3D-News Archive August 2001


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New, modified View-Master Viewers by 3-D Book Productions
3D-News Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2001 (2:17 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


3-D Book Productions of the Netherlands introduced a range of newly
modified View-Master Viewers featuring lighting and excellent
achromatic lenses with magnifications up to 10x.



The viewers complement 3-D Book Productions' wide range of View-Master
related books, covering such diverse fields as the History of 3D,
plant- and animal life, world travel and medical imaging.

For more information, please visit 3-D Book Productions on the
internet at http://www.stereoscopy.com/3d-books

The 3D PC – New Ways of Communicating with Computers
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 (2:58 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Graphic human-computer interfaces based on windows, icons and mouse
pointers have considerably simplified the use of computers, compared
with the early text-oriented input and output techniques. At the IFA
2001 (August 25 to September 02, 2001 at Messe Berlin/Germany, Hall
5.3 / Booth 02), the Heinrich-Hertz-Institut (HHI) demonstrates how
our working environment can be made even more user-friendly in the
future.

The autostereoscopic 3D display (3D without stereo glasses) turns the
graphic user interface into a three-dimensional interaction "arena",
at which the user looks like through a window. The third dimension
virtually offers one more dimension to clearly visualize the data flow
and interplay of programs, e.g. in complex multimedia applications.


Computer workstation with a 3D display and interface device for multimodal
interaction. The user communicates with the PC using conventional input
devices (mouse, keyboard) as well as speech input, eye gaze and hand gestures.


The HHI 3D display automatically orients itself to the user's eyes.
This way, the user literally remains "in the picture" at any time and
can fully concentrate on the 3D objects displayed in the virtual arena
(Face-to-Face principle). Special cameras, integrated in the 3D
display, record every movement of the head and every change in the
user's gaze. This way, programs and interactive buttons can be
selected by simply looking at them and can then be activated by verbal
command. Additional cameras observe the hands, so that virtual 3D
media objects can be touched and manipulated by hand gestures. A novel
3D display concept (the Accommodation Display) has been developed
allowing natural interactions with virtual objects floating within the
user's reach distance in front of the display screen.

This system opens up entirely new ways of communicating with
computers (multimodal interaction). A special 3D operating system
provides the platform for a variety of applications to be used in
offices and in teleworking. It supports 3D video communication, 3D
designing, e-commerce applications - and of course it also allows 3D
video games.

Moreover, the 3D displays presented at the IFA 2001 can be used in
connection with today's PCs, for example in 3D modeling and animation
applications (3D plugin for 3D Studio MAX) and in 3D computer games
using the DirectX API.


Autostereoscopic monitor for Windows applications (3D game)


The computer senses and interprets the user's eye gaze


Accommodation Display: A novel high-resolution autostereoscopic
3D display for Mixed-Reality applications. Virtual 3D objects
floating in front of the 3D monitor can be touched and manipulated
by simple hand gestures


For more information:
Heinrich-Hertz-Institut for Communication Technology
Interactive Media - Human Factors Department
Einsteinufer 37
10587 Berlin, Germany
Fax +49-(0)30-3 10 02-2 12
http://www.hhi.de/im

Titanic's Cameron dives for "Abyss" documentary
3D-News Posted: Thursday, August 16, 2001 (14:11 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


"Titanic" director James Cameron is about to set sail on his next maritime project.

He is developing a 45-minute documentary that will focus on underwater
explorations of both Titanic and sunken German WWII battleship the
Bismarck. The film, "Ghosts of the Abyss," will be a large-format
feature to be shot by Cameron in 3-D digital video.

Cameron is in Newfoundland, Canada, from which a Russian research
vessel used on "Titanic" will set sail Monday for the underwater
shoot.

"We have been preparing for this expedition for three years, putting
together the technology to go beyond what's been done before,"
Cameron said in a statement. "Now that we're going, everyone's pretty
excited. We have a very good team, many of whom were with me on the
("Titanic") expedition."

