January 2013

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Cyclopital3D Apdators Enhance Fuji W3 3-D and other Stereo Camera Capabilities

Cyclopital3D creates innovative products for use in digital 3-D photography and film-making.

3-D anaglyph of the Cyclopital3D close-up/macro lens adapter.
3-D anaglyphic photo of the Cyclopital3D close-up/macro apdator

We tested the Cyclopital3D close-up/macro apdator for the Fuji W3 digital 3-D camera. The apdator uses aligned high quality mirrors to effectively reduce the stereo base of your Fuji W3 and W1 to just 25mm, down from 75 & 77mm, respectively. This shortening of the stereo base allows you to get 3X closer to your subject while still maintaining an acceptable level of parallax. The apdator also increases the common image seen by both lenses, reducing the amount of image loss commonly experienced in 3-D macro photography.

Cyclopital3D manufactures several Fuji W3 apdators including:

  • W3 Close-up/ Macro apdator.
  • W3 Auxiliary Lens apdator.
  • W3 Stereo Base Extender.
  • W3 Polarizer.
  • W3 Remote Shutter Release.
  • Lowepro camera strap.
  • Lens hoods.

Cyclopital3D Lens Adapter

Cyclopital3D Lens Adapter

The Colorado based company also manufactures apdators for other 3-D cameras.

"Everything Cyclopital3D makes is built using a 3-D printer," Ken Burgess, president and CEO of Cyclopital3D told 3-D Review Online Magazine. "In fact the only reason we can offer the wide range of 'niche' products we do is because of the miracle of 3-D printing."

"The traditional method of manufacturing would be either injection molding or Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining. Injection molding requires a mold be built, after the mold is made the parts can be produced very cheaply, but the molds are very expensive," Burgess said. "The cost of the mold is amortized across all the units produced, and as long as there is sufficient volume the unit price can be very low, but if the volume is not there the price per part skyrockets. Consider that even a simple injection mold will cost somewhere in the range of $20K to $100K, and most products require at least a few different parts. In order to build one rather complex product like our Macro unit for the W3 the "tooling" (molds etc.) would probably cost more than $100K. If we were projecting to sell 1,000 units the part cost would be $100 each. That might be acceptable, but if we ended up selling only100 units the parts would cost us $1,000 each. Not knowing how many we might sell, and having to have all the money up front is a big problem with this manufacturing model, and it's the reason we've not seen many "niche" products make it to market in the past."

The CNC model is better in terms of highly variable (and unknowable) product volume, but one problem with CNC is that it's just plain expensive from the get-go. This is due mostly to the fact that even though the actual machining is done by machine, typically many different "setups" are required to make an individual part. So it's not just machine time, it's skilled labor as well. But the real problem with CNC is you can't make just anything. There are many limitations imposed by the machining process that complicate the manufacturing of each unit as well as the design. In the worst case it might not even be possible to make a particular design without first breaking it down into several sub components that must then be assembled. This is also a problem in injection molding and is the main reason multiple molds are usually required for a single product.

3-D Printing on the other hand eliminates all of these problems. The process is capable of making "anything" (think ship in a bottle) with a simple setup. The designer does not have to be concerned about draft angles, or overhangs, or uniform wall thickness, or if the cutting tool is too big or too short or ...whatever. The time spent in design is applied only to making the product, not in working around the limitations of the manufacturing process, because basically there aren't any (limitations).

After the parts are designed, manufacturing them really is just "pushing a button". There are no complex setups that require tools to be changed or parts to be turned and clamped. To a large degree much less assembly is required in finishing because a lot of things can be made in one piece. "Having one part instead of several can also improve the mechanical accuracy of a unit, which is of particular importance in optical devices such as we make," said Burgess, "but the real advantage of 3-D printing for niche products is the cost is reasonable (much less than CNC) and is incurred only when parts are made, no money down! Of course it's not all blue sky and roses, the problems with 3-D printing are material cost, speed (printing time) and material properties, the latter being the most critical, but that's why several 3-D printing technologies have been and are still being developed, each trades off cost, speed and the physical properties of the parts produced."

"It's because of the limitations in the physical properties of the materials produced by 3-D printers that 3-D printing is still used primarily for prototyping and not (generally) for production," Burgess continued. "This is a rapidly changing field with little doubt the parts will get better, but for now the process is only suitable for a small range of product types. Fortunately photographic equipment falls in the "sweet spot". While one cannot realistically manufacture skateboards or automobile engines using a 3-D printer (yet) the parts produced are reasonably durable for use in camera systems and the like where users are accustomed to handling the equipment with some caution in regards to mechanical trauma. The basic problem with the type of printers we use is the parts are somewhat brittle. They are rigid, and quite strong, they are not sensitive to temperature or moisture and maintain excellent mechanical accuracy under a wide range of environmental conditions and strain, but if you drop them they will break."

