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Web3D 2014: Day 2

agosto 10, 2014 Deja un comentario

Awesome day today at Web3D 2014

Useful DIY talks in the morning and jaw dropping Keynote by Günter Waibel of the Smithsonian Institute, with details about the museum adoption of 3D:
http://3d.si.edu
Good talks about industrial applications of X3D and a final panel about AR challenges, with two special moments: being able to test myself an awesome prototype of HMD by Lockheed Martin with 170º field of view and FullHD resolution and be part of LEGO Alain collection of CG personalities, a real honor!

Web3D 2014: Day 1

agosto 8, 2014 Deja un comentario

Today there has been the first day of Web3D 2014 conference, with an Open workshop.
Researchers from Google, LeapMotion, Fraunhofer IGD, Disney Research, AMD, Lockheed Martin, Bitmanagement, TrendSpottr, Universities worldwide, even one person from the NSA have attended to this first day workshops, and more will come starting tomorrow with the main activities at 8:30am
Check http://www.web3d.org/wiki for some of the topics that are being discused today.
BTW: Web3D 2015 has been announced (it will be a milestone, because it will be the 20th anniversary of the conference), and will be held in Heraklion, Crete (Greece), on June 18-20th 2015.

Douglas Trumbull: el maestro está en forma

junio 20, 2013 Deja un comentario

Douglas Trumbull prepara ya un corto de 10 minutos rodado en 3D con rigs de 3ality Technica, a 4K con cámaras Canon C500 y a 120fps en raw, en su proceso “Digital Showscan”.
Esta será su primera incursión en el formato que los proyectores 4K de nueva generación de DLP permiten con una modificación en su bloque de imagen.
Ver noticia en inglés

La era del cine láser arrancó ayer

mayo 23, 2013 Deja un comentario

La empresa Laser Light Engines entregó ayer la primera unidad comercial de fuente láser externa para proyectores de cine digital 2D y 3D.
Es el día 1 oficial de esta nueva era de cine 3D con la luz al nivel de una proyección 2D.
Espero que no haya sido tarde.
Nota de prensa en inglés aquí

Star Trek into darkness

mayo 2, 2013 3 comentarios

Me acaban de pasar este link al trailer en 3D anaglifo de Star Trek into darkness… sólo 230 reproducciones así que está recién subido.
Una pena que Paramount no lo suba en un formato más adecuado para los que tenemos pantalla 3D.

Alguien ha comentado por ahí que esta película tiene más “lens flares” que un videoclip de Kylie Minogue, y me temo que está en lo cierto. Eso no quita que como Trekkie pienso ir a verla SEGURO.

Está también colgado en el canal YouTube de cine3D.com, ya es el trailer 3D número 128 que hay colgado allí. Suscríbete!

Enjoy!

PD: En EE.UU. llega en 2 semanas … en España habrá que esperar algo más …

La vida de Pi: detalles de la estereoscopía

enero 30, 2013 Deja un comentario

Para compensar la noticia negativa de ayer, os paso una explicación de Brian Gartner, estereoscopista de “La vida de Pi” de Ang Lee, que ha enviado detalles de cómo ha concebido el 3D de la película a una lista a la que estoy suscrito y ha dado su permiso para difundirla.
Para mis estándares y manera de entender el 3D, éste ha sido a la vez un ejemplo de ‘savoir faire’ y el mejor trabajo de estereoscopía en una película de live action desde U2 3D y la de Street Dance que filmó paradise FX (creo que era la 2), aunque como película las supera a ambas de largo (y U2 no es ni una peli :-)).
Usad Google Translate l@s que no dominéis la lengua de Shakespeare:

I actually started designing the 3D during pre-production.
Specially, I crafted a particular 3D grammar for the film.
I even worked closely with the storyboard artist, very early on.
And I set up the virtual 3D stereo cameras on some of the most important VFX shots, personally, during 3D PreVis.
Anything I didn’t do with my own hands, I wrote detailed notes.

It’s interesting that so many people chime in on how well the conservative 3D worked, but not that I chose each of those moments.
Yet, no-one mentions that the 3D went the full gambit, from extremely deep positive parallax through to extremely close negative parallax, to extremely shallow near-zero parallax.
And of course, lots of articulated in-shot parallax, where the 3D animates dramatically… as do the dynamic floating windows.
The interaxials also ran the gambit, so extremely wide, some so small it challenged the equipment.
But, most importantly, ALL the 3D is completely STORY driven.