The move comes as a similar project for ABC, which was announced in
May, has been put on hold indefinitely.

Cameron will also co-executive produce, partnered with Walden Media,
an educational producer owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz'
Anschutz Co and formed by former Dimension Films president Cary
Granat.

There actually are three Camerons participating in the project. The
filmmaker's brother John David Cameron will capture making-of footage
of the exploration, and brother Mike Cameron will be chief designer
of the deep-diving 3-D camera housing and related technology used in
the picture's production.

James Cameron will use specially developed Sony digital-video cameras
on the picture. The cameras will be deployed on submarines launched
from the Russian vessel, with subs then deploying remotely operated
vehicles to film underwater locations that are particularly difficult
to access.

Siggraph 2001 Stereoscopy-related Courses & Papers
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2001 (12:39 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Measurement and Presentation
Thursday, 16 August (8:30 - 10:15 am, Petree Hall D)

Interactive Stereoscopic Display for Three or More Users

Yoshifumi Kitamura
Sumihiko Yamamoto
Fumio Kishino
(Osaka University)

Takashige Konishi
(Toppan Printing Co., Ltd.)



Image-Based Modeling and Rendering
Friday, 17 August (10:30 am - 12:15 pm, West Hall A)

Hybrid Stereo Camera: An IBR Approach for Synthesis of Very High
Resolution Stereoscopic Image Sequences


Harpreet S. Sawhney
Yanlin Guo
Keith Hanna
Rakesh Kumar
(Sarnoff Corporation)

Sean Adkins
Samuel Zhou
(IMAX Corporation)

Ultra-Bright Ultra-High Resolution Reality Center (Siggraph 2001)
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2001 (12:32 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Chair's Prerogative Exhibit

Simulation Products In this stereoscopic projection demonstration,
high-resolution light-valve projectors are modified with simulation-
based optimizations that are normally applied only to CRT projection.
The result: A Reality Center without walls that opens up multi-
channel, curved-screen stereoscopic displays to larger audiences and
greater collaboration than previously possible.

Technical Innovations

  • State of the art in stereoscopic light-valve projection technology
  • Advanced geometry correction for curved-screen light-valve projection
  • Advanced soft-edge matching for multi-channel light-valve projection
Andrew Joel
BARCO Simulation Products (A Division of BARCO Projection Systems)
3240 Town Point Drive
Kennesaw, Georgia 30144 USA
andrew.joel@barco.com
www.barco.com/projection_systems/ virtual_and_augmented_reality/

Illusion Hole (Siggraph 2001)
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2001 (12:25 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Juried Exhibit

This interactive, stereoscopic display system allows three
or more moving observers to simultaneously observe individual
stereoscopic image pairs from their own viewpoints. With a
simple configuration, it provides intelligible 3D stereoscopic
images free of flicker and distortion.

Technical Innovations

  • Collaborative
  • Multiple simultaneous viewing of correct stereographic imagery
  • Mixed reality
Yoshifumi Kitamura
Osaka University
2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita
Osaka 565-0871 JAPAN
kitamura@eie.eng.osaka-u.ac.jp
www-human.eie.eng.osaka-u.ac.jp/~kitamura/

VisuaLABS fires the Zelitts amid technology scandal
3D-News Posted: Monday, August 6, 2001 (12:58 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


At its meeting on Friday, July 20, 2001, the VisuaLABS board of directors
received a report from its president, John Kendall, raising serious
concerns respecting the status and viability of the company's GroutFree
technology and misrepresentations made by the company's chief executive
officer, Sheldon Zelitt, at, and subsequent to, the company's annual and
special meeting held July 3, 2001. Mr. Kendall (who replaced Mr. Zelitt as
president on May 8, 2001) first became concerned as to the GroutFree
technology on Monday, July 16, 2001, consulted with counsel on Tuesday,
July 17, 2001, confronted Mr. Zelitt later that day, and shortly thereafter
called the July 20, 2001, board meeting, giving the required 48-hour notice
to all directors.

