July 2009

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Pop-Up 3-D Book is a Sight to Behold

Pop-Up 3-D cover art."The Pop-Up 3-D book is a sight to behold even if you can't hold the sights in the book." -- 3-D Review Online Magazine

I wanted to avoid the cliche' of saying "This is the best 3-D book I've ever seen!"...but it is hard avoid it. Pop-Up 3-D: Discover Phantograms, Fantastic & Fun Natural 3-D Pop-Ups by Barry Rothstein, Steve Hughes and Steve Boddy is that rarest of animals...a wonderful 3-D photographic presentation that truly comes off the page with satisfying results. Let's just say its the most fun 3-D photographic presentation I've had the pleasure to review and is sure to please children and adults with it's outstanding pop-up anaglyphic images.

We'll discuss two images found in the book. First is the "Toy Soliders" image featuring figures manufactured in Germany by Elastolin in the late 1940s. The tiny toy soldiers of the American Revolution, including one of George Washington on his horse, literally stand up on the page so lifelike you imagine they will start to march toward you.

Second, and my favorite image in the book, is the image named, "Just Take One," featuring a plate full of chocolates. The fun comes into play when you try to pick one of the chocolates up. Your can see you hand literally reach through the elusive candy. Frustrating and fun at the same time. The page also features a stereo pair of the chocolate image that can be free-viewed.

You might not be able to pick up the chocolates but you can pick up this exceptional 3-D book from national retailers or visit www.3dDigitalPhoto.com to order a copy. While you're at their Web site, take time to view several preview images and watch a video taken at the Phantom 3D® Books & Cards booth at the L.A. Times Festival of Books showing visitors experiencing the wow-factor of the 3-D images.

Each book comes with paper anaglyphic glasses bundled inside the front cover.

Published in the USA by 3dDigitalPhoto.com with the registered tradename Phantom 3D®.
ISBN-10: 0-9769494-1-5 ISBN-13: 978-0-9769494-1-1
Copyright 2007 by 3dDigitalPhoto.com
Price: $19.95

Pop-Up 3-D: Discover Phantograms, Fantastic & Fun Natural 3-D Pop-Ups by Barry Rothstein, Steve Hughes and Steve Boddy receives a 3-D Review "Must See 3-D" Award for producing this excellent, satisfying, quality piece of four-color process 3-D images. We look forward to seeing their future 3-D projects.



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Michael Jackson Filmed Elaborate 3-D Video Before His Death

One of the last projects that Michael Jackson completed before his death was an elaborate 3-D video, dubbed the "Dome Project," that was presumably intended for use during his upcoming string of London concerts, the Associated Press reports.

The project, included four sets, one of which was a cemetery, recalling Jackson's landmark video Thriller.

"It was a groundbreaking effort," says Vince Pace, director of photography for James Cameron's Avatar, and 3-D films Journey to the Center of the Earth and Ghosts of the Abyss. Pace's company provided cameras for the project. When the video played in concert, "the audience would have felt like they were visiting the Thriller experience, like they were there," Pace added.

A source close to the project recalls that, during filming, Jackson walked onto the set "with a spring in his step" but at one point needed help descending stairs leading from a stage.

It's not yet known if the project will be released in some other format.

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75-foot Criss Angel Lenticular Mural at the Luxor in Las Vegas

Criss Angel lenticular rabbit artThe Cirque du Soleil theater lobby at the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas was reworked in 2009 by famed architecture firm Hamilton Anderson Associates. A component of the re-design was a 75-foot wide back-lit lenticular mural created by Big3D, the lenticular provider of record on the project. . The art features imagery of an expanse of red velvet curtain through which, via the magic of lenticular, iconic white rabbits and Criss Angel periodically peek through, then retreat back behind the curtain. Additionally, five large back-lit lenticular panels line the hallway leading into the theater itself, each a 3-flip effect featuring more eerie rabbit imagery.

The mural installation was complex, made up of 50 different lenticular panels of varying heights. Since the custom light boxes were being constructed on-site, constant fine-tuning of panel sizes was required throughout the lenticular production process. Four days were required to produce the complex job. Installation went smoothly and the end result is truly unique and stunning.

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Peter Jackson Reaches Out to 3-D

Add Peter Jackson to the 3-D bandwagon. According to MarketSaw, 3ality Digital Systems CEO Steve Schklair said Jackson will be shooting all of his directed films in 3-D from now on, using the technologies of Schklair’s 3ality company.

"We were recently down in New Zealand with Peter Jackson, who is committing to shooting his films in 3-D, and will be working with our rigs and technology to do so,” said Schklair. He thinks Jackson’s decision to shoot his movies in 3-D will be a big boost for the advancement of 3-D technology as a prominent way of viewing movies.

