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7,000+ 3D Projectors Ready for 'Avatar'
New technology from Texas Instruments will be used to screen Cameron's epic
By Brent Lang | Excerpt:

James Cameron's upcoming 3D epic "Avatar" received some good news Monday morning: Texas Instruments DLP Cinema announced that it had reached the milestone of over 14,000 theater installations globally, more than half of which boast the projection technology required to show the film in three dimensions.

There had been concerns when Cameron's film went into production more than three years ago that not enough theaters would have the projectors needed to screen the "Titanic" director's next movie in 3D.

“DLP’s cutting edge technology will play an important role in bringing ‘Avatar’ to life for moviegoers around the world,” Bruce Snyder, Fox’s president of domestic distribution, said in a statement.

During the filming of “Avatar,” DLP projectors were used for real-time viewing of the footage being shot. Additionally, Cameron and his production company, Lightstorm Entertainment, used DLP Cinema projectors during post-production to provide contrast ratios, color calibration and 3D imagery.

The more than $200 million film is the first live-action movie to be shot entirely with 3D technology. Exhibitors using projectors from DLP Cinema’s three licensees (Barco, Christie Digital and NEC) provide the capability to light up screens as big as 100 feet and 3D screens up to 75 feet.

Real D announces designer 3D-wear
Glasses set to include prescription lenses
By DAVID S. COHEN | Source:

Skeptics of 3D have long pointed to the need for glasses as a reason for doubt about the future of stereoscopic filmmaking. The glasses are often ill-fitting and frankly unattractive. Plus, they're a big inconvenience for people who already wear glasses.

At the 3D Entertainment Summit came an announcement of one possible answer: designer and prescription glasses with lenses compatible with Real D 3D.

While Real D hasn't made a formal announcement, Real D topper Michael Lewis tipped the story after Fox Sports chairman David Hill said he thought great-looking glasses would change the picture for 3D.

"I have two teenaged girls, and they don't want to go on dates looking like they're going to do some spot welding," Hill said. Lewis responded that designer Real D glasses, including Gucci designs, will be available "in certain outlets" before "Avatar" opens in December.

Prescription glasses are on the way some time later. Lewis told Daily Variety that there are also plans for toddler-sized glasses. "That's been one of the issues we've had with glasses, sizing wise, so we'll be offering that as well."

Harkness Screens Takes On Another Dimension With Full Lineup Of 3D Offerings At InfoComm 2009

Harkness Screens, the world's leading manufacturer of projection screens for cinema applications, will be showcasing its 3D screen offerings at InfoComm 2009 (Booth 2935).

Ranging from its Spectral 240, Perlux 140, 180 and 220 to its RP 3D and Matt Plus, all Harkness 3D screen surfaces are formulated to provide high-performance stereoscopic 3D images.

The Spectral 240, commonly referred to as a "silver screen", is used for 'passive' front projection with 3D systems using polarized light. The extinction ratio is high and provides spectacular 3D images.

Harkness' Perlux surfaces are recommended for 'active' (shutter eyewear) 3D systems and 'passive' systems not using polarized light. Three levels of gain (1.4, 1.8 and 2.2) are available from different screen sizes to overcome inherent light losses in 3D projection.

The RP 3D screen is specially formulated for 'passive' 3D systems using polarized light in applications where rear projection is required. Harkness' Matt Plus screens are considered by leading cinema exhibitors worldwide to be the best matt white projection surface.

NEC readies 3D projectors for
cinemas in Europe
Kevin Spiess | Source:

2009 seems like it'll be the year 3D really starts to take off. For PC gamers, we have new models of 3D monitors coming out all over the place, such as from iZ3D and Zalman. Nvidia has thrown their hat into the ring with new 3D glasses. And 3D movies will very soon start to become more commonplace.

In Europe, NEC has announced that they will be supplying Odeon cinemas with 3D NC1600C projectors. The DLP projectors are capable of producing an image of 2048x1080 resolution, 17,000 Lumens bright, on a medium sized cinema screen.

