3D-News Archive July 2010


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NextComputing Unveils Portable Stereoscopic 3D Workflow Solution for RED at Siggraph 2010
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 (18:27 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


NextComputing, makers of high-performance portable and small footprint computers, showcases a new solution for managing stereoscopic 3D footage from RED cameras. Running ASSIMILATE™ SCRATCH CINE with the NVIDIA® Quadro® FX 3800 SDI by PNY and dual RED Rocket™ accelerator cards, this system is designed for managing all aspects of the data workflow for stereoscopic RED production on set. Built around NextComputing’s recently announced NextDimension Evo Plus HD portable workstation, this turnkey product will be shown in the PNY Technologies booth (#819) at SIGGRAPH 2010, July 27-29 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Audience demand for stereoscopic 3D content has grown dramatically in the last 12 months, and is expected to climb considerably. However, significant challenges remain in producing this content cost-effectively. Digital workflows, in particular those based on the RED camera, are an ideal solution, but tools must be in place at the earliest stages of the process to ensure that the camera footage is managed properly. By teaming with ASSIMILATE and PNY Technologies, NextComputing has developed a solution that allows stereoscopic productions shot on RED to achieve a full post-production data management and processing workflow on set. Users can ingest, review, color correct, generate dailies, and offload to any disk-based or tape-based media in one system, without ever leaving the film set.

This is all made possible by a blending of leading-edge technologies:

  • Portable Workstation – NextComputing’s NextDimension Evo Plus HD is a compact and powerful portable computer with built-in HD display. Powered by the latest 6-core Intel® Xeon® processors, this powerhouse machine is capable of handling all of the necessary hardware and software to process stereoscopic 3D RED data, while being small and light enough for a single person to transport on and off the set.

  • Professional Graphics and HD-SDI Output – The NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800 SDI by PNY provides digital display capabilities, as well as real-time HD-SDI playback and scaling of stereo RED clips to any SDI monitor. Based on the NVIDIA CUDA™ architecture, the Quadro FX 3800 also provides additional performance enhancements for SCRATCH CINE.

  • RED Hardware Acceleration – The RED Rocket accelerator card is made by RED Digital Cinema to provide real-time hardware-based deBayering and playback for any RED camera format, as well as dramatically accelerated transcoding to other formats such as Apple™ QuickTime™ for dailies or off-line editing. By packing two of these accelerator cards in a system, users can achieve real-time stereoscopic 3D playback and editing.

  • Digital Process Software – SCRATCH CINE v5.0 from ASSIMILATE is the software that pulls this all together. SCRATCH CINE provides a number of critical workflow features including full-resolution, real-time playback of RED 4K .R3D files, creation of tape- or file-based dailies with no importing or conversion, one-light color grading, color and shot management, and metadata burn-ins.

Mechdyne Enhances Collaboration in Immersive 3D Displays
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 (18:03 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Mechdyne Corporation announced the availability of technology that makes it possible to produce two distinct user perspectives from a single 3D digital projector. With the new ACE Dual-View™ technology two people working in an immersive stereoscopic environment see a different view of 3D images and, since both viewers are separately motion-tracked, the images they see as they explore and interact are unique to their view. This enables more natural discussion when viewing virtual prototypes or navigating virtual scenes. Furthermore, Mechdyne's software will allow for each user to see the other user's position and orientation relative to the virtual world and the objects it contains.

The first customer for an ACE (Advanced Collaborative Environment) Dual-View capable system is a U.S. University, which will use the new technology in conjunction with a CAVE™ designed and integrated by Mechdyne.

In nearly all 3D immersive display systems used today, the computer-generated imagery is closely tied to a single, motion-tracked user whose viewpoint and movements dictate what other viewers see. Previous attempts at creating distinct images for different users in the same virtual work space relied on multiple projectors, with higher attendant costs and complexity associated with synchronization of the projectors and related issues.

Examples of potential applications and end-user benefits of an ACE Dual-View capable system include:

  • Engineering review, such as the design of an automobile interior within a CAVE system. Two designers can view the simulation from different positions within the virtual image. One view might be from the driver's perspective, while the second would be from the front or even rear passenger seat.
  • Surgical simulations in which an experienced practitioner may be observing or instructing a student in new techniques. Simulation participants might face each other across a virtual surgery table (horizontal 3D system), with both seeing a visually correct image of the operation as it takes place.
"The breakthrough in development of Mechdyne's ACE Dual-View technology is a method of driving one high-end DLP projector at higher refresh rates than standard systems to produce two distinct pairs of left and right eye images, synchronizing the different images for viewing with two separate pairs of electronic 3D glasses and integrating the imaging system with motion tracking," said Kurt Hoffmeister, vice president of R&D at Mechdyne. "We are very excited about the potential for this technology to benefit a wide range of our customers in scientific and commercial fields."

Mechdyne implemented its ACE Dual-View technology on its HD ROVR™ visualization system, using a Digital Projection Titan 3D 1080p projector, optical motion tracking system, and Mechdyne vGeo™ software. A video demonstration is available on Mechdyne's YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/MechdyneCorporation

The ACE Dual-View technology can be incorporated into any of Mechdyne's projection-based 3D visual environments, including CAVE and FLEX immersive displays, single and multi-projector PowerWalls, PLEX, portable ROVR systems and custom display configurations. Mechdyne can also specify and configure the optimal graphics computing system for the required display and data. Mechdyne's CAVELib, Conduit and vGeo software are all compatible with Dual-View technology, motion tracking systems and immersive displays allowing Mechdyne to deliver a true turn-key, two-user immersive visualization environment.