Our products are made from a "composite material" (that's the term used by the manufacturer of the 3-D printer and it's "consumables"). After the parts are "printed" they are "infused" with a two part catalytically hardened epoxy resin from which most of the mechanical properties of the parts is derived. A pigment is added to the epoxy before it's applied to color the parts throughout. When the parts have cured they are then sanded and an enamel finish is applied by spray for cosmetics.

Cyclopital3D owns two 3-D printers and every thing we make is manufactured by us from powder here in Fort Collins, Colorado. They buy powder and binder and epoxy resin from U.S. suppliers and ship the products they make to customers worldwide.

Burgess developed each product using an iterative design, build, test cycle, continually improving the units until he felt they were ready to be used by customers. "Generally we build to order," said Burgess, "meaning we do not carry a lot of inventory (except raw materials, mirrors, lenses etc.) Because each unit is made individually we can, and do introduce improvements to the products on an on-going basis. For instance, our early FCA's for the W3 had a small light leak that was discovered by a customer using very dark (6 stops +) IR filters to make IR photographs. The seal around the sides of the camera let some stray light in from the back that showed up as a kind of flare in the left image. I was able to quickly resolve the problem once I knew about it and from then on all the units we made could be used in this way. We can also make changes quickly if we need to use an alternate source for a component, or if a customer wants several units with their own company name or logo on them."

Burgess has been interested in stereoscopic photography for almost 20 years now. "Not a long time compared to some, but (I think) what I lack in longevity I've made up for with enthusiasm," he said. "I'm an avid collector of historic 3-D photographic equipment and did a lot of shooting with a Stereo Realist back in the day. I've built several digital "rigs" and even won an award for innovation in 2005 at the International Stereoscopic Union's (ISU) 15th world congress (in Eastbourn UK) for exhibiting a stereo camera I developed that used two cell phones synchronized over Bluetooth to capture stereo pairs. I'm an experimental physicist by training so I've always been most interested in the theory and the equipment used for stereoscopy."

"Another big break that we totally did not anticipate (except in the most general terms) was Fuji introducing the W1 at the National Stereoscopic Association (NSA) conference in 2009," said Burgess. "The same conference where Cyclopital3D introduced it's first product, a digital stereoscope some called the 'digital view-master'".

In 2010 Burgess, along with Cyclopital3D co-worker Tanya Alsip, were the chairpersons for the NSA conference held in Colorado. "It was one of the highlights of my life, but admittedly Tanya did most of the work," said Burgess. "Moving from 3-D as a hobby to 3-D as a job has given me the opportunity to study 3-D technology in earnest, it's been both challenging and wonderful. The great thing about 3-D is there is always something else to investigate. I swear I still learn something new about 3-D almost every day."

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Samsung NX300 uses a Special 3-D Lens to take Still and Video Images

Samsung NX-300 digital 3-D camera.The 3-D photography-capable NX300 is the latest member of Samsung's 'NX' line of mirror less, interchangeable lens cameras. We say 3-D capable because the camera is not capable of taking 3-D images/movies by itself, but only with a special 2-D/3-D 45mm f1.8 lens. The NX300 becomes the first large-sensor camera in the world capable of taking both 2- and 3-dimensional still and video images with the use of the special lens.

NX 45mm F1.8 2D/3D lens

The Samsung 45mm 2-D/3-D lens is sold separately. It is the world’s first one-lens 3-D system for a consumer digital camera. Capable of capturing both still pictures and full 1080p HD video, the Samsung NX300 and 45mm 2-D/3-D lens kit have become the only compact system camera supporting both 3-D still and 3-D movie. The NX300 is also compatible with Samsung’s entire range of NX lenses and professional standard accessories, giving users an unparalleled range of options when striving for that perfect shot.

The manufacturer's suggested price for the camera is $749 and the accessory 2-D/3-D lens is $499.

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Texas Chainsaw 3-D Ticket Giveaway

Every Thursday from now through Jan. 4 @LionsgateHorror will give fans a chance to spread the #ChainsawThursdays gospel. Twitter users that tweet with the #ChainsawThursdays hashtag will automatically be entered to win free tickets to see Texas Chainsaw 3-D at their local theatre, with dozens of winners each Thursday night.