In Japan, these NEC DLP projectors have been lighting up movie theaters for about 3 years now.

Disney has put more of their massive weight behind going 3D this year. They plan to release a animated Dreamworks movie called Aliens VS. Monsters, which has a great amount of extra 3D detail, rendered using Intel's InTru 3D technology, that will only be capitalized upon by 3D projectors.

As film piracy and high-def video rentals continue to cut into Hollywood's profits (according to Hollywood), shifting movie theaters to 3D projectors might be a great way to get people going out to the movies again.

XpanD Launches the 'X101 Series' The New Generation in 3D Glasses Technology
By Darren Murph

XpanD announced the official roll-out of its newest model of 3D glasses 'the X101 Series' introducing them as the most sophisticated technology in today’s marketplace for viewing stereoscopic 3D digital cinema.

The core 3D viewing technology is the company’s patented 'pi-cell' system, in which a specialized, fast-switching liquid crystal cell provides rapid, stereoscopic shutter action to deliver alternate right- and left-eye images. New and upgraded features of the redesign were added with both exhibitors and their customers in mind.

They include rugged construction with built-in flex points and replaceable batteries that extend product life, a lightweight and stylish form factor that is comfortable even when worn over eyeglasses, a modular design to accommodate both adults and children, environmentally friendly diodes, and a power-saving auto on/off mechanism.

The light-efficient technology delivers the brightest possible picture and saves projector lamp power. The glasses also feature long-range IR signal activation, compatibility with DLP cinema chips, and a choice of two elective anti-theft systems.

Seeing stereo
By Glen Schaefer | Source:

Vancouver's camera operators are getting trained to take advantage of the current boom in 3-D movie production. Seems eveyone's discovered 3D -— currently in theatres is the 3-D horror remake My Bloody Valentine, while James Cameron's new fantasy Avatar hits 3-D screens next December.

The U.S.-produced 3-D family thriller The Hole started filming in Vancouver in December, using an all-American camera department to run its 3-D digital gear.

But the $20-million production struck a deal with the IATSE local that represents B.C. camera operators to jointly finance 3-D training for Vancouver operators. The result is that as the movie goes into its second month of prduction, half of the camera operators are now Canadian.

That'll be a boon down the road to producers and workers alike, especially when the megabudget 3-D sequel TRON 2.0 starts filming here in April.


All of the articles on this page are excerpts, click on the source link for the complete article.

Avatar's Special Effects
Enhanced by Overdrive Technology

The 3D Computer Graphic Adventure Earned Over 750 Million Worldwide in its First Two Weeks. Concept Overdrive Discusses its Extensive Role in the Creation of Many of the Film's Special Effects.

James Cameron's 3D computer graphic adventure Avatar broke box office records in its first two weeks, largely because of the films stunning special effects; Concept Overdrive is proud to announce the technologies which were at the core of many of those effects.

"We were approached by the Avatar production in late 2005 because we had been developing real time motion management systems," said Concept Overdrive President Steve Rosenbluth.

Swingcam Virtual Camera used on Avatar

"The Avatar workflow was all about integrating streams of motion in the production environment, both real and virtual, so our technology was a perfect match." Six Overdrive motion management systems were used during production, and the "Synthesis" render pipeline system was developed. Concept Overdrive technology was also integrated into Virtual Camera and Camera Wheels applications.

Avatar's biomechanical "Amp-suit" was on a hydraulic motion base controlled by an "Overdrive" motion control system. Motion paths from Maya and Motion Builder were imported, accelerations modified on the Overdrive timeline, and ethernet SDK triggers from other systems synchronized the base with camera and CG departments.

Hi-Def camera telemetry was gathered by Concept Overdrive's streaming SDK in microcontrollers on the camera bus. Overdrive read camera focus, iris, zoom, interocular and convergence data, acting as a streaming telemetry server. Datasets were recorded in the Overdrive motion editor by remote computers using the ethernet SDK - thus the real world camera metadata was both distributed live to other departments and stored for post production. The "Samson" helicopter was filmed on a hydraulic gimbal controlled live by the Overdrive control system.