Panasonic Announces Development of World's First Interchangeable 3D Lens for LUMIX G Micro System
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 (8:37 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Continuing its record of 3D technology leadership, Panasonic today announced the development of the world's first digital interchangeable twin-lens, making it possible to shoot 3D with an interchangeable lens system camera. As a new member of Panasonic's powerful lineup of interchangeable lenses as part of the LUMIX G Micro System, the twin-lens will allow high-quality shooting in 3D. Panasonic plans to release this new lens for sale before the end of the year.

"This year will be remembered as the 'First Year of 3D Era' and Panasonic has already taken the lead by launching 3D-capable VIERA™ televisions and Blu-ray™ 3D Disc Players," said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "With Panasonic's development of a twin-lens capable of 3D shooting, the company is providing consumers with a way to capture their own 3D content, which they can then enjoy watching in the comforts of their own home. Panasonic is dedicated to evolving the 3D ecosystem, letting consumers create and display lifelike 3D images in their homes."

Currently, 3D shooting with an interchangeable lens system camera is possible only by using panorama systems or by combining two lenses and two CCDs. However, these systems are not ideal and have difficulty capturing moving objects. Panasonic's new 3D lens for the LUMIX G Micro System features two optical systems installed within the diameter of the lens mount, creating stereo images from the left and right lenses that are then processed with a 3D image processing system. Thanks to Panasonic's advanced technologies in optical technology, image processing systems, and lens barrel design, the 3D lens will be compact in size.

This new compact 3D-capable interchangeable lens will be easy to handle and allow instant 3D shooting, without distortion or time lag between left and right images – even when shooting moving objects.

NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro Ushers in a New Dimension in Visualization
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 (7:39 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


NVIDIA (Booth #717 at SIGGRAPH Los Angeles) announced NVIDIA® 3D Vision™ Pro, a new 3D stereoscopic solution empowering engineers, designers, architects and computational chemists who work with complex 3D designs to see their work in greater detail. 3D Vision Pro solutions brings true stereo 3D back to the desktop with support for LCD panels and offers a practical way to provide a rich, reliable 3D viewing experience for large scale visualization environments like video walls and collaborative virtual environments (CAVEs).

Incorporating active shutter glasses and an innovative radio frequency (RF) communication system, 3D Vision Pro solutions delivers the highest quality stereoscopic experience and supports a wide range of use cases:

  • Individuals can experience 3D on LCD panels at their Quadro powered desktop and mobile workstations
  • Small groups can view 3D on single or multiple projectors, and
  • Larger groups can experience 3D on power walls or in theaters driven by NVIDIA Scalable Visualization Solutions (SVS)
3D Vision™ Pro provides long range connections, up to 150 feet, with no cross talk, blind spots, or other transmission issues between multiple systems. As a professional stereoscopic solution, status information is transmitted from the glasses back to the host for effective IT management.

"With the ability to provide valuable insights into complex data, 3D stereo has become one of the core elements of the modern workstation," said Jeff Brown, general manager, Professional Solutions Group, NVIDIA. "Together, 3D Vision Pro and Quadro solutions bring the highest quality and most immersive 3D experience to enterprise environments."

Digital content creation (DCC) artists, product designers, and physicians can see their 'world' in 3D, with perspectives that are significantly richer than traditional two-dimensional views. Physicians, for example, can now view volumetric scans like ultrasound in 3D. Businesses looking to provide large scale visualizations such as popular video walls now have a reliable, enabling technology to deliver that kind of experience.

"NVIDIA is clearly a leader in the field of 3D visualization and has been working on Stereoscopic 3D technology since 1999. With their launch of a professional 3D solution, this technology can easily move beyond the entertainment viewing experience for individual consumers," said Dr. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research. "By providing large scale visualization capabilities and remote management capabilities, NVIDIA is pioneering 3D technology for the enterprise, opening the door for professional users and large scale visualization system integrators to utilize 3D in ways not thought of before."

Key features of NVIDIA 3D Vision™ Pro stereoscopic solutions include:
  • Active shutter glasses technology that delivers a true progressive image, which preserves the highest quality texture detail and text;
  • Rechargeable batteries with 20 hours of continuous operation;
  • Wide range of panel and projector support, and;
  • A wide range of professional application support.

Professional applications for NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro already available
Companies such as Siemens Healthcare, Agilent, Cineform, and RTT are already embracing NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro technology as an essential element of new solutions they've recently announced:

Siemens Healthcare is now shipping its syngo.fourSight Workplace Imaging Management Solution for Obstetrics. It provides off-system 3D/4D volume manipulation and 2D image and clip review for a variety of Siemens' most powerful ultrasound platforms, assisting in communication with doctors, surgeons, and patients. It may also improve paternal-fetal bonding, and aid in treatment or pre- and post-natal surgical planning.

"Our syngo.fourSight Workplace software, combined with new NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro technology and the latest NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics solutions, makes this an even more compelling image management tool for enhanced patient throughput and department workflow in obstetrical ultrasound," said Barbara Del Prince, worldwide segment manager for OB/GYN, Siemens Healthcare. "Doctors, hospitals and imaging centers now have the most powerful, comprehensive and innovative 3D imaging solution toolset available for volume image manipulation."