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Texas Chainsaw 3-D Poster Art

Texas Chainsaw 3-D poster art

Here is the newest poster art for Texas Chainsaw 3-D, which opens nationwide Jan. 4, 2013.

Texas Chainsaw 3-D poster art

Here is the previously released poster art.

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. Free View-Master Custom Production Kit on DVD

Stereoscopic Displays and Applications Conference is Feb. 4 to 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California

SD&A logoThe Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference is held as part of the annual IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging Symposium. The EI Symposium will run Feb. 3 through 7, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport Hotel, just south of San Francisco, California.

The Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference itself runs Monday through Wednesday Feb. 4 through 6, 2013. The complementary 3-D short course presented by Andrew Woods and John Merritt is held the day before, Sunday Feb. 3.

Twenty-two other imaging conferences share the symposium, including two other 3-D related conferences, providing synergy across the imaging community.

The full program for the 2013 SD&A conference is available online.

The conference features a rich selection of presentations in the technical program. Topics include Autostereoscopic Displays, 3-D Image Quality, 3-D Cinema, 3-D Games, 3-D Human Factors, and much more. We have a large crop of papers again this year, and have scheduled several parallel sessions in the program. There is lots of choose from.

The conference will also feature short courses, plenary presentations, keynote presentations, a discussion forum, the ever-popular 3-D theatre, demonstrations and the SD&A dinner.

SD&A Keynote Presentations
The two keynote speakers at SD&A conference are:

Feb. 4: History of Polarized Image Stereoscopic Display by Vivian Walworth, President & CTO of StereoJet, Inc. This presentation will recount the historic work of many investigators who contributed to the development of stereoscopic display through use of light polarization. The talk will include personal recollections of experiences with key inventors and colleagues, as well as early adventures in exploitation of the technology.

Feb. 5: Coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games in 3-D by Jim DeFilippis, Broadcast Engineering Consultant. This presentation will recount the London 2012 Olympics which provided the opportunity to broadcast a full-time 3-D channel. DeFilippis will present the unique challenges in providing 3-D coverage, from organizing the 3-D channel as well as the technical challenge of covering sports in 3-D while accommodating the full-up 2-D production with an emphasis on what worked and what did not.

SD&A Discussion Forum
Feb. 6: 3-D Movies - Is There Enough Depth? moderated by Gregg Favalora, Principal at Optics for Hire.

Panel Members include:
• Jason Goodman, stereographer, 21st Century 3-D (The Amazing Spiderman)
• Eric Kurland, stereographer, 3-DIY (The Longest Daycare)
• Jenny Read, vision scientist, University of Newcastle (UK)
• Graham Clark, head of stereography, Stereo D (UK) (The Avengers)

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To Be 3-D or Not Be 3-D - The Real vs. Fake 3-D List at RealorFake3D.com

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter poster art.
Is Honest Abe honestly in 3-D? Nope, it's fake 3-D.

While film studios are cashing in on 3-D films, many are "faking it" by converting 2-D films into 3-D post-production. Worse, they're not being up front in their advertising and many people feel ripped-off after paying extra fees for the "3-D Experience."

It's been claimed that conversions are now just as good as the real thing, but there's a limit to what can be done post-production. If you only have one-eye's worth of content, you can't just make up the content for the second eye. It's not as simple as the re-colorization that happened to classic movies.

The website realorfake3d.com has a list separating the real 3-D films that were shot or rendered natively in 3-D from the fake ones that weren't. The list is not complete with every 3-D film ever filmed but submissions to the add to the site are welcomed.

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200 Blu-ray 3-D Titles Available as of the end of 2012

Blu-ray Disc logo.2012 has come and gone and left in its wake 200 BD-3D titles available in the United States. This number is up from 37 in 2010 and 108 in 2011. In the coming year, 92 titles will be added to the roster, compared to 71 last year. Major film studio releases outnumber independent films as a whole over the last two years at a rate of 111 to 89. That ratio is reversed during 2012 with more indie titles coming out on BD-3D than big-studio releases.

Early in the life of the format, the slate for BD-3D videos closely followed the theatrical 3-D schedule, focusing on new-release stereo 3-D movies. The early home-video 3-D lineup was filled with animation and documentaries, but the format has seen a substantial increase in live-action stereoscopic 3-D movies across all genres, including action, adventure, horror, family, music, sci-fi, drama and comedy. Non-movie titles covering both the documentary and erotic-film categories also entered the market.

