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January 2008 Issue

Vol. 6,
No. 1

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View-Master® Collector Mary Ann Sell Featured in Associated Press News Story

Mary Ann and Wolfgang SellMary Ann Sell, author of two View-Master® books, was recently featured in an Associated Press news story written by Lisa Cornwell. The article about her collection of 40,000 reels and other 3-D rarities was sent by AP to newspapers and radio and television stations around the world.

View-Master® Collection Recalls Childhood Memories
Walking into Mary Ann Sell's basement for many adults is like returning to childhood when, with a click of their trusty View-Master®. they could gaze wondrously at images of cartoon and TV heroes through the magic of 3-D.

Lining the basement walls in Sell's suburban Cincinnati home are huge, glass-fronted display cases and file cabinets filled with 500 viewers dating back to 1939 and 40,000 carefully catalogued 3-D reels spanning nearly seven decades.

"Just seeing the viewers and reels brings back so many memories for people," said Sell, whose enthusiasm is contagious. "There's something so special about 3-D compared with a flat photo, TV or movie image. With 3-D you feel as though you are really there."

More than 1.5 billion View-Master® reels have been issued since organ maker and piano tuner William Gruber invented the system in 1938. It was introduced at the 1939 New York World's Fair and featured as a popular Christmas gift. The Christmas theme continues today with the recently released first View-Master® version of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

About 25 different models of viewers have been produced over the years, some with lights and even sound. Brightly colored viewers in animal shapes also are now available.

Friends, family, other collectors and people just interested in View-Master® and 3-D often tour Sell's impressive display.

"Mary Ann has by far the most extensive View-Master® collection, better than mine, said collector Sheldon Aronowitz, 59, of Teaneck, N.J., who has 50,000 reels and about 1,000 viewers. "She has so many different types and it's so well-organized that nobody else comes close in quality."

Fisher-Price Inc., the Mattel Inc. subsidiary that now manufactures View-Master®, even turned to Sell for older reels needed for a 65th anniversary special edition in 2004.

Many of the viewers and reels are familiar to baby boomers. The reels, small disks about five inches in diameter with transparencies ringed around the edge, slip into the top of binocular-like viewers. Pulling a small lever rotates the disk to advance the pictures.

"Each reel contains seven stereo pairs of images, one for each eye, that create the 3-D effect when looking through the viewer," Sell said. "And every reel fits every viewer."

The first reels aimed mostly at adults featured scenic images from around the world, and the scenic reels were the ones that first fascinated Sell at age five when her mother let her check out a View-Master® and reels from the library.

"You could renew the viewer and check out new reels every week," Sell, 56, said. "I traveled the world all summer."

She was 11 when she got her first View-Master®, which she still has.

"I'd get reels for birthdays, Christmases and other special occasions," Sell said.

Eventually fairytales like Little Red Riding Hood and Thumbelina and Disney characters like Donald Duck were added. By the late 1950s and early 1960s, reels also featured popular Saturday morning cartoon characters and TV stars like Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. More TV shows like the The Munsters, and Laverne and Shirley emerged in the 1960s and 1970s. The focus since the 1980s primarily has been children's TV shows and movies.

About 100 scenic titles are still sold at sites like national parks, but today's core consumers are mostly 3- to 5-year-old children, Fisher-Price spokeswoman Juliette Reashor said.

Adult collectors must rely mostly on flea markets, the Internet, antique shows and garage sales for the older items.

Members of the National Stereoscopic Association and International Stereoscopic Union estimate about 2,000 to 3,000 serious collectors worldwide and thousands with View-Master®s in other memorabilia collections.

Sell started collecting in 1983 with a $1 purchase of a box of reels at a flea market. Her husband questioned the purchase, but soon became a fan and now has his own 3-D camera collection.

"It just pulls you in, and the more you see the more you fall in love with it," said Wolfgang Sell, 58, who was born in Germany and never had a View-Master® as a child.

The Sells, who have written two books on View-Master® and are widely acknowledged as experts even bought a larger house to accommodate their collections.

