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April 18, 2007

The Sun in Stereo

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On Monday, April 23, 2007 NASA released the first ever stereo pictures of the sun taken by the twin spacecraft named STEREO (for Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory).

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A frame from one of the 3D animations available on NASA's site.

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The frame shows the STEREO craft with the sun in the background, full movie available on NASA's site.


Here's the link:http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/stereo/main/index.html

--Joe Pedoto

April 19, 2007

Robotic Surgery: Now 3D in HD

"Rush University Medical Center is the first in Chicago to offer robotic surgery with 3D in HD (high-definition)."

"The da Vinci S Surgical System integrates 3D HD laparoscopy and state-of-the-art robotic technology to virtually extend the surgeon's eyes and hands into the surgical field. The system is designed to enable new, minimally invasive options for complex surgical procedures." –from Medical News Today

Go here for the complete article.

Europe’s Newest Stereoscopic Conference – Dimension-3 Expo in France

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dBusinessNews out of Los Angeles is reporting that Meant to be Seen, the world’s first and only stereoscopic 3D advocacy group is going to be the media sponsor for Dimension-3 Expo Europe's newest stereoscopic conference, being held on June 5th through 7th at Espace des Arts, Chalon-sur-Saone, France.

"Stereo 3D is HUGE in Europe. Dimension-3 Expo will be having special presentations and discussions about S-3D in video games, film, theme parks – we have a lot to cover," said Stephan Faudeux, General Manager of Dimension-3 Expo.

For complete information, follow the links below.

Dimension-3 Expo
Meant to be Seen
dBusinessNews

Tech Crunch reports on Fotowoosh: Turn Any Picture into a 3D Image?

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"When you upload an image to Fotowoosh, their software tears it apart and distinguishes the sky, ground and vertical elements within the photo, then cuts and folds it into a 3D model:"

Our system automatically constructs simple “pop-up” 3D models, like those one would find in a children’s book, out of a single outdoor image. The system labels each region of an outdoor image as ground, vertical, or sky. Line segments fitted to the ground-vertical boundary in the image and an estime of the horizon’s position provide the necessary information to determine where to “cut” and “fold” in the image. The model is then popped up, and the image is texture mapped onto the model.

"This is the creation of Derek Hoiem, a PhD candidate in Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University." - from the TechCrunch website

For the complete article, go here.
For the Fotowoosh site, go here.

May 21, 2007

Carousel Benefit for Doug Skinner

Multi-media artist and NYSS member Doug Skinner suffered a terrible flood in his studio. He is a frequent participant in Carousel series of "Cartoon slide shows and other projected pictures" curated by Robert Sikoryak. This week's event at Dixon Place is a benefit for Doug, who contributed generously to the Victorian Television slide show at the New York Public Library in 2005. Jerry Marks will present a 3-D segment in the event.
Directions to 258 Bowery. Buy Tickets.

May 25, 2007

3D Stylin'

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Photo by Norbert Schoerner ©2007 The New York Times Company


If you're planning a vacation in the Mediterranean this summer, you'll apparently see some lovely ladies wearing stylish 3D glasses and carrying bright red 3D lorgnettes. Maybe those girls were looking at the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue?

The glasses were supplied by NYSS friend David Burder.

SeeReal Holographic Display shown at SID Conference

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At the 2007 Society for Information Display conference in Long Beach, CA SeeReal, a German firm demonstrated a new holographic 3D video display.

The idea here is that the monitor uses an eye tracker to follow your eye's movement. It then displays a 30 X 30 pixel image that contains the complete image, a separate view for both right and left eye. This would reduce the huge amount of data normally needed for stereoscopic display.

Its only in prototype phase now and the images it displays are in red tones, not full color, as the image they provide clearly shows.

Would you be happy with 1,800 pixels of resolution? How effective is the eye tracking software? What if I had an epileptic seizure? How soon do they project being able to do this in three channels of full color?

For more on the news release. go here.
For the company website, go here.

June 12, 2007

Planar's StereoMirror monitor

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Planar Systems, Inc. of Beaverton, Ore. has a new stereo monitor that may find applications in medical technology, according to Advanced Imaging Magazine.

The potential of 3D displays to make complex medical analysis and imagery more effective remains almost boundless. As these clinical trials and other research continue, medical professionals will see more of the scientific proof they require before accepting new technology. – Barry Hochfelder, AIM

Planar's StereoMirror monitor consists of two active matrix LCD (AMLCD) units oriented at a 110-degree angle and bisected by a passive beamsplitter mirror. When stereo pair images from the two monitors are viewed through crossed-polarizing the result is a single, fused stereoscopic image.

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A passive beamsplitter mirror bisects the angle formed between the two monitors. One side of the mirror has a reflective coating, and the side has an antireflective coating which minimizes secondary reflections.

For the complete article, go here.

July 2, 2007

Tangible display makes 3D images touchable

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"A system that makes three dimensional images solid enough to grasp has been unveiled by Japanese firm NTT. It could let businesspeople shake hands from across the globe or allow museum visitors to feel precious exhibits that are normally out of reach, the company says."

"The prototype Tangible 3D system combines a 3D display with a 'haptic glove.' The display creates lifelike images appear in just in front of a flat screen. It creates the illusion of depth by showing slightly different images to each of the viewer's eyes. This means no special glasses are needed."

–– NewScientist.com News Service, June 29, 2007

For complete article, click here.

July 3, 2007

Animated lenticular made of you or your family!!

Every time I go to New York City (and I have been going almost every weekend for ove 30 years) I am amazed to always discover something new. That is why New York City is the Greatest city in the world!!!

Well - today - on the Northern end of Mott Street, near Broome, an area of mostly local residents, very little tourists, and an area which offers little in the way of restaurants or any other entertainment, I made quite an unusual discovery. In the middle of local Oriental shops, food stores, pharmacies, etc. was a little television repair shop -"Fookey TV Repair Co." There was a small hanging sign - "Custom made 3-D motion photos" hanging from the storefront.

Upon inquiry - I met the owner, a friendly man by the name of Felix. Obviously more comfortable in his native language, he was able to explain his interest in 3-D and his ability to make animated or 3-D photos of your own composition!! To supplement his TV repair business - he has been doing this for the local residents for about 1 year and his samples were of high quality. He is all set up inhis storefront with a blue backdrop, cameras, computer, etc. and will make an 8 x 10 hard lens lenticular, animated or 3-D, on the spot for you.

The cost is only $25 for an 8 x 10 or $10 for a 5 x 7! This is a fantastic deal. Had I not been parked by a hydrant I would certainly have had one made of me. As soon as I return from Boise (NSA Convention) I plan to have a few made. I am thinking of an animated one of me bringing a Viewmaster viewer up to my eyes, or inserting a stereo card into a viewer, the ideas are endless.

He would love more business - so let's support his efforts. Even for the few of us who can make our own lenticulars - how much cheaper would it be to do so? His store is very basic and small, no e-mail, and no web site. The address is 171 A Mott Street (Between Broome and Grand) He is there every day but Sunday.

The phone number on his card is crossed out so I am not sure he can even be called - but it is unlikely you would get anywhere on the phone anyway. So let's support this unique New York City find.

Hollywood Nudes in 3D by Harold Lloyd

For those who do not yet have "Hollywood Nudes in 3-D" by Harold Lloyd, it is available at your local Barnes and Noble book store in the discount section for $9.99.

If they are out off them (each store only got 10-15 copies) you can order it for only $7.00 from the Barnes and Noble warehouse (#1579126790). The list price is $24.95.

There are a few copies on Amazon.com for less money but they are used and from private dealers and then you have to add $3.99 shipping. Since Harold Lloyd's granddaughter, Suzanne, presented a 3D slide show of images from this book for the NYSS, I thought this would be of interest to NYSS members.

July 4, 2007

The Great 3D Comics Show in Portland, OR

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Ray Zone, (does he need any introduction in this forum?), will be presenting a triple 3D treat this summer in Portland, OR's 3D Center of Art & Photography.

• His History of 3D Comics will be in their gallery
• In their Stereo Theatre he'll project The Great 3D Comics Show
• On Friday, July 20 he'll offer a 3D Comic Conversion Workshop

The 3D Center of Art & Photography

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August 2, 2007

NSA-ISU Convention 2007 - a review

The NSA convention in Boise was one of, if not the, best convention I have attended and I have attended the past 25 conventions.

I was, at first, somewhat skeptical about the location, as being a "NYC snob" I found other NSA convention locations in similar size cities were disappointing (I am referring ONLY to the city now - not to the convention itself). For example, Green Bay seemed like a deserted city - walking in the business/shopping district on Saturday was like being in a ghost town! (The hotel in Green Bay was GREAT as was the convention.)

Same with Buffalo, NY. - disappointing city. Same story with many other cities, although I did like the cities of San Antonio, Texas, Mesa Arizona, Portland, Oregon, and others. Although I find that most of the cities did not live up to my expectation - this is of little concern to me as my primary reason for attending is socializing with all of the NSA members and friends, most of whom I only get to see in person once a year, as well as all of the wonderful convention activities.

I ONLY mention this because the city of Boise so EXCEEDED my expectations. Boise was a clean and friendly city, easy to navigate, great weekly city events (street fairs, town center parties,etc.), interesting stores, and the most fabulous restaurants on par with, or better, than in New York City! (Hard to believe, but true!)

The convention itself was beyond expectations. It is always a treat to have an ISU/NSA combination, being able to see many of my European friends whom I rarely get to see. The Stereo Theatre was superb and the high quality of the digital shows were fantastic. All the shows went off with very few glitches and the varied topics combined with the increasing quality of the shows made for very pleasurable viewing. The larger than usual amount of shows left me wanting even more!

Having everything in one location (Boise Convention Center - a block from the hotel) made navigating between the varied events very easy. I found that overlap of events was minimal, allowing the attendees to enjoy most of the events without having to choose one over the other. This is a first - as in the past we had to choose among a number of great, but conflicting, events.

The "art show" set a standard that will be most difficult to match! It was like a 3D museum! There were numerous exhibitors showing their 3D viewers, images, etc. Great lifesize phantograms from NYSS member Terry Wilson, beautiful lenticulars from NYSS member Brian Loube, etc.

There were other firsts such as viewers as beautiful as the images they contained, a mirror viewer exhibit, projected phantograms, 3D art, etc. The trade show was well represented with every 3D category available - no matter what your interests.

The fixed stadium seating for the 2 (yes 2!) auctions and workshops was super. The banquet was a delight - with fun entertainment (a singing-poet-comedian cowboy). The stereo card exhibits were of super high quality.

"Room hopping" was made smooth by the efficient elevators. There was representation of NYSS members - including our president Greg Dinkins, but there were many NYSS members missing. Let's try for a much larger NYSS representation next year in Grand Rapids Michigan. I know the organizers will have a tough time ahead of them in trying to meet or excede the quality of the Boise convention - but I am sure it will also be great.

I can guarantee you that if you have not been to an NSA convention you will not be disappointed - it may even be the highlight of your year!! :-) PLAN ON BEING THERE!!

August 6, 2007

New 3D Brain Imaging Software

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"Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, in Philadelphia, have developed software that integrates data from multiple imaging technologies to create an interactive 3-D map of the brain. The enhanced visualization gives neurosurgeons a much clearer picture of the spatial relationship of a patient's brain structures than is possible with any single imaging methods. In doing so, it could serve as an advanced guide for surgical procedures, such as brain-tumor removal and epilepsy surgery."