For example, when Richard Parker first re-appears after a long absence, he leaps right out to full negative parallax, as if to strike the 3D glasses off your face.
Can’t get any more negative than that! Yet, instead of being a 3D gimmick,
it’s a carefully chosen, meaningful story beat.

Perhaps most interestingly, it is the first and only film so far to _only_ use Dynamic Floating Windows for artistic cinematic storytelling.
It is only used for creating an emotional response in the audience, and does it so seamlessly that no-one seems to have noticed DFWs were used.

On a similar note, also for emotional impact, the aspect ratio changes in a few key moments in the film. Here the stereo window is manipulated to effect and position the stereo window in x, y, z, dx, dy, dz.

How do you close a 3D story about storytelling?
Well, of course, the last shot of the movie was a 3D Reverse-Vertigo shot.
The camera dollied, the shot zoomed in, and the interaxial was pulled in-shot to zero, and the image was desaturated of color in post. The technique was mention in the May/June 2009 Creative Cow magazine article “Perception and The Art of 3D Storytelling“.

PS – Some of the full heads vs flat BGs were accomplished in-camera through clever uses of lens choice vs interaxial choice.
Others were done through my use of “multi-rigs”, where different depth ranges of the scene use different interaxials between cameras and are later composited together, a technique that I pioneered in the early 1980’s.

Los 20 mejores momentos CGI de la historia del cine

junio 9, 2012 Deja un comentario

Han publicado esta lista de los mejores 20 momentos CGI de la historia del cine, y no puedo estar más de acuerdo en todo, incluso en el orden.
Pueden echarse de menos las referencias a ‘The last starfighter’, ‘Mundo futuro’, ‘Las aventuras del joven Sherlock Holmes’ o incluso el plano secuencia del proyecto génesis en ‘Star Trek’, pero el criterio de blockbuster no dejaría pasar a las 3 primeras, y la ejecución de la 4a, aunque fue un reto para la época, no está al nivel de las otras 20 elecciones, así que suscribo y apoyo incondicionalmente esta selección.

Ver lista.

Hybrid 3D glasses from Volfoni

mayo 7, 2012 4 comentarios

I’ve just received a very special pair of 3D glasses for evaluation from my friends of Volfoni: hybrid universal glasses.
They are simultaneously active and passive and on top of that, are universal, id est, they work with any 3DTV brand (theoretically), the closest to perfection.
The precise model I’ve tested is Volfoni ActiveEyes.

Hybrid 3D Glasses

On the WS of my work I have a Samsung active screen with nVIDIA 3D Vision and a passive screen from Hyundai, and it is really sweet to be able to use only a pair of glasses to watch 3D in both screens.
3DTV’s using active shutter glasses from LG, SONY, Panasonic and Samsung work (virtually) well with these glasses. Also passive screens from JVC, Hyundai and Samsung among others, so finally I will be able to go to my family and friends homes equipped with 3D TV’s and projectors with a single pair of glasses.
One thing is good and bad at the same time: it is bad because is something additional to the glasses, but good because this way the glasses are lighter if they are used in passive mode only, and the reason is it has a small wired device that connects to the glasses for working in active mode. This little box has a small clip that can be hold easily to a shirt.
This device must include some kind of integrated circuit able to recognize the IR patterns of each brand and adjust the proper shutting order and pace to the individual eyes correctly.
Th active mode does not work with sync systems different to IR (bluetooth, DLP link or RF), and I still have to test them if they work in cinemas using XpanD encrypted signals.
For some of those modes BT and RF, Volfoni sells an optional transmitter. Check Volfoni website for additional information or contact some distributor for precise requests.

3ality Technica – nota de prensa oficial en inglés

agosto 25, 2011 Deja un comentario

3ality Technica™ steps up its role as the Largest Innovator and Supplier of S3D Production Technology

25 August 2011 – 3ality Digital, considered to be the leading innovator of the most sophisticated S3D production technology in the industry, announced today it has acquired Element Technica, a company long-known for its manufacturing expertise, accessories, and mechanical engineering of motorized S3D camera rigs. 3ality Digital has been named in the 2011 Inc. 500 list and is considered one of the fastest growing companies in the nation.
3ality Digital is now 3ality Technica, and with its acquisition of Element Technica, 3ality Technica now provides all of the control, accuracy, breadth, automation, modularity, accessories, and design of both existing product lines.

