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August 2006 Issue

Vol. 4, No. 8

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Dolby Digital and Infitec to develop a third 3-D Digital Motion Picture System

Dolby Digital logoDolby has announced that they will be developing a digital 3-D system for movie theaters.

Dolby has signed a deal with German company Infitec, a maker of virtual reality systems, to develop a digital 3-D motion picture system it hopes to debut in theaters by next spring.

Dolby claims that it's system will stand out above the other two technologies available today as it will not require either a silver screen (Real D) or battery-powered glasses (In-Three).

Recently Monster House 3-D out-grossed it's standard film release. Indications are that the Hollywood studios believe that digital 3-D may be the future of cinema.

Dolby says its Infitec-based system would be cheaper and more flexible than that of the leading 3-D cinema company, Real D, because it allows a 3-D image to be projected directly onto standard white screens.

Tim Partridge, senior vice president and general manager of Dolby's professional division, said the company got serious about designing its own 3-D system during the debut of Chicken Little.

Dolby worked with Disney and Real D to convert 100 cinemas worldwide to digital 3-D systems for the film's run last fall.

"During that roll out we were able to see what an impact 3-D had on the experience," Partridge said. "We learned about the drawbacks. We stood back and tried to figure out what it would take to have an optimized 3-D system."

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Sensio and Universal to release classic 3-D titles on DVD

Jaws 3-D DVD cover artSensio Technologies Inc. will be releasing several Universal Home Entertainment movies, including Creature from the Black Lagoon, Jaws 3-D, It Came from Outer Space, Taza Son of Cochise and Revenge of the Creature, on DVD, and in its full-color, full-resolution 3-D format.

Sensio’s 3-D technology is found in the S3D-100 processor, which has been designed for easy integration in any audio/video equipment, like A/V receivers, HDTVs, satellite receivers, and DVD players. It allows the high-quality distribution of 3-D content through conventional 2-D channels, and playback on any display device, such as plasma TVs, HDTV and glass-free 3-D displays.

“Because of its universal video output, anyone in the future who will own A/V equipment with Sensio’s 3-D technology inside will be able to watch 3-D content on any type of display, in 3-D or 2-D,” explained Nicholas Routhier, President and CEO of Sensio. “Our goal is to become the world standard in 3-D, such as Dolby and DTS have become for sound. As such, the Sensio 3-D technology has generated great interest from major consumer electronic manufacturers.”

Sensio has also garnered recognition in the film industry, by working on such 3-D projects as the 2005 release of The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl by acclaimed producer Robert Rodriguez, and a special 3-D episode of the NBC-TV series Medium.

“Sensio is being recognized by the entertainment industry as the most advanced 3-D company, with techniques and technologies that create the most immersive 3-D experience there is,” Routhier added. “We have also received great reviews from producers such as Steve Oedekerk (Bruce Almighty, Santa vs the Snowman) and major studios including DreamWorks, who use our 3-D technologies as well.”

"Sensio is obviously thrilled to be able to provide viewers with 3-D movies from a major Hollywood studio,” said Richard LaBerge, Executive Vice President and CMO of Sensio. “Thanks to Sensio’s superior technology, these movies will now be viewed in full colour and full DVD resolution in home theatres. We’re convinced that the library of 3-D movies in Sensio 3-D will continue to grow”.

Founded in 1999, Sensio has built the world’s largest library of 3-D movies for the home market.

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Komamura Horseman 3-D Stereo Camera is now available

Horseman 3-D stereo camera front and backThe Horseman 3-D stereo camera is now available according to Komamura's Web site.

The unique appeal of this camera is not only because of its 3-D pictures, but because of its unique integration. It is one camera with two lenses mounted in a single shutter, not two lenses with two shutters.

The camera has an electronically-controlled focal plain shutter with speeds ranging from eight seconds to 1/1000th of a second and takes stereo pairs 24 x 32 mm in size on regular 135 film. The lenses are 38 mm f/2.8 with the closest focus at 0.7 meters.

