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November 2007 Archives

November 1, 2007

Update on Hallmark lenticular Christmas Cards

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Here are two of the better examples of the lenticular motion Christmas cards sold by Hallmark this year. Santa Claus and his trophy wife, Mrs. Claus, bump hips in the first and a woman responds unhappily to a gaudy holiday sweater in the second.

November 3, 2007

"Beowulf in Digital 3D" Opens on November 16, 2007

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Tonight will be different! I am the ripper, the terror, the slasher. I am the teeth in the darkness! My name is strength! And lust! And power! I AM BEOWULF!

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GRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrr!

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Are you the one they call Beowulf? Such a strong man you are. A man like you could own the greatest tale ever sung. Beowul. . .Stay with me. Give me a son, and I shall make you the greatest king that ever lived. This. . .I swear. . .




Directed by Robert Zemeckis, who successfully brought us The Polar Express in 3D in 2004, with a screenplay co-written by comic book fan favorite, Neil Gaiman Beowulf in Digital 3D opens on November 16, 2007.

This digital capture, full CGI animation stars Ray Winstone as Beowulf, Anthony Hopkins as King Hrothgar, Crispin Glover as Grendel and Angelina Jolie as Grendel's mother. I'm excited to learn that it will contain "intense sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sexual material and nudity." Cool!

For those of you who didn't have to read this in high school, Beowulf is an eighth century English epic poem about a legendary Scandinavian hero who saves the Danes first from a monster named Grendel, then from Grendel's mother who begins her own campaign of terror in revenge.

Hollywood, being no doubt aware of the immense popularity of epic Olde English poetry among today's youth, green lighted this film in a cynical attempt to cash in on the fad before the youth market moves on to say, The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.

[ Also highly reccommended, though not in 3D, is John Gardner's 1971 classic Grendel, told from the monster's view point.]

November 9, 2007

Margaret Mead Film Festival - Friends in the News

New York Stereoscopic Society member/friend/supporter Elaine Charnov gets some nice ink in the "Public Lives" column of today's New York Times. The interviewer makes some kitschy references to the 3D glasses Elaine keeps at her desk. Those glasses are handy because she appreciates the work of 3D filmmakers and documentary photographers.

(Funny coincidence, the office photo shows a poster from a recent lecture by fellow NYSS member Oliver Sacks. He spoke at the Museum last week in connection with his newest book Musicophilia)

Now we need to persuade Elaine to dust off her Stereo Realist and put it to use.


November 12, 2007

Neovision Labs announces iFusion™ for Personal Media Players

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iFusion™ is an autostereoscopic screen that attaches to a variety of personal media players to allow viewing 3D content without the need for special glasses or software drivers. It is slated for release before the end of the year.

Neovision says their device will not interfere with viewing 2D content. They say "you can read even the tiniest fonts, whether it is in 2D or stereo 3D." It also will display iFusion™ compatible anaglyphs as well and that "any flat panel device can potentially be iFusion™ enabled."

According to their FAQ iFusion™ is not based on either lenticular or parallax barrier style lenses. They say it "is a completely different method of producing a stereo 3D effect." They go on to explain that

Both, lenticular lenses (LL) and parallax barriers (PB) are only capable of delivering half of the horizontal display resolution per each eye, resulting in annoying and eye straining artifacts.

For instance - if you have a 1280 X 1024 LL or PB display you will only experience a resolution of 2 X 640 X 1024 pixels when switched into 3d mode (640 X 1024 for each eye).

iFusion™ on the other hand delivers full resolution imagery to each eye (1280 X 1024), and the resulting visual impact is a major step up from those traditional 3d visualization techniques.

If what they claim for iFusion™ is true, it sounds like it could be a great addition to the 3D viewing arsenal. We look forward to its release and further evaluation.

For complete details on iFusion™, go here.

November 13, 2007

The Duke in 3D on Tuesday, November 13, at 8:00 pm in Beverly Hills, CA

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As part of a two-night exploration of 3D motion picture technology called "The Next Dimension: 3D and the Movies,” a newly restored 3D digital projection of John Wayne's 1953 film Hondo will be presented by the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

For complete details, go here.