"I don't think anyone else has as many one-of-a-kind items or as much knowledge," said collector Eddie Bowers, 39, of Dallas.

The early reels sold for as little as 35 cents with viewers priced around $1.50, but collecting has become more expensive. Rare items can now cost hundreds of dollars.

Fans believe the View-Master® will survive even amid increasingly sophisticated technology.

"The hook of 3-D is that it's so realistic," Mary Ann Sell said. "Nothing else makes you feel so much a part of what you are viewing."

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Stereoscopic Displays and Applications Conference Update

The Stereoscopic Displays and Applications Conference is January 28 through 30 in San Jose, California.

A quick reminder of the dates:
Sunday, January 27 - Short Course "Stereoscopic Display Application Issues"
Monday, Janaury 28 - Papers, 3-D Theatre, Stereoscopic Displays and Applications Conference Dinner
Tuesday, January 29 - Papers, Phantogram Exhibit, Demo Session
Wednesday, January 30 - Papers, Discussion Forum, Keynote, Phantogram Exhibit

The program for the 2008 SD&A conference is now available from the conference web site at www.stereoscopic.org/2008.

If you haven't attended the conference before, you may wish to visit the site to read reviews and see photographs from the 1996 through 2007 conferences. The conference has a large collection of technical paper presentations on a wide range of stereoscopic imaging topics.

Demonstration Session
This year's demonstration session will be held 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday January 29 in Exhibit Hall 1.
Demonstrators currently include:

  • Philips Research, NEC LCD Technologies, European Space Agency
  • Meant to be Seen 3D, Lightspeed Design, Waseda University (Japan)
  • NICT (Japan), University of Durham (UK), ETRI (Korea)
  • University of Tsukuba (Japan), Kanagawa Institute of Technology
  • Bandai Namco Games (Japan)
  • and more

The demonstration session is a valuable opportunity to see real stereoscopic 3-D displays live and in your face. Paid registration is necessary to attend the Demonstration Session. Entry to the demonstration is included in all Electronic Imaging symposium registrations. A demonstration session only pass is also available for $100 if you not already registered to attend the symposium.

3-D Theatre Session
At 5:20 p.m/ on Monday, January 28 is the two hour 3-D Theatre Session. The aim of this session is to illustrate how 3-D video is being used and produced around the world.

Here are just some of the 3-D titles to be screened:

  • 3-D Skydiving (Dzignlight Studios)
  • Fly me to the Moon (Nwave)
  • Bugs (SK Films)
  • Super Sonogong (Digital Magic Entertainment, Korea)
  • Trial (Stereoscape, Finland)
  • The Little Match Girl (Stereopia, Korea)

Judges for the 3-D Theatre session this year will be Samuel Zhou from IMAX Corporation and Enrique Criado from Enxebre Entertainment.

Technical Papers
This year's conference includes technical paper sessions on:

  • Stereoscopic Image Quality and Image Processing
  • Volumetric Displays, Stereoscopic Human Factors
  • Multiview 3-D Content, Autostereoscopic Displays
  • Medical Applications of Stereoscopy
  • Stereoscopic Display Applications
  • Integral 3-D Imaging
  • A special double session on Digital 3-D Stereoscopic Entertainment

It is hard to pick papers to highlight in this message from the extensive list of interesting topics, but one paper is "Beowulf 3-D: a case study" by Rob Engle from Sony Pictures Imageworks.----

Stereoscopic Projection Facilities

As in past years there will be a wide range of stereoscopic 3-D projection methods on show during the conference.

  • Polarised stereoscopic projection on the two conference rear-screen stereoscopic projection systems
  • Stereoscopic video (up to Full HD resolution)
  • Stereoscopic stills and much much more

Circular Polarised 3-D glasses will be provided to the audience,

Conference Dinncer

The informal conference dinner will be on the Monday night after the 3-D Theatre session.