––from "A 3-D View of the Brain" by Brittany Sauser in Technology Review

For complete article, click here.

August 13, 2007

MIT Develops Microscope that Captures Live 3D movies of Human Cells

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Image of a live, one millimeter-long worm taken with a new 3-D microscope clearly shows internal structures including the digestive system.


Technology Review reports that "MIT researchers have designed a microscope for generating three-dimensional movies of live cells. The microscope, which works like a cellular CT scanner, will let scientists watch how cells behave in real time at a greater level of detail."

"This new device overcomes a trade-off between resolution and live action that has hindered researchers' ability to examine cells and could lead to new methods for screening drugs."

For the complete article, go here.

September 6, 2007

Examining Our World in 3-D: The Art and Science of Stereoscopic Imaging by Gerald Marks

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November 16, 1908 Max Wolf (collection NYPL)


Wednesday, September 19th, 2007, 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Science, Industry, & Business Library (SIBL)
The New York Public Library
188 Madison Avenue (at 34th Street)
New York, NY 10016-4314
212-592-7000

Admission Free (but seating is limited!)

Three-dimensional imaging is in the news again, with the recent announcement that Dreamworks will use stereoscopic technology in all its animated movies by 2009.

Get ready to put on your 3-D glasses as stereoscopic artist and imaging expert Gerald Marks takes us on a visual tour of science and nature from the dawn of photography up through the latest technology. Pictures found in the library’s collection served as inspiration for a career in 3-D and we’ll see his digital restoration of those remarkable astronomical images. Fossils, embryos, computer imagery, and a half-century of NASA’s exploration come alive in depth.

Gerald Marks has worked for more than 30 years in New York using a variety of 3D media for clients as diverse as MIT, the New York Subway and the Rolling Stones.

Seating for this talk is limited and will be available on a first come first seated basis.

http://nypl.org/research/calendar/prog/sibl/progsched.cfm

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September 13, 2007

Stereo World presents its Second Full Page Cross-View Cover

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Stereo World's September/October 2007 issue features its second full page cross-view cover, front and back. It's a computer generated Giganotosaur inserted into a live action background from the Large Format 3D film Giants of Patagonia from Sky High Entertainment.

Ray Zone's article Giant Screen 3D Roars to Life should excite all 3D film lovers as he details several new productions that will hit screens shortly. A companion article lists an amazing 43 (!) new 3D films scheduled for 2007 to 2010 release.

Please Note: The illustration above of SW's covers is shown in parallel view due to size constraints. Get the latest SW to see it in all its full-size, full-color glory.

September 24, 2007

Artists 'draw on air' to create 3D illustrations

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"By putting on a virtual reality mask, holding a stylus in one hand and a tracking device in the other, an artist can draw 3D objects in the air with unprecedented precision. This new system is called 'Drawing on Air,' and researchers have designed the interface to be intuitive and provide the necessary control for artists to illustrate complicated artistic, scientific, and medical subjects." – from Physorg.com

For the complete article, go here.

October 2, 2007

TV Eyes Glasses: revolutionary new process or tired, old rip-off?

We'd like to invite the 3D community to respond to the claims made for this product. My initial reaction is profound skepticism. When I asked the Easter Bunny he told me if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true. But what does he know about optics?

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So please: give us a product review, an endorsement or a debunking. . .


The seller says that using a "revolutionary new process . . .based on an optical principle that turns regular movies 3D" TV Eyes Glasses makes any TV picture look three dimensional with "no color distortions, no odd ghosting effects."

The effect produced makes "distances look farther, objects in the foreground look nearer, spaces look larger, and people look contoured and three-dimensional."

They further claim that their "revolutionary new process" works on "all types of computers, monitors, screens, and televisions. HDTV or Standard. Regular televisions, color or black and white, Plasma screen, LCD screen, projection screens, computer monitors, even films at the movie theater. . .There are no cable connections, no remote controls, no compatibility issues, no electronics at all!  Simply put on the glasses and watch TV."

For more information on TV Eyes Glasses, go here.

October 7, 2007

Hallmark issues 19 lenticular Halloween Greeting Cards

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Sheldon Aronowritz tells us that Hallmark is releasing 19 lenticular greeting cards for this Halloween. Unfortunately, my search of Hallmark's web site doesn't show any of them. Nor does an October-dated press release I found from Hallmark mention these cards.

However, some enterprising entreprenuers are selling them, significantly marked up, on eBay, where the above images were found.

Sheldon says these "lenticular 3D, animated, and morphing cards are of superb quality. The 3D ones are OK - but the animated and morphing ones are the best I have seen - and I have seen a lot of lenticulars! They are $3.99 each at Hallmark stores."

October 12, 2007

Blood Manor Halloween House has 3D maze feature

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Today's NY Daily News has an article rating two of NYC's haunted house shows. Of special interest to us is the following line from the review of Blood Manor:

Best idea: The Day-Glo maze you enter with 3-D glasses.

If anyone in our audience has gone, please report back on the experience.

For the complete article, go here.

Blood Manor is located at 542 W. 27th St.; bloodmanor.com or (877) 340-3002 for tickets.

October 13, 2007

Update on TV Eyes Glasses: Pinholes from Pie Holes? Or Just Another Sonic Transducer?

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The truth is out there and maybe soon it will be here, too. Sheldon Aronowitz posted our query about TV Eyes Glasses on the Yahoo Photo 3D group and it generated lots of comments and opinions but no real information on the product.

All of them are inconclusive because no one has actually seen or used a pair of these "revolutionary" new 3D accessories.

That's the problem with the explosion of self-publishing on the 'net: an extremely low signal to noise ratio. Of what practical use are the opinions of 50 people who are just commenting and speculating in the dark, so to speak? One notion that came out of this discussion was that these might be a variation on so-called pinhole glasses (illustration above).

On the other hand – for all we know at this point – TV Eyes Glasses might be an audio-vibratory physio-molecular transport device.* As Tim Curry first said so memorably on June 19, 1973, "You better believe it, baby!"

Our intrepid 3D reporter, Sheldon, managed to contact the manufacturer and, on the promise of writing a review for Stereo World magazine, he was told he would receive a complimentary pair of TV Eyes Glasses. So perhaps the mystery will eventually be resolved.

BTW, if these do turn out to be pinhole glasses, they can be had for around 3 bucks (plus shipping) on eBay, much less than the $25 you'll be charged for TV Eyes Glasses.

But what the heck are pinhole glasses and what are they good for anyway? Not much apparently. According to the Optometrists Association of Australia

Pinhole spectacles consist of a standard spectacle frame in which are mounted opaque plastic sheets in place of lenses. These sheets have a pattern of small holes cut in them.

Advertisements for "pinhole glasses" have appear in the press and elsewhere regularly. These advertisements often make extravagant claims concerning the supposed therapeutic benefits of pinhole spectacles, including claims that they "realign light rays," "repair" the eyes, "exercise" the eyes, improve blood circulation, "teach your eyes to focus again," reduce refractive errors, or otherwise permanently improve vision.

There is no objective evidence to support any of these claims.

For the complete article, go here.

* "A device that is capable of breaking down solid matter and projecting it through Space and, who knows, perhaps. . .even. . . Time. . .itself!"

October 18, 2007

CARNIVAL OF EVIL in 3D at Fright Haven, CT

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It seems as if 3D is making major appearances at this year's Halloween haunted house amusements through out the New York area. Here's one we just found in Connecticut. . .but aren't most haunted houses already in 3D, like most physical objects in what we amusingly refer to as objective reality?

What exactly is the 3D twist in these attractions? If someone attends one of these, won't you please enllighten us? That is, unless you're too scared to scream!

A 3-Dimensional tribute of terror to Savin Rock Park, Palisades Park, Freedomland, Paragon Park, what's left of Coney Island, and all the amusement parks torn down over the years.

Clowns! For some reason, people are afraid of clowns, and this attraction takes advantage of this fact with lots of crazed, demented clowns popping out from everywhere.

For complete details, go here.

Second Update on "TV Eyes Glasses" – Pinholes it is!

Sheldon Aronowitz has received his reviewer's copy of the TV Eyes Glasses and confirms that they are a pinhole variation; having just a half dozen small holes in a horizontal line. He will be posting his assessment of their perceived effect shortly. Congratulations to those posters on the Photo 3D list that guessed correctly.

In addition, one of our resident member experts, Gerald Marks posted the following remarks as a comment and I thought it was worthy of the wider audience of a regular post:

My belief is that these are pinhole glasses and that they sort of work for 3-D by reducing light unevenly, producing very occasional 3-D effects based on the Pulfrich effect.

Funny thing, when I first saw a Pulfrich 3-D video, in October of 1976, I viewed it using a pinhole instead of a dark filter over one eye. It was intended that you use a filter, but for some reason I used a pinhole. That video may have been the first Pulfrich 3-D video ever made and was beautifully done by Alfons Schilling together with Woody & Steina Vasulka.

Even if it wasn't the first Pulfrich 3-D video ever made, it probably was the first good one. It inspired me to create my first Professor Pulfrich's Universe installation at the Exploratorium, the following Summer. When I used the pinhole to view the video, I used it on just the one eye that was intended as the eye with the filter. So, it was not the very occasional 3-D offered by this product.

Pinholes are wonderous things to experiment with. . .In 1974, I ran a summer workshop in pinhole photography and built a 3-D pinhole camera. I was, just recently, thinking about doing that again. The depth of field was remarkable. The exposure was a minute or two.

October 21, 2007

Personal media viewer for iPod MyVu 3D conversion: Threat or Menace?

An NYSS member forwards this query from Carlton:

If this is a viable viewing device, I am curious if there is any other members of the NYSS that would be interested in modifying this for stereoptical viewing?

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This, is a personal media viewer for the iPod from MyVu. For their home page, go here.

He also provides a link to review (that you can trust) from Ben Longo, longtime Mac guru. The title: MyVu iPod Video Glasses Review (Verdict: Look Like Geordi From Star Trek)

MyVu charges $199 for the Universal Edition iPod PMV and $249 for a PMV for the fully-loaded edition iPod.

So, any well-heeled hacker amongst our audience want to see if you can mod this media viewer out for 3D viewing? Is it even possible? And, if possible, is it advisable? Anyone who does, or is interested, is encouraged to let us know their results

For Ben's review on Gizmodo, go here.

October 23, 2007

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier – 3D section by Ray Zone

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Originally scheduled to appear in October 2006, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier by writer Alan Moore and artist Kevin O'Neill is now set to be released on November 14, 2007. For more details, go here.

Why should you care? Don't hold the bloated big screen adaptation against the LoEG franchise, it had very liitle connection to its source material; this is entertaining comics done right. This edition features a state-of-the-art 3D section, conversion work done by the master himself, Ray Zone.

THE BLACK DOSSIER is an elaborately designed, cutting-edge volume that includes a "Tijuana Bible" insert and a 3-D section complete with custom glasses, as well as additional text pieces, maps, and a stunning cutaway double-page spread of Captain Nemo's Nautilus submarine by Kevin O'Neill.

The premise for LoEG is that fictional characters from many genres and sources co-exist in one alternative world. They band together to form a precursor to the Justice League team concept in comtemporary comics, a group of first tier and second (or third) tier super-heroes who battle outsize menaces that would overwhelm them individually.