Pricing and Availability
NVIDIA 3D Vision™ Pro stereoscopic solutions will be available in October directly from NVIDIA and from authorized resellers such as PNY Technologies at MSRPs of $349 (USD) for the glasses, and $399 (USD) for the RF transmitter hub. For more information on NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro, visit http://www.nvidia.com/object/3d-vision-professional-users.html

S3D Technologies to showcase Beam Splitter Rig and S3D Calculator at IBC 2010, which deliver a smooth transition in stereo 3D productions
3D-News Posted: Monday, July 26, 2010 (19:46 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Following the American firm's success at NAB earlier this year, S3D Technologies announced that they will have a presence at IBC at the SGO booth, 6.A11, Hall 6, at the RAI which takes place from 10 – 14 September 2010 in Amsterdam. S3D Technologies will mainly be showcasing the new S3D Beam Splitter Rig, which will demonstrate how the rig's design and functionality significantly facilitate a fast, reliable and stable 3D production process. The S3D Beam Splitter Rig allows close-up scenes to be shot with great precision and is compatible with film cameras such as the Arricam 235, LT, digital cameras such as Red One, Sony HD CAM, Arri Digital and others, such as the PMW EX3. The S3D Calculator is a software package developed by S3D to complement their rigs and connects from PC, Mac or iPhone to calculate stereoscopic parameters during a shoot and will also be demonstrated at IBC this year at the SGO stand.

Based in Los Angeles, S3D focuses mainly on the research and development of technology for stereoscopic 3D film productions targeted mainly at broadcasters, rental equipment companies and content producers.

Other S3D products include the S3D Side by Side Rig, which is ideal for long distance scenes, and also compatible with film and digital cameras. S3D's CGI Maya Plug-ins & 3DS Max ensures an optimal result with total control over stereoscopic parameters. The S3D Plug-in also imports and exports the parameters used in a stereoscopic live action shot as metadata, which allows for the integration of virtual images into real-time stereoscopic images.

The fact that S3D's products eliver highly advanced features, places them streets ahead in the stereoscopic 3D production arena. One of the main highlights is the automatic alignment, which saves on set-up times and enables the user to adjust the alignment from remote distances. Another clear advantage is that the convergence of both cameras is motor-controlled with the closest convergence point at 0m, which ensures a significant reduction of keystone distortion. The maximum IO (Inter-axial Intra-ocular) distance, at which the operator can set up the two cameras is 150mm. All rig movements are also motorised with a proprietary remote control system, which securely controls the camera lenses with precision and speed.

S3D Technologies originated with the strategic partnership of two savvy and passionate entrepreneurs, Carolina Barco and Carina Portillo, both with extensive backgrounds as highly technical and accomplished film and television producers. Having acquired vast experience in the US and Europe, Carolina had already decided back in 2005 to explore the possibilities of producing stereoscopic content and was well-informed about emerging technological changes in the industry. Challenges facing Carolina at that time, included not having access to reliable tools and technology to create stereoscopic content, however this only motivated her to set up her own company and establish S3D Technologies. "Our goal is to develop and provide 3D content creators with the most user-friendly software and hardware tools available in the market today. As a global organisation, we continuously strive to deliver the highest quality possible and are deeply committed to supporting production houses in their endeavour to implement 3D solutions." states Carolina Barco, Managing Director, S3D Technologies.

"Focusing on Research and Development with an eye on the international market enables S3D to be at the forefront of technology." Confirms Carina Portillo, Joint Managing Director, S3D Technologies.

Korea's Largest Theatre Chain CJ CGV Standardizes on MasterImage Digital 3D Cinema Systems
3D-News Posted: Monday, July 26, 2010 (19:40 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


3D technology company MasterImage 3D, LLC announced that CJ CGV, the largest theatre chain in Korea, recently converted 58 additional screens to 3D with MasterImage digital 3D cinema systems. In addition to supplying systems for all of CJ CGV's 160 3D theatres, MasterImage 3D has also installed four systems in Korea's Lotte Cinema in Suncheon.

These installations, combined with existing systems at Primus Cinema, Ya Woo Ri Cinemas and more theatres across Korea, bring MasterImage's total to 175 of the country's estimated 250 digital 3D screens -- more than 70% of Korea's total 3D exhibition market share.

CGV Manager Sung woo Kang said, "MasterImage 3D's system offers an outstanding value compared to other products on the market, and it is simple to install. Also, with the high resolution picture quality, audiences' responses to the presentation are great."

MasterImage 3D has experienced rapid growth in the demand for its digital 3D theatre systems, nearly doubling its worldwide installation in the past eighteen months. Today, the company has installed more than 1,800 systems in 40 countries worldwide (approximately 400 in the US, 770 in Europe and 700 in Asia and the rest of the world).

Younghoon Lee, founder, chairman and CEO of MasterImage 3D said, "From our US headquarters and offices in Asia and Europe we are aggressively converting theatre markets all over the world. Exhibitors are recognizing that our ownership-based model and passive-glasses approach offers them a different, and often more attractive business proposition than competitive systems and they're demonstrating that recognition by choosing MasterImage in increasing numbers."

SENSIO and GEO Semiconductor Expand SENSIO 3D Footprint in Broadcast and Media Equipment
3D-News Posted: Monday, July 26, 2010 (19:39 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


SENSIO® Technologies Inc. announced that GEO Semiconductor has licensed the SENSIO® 3D IP Core for integration into the GEO Realta™ sxT2 (T2) chip used worldwide by manufacturers of leading broadcast and media systems. Building on SENSIO's 3D expertise and the unmatched quality of the company's 3D encoding format, GEO Semiconductor is extending the flexibility, value, and performance of its acclaimed T2 chip within the 3D space.

Professional-grade 3D technology delivers rich, immersive experience

The Realta is an advanced video and geometry processing IC that deploys a massively parallel array of SIMD processors to implement best-in-class video processing algorithms at full HD (1080p) resolutions in software. "Incorporation of the SENSIO 3D format into the GEO Realta T2 enables our customers to deliver complete broadcast and media solutions capable of providing viewers with the rich, immersive experience only made possible by professional-grade 3D technology," said Madhu Rayabhari, Vice President of Marketing, Business Development and Engineering at GEO Semiconductor. "Our goal is to provide customers with a complete, fully customizable and software-programmable video-processing solution, and SENSIO 3D technology complements other advanced technologies on the chip to make the Realta T2 an extremely compelling choice for high-end broadcast and media products. The ease with which we can integrate the SENSIO 3D Core will facilitate rapid production and release of the top-quality 3D-capable products the market demands."

