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August 2004 Issue

Vol. 2, No. 8

3-D Review is your headquarters for information about new stereoscopic products from around the world.

3-D Review does not sell any of the products featured on our Web pages. You can order directly from the vendors using the links or addresses provided.

View*Productions Sampler View-Master® Reel

View*Productions reelsOver the years, View*Productions received numerous requests from collectors and retailers for a single reel that gives an overview of the company's titles. View*Productions has published a sampler reel that contains one image from each of its seven 3-reel packets. The reel, item 103, was released on July 7, 2004 and is priced at $12.

The sampler features the work of Bruce Goff, Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry, Charles and Ray Eames and Hans Scharoun. Two of the images are taken from packets while five of the images, including a stunning view of Fallingwater in the autumn, have never been released before.

A special edition of the sampler is available to direct mail and Web customers in a translucent sleeve, numbered and signed by Michael Kaplan and Greg Terry, founders of View*Productions. These packets have been produced in a run of 250 copies and will be available until they are sold out. The regular edition of the sampler reel (unsigned) will continue to be offered on the View*Productions Web site and from its retailers.

View*Productions, based in Knoxville, Tennessee, offers several custom produced View-Master® reels featuring architecture and design classics in 3-dimensions.

View*Productions Revised Exterior View-Master® Reel

Fallingwater: Wright and the 3rd DimensionView*Productions has updated one of the reels from the 3-reel packet Fallingwater: Wright and the 3rd Dimension. The original 3-reel packet contained reels featuring exterior, interior and details of Fallingwater and is currently out of print. However, View*Productions is releasing the revised first reel from the packet as a stand alone reel.

The first reel of the packet, (Reel 302-1) originally contained images 2 and 3 showing a steel support structure under the concrete cantilever. This was installed to prop up the cantilevers while they were being reconstructed. After several years of innovative engineering and repair work, the support has been removed, restoring the house to its original splendor and stabilizing it for the foreseeable future.

With this work completed, View*Productions re-photographed Fallingwater and will publish a revised reel containing four entirely new images of the house. The revised reel will be available starting on Sept. 15, 2004, as a stand alone item for 90 days only to direct mail and Web customers. From Nov. 14, 2004, it will be included in the 3-reel packet when Fallingwater: Wright and the 3rd Dimension is re-released. The item, Reel 302-1R, is priced at $12.

View*Productions, based in Knoxville, Tennessee, offers several custom produced View-Master® reels featuring architecture and design classics in 3-dimensions.

First Look at Harold Lloyd's Hollywood Nudes in 3-D

Proposed cover art for the book Harold Lloyd's Hollywood Nudes in 3-D to be released Oct. 25, 2004, by Black Dog & Leventhal Harold Lloyd's Hollywood Nudes in 3-D will be published by Black Dog & Leventhal on Oct. 25, 2004. In this 160-page book is a collection of photos of his Hollywood nude shots taken during the 40s, 50s and 60s, edited by Harold's granddaughter Suzanne Lloyd.

Harold Lloyd, beloved silent film star, was also an avid 3-D photographer. Many of these photos have never been seen before. They are risque and playful portraits of some of Hollywood's most stunning beauties showcased in chapters such as "Hollywood or Bust," "Jiggle All the Way," "Naked Girls in Peril," and more.

There are some familiar faces among the retro glamour photos to be featured in the book including Bettie Page, Marilyn Monroe, Dixie Evans (who became proprietor of the Exotic World Burlesque Museum) and Tara Stana (the exotic beauty of such film classics as Russ Meyer's Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!).

Lloyd photographed actress Shirley Kilpatrick in early 1957. That was the year she filmed the movie for which she will always be remembered, The Astounding She-Monster. Even though she played the title role in the classic B flick, Shirley never uttered a word. Her sexy walk said it all.

The book features a forward by actor Robert Wagner. The book will include 3-D glasses.

Harold Lloyd's Hollywood Nudes in 3-D will retail for $24.95. ISBN #1-57912-894-5. Harold Lloyd™ is a trademark and service mark of The Harold Lloyd Trust.

Aabra Ka Daabra - India's First 3-D Plus Film

AabrakadaabraAabra Ka Daabra is India's first "3-D Plus" children's film, a technology that allows projection in small theatres with outdoor projection systems without losing the 3-D effect.

Creative Eye Limited, the makers of Aabra Ka Daabra have come out with an attractive 3-D publicity brochure for the film. When seen with the 3-D spectacles provided along with the brochure, it brings the images from the film to life.

The production used 21 gigantic sets, a unit of 107 professionals, 85 days of shooting, 40 children and five grown-up kids for the film. Master Athit, Baby Hansika, Baby Isha, Master Vishal along with Anupam Kher, Satish Kaushik, Archana Puran Singh, Navin Bawa, Johny Lever and Cambodian beauty Tiara are in the cast. Lyrics by Sameer, music by Himesh Reshmmiya, production by Zuby Kochhar, technical direction Ramesh Meer and direction by Dheeraj Kumar are the other credits. The movie is scheduled for release in November 2004.