The strereo base is 34 mm, which is suitable for close-up photographs.

Horseman 3-D graphicDX-coded films can be used. but the film speeds can also be set manually from ISO 25 to ISO 3200 in 1/3 steps. The film is transported by a motor-drive and there are three shooting modes: S (single), C (continuous) and M (Multiple Exposure). The latter does automatic bracketing.

At 166 x 86 x 66 mm, the Horseman 3-D camera is fairly compact, but not a lightweight camera at approximately 900 grams. The price tag is rumored to be around $5,000.

Horseman 3-D Stereo Camera Specifications
Type 35mm Rangefinder Focal Plane Shutter Stereo Camera
Film 135 (35mm film)
Format 24x32mm (European Size)
Lens 38mm F2.8 3-Groups / 4-Lenses x2
Filter Size f 62mm
Closest Focusing Distance 0.7m
Stereo Base 34mm
View Finder Bright Frame, Automatic Parallax Compensation. Ratio=0.45
Finder Information Shutter Speed / Exposure Indication / Exposure Correction
Rangefinder Split-image and coincident-image rangefinder
Shutter Electronically controlled Focal Plane Shutter / Shutter Speed: B, 8s - 1/1000s
Exposure Control Through-the-lens (TTL) exposure metering / Range: EV4 (F4) - EV19 (F22) (ISO100)
Mode Aperture priority AE / Manual
Exposure Correction ±2EV, 1/2 step
Auto Bracketing 0.5EV / 1.0EV
Film Sensitivity DX Auto Setting / Manual Setting ISO25 - 3200 1/3 step
Film Winding Automatic Winding/Rewinding Mode= S(Single) / C(Continuous)/M(Multi)
Flash Sync. Hot Shoe / Sync Socket
Self-timer 10s/2s
LCD Film Sensitivity / Shutter Speed / Auto Bracketing / Bettery Warning / Self-timer / Exposure Correction / Backlit
Battery CR2 x2
Dimentions 166 x 82 x 66 mm
Weight 900g
Stereo Sets
36EXP : 20Sets
24EXP : 13Sets

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Fisher-Price's View-Master® Virtual Viewer Earns Gold Idea Award

View-Master Virtual ViewerOut of more than 1,000 entries, the 2000 Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) jury honored Fisher-Price's View-Master® Virtual Viewer with a Gold IDEA Award, one of only 40 awarded during that year. Two additional Fisher-Price products, the Rock, Roll ‘n Ride Trike and Sparkling Symphony Gym, received Bronze IDEA Award honors, making Fisher-Price one of only six corporate winners to receive three or more awards.

Presented by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and sponsored by Business Week, IDEA award-winners were selected based on five criteria of industrial design excellence: design innovation, benefit to the user, benefit to the client/business, ecological responsibility and appropriate aesthetics and appeal. Entries were submitted in 47 subcategories, ranging from cars and computers to museum exhibits and furniture.

“Fisher-Price met the challenge of reinventing a 60-year-old classic and made it timely by emphasizing both the improved high resolution and the whimsical impression that the child will be immersed in a fun, visual, fantasy world,” raves Dan Klitsner, IDSA, Klitsner Industrial Design Inc., regarding the Virtual Viewer.

“Even more impressive is the low cost and backwards compatibility with the millions of existing View-Master image disks.”

“We're quite proud to be honored with three IDEA Awards,” says Jerry Perez, executive vice president of marketing and design at Fisher-Price. “The Fisher-Price brand has been built on our reputation for creating high quality, innovative toys. Our team of designers and engineers are among the best in the country, let alone the toy and children's products industries, and it's wonderful to be recognized by IDSA and Business Week.”