The GEO Realta Platform is the only chipset platform that allows consumers to achieve full compliance with the "HQV (Hollywood Quality Video) powered by Teranex" industry benchmark. The GEO Realta T2 chip is used globally by industry-leading customers. A representative list of these customers can be obtained from the company website at http://www.geosemi.com/about_customers.htm. As GEO Semiconductor continues to sell the Realta T2 chip into higher-end markets, the company will increase its focus on 3D, addressing infrastructure transport, pixel processing, display conversion of two HD streams into one 3D stream, and edge blending for projection-related 3D displays.

Ease of integration with high-performance chips provides value-added solution

"The integration of our SENSIO 3D IP Core into the GEO Realta T2 chip demonstrates the high value that industry leaders such as GEO Semiconductor see in making SENSIO technology available to their customers," said Nicholas Routhier, President and CEO at SENSIO. "We expect that the addition of SENSIO 3D technology to this very popular GEO chip will add significant momentum to the industry's move toward 3D."

More information about SENSIO 3D is available online at http://www.sensio.tv

RealD Prices Boosted IPO Of 12.5 Mln Shares At $16/Share, Above Range
3D-News Posted: Friday, July 16, 2010 (12:06 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Global licensor of stereoscopic or 3D technologies RealD Inc. announced on July 15th that it has priced its boosted initial public offering of 12.50 million common shares at $16.00 per share, above the estimated offering price range. The Beverly Hills, California-based company said the shares will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday under the ticker symbol "RLD".

In a regulatory filing on June 29, the company had earlier estimated pricing between $13.00 and $15.00 per share for an offering of 10.75 million shares of common stock. The company originally filed its statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a $200 million IPO on April 9, 2010.

Of the 12.50 million shares being offered in the IPO, RealD is offering 6.0 million shares and selling stockholders are offering 6.50 million shares. RealD will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares by selling stockholders. RealD has granted underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to an additional 1.875 million common shares at the IPO price, to cover over-allotments, if any.

Shamrock Capital Growth Fund II, L.P. and William D. Budinger, are the principal stockholders of the company, according to the SEC filing. All Directors and Executive Officers as a Group beneficially own 53.87% of company's shares, prior to the offering.

RealD intends to use a portion of the net proceeds from this offering to repay $25.1 million of indebtedness under its term loan and revolving credit facilities, which will become due and payable upon the completion of this offering. The company will use the remainder of the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including investments in technology and to acquire complementary businesses and technologies.

For the offering, J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and Piper Jaffray & Co. are acting as joint book-running managers, while William Blair & Co., L.L.C. is acting as co-lead manager, and Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc. and BMO Capital Markets Corp. are acting as co-managers.

RealD reported a wider loss of $51.23 million for the full-year ended March 26, 2010, compared to a net loss of $25.46 million reported a year ago. However, annual net revenues soared to $149.84 million from $39.68 million last year.

As of June 1, 2010, the total number of Real-enabled Cinema System screens increased to 5,966 from 5,321, and the total number of locations with RealD-enabled screens increased to 3,192 from 3,034 installed in 51 countries.

RealD, founded by Michael Lewis and Joshua Greer in 2003, is a leading global licensor of stereoscopic, or 3D, technologies, with an extensive intellectual property portfolio that enables premium 3D viewing experience in the theater, the home and elsewhere. The company licenses its RealD Cinema Systems to motion picture exhibitors that show 3D motion pictures and alternative 3D content.

Magnetic 3D, IdentityMine and Omnivex Showcase Glasses-Free 3D at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference
3D-News Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010 (12:54 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Magnetic 3D is attending Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) held July 11 – 15 in Washington, D.C. with its partners IdentityMine, a certified Microsoft development partner that specializes in creating interactive user experiences through inventive design using technologies like Microsoft Surface, Windows 7, Silverlight, and WPF, and Omnivex Corporation, Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and provider of enterprise software for digital signage networks. Combining their screens, display technologies and operating systems, the companies have developed an end-to-end solution for showcasing glasses-free 3D content in out-of-home environments.

"Given the complexity of producing glasses-free 3D, it takes truly innovative technology and creative minds to develop solutions that work in real world environments," said Tom Zerega, CEO of Magnetic 3D. "Working with Omnivex and IdentityMine, we're proud to be attending WPC to showcase how glasses-free 3D can be created, delivered and displayed to innovate out-of-home advertising and communications."

The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) is an annual gathering for the Microsoft partner community to learn about Microsoft's roadmap for the upcoming year, network and build connections, share best practices, experience the latest product innovations and learn new skills and techniques.

"With the amount of visual competition in our daily lives, getting out-of-home content noticed is more challenging than ever before," said Mark Brown, CEO of IdentityMine. "Displays need to stand out in order to seize consumers' attention, then create a sense of wonder to keep them watching. Glasses-free 3D helps to break through the visual clutter, so we're excited about the innovative solution we've developed in conjunction with Magnetic 3D and Omnivex."

"Glasses-free 3D content is a great example of extending our platform to deliver exciting new content," explained Doug Bannister, CEO & Director of Software Development, Omnivex. "Magnetic 3D and IdentityMine were able to easily add support for the new file types and playback technology to display high-quality autostereoscopic 3D content. This process is the ideal solution for displaying gorgeous graphics that literally jump off the screen and grab consumer attention."