3-D Phantogram Exhibition

Phantograms are an enchanting combination of art and science producing images that look as though they are part of the real space in front of
you. A large display of 3-D Phantograms will be held in the main concourse of the convention center, organised by phantogram expert Terry

Discussion Forum
The Stereoscopic Displays and Applications Conference discussion forum is always an entertaining, lively and though provoking session. This year Lenny Lipton from REAL D will host a panel to discuss the topic "What's so great about Stereoscopic Displays, anyway?".

On the Panel are:

  • Sue R. Barry, Professor of Cell Biology, Mount Holyoke College ("Stereo Sue" from the Oliver Sacks article in The New Yorker
  • Christopher W. Tyler, Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute (Inventor of the Autostereogram - Single Image Random Dot Stereogram)
  • Bernice E. Rogowitz, IBM Corp. (Co-Chair of the Human Vision and Electronic Imaging conference)
  • Chris Chinnock, Insight Media

Keynote Presentation
This year our keynote presenter is Larry Hornbeck from Texas Instruments. His keynote presentation is titled "Stereoscopic and Volumetric 3-D Displays Based on DLP Technology" and will include a discussion of various 3-D display devices ranging from 3-D cinema to 3-D HDTVs suitable for the home.

Short Course
The "Stereoscopic Display Application Issues" short course is scheduled for Sunday Jan 27, before the conference proper starts. This is a full day course. Please note that separate registration is necessary to attend this course.

The best technical presentations to make use of the available stereoscopic projection systems will again be rewarded this year with a
number of prizes.

The 2008 SD&A conference committee is made up of Andrew Woods, Nick Holliman, John Merritt, Neil Dodgson, Gregg Favalora, Nic Holliman, Janusz Konrad, Shojiro Nagata, Steven Smith, Vivian Walworth and Mike Weissman.

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Stargate SG-1 Lenticular DVD Boxset

Stargate SG-1 DVDStargate SG-1, the entire series DVD boxset is a massive 54-disk DVD collection featuring a cool lenticular 3-D metal storage case of the stargate.

The set contains all 214 episodes of all 10 seasons and all special features in a compact DVD case with commemorative booklet.

Stargate SG-1 stars: Amanda Tapping, Michael Shanks, Christopher Judge and Richard Dean Anderson.

Inside the Stargate:
Disc 1- 5: Stargate SG-1 Season 1
Disc 6-10: Stargate SG-1 Season 2
Disc 11-15: Stargate SG-1 Season 3
Disc 16-20: Stargate SG-1 Season 4
Disc 21-25: Stargate SG-1 Season 5
Disc 26-30: Stargate SG-1 Season 6
Disc 31-35: Stargate SG-1 Season 7
Disc 36-40: Stargate SG-1 Season 8
Disc 41-45: Stargate SG-1 Season 9
Disc 46-50: Stargate SG-1 Season 10

Disc 51: Bonus Disc 1
Ark of Truth Promo
Continuum Promo
"Stargate SG-1: The Lowdown (SG-1 Season 7)"
From Stargate to Atlantis: The Lowdown (SG-1 Season 8 and Atlantis Season 1)
Behind the Stargate: Secrets Revealed (SG-1 Season 8 and Atlantis Season 1)

Disc 52: Bonus Disc 2
"Sci Fi Inside: Stargate SG-1's 200th Episode (SG-1 Season 10)"
"Behind the Mythology of Stargate SG-1 (SG-1 Seasons 1-10)"
Stargate SG-1: True Science

Disc 53: Bonus Disc 3
Season Three:
Timeline to the Future
Part 1: Legacy of the Gate
Part II: Secrets of the Gate
Part III: Beyond the Gate

Season Four:
SG-1 Video Diary: Teryl Rothery
"Stargate SG-1 Season 5: Gateway to Adventure "
Stargate SG-1: The 100th Episode

Season Five:
SG-1 Video Diary: Don S. Davis

Season Six:
"SG-1 Directors Series: Smoke and Mirrors"
SG-1 Directors Series: The Changeling
SG-1 Directors Series: Memento
SG-1 Directors Series: Prophecy
SG-1 Video Diary: Richard Dean Anderson Paradise Lost"