(BTW: did you know that Marvel and DC comics jointly hold the copyright on the word "super-heroes?")

In the LoEG the heroes are almost always taken from works that are in the public domain to avoid messy issues of copyright. The heroes in the first series were Allan Quartermain, Mina Murray (from Dracula), Captain Nemo, Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde and Hawley Griffin, the Invisible Man.

When a character that is required is still under copyright, efforts are made to change them into a more generic version of hero or villain. This was done with Fu Manchu in the first series from 1999.

Alan Moore is probably the single comic book writer best known by the general public and the author of the award-winning Watchmen, From Hell, V for Vendetta and Swamp Thing.

Kevin O'Neill is a grown man who draws comic books for a living. His career has been marked by controversy almost from the start when he was a favorite artist in the wildly popular British series 2000 A.D. beginning in the late 1970s.

To get completely up to speed with this ongoing series, go here.

October 24, 2007

TV Eyes 3D Glasses: the Manufacturer Responds

We at NYSS want to be fair and balanced in dealing with the Great Pinhole Glasses 3D Controversy. Sheldon Aronowitz, whom I think we can safely say has seen more images in stereoscopic 3D in more different formats over the years than just about anyone alive today, received a review copy of these glasses last weeek and they haven't worked for him.

For me, that would equal case closed, move on, nothing to see here, Elvis has left the building.

Add to this the fact that the TV Eyes 3D Glasses as shown on eBay are NOT what a purchaser receives. That, in itself, seems fradulent to me. If I post a picture of a horse on eBay, you buy it and I deliver a cow to your home, you're gonna cry 'foul.'

However, Sheldon has received comments from the seller and we've decided to post them.

But we're also going to make an open request that the seller send us a clear picture of the glasses that he actually ships to purchasers, so our audience can make a more informed judgment.

Finally, while perception is subjective, the fact remains that either these glasses produce a 3D effect or they do not.

The seller claims that he's got over 500 positive responses for selling only TV Eyes Glasses. That's being a bit, um, generous. He's also not telling the whole truth when he claims he's only selling these glasses: he's also selling a number of DVD's. If you scroll through the comments, you'll find it's a little hard to tell if buyers are happy with the glasses or the DVD they received. But here's one I thought is particularly relevant:

Gimmicky little thing that kind of works with a little imagination

If these revolutionary new glasses require 'imagination' to 'kind of' work, I wonder if the seller's car operates under the same principle: the needle may point to 'E' but I imagine I've got a full tank of gas. How far can I drive?

As far as 500 positive feedbacks go, I'd submit to you that this still fails to make a convincing case. After all, according to a New York Times poll, 3 million Americans believe they've had close encounters with UFOs or alien intelligences. That number doesn't prove anything about UFOs.

I used to attend a barbaric weekly ritual where I ate the flesh of my chosen deity while the local cult leader drank his blood; I was a Roman Catholic and the process is called transubstantiation. Did my belief make this ghoulish practice true?

It also seems to me that the seller is committing a logical fallacy when he explains that these glasses work because of the "overlay" of pinhole viewing's infinite depth of field as compared with the filmed (or televised) version's finite depth of field.

That might be true only if one were capable of viewing both the TV screen's image and the actual scene on location. How can one TV image contain both sets of depth information, the finite depth of the camera's lens and the infinite depth of a pinhole view?

And what could possibly explain the claimed "increased color separation?" Color separated from what? (You Reds wait over here on East 32nd Street; all you Blues and Greens come with me to Waverly Place). The seems a disingenuous attempt to co-opt the anaglyph process without actually making anything remotely resembling an anaglyph.

I invite the seller to contact us with clarification on these two points.

We'll let you decide if the explanation below seems reasonable and plausible. . .

Hello, TV Eyes 3-D here. I noticed a couple of articles on the New York Stereoscopic Society pages. If you're looking for some comments by people who have actually used the glasses, please don't forget to look at the eBay feedback for this item. With over 500 feedback, and selling nothing else, the feedback score is over 99% positive.

They do work. I guarantee them. I'm aware the glasses look like a hoax. It's been an uphill battle to get people to actually try them because they "look" like they won't work.

And despite appearances, they aren't the "pinhole glasses" mentioned in the NYSS articles. They are based on a pinhole lens, the same as a pinhole camera is (and pinhole cameras are well known for their depth of field) but TV Eyes 3-D Glassses are specifically engineered for TV viewing. The tolerances are exact.

Trying to use regular "pinhole glasses" like the ones shown in that article just makes the picture look like you're looking through a colander. I know, I tried.

I thought you might like a technical explanation of how the glasses work. The simplest way to explain it is that movies are filmed with ground optical camera lenses, those lenses, because of the way they focus, create a "finite depth of field."

A pinhole lens, on the other hand, creates an "infinite depth of field." By overlaying the finite depth of field in the movie with the infinite depth of field created by the glasses the TV picture looks deeper and more three-dimensional.

(For more specifics see our "How it works" page at http://stores.ebay.com/TV-Eyes-3-D/How-it-Works.html.)

It also increases color separation, so in the right conditions it can create a slight ChromaDepth-like effect. Unlike regular pinhole glasses, TV Eyes 3-D Glasses have been specifically formulated for TV viewing. Every single part of the glasses; frames, shape of lenses, size and spacing of holes, is specifically designed to create the clearest possible 3-D picture. (Regular pinhole glasses are not.)

October 30, 2007

Lenticular Christmas Cards from Hallmark

The lenticular Halloween cards by Hallmark, which you read about here, have now been replaced by a line of 26 lenticular Christmas cards. They are even better than the Halloween ones!

Most are animation, but a few are 3D. The animation is superb - among the best I have seen!! There is one of Santa and Ms. Claus doing the "bump and grind" and it is hilarious - perhaps even a little to risque for young children. It is "live action" animation, as are about 6 others, and all are fantastic.

It is still early enough so that if you get to your local Hallmark store soon you can see all 26. Although other chain stores carry Hallmark cards - they do not carry the lenticular line - so you have to go to an official Hallmark Card store. Call first to make sure that the store carries the full line - as I went to 3 Hallmarks yesterday and 2 of them had all 26 but the other had only about 12 different designs.

–reported by Sheldon Aronowitz

October 31, 2007

TV Eyes 3D Glasses: the Manufacturer Responds Again. . .and We're Still Not Convinced!!

Here at NYSS if we value anything, we value one thing: fairness and great stereo images. OK, we value two things: fairness, great stereo images and RBT cameras. Right, we value three things: fairness, great stereo images, RBT cameras and 3D movies -- four things, we value four things! Fairness, great stereo images, RBT cameras, 3D movies and lenticular greeting cards -- I'll come in again!

We want to be fair to the manufacturer of TV Eyes 3D Glasses, so we are going to publish his response to our last posting on the subject complete and unedited.

However, we do reserve the right to comment on what he has written. And since it's our forum the comments will come first.

TV Eyes replies with a number of responses he has gotten that praise his glasses. I would remind our readers that the plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data. (Thanks to Dr. Mark Crislip of the Quackcast podcast for this great line). Science is not determined by popular vote. I don't "believe" in the internal combustion engine; I don't have to. I use one every day.

TV Eyes main caveat is that these glasses "do not create a stereoscopic effect." This begs the question of terminology: if it's not stereoscopic, how can it be 3D? This is, in my opinion, a deliberate attempt to mislead the buying public.

How many would he sell if he advertised them as TV Eyes NOT 3D Glasses? Or TV Eyes 2D Glasses?

TV Eyes has so little confidence in the product he manufactures that he declines to use an actual photo of the product you will receive when you send him money. His reason? ". . .people take one look, see the holes, and decide it's a fake. . ."

He claims that since he offers a money-back guarantee, he must not being selling a "fake."

Anyone in advertising or direct mail marketing can tell you that only a tiny percentage of people ever take up this offer, repackaging and remailing the item (especially for a small purchase). This leaves a healthy profit for people who are, in fact, selling "fake" merchandise.

TV Eyes uses many logical fallacies in his response. A logical fallacy is a statement that might appear convincing but actually carries no weight or significance.

The argument from antiquity: "pinhole lenses are hundreds of years old." Age does not confer status or confirm viability. Acupuncture is thousands of years old and it doesn't work either.

The argument from ignorance: "Exactly how it creates these effects I don't know."

The argument from personal incredulity: "But I don't know how an LCD monitor works either. It just does." This one made me laugh so hard, for so long that my dogs got up and left the room.

The argument from contradiction: pinhole glasses "are proven to increase focus and depth of field" vs. "there isn't a lot of research into how pinholes work" vs. pinhole glasses "enhance atmospheric perspective."

For anyone who thinks this is true, I again will refer you to the Optometrists Association of Australia who maintain a page explaining – with diagrams – what pinhole glasses do, and do not do.

For the complete article, go here.

The argument from authority: "Only recently was it discovered that when viewing a 2-dimensional image with them it created the illusion of greater depth and form."

Discovered by whom, exactly? Supported by what data? Explain the logic underlying that conclusion, as John Cleese famously said.

I will also take issue with his flat assertion that "nothing works for everyone." This is what we professionals call a "lie."

Air conditioning works for everyone (it actually does reduce the temperature and humidity), oil heat works for everyone (it actually does warm interior spaces), global telecommunication works for everyone (it actually does allow tele-marketers and political action groups to interrupt your dinner). . . and so on.

Astrology doesn't work for everyone because it requires that you believe in the system for it to work. If you're a skeptic, your "negative vibes" produce an inhibitory effect.

My conclusion is that TV Eyes 3D has no understanding of either science or optics. Buy an optical device from them with caution. We stand guilty as charged: we do not "believe" his glasses work.

And now, TV Eyes 3D Glasses has the floor:

I'm the manufacturer and I thought I'd respond to this. But instead of trying to convince you myself, since you seem to be inclined not to belive [sic] me, I thought I'd let my customers do it for me. I notice you picked one feedback out of hundreds, the one that cast the most doubt on the glasses without actually saying they don't work. Well, nothing works for everyone. But it is equally true that these glasses do work for many people. They are not stereoscopic glasses and do not create a stereoscopic effect, so perhaps this is not the best place to discuss them. But here is some of the feedback you apparently overlooked (and these feedback are only for the glasses, no DVDs included.):

A unique and fun effect - twild7

Having fun with the glasses. Great item. Great seller! - billb4466

Takes time to get used to but LOVE IT! I Can't wait to watch all my
Harry Potter - michiru_storm

I was amazed at how great they are thank you so much - mauricer67

Item recieved quickly. 3-d glasses actually work!! - dawnm229

cool 3d - efreek123

Wow! They Work! They Shipped Quickly! Fun! Great Eaby Seller! Buy an
extra pair! - tahoka1974

Delivered what was promised. These glasses do work. Makes standard tv
almost HD. - crow11ad

work as advertised - 8719tim

The product was fun. I will recommend you to other buyers. Thank you. -
hotmail333.123

fast shipping.....interesting product....exactly as described -
stoney2183

WOW! gives you same effect as shutter glasses,cheaper no wires,works on
hdtvs ++ - stormriderab

Really do work. Take a little time getting used to, but can see depth!
Fast ship - cartoontagger

And that is just some of the positive responses these glasses have received.

If you wonder why I don't put up a picture of the actual lenses. It's because people take one look, see the holes, and decide it's a fake, without any proof, and without trying them.