Element Technica’s product line has become synonymous with ease of use, great design, affordability, and durability. 3ality Digital’s product line has become synonymous with precision components, speed of use, incredible accuracy, and advanced image processing. In acquiring Element Technica, – the company gains an in house manufacturing and design capability, and the opportunity to further expand its already sizable R&D infrastructure. Physically, the companies will combine in an expansion to the 3ality Digital headquarters in Burbank, CA.

“As our primary competitor, we have always had great respect for Element Technica and their achievements. The complete compatibility and lack of redundancy between the companies has made this an ideal acquisition, strengthening the Company’s position to provide the most advanced and dependable S3D solutions to the market. Perhaps the greatest benefit of this acquisition will be to the motion picture and broadcast producers who will now have an unprecedented amount of tools and technology tailored to meet their specific needs” said my friend Steve Schklair, CEO of 3ality Technica.

The combined engineering skills of the two companies will help push 3D production to levels of integration and refinement previously unmatched. Many of Hollywood’s major theatrical releases which have been shot utilizing these two companies systems and technology include “Jack the Giant Killer,” “The Amazing Spider-Man, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Prometheus,” “Underworld 4,” “Oz,” and “The Great Gatsby.” Also, companies like BSkyB, the world’s leading 3D broadcaster, and the HBS feeds from the FIFA World Cup have based their productions of live events on the backbone of 3ality Technica technology.

“With this acquisition, 3ality Technica will be a decade ahead of the rest of the industry. Not only will automation become more common, it will be the standard as the industry begins to enjoy the simplicity and speed it affords,” said Héctor Ortega, Senior Vice President of 3ality Technica.

“Integration will fast-forward as the merging systems require fewer and fewer ancillary components. Compatibility with other industry systems will cease to be an issue as 3ality Technica alone already leads the way in seamless connectivity from post production, to VFX, and live broadcast,” said Stephen Pizzo, Senior Vice President of 3ality Technica.

The combined expertise that forms 3ality Technica ranges from Hollywood feature films and television, to live-broadcast sports events and concert performances, to NASA. It also positions the company to offer the world the most comprehensive advanced 3D educational program (3DIQ™) to filmmakers, broadcasters, and craftspeople.

Element Technica is also well known for their line of both 2D and 3D accessories, and it is planned that this product line will continue under the existing Element Technica banner.

“You cannot believe the level of excitement we all share, but it’s not just us that are so elated. Some of our key customers and partners that were recently made aware of this deal have shared in this excitement as they all understand the benefit this will have to their work. We have already integrated some of the best aspects of both companies’ product offerings, so the market will see an immediate improvement in tool sets, component integration, and customer service,” said Schklair.

About 3ality Technica™
3ality Technica is headquartered in Burbank, California, and is the leading provider of advanced stereoscopic 3D (S3D) production products that enable the highest quality live-action S3D. 3ality Technica systems have been deployed for “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Jack the Giant Killer, “Oz,” “Prometheus,” “The Great Gatsby,” and “Underworld 4.” 3ality Technica has enabled most of the world’s first S3D cinematic and broadcast achievements, including U2 3D (the movie), and the first live S3D broadcasts from the NFL, BCS Championship, BSkyB, the Super Bowl, the World Cup and NBC television.

In broadcast, 3ality Technica is the technology and production systems behind the BSkyB launch of their 3D channels, and has been used on a wide range of events including the Isle of Wight Festival, the Ryder Cup, and Champions League Football. To learn more about the advanced products and services available from 3ality Technica, visit http://3alitytechnica.com or contact one of the following below.

Nota de prensa sobre la conversión de Harry Potter

julio 27, 2011 Deja un comentario

Acabo de recibir esta nota de prensa, 100% alineada con mis impresiones publicadas la semana pasada en este blog 😉

I.E. Effects Delivers Stereo Conversion for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
L.A. and Michigan Facilities Work Seamlessly on Complex Postproduction Task

Los Angeles, CA: July 26, 2011… Harry Potter fans worldwide are flocking to theaters this summer for the eighth and final installment of the wildly popular film series. Playing to great reviews, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the first film in the franchise to be released in stereoscopic 3D. L.A.-based visual effects house I.E. Effects contributed to this complex postproduction task, providing 2D-to-3D stereo conversion for several key sequences, including some in the film’s opening scenes.

A team of over 50 artists at I.E. Effects’ L.A. and Traverse City, Michigan, facilities worked together for over six months to perfect the stereoscopic effect, making frame-by-frame adjustments to create a 3D experience for audiences.