Papers on 3D, digital imaging, image processing, multimedia sought for 'must-attend' IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging event
3D-News Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010 (12:53 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Prospective authors have until 19 July to submit abstracts for the 2011 IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging symposium. The event attracts a global audience for presentations on digital imaging systems, 3D imaging, image quality, and image processing.

In its 23rd year in 2011, the annual event has become a "must-attend" for all aspects of electronic imaging, including imaging systems, image processing, image quality, and algorithms, noted Symposium Chair Sabine Süsstrunk (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) and Symposium Cochair Majid Rabbani (Eastman Kodak).

This year's event will be held at the San Francisco Airport Hyatt Regency in California 23-27 January. Electronic Imaging attendees will be provided transportation and free admittance to the exhibition at SPIE Photonics West, held during the same week at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Conference tracks include:

  • 3D Imaging, Interaction and Measurement
  • Imaging, Visualization, and Perception
  • Image Processing
  • Digital Imaging Sensors and Applications
  • Multimedia Processing and Applications
  • Visual Information Processing and Communication.
A new conference on Parallel Processing for Imaging Applications is being introduced, chaired by John Owens (Univ. of California, Davis), I-Jong Lin (Hewlett-Packard Labs), and Yu-Jin Zhang (Tsinghua Univ).

In addition to the strong program of annual conferences, two biennial conferences are returning: 3D Imaging Metrology, chaired by Angelo Beraldin (National Research Council Canada), Geraldine Cheok (NIST - National Institute of Standards and Technology), Mike McCarthy (National Physical Lab), and Ulrich Neuschaefer-Rube (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt); and Real-Time Image and Video Processing, chaired by Nasser Kehtarnavaz (Univ. of Texas, Dallas) and Matthias Carlsohn (Computer Vision and Image Communication at Bremen).

A 3D theatre session and a product demonstration session are again planned in conjunction with the conference on Stereoscopic Displays and Applications, chaired by Andrew Woods (Curtin Univ., Centre for Marine Science and Technology), Nicolas Holliman (Durham Univ.), and Neil Dodgson (Univ. of Cambridge).

Short Course Chair is Gaurav Sharma (Univ. of Rochester), who on 1 January will become Editor of the Journal of Electronic Imaging. IS&T and SPIE are joint publishers of the journal as well as sponsors of the Electronic Imaging symposium.

Conference proceedings papers will be published individually in the SPIE Digital Library as soon as approved after the meeting, and also in collected print and digital volumes and collections.

SENSIO successful in delivery to 33 countries of first worldwide live 3D event: 2010 FIFA World Cup
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 (14:56 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


SENSIO® Technologies Inc. announced that the broadcast to cinemas, live and in 3D, of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ has been a resounding success.

From the first kickoff on June 11, SENSIO® 3D technology enabled soccer fans all over the world to view 25 FIFA World Cup matches live, in 3D and on the big screen. Over the 30 days of the championship, over 4,500 screenings of its most popular games took place across the globe in 475 cinemas in 33 countries.

"SENSIO has participated in many historical 3D firsts in our ten years of business, but the global delivery aspect of this worldwide event from South Africa is unlike anything else in its scope," said SENSIO® president and CEO Nicholas Routhier. "We're particularly proud to have been able to secure the confidence of FIFA and deliver with such a short turnaround time of two and a half months. It's testimony to the great working relationship we have with our partners, IDC, Cinedigm and Eutelsat, as well as the dedication of the SENSIO® team, and I'd like to thank everyone for their contribution."

This pioneering event, which constitutes yet another crucial milestone in the evolution of 3D broadcasting, could not have happened without the existence of the SENSIO 3D Live Global Network™, which already comprises over 700 theatres in 33 countries, and continues to expand. It is also now supported by the SENSIO3DLive.com™ website, which enables the cinema chains and theatre operators of the SENSIO 3D Live Global Network™ to register, free of charge, their live 3D events and give fans a direct link to the appropriate ticketing sites.

"The SENSIO 3D Live Global Network™ is an important force in the development of the market and the website is a valuable tool for promoters of live 3D events," said Richard LaBerge, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at SENSIO®. "The success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ proves that live 3D events constitute a worthwhile market and, through the site, event-producers and their distribution networks can reach audiences on a global scale. From the public's point of view, the site enables fans to find out what live 3D events are being broadcast and where they can view them, all in one place."

"Making the most of the burgeoning public interest in this truly immersive experience depends very much on the impact made at the outset," Mr LaBerge continued. "We are already in discussions for delivery of other live 3D events, and content-producers know they can count on SENSIO's visually lossless, reliable, robust, proven 3D solutions, as well as our extensive network of distribution partners, to fully support them in their goal of placing sports, music and entertainment fans at the heart of the action."

SENSIO at IBC2010
3D-News Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 (23:18 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


At IBC2010, visitors will have the opportunity to see demonstrations of SENSIO® 3D technology, which is built into the products of SENSIO's partners, including IDC (stand 1.C29). IDC's SFX 4104 satellite receiver has enabled distribution of live 3D events to the SENSIO 3D Live Global Network™ of over 700 screens in 33 countries around the world. Most notably and recently, the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ - the first worldwide live 3D event - was shown in 475 cinemas, thanks to this technology.

SENSIO's 3D solutions can also be viewed at the booths of other partners (for example, Gennum, Miranda, Teranex, Grass Valley), allowing IBC attendees to see how the company's products enable broadcast vendors to integrate professional-quality 3D into their own systems.

The unique proprietary format is a proven technology that delivers visually lossless compression of stereoscopic (3D) HD video to enable 3D broadcasts over standard 2D infrastructure for presentation in cinemas and for home theatres. Adopted by content producers worldwide, SENSIO's technology is designed to operate smoothly with all existing and future 3D-projection technologies for 2D or 3D viewing, providing a future-proof, cost-effective solution.