Disc 54: Bonus Disc 4
Season Seven:
SG-1 Directors Series: Revisions
SG-1 Directors Series: Heroes
SG-1 Directors Series: Resurrection
"Behind the Scenes: Journey Inside Lost City"
The Storyboard Process
"Bra'tac vs. Ronan: Designing the Fight"
Stargate Magic: Inside the Lab
Richard Dean Anderson: "My Life as a Mime"

Season Eight:
"Beyond the Gate: A Convention Experience with Amanda Tapping"
"Beyond the Gate: A Convention Experience with Michael Shanks"
SG-1 Directors Series: Threads
Profile On: Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
The Last Day of Teal'c
SG-1 Directors Series: Moebius
"Stargate SG-1 Alliance: The Making of The Video Game"

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Speed Racer Lenticular 3-D Movie Poster

Here is your first look at Speed Racer, the latest lenticular movie poster gracing theatres. The one-sheet size poster features the helmet under his arm popping outwards toward you and the Mach One car in the background, also in 3-D.

Speed Racer lenticular movie poster art

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3-D Home Pre-Consortium Meeting to be held Feb. 5 at Universal City

3-D Theatre crowd.On Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008, a meeting to discuss the need for, and the potential activities of, a 3-D Home Consortium will be hosted and organized by Insight Media and the U.S. Display Consortium. The meeting will be used to describe the structure and mission of the proposed consortium, to hear from key supporters and to solicit input for other players in the industry. The meeting is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Universal City in Universal City, CA.

The 3-D Home Consortium is an industry-led organization dedicated to bringing stereoscopic 3-D products, content and services into consumer's homes. Its purpose is to:

  • Champion stereoscopic 3-D technology for consumer applications from the theater to the home.
  • Educate and train industry personnel in best of class 3-D techniques and methods.
  • Promote 3-D adoption via conferences, exhibits, road shows, webinars, training and marketing.
  • Interface with relevant standards bodies and keep members updated.
  • Provide market research, user surveys, news and other competitive intelligence.
  • Provide a forum to enhance communication and speed commercialization and adoption of 3-D hardware, software and content.

Membership dues will be tiered to encourage many companies to be able to participate.

Preliminary meeting agenda:

  • Explanation of proposed 3D Home Consortium mission and activities (IM/USDC).
  • The market opportunity and hurdles (IM).
  • The needs of Hollywood with Sony Dreamworks Buzz Hayes.
  • The needs of TV makers with David Naranjo from Mitsubishi and Pete Lude from Sony.
  • The needs of gamers.
  • Professional 3-D.
  • Hardware/Software needs with Chris Yewdall from DDD, Nicholas Rothier from Sensio and Eric Funke from Philips.
  • The need for standards.
  • Discussion of mission statement.
  • Discussion of consortium structure.
  • Discussion of membership features and benefits.
  • Discussion of next steps.
  • Adjourn.

RSVP to U.S. Display Consortium, Heidi Hoffman, heidi@usdc.org, (408) 993-8111.

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Master-View by Hexstatic

Master-View CD cover artView-Master® has inspired many pop culture images over the years. Here is one of the recent ones we found by UK music duo Hexstatic. Master-View was released on Oct. 11, 2004.

For Master-View, Hexstatic continued to innovate by creating 3-D anaglyph videos for six of the tracks on the DVD portion of the CD/DVD combo release. The single Salvador, which features footage of people dancing in the streets of Salvador, Brazil, was voted Best Music Video for 2004 at the Portobello Film Festival.

The CD came packaged with 3-D glasses.

One of the anaglyphic videos features what look like images from a Living Stereo film from the late 1950s or early 1960s. The video is available online here.