Pinhole lenses are hundreds of years old. They are proven to increase focus and depth of field. Only recently was it discovered that when viewing a 2-dimensional image with them it created the illusion of greater depth and form. It enhances atmospheric perspective (which is one of the main ways we determine distance, and relative distances of objects) It enhances color seperation [sic], so that in certain scenes containing the right combinations of red and blue, or orange and green
it creates a deeper effect, by making one color seem farther back, similar to the way Chromadepth looks.

Exactly how it creates these effects I don't know. There isn't a lot of research into how pinholes work.

But I don't know how an LCD monitor works either. It just does.

I offer a money back refund, so that if you are unhappy with the glasses you can get your money back. I'd hardly do that if they were fake.

These glasses are like every other product in the world. Some people will like them, and some won't.

They're new, they're different, and create a new and different effect. There are already three main types of 3-D glasses out there. Stereoscopic, Pulfrich, and Chromadepth. They all create 3-D in different ways, and have different looks.

This is one more.

An NYSS reader comments. . .on TV Eye 3D Glasses

I hope the contributor of this comment will not object to my giving his comment the status of a post as it makes the point so clearly and concisely:

The placebo effect can be very powerful, especially if the one receiving the placebo is very gullible and susceptible to suggestion.

That is why pinhole glasses work for some people. They really believe the hype. This is why some people see the image of Jesus Christ in a fried egg or in tree bark.

This is why it is comparatively easy to bilk an elderly peson out of their life savings.

Pinhole glasses may not be illegal, but selling them flushes one's self respect down the toilet.

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 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 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 30, 2007

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.

December 4, 2007

Tool "10,000 Days" CD packaging – with 3D work by Ray Zone – wins Grammy Award

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The CD packaging for 10,000 Days consists of a thick cardboard-bound booklet partly covered by a flap holding a pair of stereoscopic eyeglasses, which can be used to view a series of images inside (including, for the first time since Undertow, an individual portrait of each band member). Viewed with the glasses, the artwork produces an illusion of depth and three-dimensionality. Alex Grey, who created a majority of the album art for Lateralus and its accompanying video Parabola, reprised his role for 10,000 Days.

On February 11, 2007, Adam Jones, art director and guitarist for the band, received the Grammy Award for Best Recording Package for his work on the 10,000 Days packaging.

--from Wikipedia

For Tool's website, go here.

Thanks to NYSS member Bill Burns for alerting us to this item.


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January 17, 2008

'Imiloa Center To Become World’s First Fulldome 3D Stereo Planetarium

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Dawn of the Space Age show launches in 3D stereo

" 'Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i’s planetarium will be the first in the world to have 3D stereoscopic capabilities, revolutionizing the planetarium industry. The new system heightens general audience entertainment experiences, but also becomes a tool for astronomers’ research by allowing them to see how celestial bodies are situated and how the universe is changing."

"On January 19 ‘Imiloa will unveil Sky-Skan’s cutting-edge definiti 3D theater technology integrated with Sony SXRD projectors. The new technology allows for a more vibrant picture than traditional systems and makes ‘Imiloa’s planetarium shows even more entertaining and engaging on its gigantic 52-foot full planetarium dome."

" 'Big Island visitors are looking for fun activities in Hawai‘i unlike any they have experienced before,' says Shawn Laatsch, planetarium manager at ‘Imiloa. 'This allows us to engage our guests in ways never before possible as the Universe visually jumps off the screen and into their laps. It has been truly amazing to see people’s reactions and hear their gasps of delight. You really feel like you are flying amongst the stars.' "

" To highlight its new capabilities for the general public, ‘Imiloa will launch its Dawn of the Space Age planetarium show in stereoscopic 3D. The show will be playing Tuesday through Sunday daily starting January 19. Visitors will don a pair of stylish 3D glasses to relive history and the excitement of space exploration – from the launch of Sputnik through the magnificent Apollo lunar landings and onto current manned and un-manned voyaging. All monthly Maunakea Skies (Sky Tonight) star show presentations at `Imiloa Center will include tours of the Universe in 3D stereo."  

--from their website, Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i

January 18, 2008

New High Definition 3D Camera and Viewer shown at CES by TDVision

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From this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas –
TDVision presented the TDVisor and the TDVCam, a new system for creating and viewing 3D content.

TDVCAM.jpg

The TDVisor delivers a 3D stereoscopic display enabling 3D visualization of various computer generated content, such as video games, computer aided design visualizations, and true 3D video streams. The result is a 720p, 108’’ diagonal equivalent screen with true 3D display with no flickering or side effects.

The TDVCam is a 3D tapeless digital camera that can record 3D content in MPEG4 format. This High Definition camera, which is able to capture both stills and video, is fully integrated into the TDVisor and the related TDVision applications.

For the complete article on TFOT (The Future of Things), go here.

For TDVision's website, go here.

February 7, 2008

Photorefractive Polymers make Rewritable Holograms Faster and Better: Ars Technica

Ars Technica has a piece on a new polymer-based material that significantly speeds up the process of making holograms, developed by researchers at the University of Tuscon. Their results are being published in the current issue of Nature.

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The new material is comprised of photorefractive polymers. These chemicals have photoelectric properties that make them well-suited to storing the optical interference patterns used to produce holograms. When a photorefractive polymer is exposed to a pattern of bright and dark areas, electrons are released from the areas exposed to high-intensity light and migrate to areas that are darker. Once in place, the electron-rich areas diffract light differently from the electron-poor ones, allowing the original interference pattern to be reproduced when the material is exposed to light.

The paper describes using the new device for two different types of holograms. One is simply the storage of a three dimensional image produced by traditional holographic methods. The second, holographic stereography, reveals the technique's full potential. In this case, stacks of two-dimensional image data, such as those produced by MRIs, CAT scans, and topographical data, can be encoded into the photorefractive material material in such a way that the human visual system can interpret the resulting hologram as a full, three dimensional reconstruction.

For the complete article, go here.

Why 3D is About to Break Through, explains the BBC

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Mark Ward, the technology correspondent of the BBC news website has an excellent article and video that explains why 3D enthusiasts should be happy: our niche interest is about to explode into the mainstream.

For a long time 3D movies and TV shows have been a bit of a gimmick. They have been used to re-energise a tired franchise, help a film stand out at a crowded box office or to give TV viewers a glimpse of what the future might hold.

But many in the 3D production industry now say that future may be closer than ever before. Film makers, technology companies and post-production outfits recently gathered at the historic Shepperton Studios to assess just how far 3D has come and where it goes next.

The 3D technology gathering favour is based around stereoscopic projection. As its name implies this involves projecting two images. The viewer wears spectacles that ensure one image goes to each eye and lets the brain piece the two together to give the sense of solidity.

"3D has always been seen as complicated because you had technical issues during acquisition, post-production and distribution," said Mark Horton from Quantel - a maker of digital editing equipment. "Now we have digital acquisition and digital distribution and digital projection systems a lot of those problems have gone away," he said.

For the complete article, go here.

March 21, 2008

Apple receives Patent for Holographic 3D Projection Display

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It can be a long way from a patent application to the shrink-wrapped package in your hand (or shopping cart) while you wait in a check-out line, but it's always news when Apple, Inc. is revealed to be exploring the next new, new thing in display technology.

Of course, the best part of this kind of news is the wild speculation it will generate among interested parties.

Now get this: no eyeglasses or head sets required. It's going to employ a holographic-like display. Possible uses of this technology include video conferencing, scientific modeling, forensics, and entertainment (porn first, then everything else).

For more details, here's how several tech sites have covered this news: MacRumor, Gizmodo and the Macintosh News Network.

March 22, 2008

NBA Game to Be Shown in 3D HD: Tues. March 25th, the Dallas Mavericks vs. the Los Angeles Clippers

e-Gear.com has a story about the first regular season NBA game to be shown in 3D HD.

"The March 25 National Basketball Association contest between the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers will be produced from Dallas by Fox Sports Net Southwest with the help of technology from PACE, a cutting-edge 3D production firm that has worked with director James Cameron on several documentary films."

"The game will be shown in the format at a Magnolia Theatre in Dallas that is owned by Internet entrepreneur Mark Cuban, who also owns the Mavericks. It will be attended by VIP guests, as well as 100 Mavericks fans who will have the chance to win tickets."

For the complete article, go here.

April 10, 2008

3D Holographic Video in West Coast Stores to Generate Coupons, Promotions & Sweepstakes

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Reuters news service carries the announcement that Provision Interactive Technologies has signed a three-year agreement with several independent Hispanic grocery store chains to install 3DEO Reward Centers in 47 locations in Southern California.

The 3DEO Reward Centers are kiosk style displays that project 3D holographic images and give customers promotions, sweepstakes and coupons for products and services. The logic behind starting this program in Hispanic markets is that in-store coupons are well accepted by this demographic with redemption rates close to 30%, as compared to 9% the industry average for other shoppers.

OK, I'll admit this isn't the future of advertising as depicted in Bladerunner or Minority Report, but we are getting there, slowly.

It's easy to imagine other applications for this technology such as having displays outside stores to entice shoppers inside with 3D displays of their merchandise (and just wait until the California-based adult entertainment industry gets its hands on this technology. . .).

For the complete article, go here.

April 13, 2008

Ralph Kramden, Your Prayers are Answered: 3D TV is Here!

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Engadget is reporting that the world's first 46-inch stereoscopic 3D TV is now on sale in Japan from Hyundai. The resolution of this LCD display is 1,920 x 1,080. It's designed to receive BS11 3D broadcasts by Nippon BS in Japan. The price is ¥498,000 (about $4,857).

For the complete article, go here.

April 24, 2008

Stereoscopic Atlas of Human Anatomy

The New York Times published a nice piece about the collaboration between Dr. David Bassett and William Gruber to create the legendary View-Master Stereoscopic Atlas of Human Anatomy. The article establishes the intense labor of love that both men invested in the 25 volume set with its 1500 stereo pairs. The illustrations in the newspaper and the online slide shows are all 2D, (half of the 3-D image).

An antecedent of this project was the 1908 Edinburgh Atlas of Human Anatomy set of stereo view cards. Dr. Bassett would likely have used the Edinburgh set in medical school. New York Stereo Society member Dr. Chun Siang Chen continues the work of creating stereoscopic views for use in medical training. He reported at our June 2007 meeting that medical students learn more from their dissections when they have studied stereoscopic pictures. His images are sometimes gruesome but always amazing.

November 6, 2008

Autodesk® Stereoscopic Filmmaking Whitepaper

The Business and Technology of Stereoscopic Filmmaking

"Traditional planar film pre-production starts with storyboards. Stereoscopic pre-production requires a depth script created by a stereographer to accompany the storyboards. The depth script acts as an invaluable tool for visualization, making decisions about each scene’s stereo depth, and as a tool to communicate the creative intent. The use of the depth script to set the stage and frame the scenes is very helpful in generating comfortable and readable stereo images, shots, and sequences."

Thank you Natasha Wang at Autodesk.

January 12, 2009

NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision - 3D Glasses for the Masses - PC Perspective review

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PC Perspective's Ryan Shrout offers an extremely complete look at Nvidia's new 3D viewing technology designed for the gaming experience. It works with existing game content that has depth information encoded into the rendering engine. Think Call of Duty, Left 4 Dead and World of Warcraft.

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For the complete article, go here.

January 22, 2009

3D to "Revolutionize" Porn Industry. . .Again? Maybe. Possibly. (I doubt it).