Compatible with leading HD satellite broadcast and on-demand systems such as pay-per-view, video-on-demand, and IP streaming and download, content encoded in the SENSIO® 3D format is viewable via standard HD set-top boxes (STBs), and on the growing number of 3DTV sets coming to market.

SENSIO 3D has also been used for the broadcast of various commercial live 3D events, including the men's final of the French Open tennis tournament, the Bowl Championship Series, ESPN's NCAA (American) football, and NBA All-Star basketball, as well as a performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni from the Rennes opera House in France.

Sigma Designs Delivers the World Cup in 3D
3D-News Posted: Saturday, July 10, 2010 (2:03 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Sigma Designs, Inc., a provider of System-on-Chip (SoC) used to deliver entertainment and control throughout the home, announced that leading French broadband provider, Free Inc. is delivering 3D broadcasts of World Cup soccer and ongoing 3D broadcast content, using Sigma's SMP8634 Secure Media Processor in its industry-leading Freebox triple-play set-top boxes. Delivered via stereoscopic 3D, this is the very first 3D television broadcast in France and one of the first in Europe. In addition to delivering stereoscopic 3D television, Sigma's leading SMP8634 media processor is also capable of supporting all forms of 3D broadcast.

"Innovation is the hallmark of every Sigma product line and the SMP8634 has done an outstanding job of demonstrating this by supporting services like 3D," said David Lynch, vice president and general manager, media processor business unit at Sigma Designs. "Sigma is the most widely deployed high definition IPTV processor in the world. Service providers around the world rely on our SMP line of media processors to get a solid return on their design investment which we, in turn, deliver."

Under the new program, subscribers to Free's Very High Speed offering who have also subscribed to Free's CANAL channel will have access to CANAL 3D (channel 18 of the CANAL environment). After the World Cup, CANAL 3D will continue to broadcast 3D television programs on a regular basis including movies, animated films, sports, and more. The channel will gradually enrich its programming as 3D production volume increases.

"3D television is a very hot topic in consumer electronics today, but it's also a very recent development. The fact that Free and Sigma Designs were able to implement 3D decoding on a previously deployed installed base of set-tops speaks to the flexibility of the SMP8630 family of media processors," said Lee Ratliff, senior analyst for broadband and digital home at iSuppli. "With this announcement, Sigma has highlighted the importance of deploying a flexible platform capable of comprehending future applications."

Availability The entire SMP line of 3D-capable media processors from Sigma Designs, including the SMP8634, is available now. More information on this innovative set of solutions for set-top boxes can be found at http://www.sigmadesigns.com/solutions_subcat.php?id=1

Dimmy's Award for the first complete interactive Stereo 3D training solution
3D-News Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010 (2:06 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


The world's first stereo 3D training package, Stereo 3D Filmmaking: The Complete Interactive Course, was launched at Dimension 3 on June 1st 2010 and won the award in the 3D Interactive category at the most important stereo 3D festival in the world, Dimension 3 (http://www.dimension3-expo.com/uk/festival.php)

It is available for order on http://www.convergence3d.net for a launch price of 299€.

Convergence3D.net, the training package's website companion, is quickly becoming the hub of stereo 3D with:

- Info Center: knowledge base, equipment, rental companies etc.
- Stereo 3D Tools & training
- Articles, news, technology watch
- Forums, jobs, professional services

Co-produced by Parallell Cinema [www.parallellcinema.fr] and Innoventive Software [www.frameforge3d.com], makers of award-winning Frameforge Previz Studio, Stereo 3D Filmmaking: The Complete Interactive Course is the only alternative to expensive, long training sessions to learn stereo 3D effectively today.

Contents:

  • 125 minutes of course shot in live-action stereo 3D: we explain a technique, you see the result.
  • Dozens of animated diagrams
  • 4 hours of Expert Insight Series from the famous 3d experts behind Alice in Wonderland, Coraline, Monsters vs Aliens, G-Force and many others
  • 20 progressive and interactive exercises designed in the optically-accurate Stereo 3D Virtual Studio – based on award-winning Frameforge Previz Studio technology used by the Sony 3D Tech Center and many other top S3D companies.
  • The Video-FAQ of Stereo 3D: experts answer the big questions of Stereo 3D
  • The Stereographer’s handbook with a summary of the course
  • The Stereo 3D Shooting Guide for easy reference on set

GeoVisionary Helps GSNI Showcase Data
3D-News Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010 (0:44 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


A complete Virtalis StereoWorks ActiveWall display system and Virtual Reality (VR) suite has been installed at the Geological Survey of Northern of Ireland (GSNI) to run GeoVisionary software.

Garth Earls, director of the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland, explained: "We have been fortunate to be able to install GeoVisionary at a time when the development phase was complete. The input provided by the British Geological Survey (BGS) has made it ideal for our needs."

GeoVisionary was developed by Virtalis in collaboration with British Geological Survey. Version 1.0 of GeoVisionary is capable of streaming and rendering terabytes of height and photography data, as well as various geographic information layers, such as geology or land use, covering a huge geographical area in real-time. GeoVisionary enables the visualisation of high detail GIS source data and allows other data, such as geoscience, geotechnical, environmental, sub-surface, geochemical and other specialised information, to be overlaid onto it, giving a complete picture.

The StereoWorks visualisation system forms the technological core of many of Virtalis' advanced visualisation installations and stereoscopic 3D display systems. As well as providing the perfect environment in which to view GeoVisionary, the systems also support CAD software for real-time stereo design and offer high-resolution digital stereo movie playback at very high bandwidth. The StereoWorks range consists of the latest stereo viewing hardware coupled with the Virtalis' own specialist software suite, StereoTools. GSNI has installed a tracked active stereo, rear-projected system, called ActiveWall, which allows users to interact with their data in real-time without casting shadows.