View-Master® Virtual Viewer
For over 60 years, children of all ages around the world have delighted in peering through View-Master® viewers; while it's the same basic toy we all remember from our childhood, the View-Master product line has been updated for the millennium with a much improved viewer design and a fresh, new line-up of software including both entertainment and educational titles for today's kids. The View-Master Virtual Viewer debuted in the 60th anniversary year, 1999, with 3-D images that were 50 percent larger than ever before, a new wrap-around visor and enhanced viewing quality. The Virtual Viewer is available at mass market retailers nationwide in hot colors such as neon green, electric blue, raspberry and purple, as well as the traditional red. ($4.99/ages 3 and up)

Celebrating its 21st year, the IDEA has become the world's most prestigious recognition of excellence in the profession that is responsible for the form, use features and interactive qualities of products, exhibits and software. The awards ceremony will take place in New Orleans on September 23rd, as the closing event of the IDSA's 2000 International Design Conference. Winners were published in the Fall issue of Innovation: Yearbook of Industrial Design Excellence and are featured on IDSA's Web site at http://www.idsa.org/idea/idea2000/G7705.htm.

The virtual viewer was designed by Fisher-Price Inc. and Priestman Goode, Britain.

Editor's Note: This news release was originally distributed by Mattel in 2000 and is presented here for historical reference.

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The Balkans gets its first 3-D cinema

The first IMAX three-dimensional cinema on the Balkans started functioning on July 13 in Mall of Sofia.

M-Tel IMAX movie hall features a 37-metre wide screen. The technology used enables viewers to see three-dimensional images practically popping out of the screen. This type of screening makes the viewing experience so realistic that audience feels part of the action.

According to avtora.com the sensation becomes even stronger due to the sound technology used. The speakers have been developed specially for the IMAX movie theatres.

The two movies viewers can see for the time being in M-Tel IMAX are Into the Deep, offering a glance into the ocean world and T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous, taking spectators back to the time of dinosaurs.

The 12 regular cinema halls of the movie theatre will also start functioning on July 13.

M-Tel IMAX centre also offers cafes and fast food restaurants, a children’s playground, M-Tel GSM operator communication centre and an internet café.

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Cinemark Theatres to add Real D 3-D Cinema Systems

Real D logoReal D and Cinemark USA Inc. announced a landmark deal to equip up to 150 Cinemark Theatres with Real D Cinema systems for the exhibition of digital 3-D content.

Once completed, this deal will enable Cinemark to offer its customers more Real D Cinema screens than any other exhibitor, clearly positioning Cinemark as the undisputed leader in digital 3-D cinema. This announcement underscores exhibitors' commitment to Real D as the trusted digital 3-D format. This deployment brings the total number of committed Real D Cinema screens to more than 350 worldwide and gives Real D Cinema the world's largest 3-D cinematic footprint

"Real D has rapidly emerged as the quality platform for the delivery of digital 3-D entertainment to cinemas," said Alan Stock, President and Chief Operating Officer, Cinemark USA Inc. "Cutting-edge technologies like Real D's are dramatically altering the cinematic landscape, and Cinemark is excited to work with Real D to deliver compelling, new experiences to our audiences."

"Cinemark, one of the largest and most progressive exhibitors, realizes the importance of bringing Real D Cinema to audiences on a massive scale," said Michael V. Lewis, Chairman, Real D. "Upon completion of this deployment, at least one screen in every Cinemark market could be Real D Cinema enabled, giving Cinemark a clear competitive edge in cinematic entertainment."

The rollout includes 17 screens installed in time for the Real D Cinema presentation of Columbia Pictures' Monster House, which opened domestically July 21.

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DDD Group awarded two patents for Dynamic Depth Cueing technology

DDD logoDDD Group announced that it has been granted two further patents from the United States and Canadian patent offices of its key "Dynamic Depth Cueing" (“DDC”) technology. DDC is a core DDD technology that enables existing photo, film or video images to be converted for display in stereo 3-D.