Some blockbuster titles have performed remarkably well, too. The 20th Century Fox sci-fi movie Prometheus BD-3D version generated first-week sales equivalent to a quarter of the title’s overall retail totals.

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Buy 3-D items at The Stereo Store!

Ray Zone Memorial Facebook Page

A memorial Facebook page has been created to honor American film historian, author, artist, and pioneer in methods of converting flat images (in particular, comic books) into stereoscopic images, Ray Zone.

Ray Zone attributed his interest in 3-D to having read Mighty Mouse comic books in 3-D at the age of six, in 1953.

He moved to Los Angeles in the early 1980s and began converting flat art to 3-D images. He began working in comic books in 1983, and his early collaborations with Jack C. Harris and Steve Ditko drew the attention of Archie Goodwin, who recruited him to work with John Byrne on the 1990 Batman 3-D, a full-length 3-D graphic novella. Zone produced 3-D adaptations of art for over 150 comic books, for clients such as Disney, Warner Bros. and The Simpsons, and including stories by Alan Moore and Grant Morrison that were specifically written to accommodate stereoscopy.

An internationally recognized expert in all things 3-D, Zone had a special interest in stereoscopic cinema and Large Format 3-D (15/70) filmmaking. He created stereo conversions and stereoscopic images for a wide variety of clients in publishing, education, advertising, television and motion pictures. In 2006 Zone was the 3-D Artist on the Tool album 10,000 Days, which won that year's Grammy Award for Best Recording Package. He received numerous awards for his 3-D work, among them a 1987 Inkpot Award from the San Diego Comic-Con for "Outstanding Achievement in Comic Arts".

He was the author of 3-D Filmmakers, Conversations with Creators of Stereoscopic Motion Pictures (Scarecrow Press: 2005), Stereoscopic Cinema and the Origins of 3-D Film, 1838 - 1952 (University Press of Kentucky: 2007), 3-DIY: Stereoscopic Moviemaking on an Indie Budget (Focal Press: 2012), and 3-D Revolution: The History of Modern Stereoscopic Cinema (University Press of Kentucky: 2012).

In 2008 Zone worked as 3-D Supervisor on Dark Country with director/star Thomas Jane, and in 2010 as 3-D Producer on Brijes 3-D, (Ithrax/SDA), the first animated 3-D feature film made in Mexico.

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3-D Theatre: The Flamingo 3-D

Watch Jim Cummings independent 3-D film, The Flamingo 3-D. After his girlfriend Katy leaves him, jilted Marty moves into The Flamingo, a resort owned by his brother...but will his month long stay at The Flamingo be a blessing or a curse?

The film stars PJ McCabe as Marty with Dee Marshall, M Jennings, Jim Cummings, Alexis Schreiber and Shelley Schreiber.

PJ McCabe delivers a solid performance as the lost boy trying to find his way after his lover leaves him. Moving into The Flamingo, he is left on his own for a month by his brother, who has business elsewhere and can't be there for him. Dee Marshall is captivating as Katy. Check into The Flamingo

The Flamingo 3-D © San Francisco 3D Films, 2011.

Editor's Note: This film contains mature themes. It is intended for adult audiences and contains coarse language and nudity.

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Auction Results

Civil War amputation stereoview.

A Civil War amputation stereoview sold for $650 with one bid. Probably the ultimate Civil War Medical scene is this Zouave surgeon performing an amputation of an arm holding a large bone saw while being assisted by another surgeon who holds an amputation knife while a group of onlookers watch. An amputation kit is on the table, a medical pannier, numerous medicine bottles and a basin on the floor to catch the blood. This may be a posed scene but it is quite gruesome in itself. It is marked on the back "Fortress Monroe".

View-Master Reels and Packets Vol. 3 book.

Two copies each of View-Master Reels and Packets: A Collector's Guide Vol. 3 sold at auction for $118 plus $18 shipping. Instead of ordering it in the secondary market, the book is still available from author Harry Zur Kleimsniede for $110 plus $24 shipping, less than some people paid at auction. Harry might even autograph it for you.

View-Master Disneyland S5 packets.

A collection of five Disneyland S5 View-Master® packets sold for $109.46 with four bids. The five Sawyer's S5 View-Master® packets feature various areas of Disneyland in Anaheim, California as it was in the 1960s.

The packets included:

  • Adventureland, A177
  • Fantasyland, A178
  • Frontierland, A176
  • Main Street USA, A175
  • Tomorrowland, A179

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