Songs on the CD include:

  1. Extra Life
  2. Chase Me
  3. Telemetron
  4. L-Virata
  5. Perfect Bird (Hexstatic Vs. Guitar Vader)
  6. Salvador
  7. Living
  8. Distorted Minds
  9. That Track
  10. Toys Are Us
  11. Pulse
  12. Extra tracks on ZENCD92 CD + DVD Extra Life (2-D video)
  13. Chase Me (2-D video)
  14. Telemetron (2-D video)
  15. L-Virata (2-D video)
  16. Perfect Bird (2-D video)
  17. Perfect Bird (Astroboy version) (2-D video)
  18. Salvador (2-D video)
  19. Living Stereo (2-D video)
  20. Distorted Minds (2-D video)
  21. That Track (2-D video)
  22. Toys Are Us (2-D video)
  23. Pulse (2-D video)
  24. Telemetron (3-D video)
  25. Salvador (3-D video)
  26. Living Stereo (3-D video)
  27. Distorted Minds (3-D video)
  28. That Track (3-D video)
  29. Pulse (3-D video)
  30. Extra Life (DVD audio)
  31. Chase Me (DVD audio)
  32. Telemetron (DVD audio)
  33. L-Virata (DVD audio)
  34. Perfect Bird (DVD audio)
  35. Perfect Bird (Astroboy version) (DVD audio)
  36. Salvador (DVD audio)
  37. Living (DVD audio)
  38. Living Stereo (DVD audio)
  39. Living Stereo Eclectic Method remix (DVD audio)
  40. Distorted Minds (DVD audio)
  41. That Track (DVD audio)
  42. That Track instrumental (DVD audio)
  43. Toys Are Us (DVD audio)
  44. Pulse (video mix) (DVD audio)
  45. Pulse (CD mix) (DVD audio)
  46. Master Mix (mix of above 2-D videos)

It is unknown if Fisher-Price granted the group permission to use the iconic package design and viewer on the CD/DVD cover art. In 1999, Universal Music and Video Distribution manufactured and distributed a music CD featuring unauthorized View-Master® artwork. The CD featured a View-Master® stereo reel on the cover stylized to look like a CD. On the back was an image of an adapted View-Master® viewer. The CD, titled Headliners II, was given away as an incentive to bring people into Best Buy stores on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. The cover art is shown below.

Headliners II CD cover art

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January Events at the 3-D Center of Art and Photography

3-D Center logo

Jan. 3 - Feb. 17, 2008
Art Exhibition
StereoJets: Travels in the Third Dimension
by Simon Bell

Combining the traditional techniques of stereo photography with advanced digital printing technology, these images transcend the normal viewing experience. Large, full color, polarized prints allow the viewer to see these remarkable images in all three dimensions.

The photographs have been chosen to reflect Bell’s wide ranging interests and travel destinations.

“There are limits to what we are capable of seeing with our standard-issue eyeballs”, says Bell. “By expanding or contracting the 3rd dimension, stereography gives us a magic window into our world. We see a flower as a bee might see it. We see clouds as if we were giants.”

Jan. 3 - Feb. 17, 2008
Stereo Theatre
Doggycam VISTA
by Takashi Sekitani

A dog's eye view of Tokyo, in 3-D!

Jan. 3 - Feb. 17, 2008
Stereo Theatre
Cool Miami Hot 3-D
by Various artists

A compilation of work by several artists created for the 2006 National Stereoscopic Association convention by Ron Labbe.

The 3-D Center of Art and Photography is located at 1928 NW Lovejoy in Portland, Oregon. Call (503) 227-6667.

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Rainbow Symphony Store Offers Free 3-D Glasses

3-D glassesThe Rainbow Symphony store is offering anyone a free pair of 3-D glasses. According to their Web site, Rainbow Symphony will send you one "Free" pair of the paper 3-D glasses of your choice.

Rainbow Symphony Inc.




Rainbow Symphony Inc.
6860 Canby Ave. Suite 120
Resed, CA 91335
United States
1-800-821-5122 or (818) 708-8400

Rainbow Symphony has been supplying quality paper 3-D glasses and specialty optical products for over 30 years. Whether you're looking for specific types of 3-D Glasses, Fireworks Glasses and Rainbow Glasses or Eclipse Shades - Safe Solar Viewers, Rainbow Symphony has the experience and expertise to handle your request. Over the years, Rainbow Symphony has delivered millions and millions of 3-D glasses to many of the worlds leading companies and for a wide range of special promotions and events.