November 18, 2007

3D in the 20th Century - YouTube video post from a friend of NYSS

Travel back in time to the downtown avant-garde arts scene of New York City 2000 — and in 3D!

Both in format and content, a rare video document.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


HOW TO SEE THE VIDEO IN 3-D:

ALL forms of stereoscopic viewing work by giving each eye its own slightly different view of a scene, so it is necessary for there to be two images to produce a 3-D effect. The two images, although very similar, are not identical because they were videotaped at a distance of a few inches apart from each other (just like human eyes). The left side is for your left eye and the right side is for your right eye.

--NYSS Member submitted post

Market Saw 3D: a Blog focused on 3D Motion Pictures - Upcoming Releases

Some people say there's a blog devoted to every topic under the sun.

Of course, this statement is unprovable and provides no real information. Some people say things that are just plain stupid. But there is a blog devoted to 3D movies and we thought we'd give it some attention here. It's called Market Saw 3D.

One interesting feature of this blog is that it tracks 3D films scheduled, tentatively scheduled, planned and rumored. So check out Market Saw 3D and look at this list of 3D movies announced for release. . .

2008
U2 3D
Journey 3D
The Dark Country
Horrorween 3D
Coraline
A Christmas Carol

2009
Avatar
Monsters vs. Aliens
Stewardesses 3D
How to Train Your Dragon
Dumbass 3D
Tintin

2010
Shrek 4

MarketSaw 3D - Upcoming Interview with Ed Meyer of Adirondack International Pictures

Thanks for the link. I am quite passionate about 3D and really appreciate feedback - I will have an interesting interview with Ed Meyer of Adirondack International Pictures next week that may interest you too!

-Jim Dorey

MarketSaw.com

NYSS Member Reviews (and explains) "Beowulf in IMAX 3D"

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The monster Grendel, performed by actor Crispin Glover and 'enhanced' with motion capture digital 3D animation.

Director Robert Zemeckis and crew have paid a great deal of attention to the volume of, and movement through the computer-generated space and have created, IMHO, the best 3D movie ever commercially released.

Expanding on methods developed for the film "Monster House," the production phase of these films is closer to theater than to filmmaking. There are no sets to dress or locations to get to; no lighting changes, camera reloads, rigging, makeup & hair, props, special effects or indeed most of the usual accoutrements of filming. Instead, there is a period of motion-capture preparation during which the actors are "suited up" with close-fitting spandex to which are attached numerous reference points. Their faces also have a plethora of such points. Then, once prepared, the director and actors can focus almost exclusively on the performances without all the usual interruptions associated with traditional filmmaking.

As the actors perform, a 360-degree field of approximately 200 tracking "cameras" sends the coordinates generated by their movements to a bank of computers, thus creating a "dot cloud." At this point in the "filming" process, there are no images, only acted motions and recorded dialog.

In order to actually see something move, a computer-generated, polygonal mesh (the outer skin of the actor, if you will), and a bone structure that represents the skeleton are needed. These meshes can be made from scratch in a computer by pushing, pulling, sculpting and otherwise deforming simple objects such as spheres, planes and cylinders. However, by laser-scanning real people and real objects, much more realistic skin meshes can be to created in a fraction of the time. This is obviously the case in "Beowulf" as the meshes, with one notable exception, are readily recognizable.

Once the skin and an appropriate skeleton have been created and merged, the "dot cloud" is used to animate them. Now there is a real-time, repeatable performance by the virtual actors that becomes the basis for everything else. All the sets, props, lighting, makeup & hair, special effects and whatever else is required by the story can be computer-generated and added wherever is best. Unlike traditional film, this provides unparalled freedom to "fix it in post." Need to move that bed over 6-inches?No problem! Want the walls a darker green? No problem! Don't like the distance between the two actors? No problem! Just adjust the position of the dot clouds! And unlike traditional techniques, there is no animator pulling the strings of a virtual puppet, but rather the original performance of the original actor is driving the movements in perfect lip synch with the original dialog.

Now the fun can really begin because, once all these elements exist in the virtual space of the computer, it's time to actually shoot the movie!