“This is big news for the industry because we are all pushing to get theatres built. Some theatre owners are on the fence, asking, 'If we do jump [into 3-D], is there enough content?' Having Peter Jackson jump in and say things like 'I’ll be making all my movies in 3-D' is a great vote of confidence for the theatre owners who are thinking about making the investment.”

Alex Billington at First Showing points out there is currently a predicament with 3-D movies in that a lot of movie theatres don’t want to convert to 3-D because there simply aren’t enough 3-D movies out there. At the same time a lot of directors don’t want to shoot movies in 3-D because there aren’t enough movie theatres properly equipped yet. With Jackson joining James Cameron, and others, on the list of people shooting in 3-D, it seems it will become much less of a problem sooner rather than later.

Only in movies where the technology is applied subtly and in the right places such as in Pixar’s latest film Up does it work. However, most 3-D movies use the technology blatantly, shoving images down the audience’s throat more frequently than you can count as they appear to come out of the screen towards them. If Jackson is going to use 3-D in all of his movies, I hope that he applies it with great precision and doesn’t just use it all the time just for the sake of it.

Jackson's drama/horror/thriller The Lovely Bones is already in post-production. Beyond that Jackson has the sequel to Tintin (if it gets greenlit), so unless anything else gets announced (he’s producing The Hobbit, not directing it), Tintin 2 would be his first 3-D movie.

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

3-D Center logoThe program schedule at the 3-D Center of Art and Photography in Portland, Oregon is now more regularized. The center will be opening either a new gallery exhibition or a new Stereo Theatre show each first Thursday.

In the Gallery
July 2 - Aug. 30, 2009
Opens First Thursday, July 2, 6 to 9 p.m.
A Stereoscopic Atlas of Human Anatomy o rganized by the 3D Center
3-D images of the human body from the groundbreaking View-Master ® project, originally produced in Portland in the 1950's and 60's.

In the Stereo Theatre
June 4 - Aug. 2, 2009
Macro Stereo Fotographia
by Imre Zsolnai-Nagy
Extreme 3-D close-ups of insects and flowers.

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

The 3-D Center of Art and Photography has regular monthly Stereo Theatre and 3-D Art Exhibitions. Open Thursday - Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. First Thursday (Free), 6 to 9 p.m. Admission for adults (over 15) is $5.

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Holga 120-3D Stereo Camera

Holga Stereo Cameras and viewer

The new Holga 120-3D Stereo camera is based on the Holga CFN (Color Flash) body design and takes Holga photography to an all new level of 3-D photography!

Holga 120-3D Features

  • Standard tripod mount (1/4 - 20)
  • Bulb setting
  • One mask for 6x6cm image area
  • Built-in threaded shutter release button for cable release (not included)
  • The Color Flash is a built in flash which contains a spinning color filter wheel. Choose from red, yellow, blue, standard white or a combination thereof. Use the flash day or night to manipulate your images with vibrant colors.

Four "AA" batteries (not included) are required for flash operation only.

The Holga 120-3D stereo camera is available in both standard and pinhole models. The camera retails for around $100.

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Two European Projects Aim for Glassless 3-D Projection

According to Science Daily, most people’s experience with 3-D involves wearing tinted glasses in a cinema. But a new technology, which does not require glasses and may enable 3DTV, is being developed by European researchers.

While the first applications of the new technology are likely to be the fields of industry and science, there are also very major implications for the future of entertainment, both at the cinema and on television, as well as in video gaming.

The most important aspect of the new system from the user perspective is that nothing is required of the viewer – no need for the special glasses in cinemas or having to adjust your head into specific positions to get the 3-D effect, as with a holographic image. It provides the closest video 3-D viewing experience compared to the well-known static holography, where the user can freely move to change viewing angle.

The breakthrough has been thanks to two EU-funded projects, firstly HOLOVISION, which ended in April last year, and then its successor OSIRIS, which is still going and runs until the end of 2009.

Resolution 10x that of HDTV
Ákos Demeter of Holografika, a partner in both projects, explains that in the first one the primary aim was to develop technologies capable of producing a very high-resolution 3-D image.

“We basically organized projection engines in a special way and used holographic imaging film for the display screen. The combination of these, with the projection engines being driven by a cluster of nine high-end PCs, and new sophisticated software, allowed us to achieve our aims,” he notes.

A prototype system was produced with a resolution of 100Mpixel – or around 10 times that of HDTV – at 25 frames a second in six colours, rather than the standard RGB (red, green, blue). The researchers were able to increase the resolution three fold to virtually 300Mpixel by using greyscales instead of colours.