Alex Donald, information delivery, GIS and design at GSNI, is the principal user of the new Virtalis system. "We were very well aware of both GeoVisionary and StereoWorks from using the systems installed at BGS's offices. GeoVisionary enables us to stream very large data sets that can't be viewed on our computers. Therefore, it allows us to showcase our data, especially aerial photos, to diverse groups including local government, industry and students. We have also begun to use GeoVisionary for preliminary field reconnaissance."

"Avatar" Secrets Revealed at SIGGRAPH 2010
3D-News Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010 (0:42 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


SIGGRAPH 2010 features multiple Production Sessions that will reveal the secrets of "Avatar", including stereoscopic filmmaking and visual effects. Two visual effects companies that contributed to the making of "Avatar", New Zealand-based Weta Digital and U.S.-based Industrial Light & Magic, will take attendees behind the scenes and give valuable insight into the work that won three Academy Awards® for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction.

"James Cameron's epic vision of 'Avatar' changed the landscape for filmmaking and production," said Terrence Masson, SIGGRAPH 2010 Conference Chair from Northeastern University. "A movie of this caliber not only has moved our industry forward light years, but it also has the potential to teach us techniques and solutions that we never would have considered."

SIGGRAPH Production Sessions are high-level discussions that showcase how computer graphics and interactive techniques are actually designed and implemented. Attendees of all experience levels will benefit.

Here are just a few highlights of this year's Production Sessions:

Making "Avatar"

Joe Letteri and Stephen Rosenbaum, Weta Digital; Richard Baneham, Lightstorm

"Avatar" is the first predominately digitally created film, shot and directed as a live action film. Key to the director's vision was having photorealistic, believable digital characters and environments fit seamlessly with live action. To accomplish this, Weta Digital, led by Joe Letteri, developed innovations that enabled the director and actors to work as if they were in a conventional live-action movie, even when filming sequences that were entirely computer-generated. For the audience to connect with the blue-skinned ten-foot-tall "Na'vi", they had to see the actor's soul shine through the character's eyes. This required increased realism in character animation, especially the facial animation. The emotional performances of the characters in "Avatar" are an achievement that have taken digital characters to a new level of believability and have at the same time, enhanced story telling.

Character and Environment Lighting Challenges on "Avatar"

Kevin Smith, Weta Digital

This session summarizes some of the problems encountered during the "Avatar" production process and their solutions. The focus is on maintaining pipeline flexibility and enabling users to concentrate on the art of lighting instead of managing technology.

Volume Rendering for "Avatar"

Antoine Bouthors and Mark Davies, Weta Digital

How Weta Digital achieved efficient, realistic stereo rendering of volumetric elements and their integration with the compositing engine.

Compositing "Avatar"

Peter Hillman, Erik Winquist, and Matthew Welford, Weta Digital

This presentation outlines some of the adaptations that Weta Digital made to its compositing pipeline to deliver "Avatar": simplifying stereo compositing and stereo-image handling, and avoiding the need to render holdout masks to composite render layers.

A Physically Based Approach to Virtual Character Deformations

Simon Clutterbuck and James Jacobs, Weta Digital

James Cameron's "Avatar" required the principal digital characters to be photo-realistic, full-screen, and almost fully naked in hundreds of shots. To accomplish this task, Weta Digital developed a robust character-simulation toolset that delivered the required level of realism.

Rendering "Avatar": Spherical Harmonics in Production

Nick McKenzie, Martin Hill, and Jon Allitt, Weta Digital

This session covers the application of spherical harmonics in a production rendering environment for accelerated final-frame rendering of complex scenes and materials.

PantaRay: Directional Occlusion for Fast Cinematic Lighting of Massive Scenes

Jacopo Pantaleoni and Timo Aila, NVIDIA Research; David Luebke, NVIDIA Corporation; Luca Fascione, Martin Hill, Weta Digital

NVIDIA Research and Weta Digital present the results of a joint research collaboration, and describe the architecture of a novel ray tracing system for precomputing the sparse directional occlusion caches used as a primary lighting technology during the making of "Avatar".

"Avatar": Bending Rigid Bodies

Brice Criswell, Michael Lentine, and Steve Sauers, Industrial Light & Magic

This session describes the tools recently developed at Industrial Light & Magic for automatically modeling surface deformations produced during bending and denting of rigid materials.

"Avatar": Modeling a Jungle, From Template to Film

Shawn Dunn and Marco Revelant, Weta Digital

The vast and epic environments in "Avatar" presented unique technical hurdles. Weta Digital developed tools and procedures to create realistic, high-density 3D environments. This presentation explores the process and tools used in modeling and layout of these very complex environments.

Digital Water for "Avatar"

Allen Hemberger, Christoph Sprenger, Diego Trazzi, and Sebastian Marino, Weta Digital

Detailed description of the full-CG stereographic water pipeline for "Avatar", from innovative fluid simulation through a custom-designed levelset-based post-processing stage to final renders using a modular shading strategy.

An Accurate Method for Acquiring High-Resolution Skin-Displacement Maps

Gino Acevedo and Eugene D'Eon, Weta Digital

An efficient and precise method for acquiring skin-displacement maps is an essential component for creating an accurate appearance model for faces, hands, and skin in general.

To view all the Production Sessions that will be presented at SIGGRAPH 2010, visit http://www.siggraph.org/s2010/for_attendees/computer_animation_festival/production_sessions

iZ3D Drivers Power 3D Gaming on Zalman Monitors
3D-News Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010 (0:37 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


iZ3D Inc., designer, developer and pioneer of advanced stereoscopic 3D visualization systems and software, announced a new relationship with Zalman, Inc. The goal of the liaison is to provide Zalman display customers with the very best in 3D gaming visualization. The world recognized iZ3D Drivers are now being included in all new Zalman 3D monitors sold on the market today.