3-D Glasses From
"It Came From Out Of Space" To "Avatar"
By Ron Callari | Excerpt:

With the recent release of "Avatar," the world of 3-D viewing has once again become part of our zeitgeist. Unknown to many, 3-D films have had a long history dating as far back as the 1890s.

However due to costly hardware, the technical processes and a lack of standardized formatting, the popularity of 3-D films that emerged in the 1950s waned over the years. That is... until today.

Currently experiencing a world-wide resurgence coinciding with the development of computer-generated imagery, performance capture and hi-def video, films like Tim Burton's soon to be released "Alice in Wonderland" will follow suit with "Disney's A Christmas Carol" and "Avatar."

With so much history, how has the eye-wear technology kept pace with all of these the cinematic advances? One of the first 3-D films to capture the imagination of large audiences was Universal-International's release of their first 3-D feature on May 27, 1953, "It Came from Outer Space," with stereophonic sound. However, the technology back then was somewhat primitive. Notice the blurred visuals in this scene from the movie. Without 3-D glasses, people were definitely handicapped.

The 3-D glasses made at the time created the illusion of three dimensions on a two dimensional surface. The traditional 3D glasses of the 50s have one red lens and one blue or cyan lens. 3D glasses made of cardboard and plastic were distributed at 3D movies. Another kind of 3D glasses used polarized filters, with one lens polarized vertically and the other horizontally. Polarized 3D glasses allow for color 3D, while the red-blue lenses produced a dull black-and-white picture with red and blue fringes.

Next Generation 3D Technology site quote: PACE's Fusion 3D camera system was used to shoot the sci-fi epic 'Avatar' - director James Cameron's first major motion picture since 'Titanic'. The film, scheduled for a December 2009 release, promises a revolutionary blend of CG and live-action, all coming together in stunning digital 3D.

PACE is the world's leading innovator in advanced 3D and Digital Cinema Systems.

Trusted by many of the top names in industry, the team at PACE, in collaberation with Director James Cameron, has designed and developed the FUSION camera system, capable of creating content in some of the planet's most extreme locations.

The Pace Fusion 3D Digital Camera

The Pace Fusion 3D digital camera, used by director James Cameron for his movie Avatar to show in 2009, has two lenses side by side; the dual signals from the camera are sent by cable to a remote storage system.

The camera's lenses can be positioned a variable distance apart for different shooting circumstances. These cameras have also been used to shoot National Basketball Association games for live broadcast.

"With digital 3D projection, we will be entering a new age of cinema. Audiences will be seeing something which was never technically possible before the age of digital cinema - a stunning visual experience which 'turbocharges' the viewing of the biggest, must-see movies. The biggest action, visual effects and fantasy movies will soon be shot in 3D. And all-CG animated films can easily be converted to 3D, without additional cost if it is done as they are made. Soon audiences will associate 3D with the highest level of visual content in the market, and seek out that premium experience." . . . . . James Cameron, on the future of 3D

DSLR kit for the Canon EOS D5 Mark II
By Jose Fermoso | Source:

RedRock announced a new kit made specifically for the new Canon D5 Mark II DSLR camera so you can use the camera more efficiently as a movie camera. This is the DSLR camera that shoots 1080 Hi-Def Video! The kit comes with a follow focus (for precise repeatable focusing), a matte box (to hold your filters), rods and mounting hardware and more to connect the entire kit to your camera. I still can't get over how cool it will be to shoot a movie on a Digital SLR camera. RedRock website:

Five gadgets to let you go 3D now
Embrace the three-dimensional world
By Stuart Miles | Source:

While most of the discussion about 3D is all about the future and what that holds you can actually go 3D right now with a handful of gadgets. Whether its TVs, video gaming, taking photographs or just watching a movie there is an offering for you.