Choose from their list of "stock" 3-D Glasses, 3-D Fireworks Glasses or 3-D TV Viewers. If you want a pair of Eclipse Shades, send $1 with your SASE.

You will have to follow these instructions to ensure delivery:

Send a self addressed stamped envelope "SASE" ($0.41 US) to:

Rainbow Symphony Inc.
6860 Canby Ave. Suite 120
Reseda, CA 91335
Attn: Free 3-D Glasses

Specify the type of paper glasses you are requesting...they need to know this!

  • Anaglyph 3D Glasses - Used for viewing Mars in 3-D, 3-D comics, 3-D Web sites, 3-D movies, games printing and art. Red/Blue and Red/Cyan.
  • Fireworks Glasses - View fireworks displays, laser light shows and for the study of light and color.
  • 3-D TV Glasses - Gray/Clear Lenses. Not for viewing Mars in 3-D!
  • Eclipse Shades™ - ($1) Safe for direct solar viewing of sun spots and solar eclipses.

Make sure you put the SASE inside the envelope you are sending or they will have nothing in which to send you the glasses.

To find out more details, visit the Rainbow Symphony Web site.

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3-D Auction Results
Here are a few 3-D auction results from the past month

Phantom of the Rue Morgue lightbox.

A Phantom of the Rue Morgue lenticular sold for $657.25 with six bids. This backlit 3-D lobby display was created by Warner Brothers for the 1954 horror film starring Karl Malden, Claude Dauphin and Patricia Medina. Although movie-going audiences had been treated to the occasional stereoscopic film, the period from 1952 through 1955 is generally considered the Golden Age of 3-D movies, with this piece coming from the height of that fondly-remembered era. This unique and entertaining item has a bit of delamination in the image, but is otherwise in wonderful shape. The piece includes a metal light box, which is attached to the framed image.

It Came From Outer Space poster art.

An original It Came from Outer Space in 3-Dimension one-sheet movie poster sold for $2,031.50 with two bids. The poster measures 27" x 41". Despite the lurid, sensationalistic title, this film, taken from a Ray Bradbury story, stands today as one of the most sophisticated sci-fi movies of the 1950s. When a meteor crashes, scientist Richard Carlson discovers it is really an alien spaceship. Proving that, however, is another matter, and soon he finds that the people of his small Arizona town are beginning to act oddly... like they had been taken over! This one sheet has very light fold wear with small crossfold separations, and a couple of tape scuffs. It has been mounted on linen and professionally restored, minimizing its few flaws. Wonderful artwork that emphasizes the 3-D process makes this a striking poster. Very Fine+ on Linen.

Bugs Bunny Lumber Jack-Rabbit poster art.

A Bugs Bunny Lumber Jack-Rabbit one-sheet movie poster sold for $1,792.50 with three bids. This was Warner Brothers' only 3-D animated film and was directed by Chuck Jones. The story has Bugs Bunny matching wits with the giant Paul Bunyan and his dog, Smidgen. Of the three animated shorts made in the 3-D process, this poster has always been the most elusive and rarely seen. There is one pinpoint cross fold separation, a light crease on the left border, and very faint bleed-through from an NSS stamp on the reverse. The cartoon was released in 1954.

1963 Buick 3-D card and  viewer/brochure.

A 1963 Buick Accessories 3-D card sold for $27 with six bids. The card fits in a Taylor-Marchant Stereo Viewer. The Taylor-Merchant Viewer is attached to a specially designed brochure. The six stereo pairs showed shoppers a 3-D view of accessories available for 1963 Buick automobiles.

Coke reels

Six Coca-Cola View-Master® reels sold for $55.35 with 14 bids. The reels included Christmas Sales, Carton Rack, At Work, Eat and Drink and Small Food Stores.


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