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May 2009 Archives

May 6, 2009

BeFilm Festival 2009

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Festival founder Laurence Asseraf, Bill Allen of Dolby, and Program Director Dimitris Athos.

The BeFilm Festival held a great run of 3D projections last week. Several members showed films and participated in the events. Björk's Wanderlust won the prize in the new 3D category organized by New York Stereoscopic Society member Dimitris Athos. We are looking forward to more collaborations with the Festival.

May 14, 2009

Paul Johnson Lenticular Exhibition

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Animations of some of the Paul's lenticular images are online.

Miggs Burroughs Lenticular Art: Fairfield Public Library, April 16—June 14, 2009

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Migg Burroughs is a well-known CT-based artist and graphic designer who has recently been working with lenticular images. While this show does not feature 3D lenticulars, Burroughs certainly proves that this imaging technique can produce fine art in the right hands.

The heart of this show (called Journeys) is a series of nine 18 X 18 inch lenticular portraits that use a period photo combined with a contemporary one taken in the same style to achieve their effect. The image reproduced above is of Burrough's mother. He used a photograph from her high school days along with an image he shot making a two image lenticular that fades from the young woman to the senior citizen. While this idea may not sound revolutionary, seeing these portraits in person was surprisingly moving.

Burroughs offers a bit of history in his text explaining that it was a French painter Bois-Clair that invented the lenticular concept in 1692 by taking narrow vertical strips of two paintings, reassembling them and folding them like an accordian. Burrough's process begins with two digital images and the software necessary to divide them, 30 stripes to an inch. Then he laminates the digital output with optical lenticualr plastic that has a corresponding 30 grooves to the inch.

One of the highlights of the show is a piece called Political Ties 18 X 18 X 36 inches. Burroughs uses 7 square images joined together to form a simple chair. In the images we alternately see a young man sitting in a chair with a white shirt and red tie, looking much like the fellow working away in the cubicle next to yours. The alternate image has the same young man in a black T-shirt, roped to the chair with his red tie used as a blind fold. You can walk completely around this piece and watch the transformation from every angle.

This show is well worth the trip to Fairfield, CT. All the work is for sale and Burroughs does commissions, too. It was all I could do not to break the bank and buy one of his smaller works on the spot.

There's one of a local movie house, The Community Theater, (20 X 16 inches) that presents the same view from day to night with an old-fashioned neon movie marque as its focus. Simply beautiful. And for $450 it could hang in your home.

For Miggs Burroughs' website, go here.
For gallery information on Journeys, go here.

The Draftmasters - Hacked Printer Performers with Live 3D Graphics

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You must check out these performance videos by The Draftmasters, Victor Adan and Jeff Snyder, who take 80's-style pen-plotter printers and hack the firmware to allow live mechanical control. Daniel Iglesia analyzes their video to create graphics for 3D glasses in real time.

They control them with a physical interface that turns their gestures into vector commands. Electromagnetic pickups mounted on the printers turn their electrical fields into the sound. Video input (from camera's trained on the printers) gets analyzed on the fly to create live graphics for 3D glasses.

They've performed around NYC, being called "a band of renegade tech geeks...like Robocop on the fritz" by Time Out NY.

Check them out at the following links:

http://www.vimeo.com/4611451
http://www.vimeo.com/4621363

May 15, 2009

Dolby 3D Digital Cinema - A New Approach to Stereoscopic Films

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Dolby, known for their ubiquitous sound system, is making a bid to challenge RealD in the multiplex for your 3D viewing experience. If you've seen a 3D film recently — Monsters vs. Aliens, Coraline, My Bloody Valentine 3D — you've already experienced the RealD system.

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RealD is based on polarized projection of the film that requires a special silver screen. When you take off your glasses at a RealD screening what you see is double image — the right eye and the left eye images projected on the screen at the same time.

In the early history of film all theater screens has a 'silver' coating. This was to help compensate for the dimmer projectors of the time; the silver screen was brighter than a white one. The reason for using a silver screen with 3D projection is that the polarized light striking it will remain polarized as it is reflected back.

This silver screen, along with the digital projectors, is the most expensive part of the installation. Inexpensive polarized glasses — previously with cardboard frames, now molded plastic ones are standard — are distributed to the audience at each showing.

Dolby's new system also uses polarized projection but does not require installation of a silver screen, a major savings for the theater chains. It does, however, use a special multi-coated lens for viewing and these 3D glasses are not cheap. They cost about $25 a pair to produce.

For this to be practical tight control over the distribution and collection of these Dolby glasses is obviously needed.

Here are the Dolby advantages, taken from their web site:

• Delivers realistic color and a sharper, clearer image from every seat in the house
• Extends the capabilities of Dolby Digital Cinema’s established, proven technology
• Ensures compatibility with your existing equipment by using a simple digital
projector filter accessory, easily switching between 2D and 3D
• Maximizes flexibility by using a standard white screen rather than a costly silver screen
• Reduces costs with a one-time investment and no annual licensing fee

If you went to an Imax theater in the 1980s you may recall that you had to wear a helmet-type set of goggles with LCD screens for lenses. These lenses were controlled by a radio signal and alternately went rapidly from opaque to clear, delivering to each eye the correct Left or Right image. This blinking sequence had to be matched precisely to the images being projected.

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While the technology behind this was brand-spanking new in the 80s, the concept had been successfully demonstrated back in December 1922 in New York City at the Selwyn Theater using a mechanical system called Teleview.

Two projectors were used along with viewers attached to the seats all of which were synchronized. Alternate frames of left and right eye images are projected and due to the persistence of vision a moving 3D image was perceived by the viewer. The only feature produced using this system was The Man From M.A.R.S. (later re-released as Radio-Mania).

For a fascinating, detailed discussion about the Teleview system please go to Dan Symmes site, here.

Zombies in Brooklyn, Sunday, May 31, 2009

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This just in — the CDC has announced a Z-Alert for Brooklyn, NY on Sunday, May 31st.

“We have information that leads us to believe there will be a Zombie outbreak around 2:00 p.m.,” said spokesperson Amber MacArthur.

Recently analyzed data suggest that the outbreak will begin at The Charleston, located at 174 Bedford Avenue, between North 7th and 8th Streets in Williamsburg.

“At this time we can’t be more specific, but please check this website and the related links for updates" said MacArthur.

The CDC requests all area stereo photographers and videographers to document the activities of the Zombie horde and make these images available for later study.

Citizens are urged to approach Zombies with caution, although due to their slow, shambling gait it is believed that most active New Yorkers will be able to outdistance the undead. Active stereographers are known to possess immunity to the touch of the undead.

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Photo from Drivenbyboredom.com. NOTE: not all photos on Drivenbyboredom.com are SFW.

UPDATED INFORMATION: www.nyczombiecrawl.com

About May 2009

This page contains all entries posted to New York Stereoscopic Society in May 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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