Here are five ways you can embrace the third-dimension:

Nvidia Vision

The kit, which includes a pair of the 3D vision glasses, will cost £130 but you'll also need a display capable of 120Hz output. Most displays only reach 75Hz or so, so you can pick up a Samsung SyncMaster 2233RZ 120Hz LCD monitor bundled with the 3D Vision package for £399. Once you've installed it all you'll be able to enjoy 3D gaming like Fallout 3, Crisis, Elder Scrolls 4, Need for Speed Shift, and Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao. The game to watch out for though, will be Avatar due out in December.

Novo Minoru 3D webcam

The Minoru webcam has two cameras spaced roughly the same distance apart as human eyes, for the necessary stereoscopic effect , i.e., 3D. This creates an "anthropomorphic" look that means users tend to look into the eyes of the camera as they light up. Viewers wear special coloured glasses to see the 3D image, with five pairs bundled in with the hardware. The webcam can be used with Windows Live Messenger, Skype, AOL instant messenger, OoVoo and other video conferencing packages. Novo Minoru 3D webcam review

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 digital camera

3D isn't just about watching, it's also about taking and that's exactly what the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 digital camera lets you do. Using two camera sensors you can snap shots in 3D. Of course you can use the camera as a regular point and shoot as well. For those who are already addicted to 3D content creation, be it video or still, the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 is a dream come true, the catch is that the kit involves a lot of faffing to get the best out of your pictures once they are on your computer. Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 digital camera review

Coraline, Journey to the center of the Earth, Saw IV, My Bloody Valentine movies

Using a variant of the anaglyph 3D technology you can already get 3D movies without having to upgrade your TV set or DVD player. You will still have to wear glasses however, in this instance green and magenta, but it will save you having to go to the cinema or buying an expensive TV set.

Samsung 3DTV

Samsung already offers 3D technology on some of its TVs already, it's just there isn't that much content around for you to get really excited as yet. Still if you can find it you can sign up to a 60-inch plasma from the Korean company. You'll have to wear glasses of course - in this case ones with the shutter technology, but if you've got the games or the content you can start enjoying the third-dimension right now. Better still it also means you'll be ready for the wave of new content coming from the likes of Sky and the movie studios. The only catch is that without a standardised 3D format you might find yourself with the "laser disc" of the 3D world.

RED Releases New Digital Video and Still Camera System, Including a 3D Video Prototype
By Jose Fermoso | Source:

Maybe we can finally believe the hype. Jim Jannard is formally announcing his customizable digital video and still camera RED system today that aims to take on DSLRs and further push the boundaries of video quality. But the hypemaster couldn't help himself with only one announcement. Oh no. He had to go out and give us a prototype of a RED 3D camera (see pic below), giving the 3D movement another boost of juice (albeit a vaporware-ish one) that suggests that technology will be legitimate and mainstream within a few years.

After taking a quick look at the specs of RED's DSMC, we can say that the system is, above all, ridiculously ambitious. You have to build up the camera from the 'brain' of the system (named 'Scarlet' and the super high-end 'EPIC'), built with camera sensors that range from 2/3 of an inch to a huge 6x17-cm. That sensor’s bigger than my apartment. But probably the most interesting idea about this system is its easily customizable design.

3DVX camera system
3DVX Technology and Design Philosophy

In 2004, 21st Century 3D developed the first 3DVX camera system. This revolutionary stereoscopic camera leveraged the image quality and portability of the Panasonic AG-DVX100a to become the world’s smallest and lightest full frame stereoscopic camcorder. The DVX-100 series has been lauded by professional DPs since its introduction for its progressive scan capabilities and outstanding image quality.

Compact size and light weight also made it an ideal choice for a stereoscopic system. 21st Century 3D developed a breakthrough hardware technology that modified the cameras and allowed them to be genlocked for precise image synchronization.

This synchronization is critically important for stereoscopic recordings, but the capability is not built into the DVX cameras. By driving both cameras from the same timing circuitry, perfect synchronization is maintained between left and right images at all times. Other enhancements synchronize the camera’s other primary functions. Mechanical modifications to the DVX cameras also facilitated their use in a stereoscopic system. In addition to compact size and ease of operation, 3DVX camera systems differ from most traditional 3D motion picture systems in another important way.

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