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Every few years this same story crops up: being such a natural fit, pornography and 3D viewing systems are announced to be forming an alliance that will have us all lolling about having fake sex with 3D images of the already artificial, botoxed, surgically-enhanced, bleached and shaven vixens of Hollywood's shadow industry.

Announced with great fan fare, these stories and their 3D systems never deliver on their throbbing, pulsating promises. But maybe this time it will be different. . .?

A $4 million 3D remake of the Hong Kong softcore classic Sex and Zen is in preparation; only 25 to 30% of this new version will be sex scenes so apparently this is being geared for the imaginary 'couples market' niche of the porn world.

But wait, there's a fly in the lube already! Producer Stephen Shiu Jr. complains. "We're having trouble finding a male lead who is willing to undress in front of the camera."

For the complete article, (SFW) go here.

Back in the day when I was introduced to the high octane, bullet ballets and swooping kung-fu wire work that have long since been incorporated into the Hollywood film lexicon, to see these films you needed to go to certain video stores in your local Chinatown (for me Lafayette or Bayard Streets below Canal).

Bootleg copies on VHS cost $4 and the first time a gwai lo ("ghost person," e.g. white boy) ventured inside you could expect to wait a longish time before the owner was prepared to sell you anything.

My 'bible' in those days was a paperback titled Sex and Zen and a Bullet In the Head by Stefan Hammond and Mike Wilkins. It remains an excellent introduction to the pre-takeover (before 1997) HK cinema.

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The back of the book had thumbnails of the movie posters for their essential picks, along with titles in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. I would point to these and the video store owner would dutifully get them (or quickly dub a copy) for me. After a few visits, I evidently passed some sort of test and was welcomed into these stores as a true fan. Now I would get suggestions for new movies, based on my previous selections.

If you've never seen The Killer, A Better Tomorrow, Hard Boiled, Project A, Parts I & II, Armor of God Parts I & II or Police Story I, check them out and see what made the pre-Hollywood careers of director John Woo and Jackie Chan the stuff of fanboy legends.

And know this: if it wasn't for what he learned worshipping at the altar of HK cinema, Quentin Tarrantino wouldn't even have a job as gaffer today.


3D Video Conferencing with a Generic Webcam — Pseudo, Convincing & Inexpensive

Chris Harrison and Scott Hudson of Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction Institute have developed a method for 3D video conferencing using a single webcam.

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Figure 1. The video conference window acts like a virtual portal into the remote participant's space. As the viewer moves their head, the perspective of the remote environment changes. Motion parallax provides a 3D illusion. Note how objects in the background, like the decorative vase, screen and table move relative to the remote video conference participant.

When conversing with someone via video conference, you are provided with a virtual window into their space. However, this currently remains both flat and fixed, limiting its immersiveness. Previous research efforts have explored the use of 3D in telecommunication, and show that the additional realism can enrich the video conference experience. However, existing systems require complex sensor and cameras setups that make them infeasible for widespread adoption. We present a method for producing a pseudo-3D experience using only a single generic webcam at each end. This means nearly any computer currently able to video conference can use our technique, making it readily adoptable. Although using comparatively simple techniques, the 3D result is convincing.

To see a video of this technique and download a PDF of their paper, go here.

February 1, 2009

ColorCode 3D- A Relatively New and Propriety System for Anaglyphic Stereo

ColorCode 3D is the 3D technique that was used for several ads in SuperBowl 2009 and NBC's 3D broadcast of the sit-com Chuck on Feb, 2, 2009.

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ColorCode 3D viewers have blue and amber colored lenses in place of the traditional red and blue (or cyan) lenses of the more common anaglyph glasses. On their website they explain that the color information is conveyed through the amber filter and the depth (or parallax) information is conveyed through the blue filter.

The technicians at ColorCode in Denmark claim that their system represents a significant improvement over red-blue anaglyph processes, giving the viewer full color stereoscopic images without dimness or distortion.

They also say that their method is most compatible with the widest range of display media: prints (inkjet, offset press, digital photo printing), mobile devices, computer and TV screens, (CRT. LCD, LED & Plasma) displays, analogue and digital projectors (LCD, DLP, LCOS).

Since ColorCode 3D is new to me, I'd like to invite the NYSS audience to provide us with feedback.

Have you used this method to produce anaglyphs? Did you catch the SuperBowl ads or the NBC program Chuck? Tell us about your experience and rate the quality of the 3D.

Please note: All responses that are not accompanied by a Paypal donation will be immediately deleted.

OK, not really. But we are having our 2009 Membership Drive ($25 dues) and we encourage you to join and/or donate. Anything you can afford to give will be deeply appreciated (or appreciated in depth).

The NYSS is run entirely on your support, so if you like the website or enjoy coming to our events, please help us out. Thanks!

Update 3/11/09: Steen Svendstorp Iversen from ColorCode has responded to our question about the new blue/amber anaglyph format (below).

What is special about ColorCode 3-D compared to earlier blue/amber, is the exactly defined amount of filter leakage (crosstalk) and the algorithm we apply to cancel the experienced ghosting introduced by that.

The leakage results in better color rendition, especially in skin tones.

Further, it is correct, that blue is not a detail carrying color, but modern compression (MPEG2 at high bitrates and H.264) yields enough blue detail for a good result. Any analog composite video cable in the chain, however, is destructive to the experience (like is the case with red/cyan, really).

A positive side effect of blue not being a detail carrying color is, that many ColorCode stereograms look quite acceptable to the naked eye as 2D images; an important feature in many applications, including broadcasts.


February 12, 2009

cnet UK: Odeon theaters install 3D; the Great, Unwanted TV technology with "Daft-Looking Glasses"

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cnet UK reports that the Odeon cinema chain will complete a rollout of 3D projection conversions to 30 theaters by the end of March. That contrasts will 900 3D equipped theaters here in the US.

The Odeon system will project a 2K image (2,048x1,080 pixels); about twice the resolution of Blue-Ray discs, but about half what is captured by the average digital camera these days (4K or 4,096x2,160 pixels).

But do the Brits really want 3D, at any pixel depth? cnet UK blasts 3D home displays as the great, unwanted TV technology.

"Every system we've tested so far, including many of those at CES, has had the same problems. It's an uncomfortable experience wearing the glasses — and obviously impractical if you wear glasses normally — and the 3D looks anything from really horrible to utterly unbearable." writes Ian Morris. "Do normal people want it? We suspect not."

BTW, the image above taken from the cnet UK site was named "3D_TV_is_Nonsense.jpg"

March 31, 2009

Exciting New Application to Convert 3D Images on flicker.com into Multiple Formats at Schilr.com

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Photos by Deltakap. To view his Flickr Photostream, go here.

We received the following dispatch (below) as a comment and felt it deserved to be an entry to bring it to the wide attention of our audience.

In addition to the samples shown above in red-blue & blue-amber anaglyph formats, parallel and cross-view formats, images can also be displayed in 'wiggle' stereo and mono, on either black or white backgrounds. Note too, that the anaglyph formats allow you to adjust the stereo base via a slider below the image.


Dear NYSS Team,

I would like to announce an application that I have written to convert stereo photos on flickr.com from one format into others.

Please just have a look on my website www.schillr.com. It shows a resource of more than 65,000 stereo photos.

Perhaps your community members are interested in this application.

Yours sincerely, Michael

April 1, 2009

Firefox Add-on: Schillr Stereoscopic 3D Viewer 1.2

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Michael Schiller has alerted us about another 3D application he's written that's an add-on to Mozilla's Firefox browser (one of the best, most versatile and configurable browsers on the Interwebs).

Oh, and they've just changed the name from Firefox Add-ons to Firefox Change-arounds because it would make too much sense to call them what they really are: namely, plug-ins.

Download it here.

Schillr 3D is a Firefox extension that gives you the ability to view any stereo image on the web in the format you can view best.

Just surf the web and every time you see a stereo image (parallel-view or cross-view) just right-click on the image to choose your preferred output format.

Please note: this extension does NOT convert 2D images into 3D.

April 13, 2009

Light Magic: holograms and laser works by Rudie Berkhout, Opening Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Center for the Holographic Arts (Holocenter) is pleased to announce Light Magic,
a retrospective exhibition of laser and holographic works by Rudie Berkhout.

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Light Magic: holograms and laser works by Rudie Berkhout

Opening: Saturday, April 18, from 4-7pm
April 18, 2009 – May 30, 2009
Saturdays from 12 – 5pm (and by appointment)

"My hope is to reach the subtler levels of perception, holding up mirrors for
thoughts, that reflect the magic that surrounds us."

- Rudie Berkhout, website

Center for the Holographic Arts
45-10 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101
www.holocenter.org
email: info@holocenter.org
718-784 -5065


This exhibition is made possible by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered by the Queens Council on the Arts.

April 23, 2009

"The Witness Protection Program" – 3D TV on Manhattan Public Access MNN tonight at 11:30 pm — 3D Submissions Invited

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from NY Stereoscopic Society member Josh Klatt:

I'm producing a TV show on Manhattan Neighborhood Network in steroscopic 3D (red/cyan anaglyph). Today, Thursday, April 23 is the first LIVE episode in 3D and I hope you can check it out!

The Witness Protection Program: The Western Hemisphere's only stereoscopic 3D TV show! Airing every other Thursday on The Manhattan Neighborhood Network, only in Manhattan.

The show is free form — sometimes it's a live call-in show (like tonight) — other times, it's pre-recorded.

I accept submissions for the show. Anyone making 3D content is welcome to submit stuff. Video formatted for red/cyan anaglyph is preferable, but we can also throw still pictures in a slideshow and play that.

Anything submitted by Tuesday April 28, will be considered for the next show, airing May 7. On the May 7 show, there will be a short piece on a couple of unicycling sisters from New York City!

11:30pm EST on channel 67/69 (Time Warner cable), channel 82 (RCN) or channel 36 (Verizon).
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August 2, 2009

3D TV in UK Next Year

The Royal Ballet being filmed in hi-def 3D for BSkyB

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Satellite broadcaster BSkyB is planning on offering original, high-definition 3D programming in 2010.

"3D is a genuinely 'seeing is believing' experience [and] next year we will make our HD boxes work even harder for customers by launching Europe's first 3D TV channel," said Brian Sullivan, the managing director of Sky's customer group.

In order to watch the programming a 3D capable TV plus glasses will be required. The cost of such sets is said to be comparable to current plasma TVs, so this will be initially for high end consumers only. But someday soon, as prices for technology fall, a European Ralph Kramden will finally get his wish.

For the complete story in the Guardian UK, go here.

August 21, 2009

Scientific American Mind on "Seeing in Stereo" — Did you know Prof. Carl Pulfrich had only one working eye?

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An excellent article on the evolution and mechanics of stereoscopic binocular vision is online here from Scientific American Mind.

November 1, 2009

Sketch3D is Etch-A-Sketch in the Third Dimension

Gizmodo highlights the release of Sketch 3D a system you can use to generate 3D anaglyph line drawings in real time.

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Built to resemble the familiar Etch-A-Sketch toy this version has three dials. The first two are the traditional drawing cursors. The third one controls the z-axis. This is the depth axis, extending the user-generated content (wire frame line art) into the third dimension. To see the effect in the screen capture below, you'll need a pair of red-blue or red-cyan anaglyph glasses.

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Gizmodo Gallery 2009: Etch-a-Sketch 3D from Core77 on Vimeo.