“The purpose of good 3D is to help tell the story,” said company founder David Kenneth. “When you get it right, the stereo effect isn’t the focal point. It simply helps the audience become more absorbed in the story.”

The Stereo Conversion Process
Converting a 2D film to stereo 3D is labor intensive and requires skilled visual effects artists to create a final result that looks natural. Rather than a single image for each frame, stereo 3D content has two views – one for each eye.

Creating two separate images from a single frame requires subtle adjustments to the viewing angle for each element in the image. The process starts off with rotoscoping – manually cutting elements out of the image and then assigning them depth values to make different parts of the picture seem closer or farther away. These depth values allow the artists to reposition each element for the right and the left eyes. Once in place, the missing details for the left and right eye images need to be ‘painted in’ frame by frame.

The shots delivered by I.E. Effects for Harry Potter included both interior and exterior shots. “You have to push the 3D a lot more for exterior shots, so there’s generally a lot more painting,” said Dennis Michel, visual effects supervisor at I.E. Effects. “But the interior shots usually have a shallower depth of field, which means more subtle adjustments,” he explained.

Several shots in the opening sequence included very fine elements, such as hair blowing in the wind. “The Ollivander character (John Hurt) is a wise old wizard with wispy hair,” said Michel. “Hair is an interesting challenge for any kind of visual effects work. For this film we had a small team of artists painting and tweaking individual strands for some time until we got the stereo 3D just right.”

Defocused areas of the frame provide another challenge in the stereo conversion process. Filmmakers often use a narrow depth of field to give their work a ‘filmic’ look that draws the viewer’s attention to an area in the image. This technique creates soft focus, or even blurred foreground and background elements.

“Stereo conversion is as much an art as it is a science, so we look at every shot individually and approach it in a handcrafted way,” said Michel. “This is not something where you could just push a button and let a machine do the work.”

For rotoscoping and reassembling the images, the team at I.E. Effects uses the Foundry’s Nuke compositing system along with a set of in-house proprietary software tools that drive the workflow and link the company’s two locations. “We use automation to expedite the steps in the process, but this kind of work always comes down to the artist’s eye and a lot of patience.”

I.E. Effects opened its sister facility in Traverse City, northern Michigan, late last year. Since opening, the facility has done 2D-to-3D conversion work for such high-profile projects as Green Lantern and Gulliver’s Travels, as well as the current Harry Potter film. “We’re delighted to be doing this kind of high-end artistic work here in Michigan,” said David Kenneth.

The Growth of Stereo 3D in Film
There has been some discussion in the media and the general public about the growing numbers of 3D theatrical releases. “Some people may think it’s a gimmick, but stereo 3D is here to stay,” said Kenneth. “We’ve seen a lot of sensational 3D in recent years, where objects erupt out of the screen into the audience, but gags like that get old fast. That is not what 3D is about.”

Instead of coming out of the screen, Kenneth feels that good stereoscopy is more subtle and pulls the audience into the scene, making it feel comfortable and natural. “3D is about providing an immersive experience that is as close to real life as you can get in the theater. It’s like ‘visual surround sound,’ making the story that much more immediate.”

Kenneth compares stereo 3D with earlier developments in film, which have now become established components of the craft. “Just like when movies were given sound, and then color and then special effects, 3D is a powerful addition to the filmmaker’s toolkit, and, when it’s used properly, it enhances the theater experience.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was directed by David Yates, who also helmed the three most recent films in the series. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. David Heyman, who has produced the whole series, was producer, together with David Barron and J.K. Rowling, author of the books on which the films are based. Lionel Wigram is the executive producer. A Heyday Films Production, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was released July 15, 2011 by Warner Bros. Pictures.

About I.E. Effects
With offices in Culver City, California and Traverse City, Michigan, I.E. Effects is a full-service production, postproduction, and visual effects stereoscopic 3D studio with specialized divisions for the film, television, commercial, interactive and theme park industries. Combining its proprietary 3D technology with the industry’s leading creative minds, I.E. Effects is able to develop custom solutions for their clients while delivering amazing results in a variety of genres. The company’s team has contributed to the success of projects such as Spiderman II, which won an Oscar for best visual effects, Triangle, an Emmy award winner for best visual effects, Drag Me To Hell by director Sam Raimi, and Michael Jackson’s This Is It. For more information, visit http://www.ieeffects.com.