At the July 20 meeting, the board reviewed memoranda from Mr. Zelitt and
received his undertaking to co-operate fully with the special committee
established at that meeting to review the misrepresentations made by Mr.
Zelitt at the annual meeting and the status of the company's technology
generally, including its 3-D technology. Mr. Zelitt has failed to fully
co-operate with the special committee. In addition, Mr. Zelitt's memoranda
to the board also contained several further misrepresentations. As a result
of the special committee's concerns regarding Mr. Zelitt's memoranda to the
board and his overall lack of co-operation, the special committee has been
hampered in its efforts to fully complete its review.

To date, the special committee has not seen any prototype or other
demonstration of the company's GroutFree technology. Mr. Zelitt has refused
to return the original two-by-one prototype to the company. The special
committee has concluded that the GroutFree technology is clearly not as
advanced as represented. The large screen GroutFree prototype demonstrated
at the annual meeting was, in fact, a standard 42-inch plasma television
purchased by Mr. Zelitt, without the knowledge of any other company
official, at a local Calgary consumer electronics retailer on June 28,
2001. The device was modified by Mr. Zelitt in a minor way which was not
readily apparent, but in any event, does not substantiate the GroutFree
technology. The committee believes that no working prototype of a device
incorporating the GroutFree technology exists.

Additionally, the 3-D technology upon which the company was originally
founded, and for which Mr. Zelitt and Joy Zelitt received their shares in
the company, is also not as it has been represented. Mr. Zelitt has been
asked to identify and produce for the special committee's inspection any
3-D electro-optical or other hardware modifications, which he represented
to exist. Mr. Zelitt has failed to do so. The special committee has
concluded that the 3-D effect demonstrated by the company over the years
is, in fact, generated from the content of the tape and is not the product
of electro-optical or other hardware modifications to display devices. The
precise manner in which the 3-D effect is achieved in the demonstration
tape and the ownership of the technology to create the demonstration tape
is unknown to the special committee, although Mr. Zelitt has advised that
it is owned by VisuaLABS.

The company expects to take steps to have the shares held by Mr. and Mrs.
Zelitt cancelled without consideration and to pursue other available claims
and remedies. The company has terminated the employment of Mr. Sheldon and
Mrs. Zelitt effective immediately, for cause in the case of Mr. Zelitt. The
company has no evidence of any knowledge or involvement of Mrs. Zelitt or
any other person in any of Mr. Zelitt's actions. Mrs. Zelitt's co-operation
has been requested to determine the state of her knowledge of relevant
matters and assist in the determination of her entitlement, if any, to
severance. Further, the company has determined to wholly discontinue its
European office and operations effective immediately. These and other steps
are expected to reduce the company's general and administrative expenses by
approximately 50 per cent from recent levels.

The special committee has reported that there are two remaining early-stage
technological developments in the company, which have been produced by
other scientists working in the company's labs -- an alternate GroutFree
proposal and a real time depth recovery process to map depth in existing
2-D images.

The board is proposing to develop a plan acceptable to the shareholders
generally (excluding Mr. and Mrs. Zelitt) to permit the company to move
forward as a going concern. The plan is expected to include significant
reductions in the company's cash-usage rate and the deployment of the
company's available capital resources to further develop the company's
remaining technologies and pursue the commercialization of those
technologies. The board's proposals in this regard will be developed and
communicated to shareholders as soon as reasonably possible and in any
event by the end of August. At this point the company is, at best, an
early-stage technology company with significant liquid capital and human
resources.

Each of the directors of the company, excluding Mr. and Mrs. Zelitt who
will be asked to tender their resignations, has confirmed that he intends
to continue to serve as a director of the company at least until the future
business plan has been developed and disseminated. The directors wish to
acknowledge the invaluable assistance of all of the company's other
personnel in addressing these matters. Shareholders are thanked for their
patience and understanding in these difficult circumstances.

The company will co-operate with securities commissions and any other
authorities that commence investigations or proceedings with respect to
these matters.

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Editor-in-Chief: Alexander Klein.

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