The new US patent extends the existing US 2-D to 3-D conversion patents with a series of automated image analysis and 3-D depth calculation techniques designed to improve the productivity of DDD’s high quality, offline 2-D to 3-D conversion process. Automation of the post-production 2-D to 3-D conversion process is a key requirement in the emerging market for 3-D digital cinema as studios seek cost effective methods to repurpose new and existing films for release on 3-D screens.

The new Canadian patent complements the previously issued DDC Canadian patent that describes the conversion of existing 2-D content libraries to 3-D. The new encoding component allows delivery of 3-D enhanced content in a format that remains compatible with today’s 2-D distribution formats. The patent addresses the need for studios and broadcasters to transmit one broadcast signal or produce a single content file that can be viewed in 2-D or 3-D depending on the viewer’s preference and display capabilities. The DDC encoding patent addresses a growing range of emerging mass-market 3-D distribution platforms including digital cinema, DVD and broadcast television.

DDC regenerates 3-D information that is not recorded when a conventional film or video camera is used. Once the 3-D information is recreated, it is then used to manipulate the underlying 2-D image, allowing 2-D images to be transformed to 3-D for a wide variety of 3-D display formats ranging from large format IMAX® films to the latest generation of mobile telephone 3-D displays.

Dr. Julien Flack, Chief Technology Officer of DDD commented, "The automated image analysis and depth reconstruction techniques are an important addition to our growing international patent library. With the recent arrival of the 3-D digital cinema market, automating the post production conversion process reduces the cost of a feature length movie conversion, improving the financial viability of releasing converted movies for studios who are keen to take advantage of the growing number of 3-D capable screens.”

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3-D Center of Art and Photography to present Liquid Magic and 3-D Art from New York City starting August 17

From August 17 through September 24, the 3-D Center of Art and Photography in Portland, Oregon, will feature two new exhibitions.

Liquid Magic: The Science and Art of Liquid Collisions
John Hart 3-D liquidLiquid Magic: The Science and Art of Liquid Collisions is a 3-D slide show by John Hart. Combining stereo and macro photography with exact lighting and timing, Hart was able to create beautiful compositions that speak equally to the scientific and artistic merits of liquid.

An artists reception with Hart will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 19.

John Hart teaches atmospheric and oceanic science at the University of Colorado in Boulder. As part of an effort to present dramatic visualizations of the basic principles of weather events to non-science students, he began photographing interactions of liquid drops in 3-D. Drop collisions play an important role in the micro-physics of clouds. This technically-challenging photography captures incredibly beautiful (some have said ‘poetic’) fluid structures that exist on a scale of only a fraction of an inch, and for only for a few thousandths of second. Flash macro-photography, along with careful timing, and innovative coloring and injection of fluid drops, reveals intricate and unanticipated processes that make one marvel at the organized complexity of nature.

Along with teaching, and doing research on such subjects as the formation of vortices and jets on Jupiter, John has been active in photography since leaving graduate school at M.I.T. in 1970. For many years he concentrated on wildlife work and photo-microscopy, both in 2-D. His images have been published in nature magazines and scientific journals, and have been exhibited at various locations including the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Desiring to try something different, he took up stereo photography in 1999, and immediately found it a match for his growing interest in climbing and canyoneering, where the locations of such practices often have ‘depth’ to spare. Stereography also fit in well with his scientific endeavors, and Prof. Hart developed techniques for acquiring 3-D pictures of very small subjects in areas of photography sometimes called ‘extreme-macro’ or ‘photo-microscopy’. His stereo imagery has been presented at the University of Colorado, American Canyoneering Association (ACA) events, and at National Stereographic Association conventions. Monoscopic images taken from his 3-D efforts have appeared in Adventure Sports and Outside magazines, and on the covers of Microscopy Today and American Canyoneering Association Calendars. His imagery has been honored with first-place awards in Weatherwise and ACA photo competitions and with several citations in the Nikon International Small-World contests.

Brian Loube's Depth and Motion: 3-D Art from New York City will be presented in three parts.