Instead of the tedious programming, that was done in many previous films, "Monster House" and "Beowulf" used actual physical devices to control the cameras' viewpoints. Much like the geared Worral head of traditional filmmaking, one of these devices has dual wheels that control the tilt and pan of the virtual cameras in the computer. Turn the wheel and the camera looks up. Turn it the other way and the camera looks down. Yet another device enables handheld camera movement. Joysticks allow dollying and zooming in combination with any of the other moves. Using these controls helps the shots retain a more human feel than can be obtained by programming. And the ability to make shot changes in real time is invaluable.

Playing the performance over and over - it is exactly the same each time, the director and cameraman can try many different angles until they have the best camera positions for maximum 3D and storytelling impact. These camera moves are recorded with and integrated into the rest of the computer generated reality. Because there are no physical cameras, the filmmaker's viewpoint is freed from the limitations of tripods and dollies and steadicams and SkyCams and cables and rigging and helicopters and weight and inertia. These virtual cameras can fly through space twisting, turning and performing impossible feats of vision. They can as easily spend minutes underwater as fly on the back of a dragon. And the incredible added advantage in 3D is that there are no limitations to interocular spacing. The virtual lenses can be moved closer or further apart to constantly provide the best possible stereo viewpoint for that moment in the film.

For me, "Beowulf" IMAX 3D is the present high water mark in a long line of increasingly more sophisticated computer-generated realities. The ultimate goal is to generate virtual actors that are indistinguishable from real people. While unable to claim that title, "Beowulf" is well along the road and combined with the consistently excellent quality of the 3D visualization, is a benchmark film. I highly recommend experiencing it at your earliest convenience.

William Meredith, CFO
Stone Circle Productions, Inc.
New York, NY

--NYSS Member submitted post

November 28, 2007

Ray Zone's 3D conversion work for "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier"

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If you're not a discerning comics fan with a taste for the off-beat, you might think you'd need to be a 3D compulsive (are you reading this, Sheldon Aronowitz?) to add Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier to your collection for the 17 pages of full color anaglyph work by Ray Zone.

This complex graphic novel will make little sense to those who have not read the previous two installments in this series. Briefly, the concept here is that various fictional characters and situations from literature co-exist in the 'real' world; a group of such heroes is brought together by the British government to fight various menaces, similar to contemporary super hero teams like DC's Justice League or Marvel's Avengers.

But even if all that holds no interest for you, I'd still recommend the purchase of this hardcover if you are a fan of 3D comics and/or the patron saint of same, Ray Zone.

His work here, concluding the present story line in a fabulous "Blazing World," is exquisite. Having this section presented in 3D makes perfect sense in terms of the plot and is a spectacular conclusion to the book.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier is $18 plus shipping from Amazon.


November 29, 2007

EXHIBITION ULTRADELIC at The Proposition Gallery - Dec. 1, 2007 thru Jan. 12, 2008

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Robert Munn and Sara Cook will have an opening showing their latest lenticular creations. The opening will be at The Proposition Gallery, 559 West 22nd Street, New York City, December 1st, 6-8 PM. The show will run through January 12, 2008.

Bob Munn is a very talented creator of lenticulars and this exhibit will show his latest work, which is a study in color, shape, design, etc., and from the preview I saw at his studio, it should be quite an interesting exhibit.

Bob will be at the opening and if you can make it there I know you would enjoy talking to him as he is a very interesting person. I will be there and I hope to see some familiar faces from the NYSS. I am told there will also be a number of known artists at the opening.

-- Sheldon Aronowitz

PRESS RELEASE

EXHIBITION ULTRADELIC

Ellen Donahue & Ronald Sosinski present "Exhibition Ultradelic," current work of New York artists Robert Munn and Sara Cook. Three dimensional & animating lenticular art. Opening Saturday December 1, 2007 6-8 pm at The Proposition Gallery, 559 West 22 St. through January 12, 2008.

ROBERT MUNN & SARA COOK founders of The Depthography Group, have been creating and exhibiting three-dimensional and animated lenticular artworks for over 17 years. "Exhibition Ultradelic" presents a body of work that is a departure from the themes of their previous shows at The Proposition Gallery. This show presents three aspects of their work. The first explores the impact of extreme dimensional effect on abstract form and texture, utilizing depth itself as an abstract element, sometimes in audacious disconnect with conventional perception.