Although nothing commercial has come out of the HOLOVISION project as yet, it provided a major stepping-stone for the much larger OSIRIS project. An early prototype of an OSIRIS system was demonstrated at the ICT 2008 exhibition in Lyon, and impressed enough to win the Best Exhibit Award silver prize

Big-screen 3-D for cinemas
A major aim of OSIRIS is to develop high-resolution, big screen, reflective projection 3-D cinema. The prototype under development has a wall-mounted 1.7m x 3m screen, with the projector on the ceiling. In HOLOVISION, the images were back-projected which meant a very unwieldy display system that was 35 inches deep.

In OSIRIS, using a complex system of mirrors and light sources to provide the re-projected images, the screen display will only have a depth of between 15 and 20 inches to give a much less bulky and more modern look.

The glassless technology presents the 3-D image in a way very similar to light coming from a normal object, so putting a lot less strain on the brain than current 3-D projections. Demeter likens the experience to looking through a window. And as with looking though a window, it is possible for the viewer to walk around in front of the display and still see the same view, albeit from a changing perspective.

Although the technology is still under development, the commercial prospects are many and varied.

Many potential applications
“Military combat training is one potential application, replacing the current 2-D projection technology with 3-D projections for a much more lifelike experience,” says Zsuzsa Dobranyi, Sales Director at Holografika.

“Another application will be gaming, where we can imagine people walking into a small gaming room and freely moving around and seeing 3-D images and playing 3-D games with 3-D objects without quickly tiring their brains out,” she continues.

This type of application may not be too far off commercialization and the OSIRIS partners are already in discussions with a market-leading company to develop a 3-D golf gaming system. This may be available in about a year.

Industrial and professional applications, such as computer-aided design (CAD), advertising, control rooms, and medicine could be just a few months off, with project members able to custom-build 3-D systems according to customers’ requirements, Dobranyi says.

The work that has been done and is still underway, means that the projection and display technology will not be what delays the introduction of this type of 3-D in cinemas. Content is more likely to be a stumbling block.

According to Demeter, “When filmmakers are ready to shoot with higher numbers of cameras to create 3-D images, or broadcasters are prepared to combine images from all the cameras filming a live event to build 3-D images, then we will be ready to show it.”

Electronics giant Thomson, co-coordinators of OSIRIS, are currently working on a better solution to capture and display real-life 3-D video, replacing existing 3-D acquisition systems which are clumsy or limited.

A 3-D camera system is being developed using plenoptic camera technology. The system uses multiple cameras to capture sufficiently large field-of-view (FOV) 3-D content for OSIRIS’ 3-D displays, offering better 3-D visibility and freedom than the existing stereo cameras.

How long before 3DTV, then?
Dobranyi believes 3DTV will happen, but can’t say exactly when. There are already dozens of HDTV broadcasters out there who would be interested in the next step to 3-D. But better compression technologies are needed to deliver on this promise.

Research in the OSIRIS project is addressing this challenge. She confirms that 3D-IPTV wide-band networks even beyond 100Mbit/sec are on the horizon.

Despite this progress, broadcasting OSIRIS quantities of data at 100Mpixel and 50 frames a second will have to wait a bit longer, she suggests.

“But it is only a matter of time!” she concludes.

OSIRIS and HOLOVISION were funded by the ICT strand of the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for research.

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Denis Leary Comments on Filming Rescue Me in 3-D

Nobody is more impressed with the 3-D effects in Ice Age 3-D: Dawn of the Dinosaurs than Denis Leary (who provides the voice of Diego, the tiger in the film). In fact, Leary is convinced that television should be the next frontier for 3-D technology and his FX series, Rescue Me, would be a great starting point. Listen in below.

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Britain's Got Talent winners to appear in 3-D film

Dance troupe Diversity, winners of TV's Britain's Got Talent, are to appear in a new British film to be shot in 3-D.

Fellow competitors Flawless will also appear in the film, as will last year's winner George Sampson.

The film, Street Dance, follows a dance crew in training for the Street Dance Championships who are forced to work alongside ballet dancers.

Distributed by Vertigo Films, it has been described as "the first British movie to be shot in 3-D".

Producer James Richardson signed both Diversity and Flawless to the film after seeing them perform last July at the UK Street Dance Championships.

"I immediately started talking to them about being in the film since I felt they represented the very best of British street dance," he said in a statement.

Casting is still in progress for the film, which will begin shooting in the UK in August under the direction of award-winning video makers Max and Darnia.