November 20, 2009

3D Gaming – Another Path to the Home 3D Experience? from Vision Nov./Dec. 2009

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I was cruising around the Meant to Be Seen 3D site, a forum for 3D video gamers, and came across this link to a magazine with a very nice web implementation, Vision published by the Consumer Electronics Association.

The article to read is "Video Games Pave the Way for 3D Homes."

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The best quote comes from James Cameron, "My prediction is that games are going to be as important as movies in driving the 3D experience into the home." Below is a parallel pair screen shot from the upcoming Avatar 3D video game. The original image is a monster 3,360 X 1,050 pixel file and the amount of detail is very impressive.

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December 18, 2009

3D in Your Home: Blu-ray 3D Specs are Finalized; Apple Patent for 3D 'Hyper-Reality' Displays

PC Mag reports that 3D specifications have been finalized for Blu-ray HD discs. In other 3D display news MacRumors.com just revealed that Apple filed a patent application (in June 2008) for a 3D display with the ability to track the users' location and shift the 3D view as the user moves his head (with characteristic understatement Apple calls this Hyper-Reality).

"From a technological perspective, it is simply the best available platform for bringing 3D into the home," said Benn Carr, chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association's 3D Task Force, in a statement. "The disc capacity and bit rates Blu-ray Disc provides enable us to deliver 3D in Full HD 1080p high definition resolution." The Blu-ray 3D spec will deliver full HD 1080p resolution to both eyes. 3D graphic features will also be possible, with interactivity taking on a new 3D quality for menus and subtitles.

The first DVD players and displays with this capability are expected to reach the US market in 2010. . .in time for the home video release of Avatar? Of course, patent filings only tell us what's going in Apple R&D and are not necessarily indicators that they will bring such a display to market.

Below are two illustrations from the filing. The bottom image shows another aspect of Apple's concept: in the case of 2D windows stacked on top of each other, a tilt of your head would slide the hidden ones into view.

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December 29, 2009

3D in 2010 and Beyond: Thomson Reuters Report on Patent Applications

The good folks over at Thomson Reuters have done an analysis of global patent applications and by their reckoning 3D is comin' at ya in a big way and soon!

Three areas showing a great upswing in patent activity are 3D television (Ralph Kramden's long-delayed desire may finally come true*); 3D digital photography and 3D cinema (projection systems & specialized glasses).

Here's the link to the complete PDF report.

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*In a classic Honeymooner's sketch "TV or not TV" originally aired on October 1, 1955, Alice wants Ralph to buy a TV so she can watch Liberace. Ralph's reply is that he's "waiting for 3D TV" before he'll buy a set.

January 2, 2010

On the Moon in 3D in 1969

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Apollo 12 and Surveyor 3 Stereo View
Credit Apollo 12, NASA; Stereo Image by Patrick Vantuyne

View larger image

Long ago I'd read that the Apollo astronauts used the side-step, "cha-cha" method of capturing at least some of their lunar photography in 3D. Now I've stumbled upon a Belgian 3D artist, Patrick Vantuyne, who has taken NASA's images and optimizd them for stereo view.

The image above was created from two frames of film (AS12-48-7133, AS12-48-7134) taken of Apollo 12 astronaut Pete Conrad visiting the Surveyor 3 spacecraft in November of 1969. The most expensive location shoot ever!

Check out his Flickr account and his web site, www.tridi.be



January 5, 2010

3D TV Announcement: ESPN and Discovery, Imax & Sony

The sports channel ESPN will debut ESPN 3D on June 11, with a World Cup Soccer match making history as the first all three-dimensional television network.

They are committed to broadcast in 3D for a year, at which point they will see if interest warrants continuing. You will need a new 3D-capable television set and a pair of glasses to view the 3D content. For more, go here, from USA Today.

Expected to be announced later today at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is a joint venture for 3D television by partners Discovery, Imax and Sony. Read about this here from the NY Times.

January 6, 2010

Television Begins Push into the 3rd Dimension - New York Times

“The stars are aligning to make 2010 the launch year of 3-D,” said John Taylor, a vice president for LG Electronics USA. “It’s still just in its infancy, but when there is a sufficient amount of content available — and lots of people are working on this — there will be a true tipping point for consumers.”

The New York Times follows up on its coverage of 3D television technology today with a detailed article, here. They also published a great graphic explaining how active shutter technology works.

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View larger image here.

January 8, 2010

Panasonic's twin-lensed 3D camcorder, the NY Times wonders if 3D will 'Move beyond Gimmicks' & Samsung's skinny 3D TV

NYSS member Dimitris Athos sent us this link from Gizmodo about Panasonic's dual-lensed 3D camcorder. It has a Fall 2010 shipping date and will set you back $21,000 so start hoarding your pennies now.

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Dave Kehr ponders the future of 3D cinema in the New York Times and provides an interactive time-line of 3D movie landmarks, here. My only question is why didn't they get Ray Zone to write this article, considering the um, depth of his knowledge on the subject?

Wired reports on Samsung's new super skinny 3D LED TV's that range in size from 19 to 65 inches. Especially intriguing was the info that these sets will contain a proprietary 3D engine that converts 2D video to 3D on the fly.

Oh, really?

I'd love to see this demonstrated, given that every previous attempt at this technology has produced quite poor results. Isn't this sort of like the colorization of classic B&W movies that Turner commissioned back in the late 80s? All that did was emphasis Humphrey Bogart's toupee in film's like The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca.

This also raises the issue of what an audience wants to see in 3D. Sports and films? Yes, obviously. Joy Behar's face on The View? Not so much, I think.

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January 12, 2010

3D TV: The Nay-Sayers

Dan Costa of PCMag.com reports from CES in Las Vegas that 1.) the 3D televisions on display don't look very good 2.) 3D is a gimmick who's appeal will fade over time and 3.) no one will wear those glasses, those damned goofy glasses. He calls the current roll out of 3D television "a formula for failure." Read the complete article here.

Phillip de Wet also rains on the 3D TV parade in the Daily Maverick in a piece titled "Analysis: Why You Won't Be Buying a 3D TV (Until You Are Forced To)." Read the complete article here. One of his major complaints? Those "big, heavy, dorky glasses with cables running from them."

Let's remember, though, that tech writers have a lousy track record when it comes to prescience.

Here's a classic example. In 1984 in the San Francisco Examiner John C. Dvorak wrote, “The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a ‘mouse’. There is no evidence that people want to use these things. I don’t want one of these new-fangled devices.”

And, of course, mouse technology never did catch on in computing. . .No, wait a minute, it did! I'm using one right now, 26 years later.

Still, you've got to love John, a man who's response to anything new in tech is predictably, "It stinks!" And who can forget the popular, loveable Leo LaPorte who predicted failure for the iPhone claiming that's not a market Apple can compete in.

There's an Arabic saying that I think applies here: "The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on."

January 13, 2010

Porn Industry Cautious about 3D TV; Production Cost and Glasses Sited

Ali Joone, founder of Digital Playground, said 3D movies cost about 30 percent more to make than traditional films due to the setup time, the need for two cameras and a more intricate post-production process.

3D glasses are also an issue, he said, because people don't want to be encumbered by eyewear when viewing a film. "I think the glasses are the barrier," he said.

But Joone believes the 3D experience is compelling enough that it will catch on in time. The sense of voyeurism is heightened by 3D, he said, and will make people feel as if they are in the room with the actors and actresses.

For the complete article at IT World by Dan Nystedt and Martyn Williams, go here.

January 15, 2010

Popular Mechanics and David "I'm Not a Journalist"* Pogue Weigh in on 3D TV

"It's the Glasses, Stupid!"

Erik Sofge, writing in Popular Mechanics, is unimpressed by 3D TV and finds 3D in films, including Avatar, unconvincing (what the what?). But he believes that 3D gaming is the bomb-diggity, mostly because he thinks gamers are the only audience who can "bear to put on a bunch of dumb-looking glasses and embarrass themselves in front of each other." Read his analysis here.

First of all, those glasses. E-w-w-w. Do we really want to have to put on glasses every time we sit down for some TV? Don’t we lose something when we look around the room to exchange glances, and we can’t see anyone’s eyes? Do we really want to nuzzle up to our fiancées and spouses with those things on? — David Pogue

Read Pogue's complete New York Times article, "Want It or Not, TV Goes 3D" here.

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* In 2009, defending himself against conflict of interest charges — he reviews products and software that he sells books about (his Missing Manual imprint at O'Reilly) — Pogue defended himself by saying that the books are where he earns the majority of his income and that he is "not a journalist."

Now, I love Pogue's work and have followed him since his days as the last page of the monthly MacWorld magazine. But if he's not a journalist, shouldn't there be a disclaimer run alongside his by-line in the Times? Isn't tech writing some form of journalism?

January 26, 2010

The Top 2010 3D TV Models and The Future of Television from Digital Trends

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The website Digital Trends has two items of interest: a photo gallery of the 2010 3D TV models from several companies and an analysis of the history of television leading up to the potential technologies for 3D TV.

In my opinion, the killer app for 3D TV will be auto stereoscopic displays, like the one on the back of the Fuji W1, although with a larger "sweet spot."

In other news Avatar has now become the highest grossing film of all time and Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. But this is a deceptive statistic because it measures ticket price, not the actual number of tickets sold. By number of tickets sold Avatar currently ranks as the 26th most popular film at the box office according to The Hollywood Reporter.

February 4, 2010

The Pluses, and Oddities, of 3D TV from the New York Times

The paper of record continues their coverage of the coming of Ralph Kramden's dream, 3D TV, here.

It will come as no surprise that the article hits three main points: excessive hype from sellers, dumb glasses and does the experience merit the cost?

Going out on limb, the Times posits that the hype around the subject is overblown. Overblown hype and technology, when has that ever been the case in the past? Oh right, that's always the case (iPad). So that's not really news, is it?

And yes, you have to wear dumb glasses. Why is this such a sticking point for so many? I have to wear dumb glasses all the time. . . because I'm near-sighted. Stars (and wannabes) wear sunglasses all the time. . . in order to look cool.

The Times also states the novelty factor of 3D wears thin quickly and then sets up a classic 'straw man' argument here: "With the right content, it’s great, but it’s doubtful many will be excited by My Dinner With Andre in 3-D."

Sigh. Why are mainstream tech writers so biased against 3D?

March 2, 2010

"Third Way: The Rise of 3-D" by Anthony Lane in The New Yorker — "3D won't make us happy"

Thanks to NYSS member Dimitis Athos for flagging this one: cultural critic-at-large, Englishman and movie reviewer Anthony Lane takes an over view of stereo imaging from the stereoscope to Avatar. Sounds great, right?

There's a wealth of 3D and 3D film history in the article and it's worth reading for that alone, even though Mr. Lane gets the occasional detail wrong. Stereopsis, Galen, Charles Wheatstone, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Edison, Plastigrams, R.M. Hayes, Audioscopiks, Arch Oboler, Bwana Devil, Ray Zone, Robert Zemeckis and James Cameron are all covered, briefly. It's a shame, though, that his tone is so negative through out.

That Mr. Lane's take on the subject is conservative, almost reactionary, is an unmistakable conclusion. Considering Bernard Mendiburu's technical manual, 3D Movie-Making: Stereoscopic Digital Cinema from Script to Screen Mr. Lane says, "will scare the pixellated daylights out of anyone over forty."