"The iZ3D Drivers have been widely accepted as the standard for 3D gaming. We have a large community of 3D gamers that utilize our drivers on previous versions of Zalman monitors, so this partnership will help give new gamers a great first impression on the new Zalman 3D solutions," stated Tom Striegler, CEO for iZ3D, Inc.

The Zalman 3D format has been implemented into the iZ3D Driver v. 1.10 Final. This version of the driver is included in all new Zalman 3D monitor sales.

20th Century Fox and James Cameron Announce AVATAR: SPECIAL EDITION Limited Theatrical Engagement, Begins August 27, Exclusively in Digital 3D and IMAX® 3D
3D-News Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010 (0:33 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


This version of Cameron's history-making and groundbreaking epic will include more than eight minutes of new footage. Since – and largely as of result of - AVATAR's release last December, the number of available digital 3D screens has exploded, and moviegoers who missed experiencing the film in 3D will now have that opportunity.

Commented James Cameron: "Audiences repeatedly told me they wanted more of Pandora, and wished they could have stayed there longer. So we're making that possible. AVATAR: SPECIAL EDITION will be exclusively in 3D, and will have eight minutes of never before seen footage, including new creatures and action scenes. Whether you already love the movie, or you've never seen it, with this Special Edition, you'll be seeing it like never before."

Commented Fox Filmed Entertainment chairmen and CEOs, Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman: “AVATAR: SPECIAL EDITION is especially gratifying, because not only has AVATAR become one of the most beloved films in history, but after its initial theatrical release, we have been inundated with requests to re-release the film in theaters in 3D. Equally important, we're thrilled that Jim Cameron is able to give audiences even more of what they loved about AVATAR.”

The Oscar® and Golden Globe® winning epic is the highest grossing film of all time, taking in over $2.7 billion in worldwide box office. It is also the top-selling Blu-ray disc of all time. Director James Cameron takes audiences to a spectacular world beyond imagination, where a reluctant hero embarks on a journey of redemption and discovery as he leads a heroic battle to save a civilization. AVATAR delivers a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film disappears into the emotion of the characters and the epic nature of the story.

S-3D Gaming Alliance and Top Gaming Companies Join Forces on the Largest Study of What Gamers Want, Over 50 Prizes to Be Won
3D-News Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010 (0:27 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Leading display manufacturers and game developers are committed to stereoscopic 3D gaming, and a crucial piece of the 3D puzzle is having a firm grasp of what customers want, and which experiences will ultimately sell. The U-Decide Initiative is an industry-wide effort to survey PC and console gamers around the world to find out more about the consumer perspective. The survey opened on July 7th and ends October 1st, 2010.

"Panasonic supports this effort to tie consumers to 3D technology. That's why we joined The S-3D Gaming Alliance (S3DGA), and we are adding a Panasonic 3D HDTV as the grand prize. Reviewers say it's the best 3D HDTV out there, and we think gamers will be excited by this," said James Mercs, Managing Director of Panasonic Hollywood Labs.

Once the study ends, a drawing for over 50 great prizes will be held. Respondents could win a Panasonic 3D HDTV, a Zalman FullHD 21.5 inch 3D Monitor, quality gaming headsets by Steelseries, and over 40 PC and console games by Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Blitz Games Studios.

"Electronic Arts is a founding sponsor of U-Decide, and we hope gamers will enjoy the 25 titles we are adding to the drawing for PC and consoles. We anticipate hearing what gamers have to say about stereoscopic 3D gaming, and the products they are most excited about," said Alan Price, Chief Technical Officer for Electronic Arts Canada.

The survey is multiple choice and only takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Interested gamers should visit S3DGA's consumer arm Meant to be Seen at http://www.mtbs3d.com and select U-Decide from the top menu. While Meant to be Seen registration is required, it is both free and instantaneous.

Game developers and companies interested in helping shape the future of stereoscopic 3D gaming please visit http://www.S3DGA.com for membership details.

Geneva Film Co. Launches Lexus Into the Third Dimension
3D-News Posted: Thursday, July 1, 2010 (23:48 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Geneva Film Co., a producer of stereoscopic 3D commercials for theatre and television, announced it will take luxury automaker Lexus into the third dimension in early July with the launch of the brand's new "Pitch" campaign for the Lexus LFA.

The commercial is Lexus's first foray into the world of 3D. It is also the world's first automotive brand to leverage 3D as an advertising medium.

The spot, which will open for Paramount's new 3D release "The Last Airbender," was created by Team One. It showcases the Lexus LFA's ability to generate a tone to break a champagne glass. The 3D version of the spot was produced in Toronto by Geneva Film Co's founder producer/director James Stewart. The spot, entitled "Pitch" will be distributed to US theaters through the NCM Cinema Network - the nation's largest digital in-theater network. A 2D version of the spot can be viewed via this YouTube link.

The Lexus LFA project follows on the heels of Stewart's most recent 3D work for Sprint which launched in May with Shrek Forever After.

Stewart notes that Geneva is fielding mounting demand for its 3D expertise as advertisers clamor to be first movers in this new and exploding field, as evidenced by recent outstanding industry attendance at Geneva-led sessions on the 3D Revolution at Cannes Lions and Banff Television Festival. "We're just seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of major brand acceptance of 3D as a powerful and immersive advertising medium. We are fielding more and more calls every day from agencies looking for our support. A generation from now, we'll look back on Lexus as true pioneers in this immersive medium. They can proudly claim first to market rights in their brand categories," says James Stewart.

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