4 introduces a complete overhaul of The Foundry's industry standard stereo post production toolset. Rewritten engine tools and plugins provide a dramatic change in out-of-the-box quality, accuracy and pipeline automation, as well as simplified workflows to ensure fast turn-around times regardless of the number of shots.

The upgrade is the result of two years of dedicated work and collaboration with leading artists and facilities worldwide. The next generation of algorithms introduced in OCULA 4 deliver clean consistent data, rebuild sharp more accurate images, while ensuring greater fidelity to original plates and guaranteeing that disparity and depth are handled better than ever before. OCULA 4's improved toolsets significantly reduce the amount of manual work required when dealing with color and focus matching, rebuilding and retiming views and vertical alignment.

Andy Whitmore, Chief Product Officer, The Foundry, says: "OCULA 4 steps up to meet the ever increasing demands of artists for quality results, efficient production workflows and enhanced project turnaround. The new features include quick and easy alignment correction and automation, which sees the simplification of Solver controls, updated feature matching and the ability to auto-analyze sequences."

Other upgrades include changes to the Vertical Aligner tool, as well as a New View tool, Colour Matcher, Focus Matcher and new review tools. This update also includes GPU acceleration with the same results on CPU and GPU.

With the upgrade, OCULA 4 brings added flexibility, consistency and accuracy to the stereoscopic VFX workflow, which ultimately results in improved efficiency for artists.

SENSIO Obtains US Patent Reinforcing SENSIO Hi-Fi 3D Licensing Activities
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 (9:54 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

SENSIO Technologies Inc. announced that the US Patent Office has issued patent US 8743177 relating to the use of complementary pixels in merged frame formats. This American patent is the third one to be granted to SENSIO for this inventive technology, following another American patent issued in November 2010, as well as a European patent issued in November 2013. Patent applications related to this technology are also pending in China and Japan.

A first patent relating to the use of complementary pixels in merged frame formats had already been issued in the United States in November 2010, under an accelerated issuance process, for the purpose of obtaining immediate coverage for this technology. The new patent granted today complements the first one by broadening the scope of application and specifying practical applications for decoding-capable devices such as TV sets, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes.

"This new patent is a welcome addition to our portfolio, as it reinforces the previous patent we obtained for that technology" said Nicholas Routhier, President and CEO of SENSIO. "As this patent covers practical applications in various systems, our SENSIO® Hi-Fi 3D format now benefits from a stronger protection, which grants us renewed confidence moving forward with our commercial activities."

For further information on SENSIO and its technologies, please visit http://www.sensio.tv

REACH3D Teams With Sony Medical To Simplify 3D Display And Recording For Endoscopic Applications
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 (9:53 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster

Visitors to the 2014 American Urological Association (AUA) Annual Meeting, in Orlando, Fla., were able to see a joint demonstration of a new 3D solution for endoscopic applications, combining REACH3D's Single Light Path 3D HD capture system and Sony Electronics' medical grade 3D 32-inch display (LMD-3251MT) and 3D video recorder (HVO-3000MT).

The high-definition, medically compliant equipment is designed to simplify and reduce the costs of capturing and recording 3D video content, making it easier for surgeons and their teams to share 3D content in real time or for later playback.

"All the devices in a medical workflow need to work together seamlessly and easily as a complete system," said Anne Bondulich, marketing manager for surgical products, Sony Electronics. "The combination of REACH3D's imaging capabilities with Sony's proven display and recording technologies has the potential to create the ideal solution for capturing and recording endoscopic procedures in 3D."

The REACH3D SoloSIGHT Single Light Path 3D HD endoscopy system gives medical endoscopy professionals a 5mm 3D rigid endoscope platform with true 1920 x 1080 HD sensor resolution (3MOS) and an optical design that ensures all imagery is crisp and clean. REACH3D's advanced 3D software allows surgeons to record in 3D, capture 2D and 3D photos as well as transmit live 3D surgeries over IP.

"REACH3D has found Sony's medical grade 3D monitor to provide an excellent recreation of our 3D imagery and to be a great value," said Clif Parker, CEO, REACH3D. "The expansive control settings and the available hardware options allow us to configure Sony's Medical Grade 3D Monitor precisely as needed to display the heightened clarity and depth generated by the breakthrough technology utilized in REACH3D's SoloSIGHT Single Light Path 3D HD Endoscope product line."

According to Parker, the REACH3D system can help to expand the potential uses for 3D minimally invasive procedures, as well as lead to safer procedures, greater efficiencies and faster recovery times, with dramatically reduced learning times for medical teams. Combined with the Sony LMD-3251MT display and the HVO-3000MT recorder, the joint system adds new levels of flexibility and performance.

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