At You Not With You
At You Not With You is an enclosure of life-sized lenticular faces which stare at the visitor and laugh. It is a surrealistic experience which forces the viewer into the position of an object to be viewed. The faces are young and old, men and women, all cut off at the neck and floating on a white background. As the viewer turns, it feels as if the laughing faces follow. “It’s kind of like a junior high school nightmare,” comments Loube.

Subway Series
Subway Series is a collection of underground street photography in Manhattan which emphasizes motion and time. A set of candid photographs shot in subway cars captures the detachment of travelers passing through time.

9/11 3-D
9/11 3-D is a unique collection of stereo slides taken during the September 11 World Trade Center disaster and aftermath. Loube ran into the streets with his camera with the first reports of the disaster. From his home in Manhattan to the streets near the World Trade Center, Loube was able to chronicle a world of shock, grief and confusion.

Loube says of this collection, “The World Trade Center was the crown jewel of my neighborhood,almost every walk I took brought me through it. I went to the bank there, I bought my bread there, and, once or twice, on a warm summer night, I kissed a girl there, standing by the Hudson River with the massive towers patiently glimmering over our heads. My neighborhood was good, it was safe; I felt privileged to live in Tribeca. As I slept on September 10, I could never have dreamed the next day the world would change, thousands would lose their lives down the street from me, and I would be put out of my home as a war refugee. I awoke that morning to a phone call,the buildings were on fire. I flipped on the TV and saw the video of the airplane as I quickly dressed, then I grabbed my camera and went outside. It was chaos, fear, confusion, bewilderment, people everywhere. Watching the disaster unfold, I tried to minimize it in my mind. They'll get out, I hoped....but after just a few minutes, the reality set in. It became worse and worse, and as I walked closer to the Towers, general panic increased. Suddenly, I was caught in a stampeding crowd screaming, "Run! Run!" as they raced away from the buildings. Even the police had fear on their faces. When the first Tower collapsed, something told me to just hold my camera over my head and shoot. I'm still surprised the pictures came out at all, because I hadn't set the exposure or focused the lens."

An artists reception with Hart will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, August 18.

The 3-D Center of Art and Photography is located at 1928 NW Lovejoy in Portland, Oregon. Hours: Thursday through Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. First Thursdays, 6 to 9 p.m.

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Phantograms: a 3-D Photography Exhibit to open Aug. 5 at The Front Porch Gallery in Carlsbad, California

The Front Porch Gallery at 2903 Carlsbad Boulevard in Carlsbad, CA is presenting Phantograms: a 3-D Photography Exhibit starting August 5.

The exhibition will be on display from Aug. 5 through Sept. 1, 2006, and is open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This gallery features artwork by members of the Front Porch retirement community.

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3-D Auction Results

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

Skin Clinic stereocards
Mexico stereoviews

A set of Skin Clinic stereocards showing various skin diseases sold for $349.99 with one bid. This 132 card set is dated 1914 by S. I. Rainforth, A. M., M.D. - New York Medical Art Publishing Co.. Each card has information about the different skin and sexual diseases on the back.

A collection of approximately 50 yellow-mount stereoviews of Mexico by Kilburn Brothers sold for $400 with two bids.

Three Stereo Cameras, a Bellieni Stereo Jumelle, for 9 x 18 cm. stereo plates, in leather case; an Ica Polyskop No. 35944; and a 45 x 107 mm. Zionscope.
It Came from Outer Space 11x14 lobby card

Three Stereo Cameras, a Bellieni Stereo Jumelle, for 9 x 18 cm. stereo plates, in leather case; an Ica Polyskop No. 35944; and a 45 x 107 mm. Zionscope sold for $425 with 13 bids.

An original 11x14 title lobby card for the 1953 3-D movie It Came from Outer Space sold for $500 with one bid. Back of poster is stamped From the Collection of Ronald V. Borst twice, and Theatre Poster Exchange, Inc., 184 E. Calhoun St., Mempis, Tenn.

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