"We set out to destroy the 'novelty' aspect of the medium and replace it with an uncompromising direct assault on that prevailing perception. We wanted to present the viewer with an experience that would be refreshingly and provocatively new," says Robert Munn. The second presents complex psychedelic animating art as a fully interactive experience as well as abstract 3d. "This medium possesses unique qualities in conveying symbolism on a subliminal level," says Sara Cook. The third presents a collection of music performance images.

As the Depthography Group, Mr. Munn and Miss Cook have produced innovative and unusual works in stereo photographic projection and three-dimensional film presentation, in 1990 they became immersed in the study, analysis, research and creation of lenticular images and over many years, the pair had devised innovative methods and procedures advancing the lenticular medium itself.

In 1992 they founded the Virtual Image Gallery, the world's first gallery devoted solely to lenticular art. Soon after in 1993 the pair worked with the noted Swiss artist H.R. Giger on a collaborative effort that was part of his Watch Abart '93 show, opening in New York and Geneva simultaneously. As The Depthography Group their work has been exhibited throughout the world. Their previous shows at the Proposition Gallery in 2002/3 and 2004/5 were well received, the latter show prompting numerous exhibits at The Deutsche Bank gallery in midtown Manhattan as well as a commission from the Tandy corporation to create 3 large lenticular images to provide an artistic focal point to the reception area of their world headquarters building in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Ellen Donahue & Ronald Sosinski present "Exhibition Ultradelic", the works of New York artists Robert Munn and Sara Cook. The show is open to the public and opens Saturday December 1, 6-8 pm at The Proposition Gallery, 559 w 22 ST. It can be seen through January 12, 2008. Call The Proposition Gallery for hours (212-242-0035) or go to www.theproposition.com.

November 30, 2007

Hannah Montana concert film in digital 3D opens February 1, 2008

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Stereo clubs around the nation have been experiencing a decline in membership brought on by an aging population of stereo enthusiasts and shooters and the decline in film and slide processing options.

But perhaps there is hope on the horizon as film, in an attempt to offer an experience not available in home theaters, embraces digital 3D projection. As advertisers and marketers well know, the key is to hook 'em while they're young. With that thought in mind we present the following. . .

Hannah Montana fans everywhere will have a chance to see their favorite singer, songwriter and actress, Miley Cyrus, perform her sold-out concert tour on the big screen in HANNAH MONTANA & MILEY CYRUS: BEST OF BOTH WORLDS CONCERT. Shot during Cyrus’s 54-city tour and exhibited in state-of-the-art Disney Digital 3D™, the film will be coming to theaters for a special one week engagement on February 1, 2008.

Philip Brutz Stereographs at Topaz Arts

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Philip Brutz is an artist and mountmaker for the Cleveland Museum of Art, as well as a member of the Ohio Stereo Photographic Society. His stereoviews made behind the scenes at the Museum will be on display at Topaz Arts in Queens through January 12, 2008. The opening reception is Saturday, December 1, 3-6pm. Otherwise, the gallery is open by appointment and for the special events listed in their calendar.

It's a busy weekend for stereoscopists in New York.

The Ullage Group

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New York Stereoscopic Society members Doug Skinner and Anthony Matt announce the formation of The Ullage Group, devoted to celebrating all things contrarian, paradoxical, lost, unpopular, and forgotten.

The inaugural event, "Five Sides of a Machine" will be held on Sunday afternoon at 3pm, Dec. 2, at Jalopy, 315 Columbia Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn. Mssrs. Skinner and Matt will examine the pros and cons of various current and outmoded projection systems (from, of course, five different criteria). There will be lantern slides, filmstrips, stereoscopic slides, and other optical delights, possibly including the Projectol, Astrascope, Radiopticon, and Balopticon. There will also be keynote speechlets and the ceremonial uncorking of the ullage.

About November 2007

This page contains all entries posted to New York Stereoscopic Society in November 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2007 is the previous archive.

December 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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