Diversity were the surprise victors of the Britain's Got Talent finale, beating hotly-tipped singer Susan Boyle into second place.

The 11-strong Essex-based troupe includes three sets of brothers and has members aged from 13 to 25.

London-based Flawless also competed in Saturday's final but did not make it into the final three.

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Smurfs 3-D film to hit Theatres Christmas 2010

The much-anticipated and as-yet-untitled Smurfs movie will hit theaters on Dec. 17, 2010 in 3-D according to a report from Entertainment Weekly. Details on the plot and casting of the live-action/animated film are still under wraps.

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Ritz Carlton, South Beach, Uses View-Master® for Children's Menu

Ritz Carlton photo by Cristobal Herrera, Sun Sentinel / June 18, 2009Little is big when it comes to kids' menus at the Ritz Carlton in South Beach, Florida. They have a kid-sized brunch set on a table 14-inches off the ground with miniature silver chafing dishes, a Thomas the Tank Engine train and apple-shaped TVs.

More restaurants realize if they can attract the little ones and keep them happy while their parents relax over a meal, they'll keep these families coming back. High-end restaurants are getting into the act by offering child-friendly options.

At the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, kids have the fun of choosing from a colorful kids' menu in the hotel's two dining venues, and they can also see photos of what they want to order on a View-Master®. Choices on the reel includes sauteed grouper fillet, rigatoni and meatballs and grilled teriyaki chicken breast.

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Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist's Journey Into Seeing in Three Dimensions

Fixing My Gaze cover art.When neuroscientist Susan Barry was 50 years old, she took an unforgettable trip to Manhattan. As she emerged from the dim light of the subway into the sunshine, she saw a view of the city she had witnessed many times in the past but now saw in an astonishingly new way. Skyscrapers on street corners appeared to loom out toward her like the bows of giant ships. Tree branches projected upward and outward, enclosing and commanding palpable volumes of space. Leaves created intricate mosaics in 3-D. With each glance, she experienced the deliriously novel sense of immersion in a three dimensional world.

Barry had been cross-eyed and stereoblind since early infancy. After half a century of perceiving her surroundings as flat and compressed, on that day she was seeing Manhattan in stereo depth for first time in her life. As a neuroscientist, she understood just how extraordinary this transformation was, not only for herself but for the scientific understanding of the human brain. Scientists have long believed that the brain is malleable only during a “critical period” in early childhood. According to this theory, Barry’s brain had organized itself when she was a baby to avoid double vision – and there was no way to rewire it as an adult. But Barry found an optometrist who prescribed a little-known program of vision therapy; after intensive training, Barry was ultimately able to accomplish what other scientists and even she herself had once considered impossible.

The book is a revelatory account of the brain’s capacity for change. Fixing My Gaze describes Barry’s remarkable journey and celebrates the joyous pleasure of our senses.

The Stereoscopic Displays and Applications (SD&A) conference and Basic Books are giving away five copies of the new book Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist’s Journey into Seeing in Three Dimensions by Susan R. Barry. To be in the drawing to win one of five copies of the book, visit the SD&A conference Web site and complete a short survey to enter the competition. Deadline to enter is July 5, 2009.

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Auction Results

Michael Jackson's Thriller View-Master Gift Set

A Michael Jackson's Thriller View-Master® Gift Set sold for $44 with seven bids.

Michael Jackson's Thriller Talking View-Master Cartiridges

A set of Michael Jackson's Thriller Talking View-Master® catridgeds in the original box sold for $51 with seven bids.

24 Utah stereoviews

A lot of 24 Utah stereoviews sold for $765.01 with nine bids. This is an estate found lot of 24 antique 1800's Utah cards. Each measures 6 3/4" x 3 3 3/16". This lot includes various views of Utah including The Tabernacle in Construction, Headquarters at Camp Douglas, West Side of Temple Street, Scene in American Fork Canyon with Steam Locomotive, Brigham Young's Residence, Eagle Gate, Mormon Temple, Interior of Tabernacle and School Salt Lake Utah. Each is photographed and published by C.R Savage and C.W Carter's View Emporium.

Wheeler Expedition stereoview

A lot of 30 Wheeler Expedition stereoviews sold for $572.90 with 13 bids. These Grand Canyon views are from the famous Wheeler Expedition and Surveys West of the 100th Meridian during 1871 to 1872. William Bell and T.H. O'Sullivan Photographer. Every card in lot is trimmed off the top and bottom margin to size the card to the common standard viewer. Half the cards have additional damage of spotting. Included in the lot are three showing native Mojave indians. Notes are made in the back text that superstitions about cameras made the Mojave difficult to photograph. The set also includes the #1 card.

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