Looking over a bad review of Inferno, a 1953 3D film starring Robert Ryan that's called "handicapped by 3D" he wonders if this reviewer is "revealing an unjust prejudice or a bitter truth of the time?"

Sadly, he concludes that, "3-D will ravish our senses and take us on rides that no drug can match, but my guess is that, like so many blessings, it won't make us happy. It will make us want more." And here I always thought it was "Talkies" that had ruined the motion picture business.

Mr. Lane is too young to have experienced that marvelous Owlsey acid of the mid-1960s so we'll respectfully disagree with his comparison of the relative intensities of drug trips and stereoscopic cinema.

But I think this is sloppy journalism, in any event, akin to writing that "Pee Wee's Playhouse is like Captain Kangaroo on acid." 3D cinema is not like any drug experience we know of and it seems part and parcel of Mr. Lane's negativity towards the format that he uses such language.

And is it really fair to judge a film format because of the bad movies that been made with it? There are lots of terrible color films — sleazy, exploitative, derivative, pornographic, boring — and we understand that it would be ridiculous to condemn the use of color film stock because of them.

Lane at one point discusses a scene from Sergei Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible, Part I and states "the scene works fine as it is" and the "posthumous application of 3-D would not sharpen—and might even vulgarize—its moral thrust."

Let me re-work his contention: the shower murder scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Pyscho
works fine as it is. The posthumous application of color would not sharpen—and might even vulgarize—its moral thrust. Color film will not make us happy. It will only make us want more.

Mr. Lane employs ridiculous straw-men arguments against 3D cinema, like claiming that deranged 3D fans hunt for screenings of Coming at Ya! and The Disco Dolls in Hot Skin the way normal cinephiles hunger for a copy of the original 10 hour version of von Stroheim's Greed.

His idea of a joke is to comment that Dean Martin "was presumably the only man in history that could watch a 3-D movie without needing the special glasses." Ooh, snap! The man's got a wit like a butter knife.

Of course, the comedic drunk character that Mr. Martin developed was a decade in the future when he and Mr. Lewis filmed Money from Home in 3D in 1953. But we get the drift, Mr. Lane. 3D, it's a gimmick only fit for drunks and drug addicts.

Disdain for 3-D seems to ooze from nearly every paragraph. Wonderful. We finally get a respectable amount of ink in a major cultural journal and the writer simply hates 3D. Sigh. We long for the day when 3D will simply be considered another format for presentation; a choice, not a gimmick.

Let us know what you think of Mr. Lane's piece in the comments section.

"Third Way: The Rise of 3-D" by Anthony Lane in The New Yorker

PS: Anthony Lane has not, to my knowledge, directed a single film. But Martin Scorcese has.

"We see in depth, for the most part. We go to the theater — it's in depth. Why couldn't a film like `Precious' be in 3-D? It should be," Martin Scorsese told the AP. "I'd love to do one," he explained, "It just seems natural that we'd be going in that direction. It's going to be something to look forward to, but to be used interestingly."

Once again, thanks to NYSS member Dimitri Athos for this link.

March 9, 2010

Samsung selling 3D TVs in US this month, Sony to follow in June

Early adopters and gaming enthusiasts, prepare to open your wallets.

Samsung, the world's leading manufacturer of flat-screen TVs will begin selling 3D TVs this month, starting with 46 and 55 inch models. Sony Corp. will begin their US sales of 3D TVs in June. The maker of the enormously popular PlayStation 3 game console also plans on releasing 3D gaming software at the same time.

Read the entire article at Reuters, here.


March 12, 2010

USA Today reviews the Fuji W1, decides it's "too complicated for the average consumer"

In what may be the first detailed review by a major mainstream media outlet, USA Today's Personal Tech columnist, Edward C. Baig praises Fuji for pushing the technological envelope and concedes that 3D enthusiasts may be thrilled with the Fuji W1.

But he cautions this is not a camera for the masses and notes how little promotion Fuji has done to market their breakthrough. Officially released in September 2009 in the US, Fuji is only now sending out review units to the tech press.

I found it amusing and perhaps a little condescending that a tech "writer" like Baig puts "quotation" marks around words like "stereo" and "stereoscopic" in his "review."

On the whole this is a well-balanced take on the Fuji W1. The menus are complicated and not nearly as intuitive as they could be, post-processing of the images is certainly an issue and if you consider 3D a novelty the initial enthusiasm can wear thin quickly.

However, I would also note that the similarly priced Canon Rebel XSi digital SLR (retail $649) is not a camera for the masses, has a bewildering array of menu options and is likely to appeal only to high end photography enthusiasts. In the same way that Baig concludes about the W1, I can't recommend the Canon Rebel for most users either.

The reflects, I believe, a subtle bias against the tech here. No one dings the Canon Rebel because it's capabilities are beyond the needs or abilities of the average point and shoot user.

Still the "review" ends on a "hopeful" note: "I can't recommend the W1 for most users in its current iteration. But given the promise of 3D and Fuji's head start, I'm hoping they give it another shot."

I just wish Baig had given Fuji more credit for bringing the first twin-lensed digital camera with an autostereoscopic rear display to market.

Like my grandfather said "I can't recommend the horseless carriage for most users in its current iteration. But given the promise of automobiles and Henry Ford's head start, I'm hoping he gives it another shot."

Read the entire review here.

March 19, 2010

Tim Burton to direct 3D film of 'Addams Family' in Stop-Motion Animation; March Madness in April in 3D in Brooklyn

Deadline New York reports that Tim Burton's next 3D project is set: an adaptation of Charles Addams's cartoon creations from The New Yorker to be done using the stop-motion animation technique he employed so successfully in The Nightmare Before Christmas. That film's director Henry Selick had great success with stop-motion 3D animation in last year's release Coraline.

Of course, the road from announced project to completed and released film is often a bumpy one and is completely without guarantees. But this sounds like the perfect marriage of a darkly comic sensibility teamed with source material that seems tailor made for Mr. Burton's talents.

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March basketball madness is coming at ya' in 3D in Brooklyn next month courtesy of the NCAA, CBS Sports and LG Electronics. The NCAA Final Four men's basketball games will be captured in 3D and transmitted live to around 100 movie theaters across the country. Locally, they'll be shown at Pavilion Digital Showcase Theatre in Park Slope. Tickets are $25 per game and go on sale today.

March 26, 2010

Roger Ebert tweets that 3D is a 'Juvenile Abomination;' Books go 3D in S. Korea; Nintendo DS goes 3DS in 2011

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Twitter is such a great thing. It provides another digital distraction so that Americans can at all costs avoid the pain of actually thinking about anything. It's also the perfect platform for deep, meaningful and nuanced conversations on important topics. You want proof? Roger Ebert weighs in on 3D with the following tweet:

3-D is a distracting, annoying, anti-realistic, juvenile abomination to use as an excuse for higher prices.

How does this square with Ebert's December 2009 review of Avatar where he wrote:

Cameron promised he'd unveil the next generation of 3-D in "Avatar." I'm a notorious skeptic about this process, a needless distraction from the perfect realism of movies in 2-D. Cameron's iteration is the best I've seen — and more importantly, one of the most carefully-employed. The film never uses 3-D simply because it has it, and doesn't promiscuously violate the fourth wall. He also seems quite aware of 3-D's weakness for dimming the picture, and even with a film set largely in interiors and a rain forest, there's sufficient light. I saw the film in 3-D on a good screen at the AMC River East and was impressed. It might be awesome in True IMAX.

So which is it, Roger? Abomination or awesome, if done well?

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Reuters reports that researchers have developed a proof-of-concept 3D book:

At South Korea's Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, researchers used 3D technology to animate two children's books of Korean folk tales, complete with writhing dragons and heroes bounding over mountains.

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Nintendo will release a portable game console in 2011, the Nintendo 3DS that will allow gamers to experience 3D effects without the need for special glasses.

An autosteroscopic screen like the one on the Fuji W1 would make a nice gaming platform. Wait, why not a iPad with an autostereoscopic screen? Then you've really got immersion.

April 8, 2010

Cablevision presents the Masters Golf Tournament in 3D, April 7-11

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Cablevision's iO TV On-Demand service will broadcast live 3D coverage of the Masters Golf Tournament today through Sunday. You'll need a 3D-capable TV and their SA HD service package to enjoy this in your living room.

If your twin obsessions are golf and 3D (and you have the disposable income to be an early adopter of a 3D TV set), this may be the event you've been waiting for.

We invite anyone who does see this broadcast in 3D to post comments on their experience here.

Live Daily 3D Coverage April 8th - 11th

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm on Thursday and Friday
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday

April 23, 2010

A NYC First: 3-D Viewing of the "Future of Fashion" at FIT, Monday, April 26, 2010, 7:30 pm

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New York City's Fashion Institute of Technology will present their Graduating Students Runway Show, The Future of Fashion, in a fully immersive, stereoscopic 3D web simulcast at www.fitnyc.edu/futureoffashion.

This will be the first time that a New York runway show has been produced in 3D and the second time any runway show has been presented in 3D. (Burberry Prorsum’s fall 2010 collection, shown in the U.K., was the first.) The 3D production is by UVPHACTORY.

The Future of Fashion is a professionally produced runway show with an array of fashion-forward garments, including sportswear, special occasion, knitwear, intimate apparel, menswear, and children’s wear designed for fall 2010 by FIT’s graduating Fashion Design students.

UVPHACTORY is a New York-based design and production company offering a complete range of creative services for broadcast, commercial, film, music video, and web clients.

FIT, a college of art and design, business and technology of the State University of New York (SUNY), offers 44 majors leading to the AAS, BFA, BS, MA, and MPS degrees. FIT fashion design alumni include Calvin Klein, Francisco Costa, Ralph Rucci, Stephen Burrows, Amsale Aberra, John Bartlett, and Nanette Lepore.

3D Stereoscopic Team

Dimitris Athos (NYSS), 3D Producer
Daniel Phelps (NYSS), 3D Director of Photography
Stereoscopic camera rig designed and built by Daniel Phelps
Kyle Dabrowski & Gary Floures, 3D Assistant Camera
Robert Lutrell, 3D Projection Specialist
Carlton Bright (NYSS), 3D Technician
Jeanne Guillot (French/Paris Stereo Society), 3D Specialist
John Canata, 3D Intern
Arnie Schlissel, 3D Post Production Editor

from UVPHACTORY
Scott Sindorf, Damian Saccio (co-founders)
Paul Schneider, EP

Terry Blum, for FIT

April 26, 2010

Charles Phoenix and The Third Dimension

New York Stereoscopic Society members Susan Pinsky and David Starkman are the 3D team behind the latest Charles Phoenix Kodachromage.

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Those anaglyph glasses are only a prop. The show will be projected in saturated, polarized stereoscopic glory on the LA3D Club's 16x22 foot silver screen.

For more info, go here www.charlesphoenix.com

April 27, 2010

Roger Ebert Hates 3-D movies, Does Arthur C. Clarke's Wisdom Apply?

"If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right but if he says that it is impossible, he is very probably wrong." — Arthur C. Clarke

Roger Ebert, one the best and most prolific film critics in America, hates 3-D and thinks you should too, as he explains here in Newsweek. Below are his bullet points which he fleshes out in his article.

1. IT'S THE WASTE OF A DIMENSION

2. IT ADDS NOTHING TO THE EXPERIENCE

3. IT CAN BE A DISTRACTION

4. IT CAN CREATE NAUSEA AND HEADACHES

5. HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT 3-D SEEMS A LITTLE DIM?
6. THERE'S MONEY TO BE MADE IN SELLING NEW DIGITAL PROJECTORS

7. THEATERS SLAP ON A SURCHARGE OF $5 TO $7.50 FOR 3-D

8. I CANNOT IMAGINE A SERIOUS DRAMA, SUCH AS UP IN THE AIR OR THE HURT LOCKER, IN 3-D

9. WHENEVER HOLLYWOOD HAS FELT THREATENED, IT HAS TURNED TO TECHNOLOGY: SOUND, COLOR, WIDESCREEN, CINERAMA, 3-D, STEREOPHONIC SOUND, AND NOW 3-D AGAIN.

Reasons 1 through 3 are his opinion.

Number 4 is true, but seriously affects only a tiny portion of the film-going audience.

Number 5 is also true, but is a technical issue which can be overcome.

Numbers 6 and 7 leave me shocked, absolutely shocked to learn that Hollywood is all about business, not art. When did that happen? Why was I not informed?

Number 8 is, once again, his opinion.

Number 9 is an historical fact. But does Ebert think we should roll back technology to the days of hand-cranked, black and white silent film cameras? Is he seriously against stereo sound, color and widescreen formats?

Number 10. Couldn't he come up with one more reason for an even 10?

BE Film, The Underground Film Festival presents New Work in 3D, NYC, Weds. thru Sat., April 28 – May 1, 2010

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Be Film debuts and showcases award-winning short films from around the globe and is the first established film festival to feature a Stereo 3D category. The festival was founded 7 years ago by Laurence Asseraf in her Tribeca art gallery A Taste Of Art. NYSS member Dimitris Athos is program director.

This year alone, the festival features 3 Academy award nominated short films and one Oscar winning short film (LOGORAMA for animation short form)

The festival plays exclusively short form: narrative, experimental, documentary, spec ads, music videos, animation and 3D stereoscopic. It is the first established Film Festival in the world to have a 3D category. (Spring 2009)

The new 3D work that BE Film, The Underground Film Festival is presenting this year is shown below. There will also be additional 3D surprises throughout the festival, so get your tickets now!

For tickets and more information including the complete listing of all films in competition please see their website at www.befilm.net

Wednesday, April 28, 7-9:00 pm
The Disney Screening Room
500 Park Avenue & 59th Street

Reminiscence (6 min.) 3D, Director: Celine Tricart (France)

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Thursday, April 29, 7-9:00 pm
The Disney Screening Room (Xpand 3D system)
500 Park Avenue & 59th Street

Plasticity (5 min) 3D, Director: Ryan Suits (USA)
Mumbler (2:15 min) 3D, Producer: Greg Passmore (USA)

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Friday, April 30, 7-9:00 pm
The Dolby Screening Room (Dolby System 3D)
1350 6th Avenue & 55th Street

Magnetic Baby: Semi Precious Weapons (3 min.) 3D, Producer: Greg Passmore (USA)

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Saturday, May 1, 3:00 pm
OFFHOLLYWOOD Screening Room (Dolby System 3D)
580 Broadway (between Houston & Prince)
(for pass holders and invited guest only)

Holy Moly (2:30 min.) 3D, Producer: Greg Passmore (USA)
Train of Thought (18 min.) 3D, Director: Jeanne Guillot (France)
Archangel (8 min.) 3D, Director: James Lawler (USA)

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Saturday, May 1, 7-9:00 pm
The Crosby Screening Room (Dolby System 3D)
79 Crosby Street (inside The Crosby Hotel)

Maestro (30s) 3D, Producer: PSYOP (USA)
Fanta (30s) 3D, Producer: PSYOP (USA)
The Alley (2 min.) 3D, Director: Daniel Phelps (USA)
Drown in the Now (4:30 min.) 3D, Producer: UVPHACTORY (USA)
Mothership (1 min.) 3D, Producer: Nathan Love (USA)

September 7, 2010

Stylish 3D Sunglasses – RealD polarized lenses that double as 100% UV Blocking Sunglasses for Outdoor Use

You know the warning that appears on all the RealD 3D glasses that they are NOT to be used outdoors as sunglasses? That was back when the world made sense.

Now a new company, Marchon3D Eyewear will release designer-stylish UV blocking sunglasses that are compatible with all RealD video tech, including movies, TVs, laptops and monitors. They're retailed under the Microvision Optical 3D brand.

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You know these 3D-sunglasses hybrid are too cool for school just by the names of the 2010 collection product line: Angelina, Grace, James (my favorite, pictured below), Joshua, Julia, Michael, Oscar and Steve.

Because of the Nanny-state we live in Marchon3D feels compelled to add the following advisory, "Caution: Do not wear for night driving, impact sports, or for use as safety glasses." Don't wear sunglasses when driving at night. We need to be told this? Sigh.

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If I knew anything about style I'd be qualified to judge these on that criteria, but with 8 choices I'd imagine there's a look for almost everyone willing to pay $35 for these dual use sunglasses.

The lenses Marchon uses include both the patented circular polarization licensed from RealD and the ability to block 100% percent of UVA and 100% UVB rays, exceeding ANSI Z80.3 special-purpose UV requirements.

So, unlike the one- style, one-size fits all RealD glasses at the multiplex, these can be used outdoors as regular sunglasses. Confused? It's a sign of the end of the world, I tell you.

October 6, 2010

The DAM Book and Expression Media

Peter Krogh and Phase One have extended a special offer to the New York Stereo Society. Through October 31, if you purchase a copy of The DAM Book from the author, you may download a free and fully licensed copy of the professional cataloging software Expression Media 2 (formerly known as iView Media Pro.)


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The book is an extensive overview of cataloging and archiving for photographers, including step-by-step workflow suggestions and case studies. The software is recommended by the author. It retails for up to $199, so it's a great bonus for a book that sells for $49.95.

To qualify for the free download of Expression Media 2, you must purchase the book at this link before October 31: www.theDAMbook.com/nyss.

November 12, 2010

"Amazing 3D Comics" – Best of 1950's 3D Comic Books edited by Craig Yoe

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Oh, yeah – this is gonna be sweet! Eisner Award winner comics expert and designer Craig Yoe collects the best of 1950s 3D comics by such legendary talents as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Alex Toth, Russ Heath, Al Jaffee, Bob Powell, Milt Stein and puts them between hard covers.

Re-mastered and restored, these works represent every genre: superhero, jungle adventures, horror comics, science fiction, funny animals, satire, western and romance! With a behind-the-scenes introduction by the mastermind behind 3D comics himself, Joe Kubert. Includes rare art and ephemera and a 3D lenticular cover.

Publication date: Feb. 1, 2011. Available for pre-order now from all the usual sources.

February 24, 2011

Ray Zone brings Classic 3D Comic Books to the iPad

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Ray Zone, the acknowledged King of 3D Comic Books, is bringing his catalog of classic 3D conversions and restorations to Apple's iPad: Ray Zone's 3D Comics. Ray has done more 3D conversions of comic book material in the modern era than anyone else on the planet including classic material from the 1950s through to contemporary work from the 1980s to the present day. He's also an author, film historian, artist, photographer, filmmaker and all-around swell guy.

To listen to Ray speak on topics stereoscopic from the Consumer Electronics Show in 2010, go here for Larry Magrid's For the Record podcast.

Go to Amazon and buy copies of his two most recent books Stereoscopic Cinema and the Origins of 3-D Film, 1838-1952 and 3-D Filmmakers: Conversations with Creators of Stereoscopic Motion Pictures.

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3D News Round-Up: Stereoscopic Nazis, Metropolitan Opera's 3D Fractals & YouTube Mobile 3D and the World's First 3D Phone


Two thirty-minute B&W 3D Nazi propaganda films made in 1936 were recently discovered in Berlin's Federal Archives by Australian documentary filmmaker Phillippe Mora. The first is a musical called So Real You Can Touch It (featuring sizzling bratwurst on a barbeque) and the second is titled Six Girls Roll into Weekend. For more info, see this article in the UK's Guardian.

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3D without "goofy glasses" is coming to the Metropolitan Opera next season, according to this article in the New York Times. It will be employed in Robert Lepage's production of Siegfried, the third installment of the Ring Cycle. Unlike twin-lens stereoscopic projection, they'll be utilizing a new system developed by 26 year-old computer engineer Catalin Alexandru Duru that employs fractal geometry and banks of projectors casting images on a 45-ton set consisting of 24 planks that rotate on a single axis and move up and down. The tech was licensed by Duru to a company called Réalisations.

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YouTube's 3D channel will begin supporting 3D mobile uploads according to this piece on the electronista site. The first mobile device to enable this will be the world's first 3D phone LG's Optimus 3D. It has twin cameras and a 4.3 inch autostereoscopic display.

Will this be a major turning point in the acceptance of user-created 3D video? A phone that shoots 3D video is pretty impressive in my book!

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February 28, 2011

Maximus Clarke and Sonic Architexture

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NYSS member Max Clarke is participating in the "Sonic Architextures", event happening on Tuesday, March 1 at White Slab Palace (77 Delancey Street, NYC) as part of Armory Arts Week. More info about the show is available here.

Max's photos will be projected from 9 to 9:45, and he will be taking 3D portraits of event attendees all evening. The images are rendered in anaglyph format, and he will be giving away free glasses for viewing them. A selection of the photos is online at his website

April 27, 2011

Princeton Laptop Orchestra at 92YTribeca

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Friday, April 29th, at 92YTribeca (200 Hudson St).
7:30 Doors
8PM discussion with composers
9PM concert
$10

The Princeton Laptop Orchestra will perform seven new works, each exploring the innovative and infinite realm of ensemble electronic music. The concert will feature laptops as musical instruments, augmented by wireless networks, multichannel speakers, live 3D video created during the performance by New York Stereoscopic Society member Daniel Iglesia, hacked video game controllers, and much more. Please join PLOrk for a pre-concert talk with the composers before the show.

Tickets are available online at 92YTribeca.org

May 2, 2011

Burder Covers the Royal Wedding

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David Burder (FRPS* and FNYSS**) covered the Royal Wedding in London last week. He managed to capture "The Kiss" from a vantage point just 30 meters outside the gates of Buckingham palace, with flags waving and jubilant crowds in the foreground.

Longtime members will remember David's presentation of stereojets and medical imagery at our Fall 2000 event.

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Burder shot this auspicious moment using the new JVC GS-TD1BEK 3D Video Camera. He also shot still images using the Fuji W3.

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Burder has photographed royal weddings and jubliees since 1981. He collaborated on production of the wonderful lenticular portrait of Queen Elizabeth in 2005. A presentation of some highlights will be given at the annual convention of the The Stereoscopic Society held in Chesterfield, UK, May 13-16.

*Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society
**Friend and Member of the New York Stereoscopic Society

June 14, 2011

Sony Creates Time-Line Chart: Every 3D Movie Ever Made

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OK, this entry is pretty self-explanatory. (Click on the link below for the larger image). It's interesting to view all this information in a time-line format (especially for you fans of Edward Tufte). It beautifully shows what we already know: we are in the biggest production boom for commercial 3D cinema. . . ever.

The unanswered question, of course, is whether this boom will fade or will 3D finally become another strain of mainstream entertainment. And will the home video environment (3D televisions, gaming and cameras) work to establish it, as some predict. Stay tuned.

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