Aabra Ka Daabra actress Achana Puran SinghCreative Eye is using Parle G Biscuits and Camlin Ltd. Products, makers of school supplies, for film promotions. The promotion, mainly targeted towards children, includes merchandising around 60 products. Products include toys based on characters in the film and a unique 3-D book, which can be read using special glasses. Aabra Ka Daabra publicity corners will be set up in around 30 select multiplexes all over India, one and half months prior to the release of the film. Further publicity campaigns will be carried out in selected schools and other outlets associated with children.

3-D Center of Art and Photography

The 3-D Center of Art and Photography in Portland, Oregon.The Cascade Stereoscopic Club (CSC) is host of the 3-D Center of Art and Photography located in Portland, Oregon. The 3-D Center presents to the public an entertaining and educational presentation of both art and photography that appear three dimensional. The center includes displays from the CSC's collection of art and photography, in addition to things related to current and past 3-D technology.

There also are special short duration exhibitions from artists who use 3-D presentation as part of their art that shouldn't be missed.

Admission is by donation. The 3-D Center of Art and Photography is located at 1928 NW Lovejoy Street in Portland, Oregon. You can call for more information at (503) 227-6667. CSC's new center is located in the fashionable Northwest District of Portland, Oregon USA. With a visible street front, the Center occupies a space of 1,100 sq. ft. on the street level on Lovejoy Street. The closest intersection is Lovejoy and 19th. The recently finished Portland Street Car rides on tracks on this street. The building dates from the 1930s and was part of Paramount Pictures Studios at one time.

The CSC is a a non-profit 501(c)(3) public corporation devoted to all aspects of 3-D stereo art and photography.

From July 30, 2004 through Sept 19, 2004, see a new exhibit featuring Canadian Wildflowers by 3-D Photographer Simon Bell. The exhibition includes anaglyphs of Canadian wildflowers viewed with cyan and red glasses. Bell's passion for photography began when he was given a "box-brownie" camera at six years of age. That early interest developed into career in photography, multimedia and 3-D imagery that continues today.

He has traveled the world with his cameras and has produced many slide presentations and books. His 3-D StereoJet images provided support for the Toronto Olympic bid in 2001. His images of bugs, lizards, birds and wildcats were published in a series of 3-D children's books by Somerville House. His current book, due in September 2004, is about the classic American cars in Cuba, published by Boston Mills Press.

In addition, the Center is currently running a 12-minute underwater 3-D slide show entitled 3-D in the Sea by John Roll which is shown several times daily.

Sensio 3-D Processor Brings Magic of 3-D Movies to Home Theatres

Sensio logoA sinister chrome spider seemingly pops out of the 120-inch-wide home theater screen, probing and slashing at the audience with his tentacles. The giant spider, borrowed from the movie Terminator 2, then explodes into hundreds of metal pieces, which appear to float around the darkened room.

That's just one of the eye-popping special effects in a short 3-D movie originally produced for IMAX® theaters. Pflanz Electronics in Sioux City is offering daily showings in its "Ultimate Theater'' to demonstrate a new product called the Sensio™ 3-D processor. The stereoscopic technology gives home theater enthusiasts a 3-D viewing experience similar to IMAX® theaters or theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios, said Will Veber, a regional sales manager for Audio Plus Services, a Pittsburgh, N. Y.-based Sensio™ distributor.

"I'm at the point in my life where very few things get me to say, 'Wow!'' said Veber, who has been in the audio/visual business since 1980. "When I first saw this, even before we started distributing it and importing to to the U.S. from Canada, I said, 'Wow!' Now that I'm working with the company, I'm even more 'Wow!''

Veber, who represents electronics dealers in nine Midwestern states, said Pflanz is the first in Iowa to carry the Sensio™ product. Owner Vance Pflanz said he first experienced the technology at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in January in Las Vegas, where hundreds of industry officials lined up to see a demonstration.

"The quality of it is very, very good,'' Pflanz said. "The first time I saw it, I ducked.''

Three-dimensional movies have been around since the 1950s, when studios introduced them primarily as a gimmick to attract once loyal movie-goers who had turned to television as their main form of entertainment. In recent years, the number of feature-length 3-D films has been on the rise. Last year's release of Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, for instance, was a box office hit.

Veber said 3-D films traditionally have been produced with the anaglyph format, which requires viewers to wear the familiar glasses with one blue and one red lens.

"The problem with anaglyph is you lose 50 percent of your resolution, and you also lose a lot of your color because you're just looking through blue and red lenses,'' said Veber, who visited Pflanz Electronics recently to help demonstrate the Sensio™ processors.

"The stereoscopic format provides richer color and resolution and fuller depth, " Veber said.

Viewers wear special dark-shaded 3-D glasses with electronically controlled liquid crystal shutters. "An infrared emitter sends left and right eye signals alternatively, 60 times per second, to the battery-powered glasses," Veber said. "Your brain interprets those two images, shot at slightly different angels, as three-dimensional."

The proprietary technology was developed by Sensio™, a small Montreal-based company founded in 1999 by two investment bankers, Nicholas Routheir and Richard LaBerge, who wanted to bring the magic of 3-D movies they watched at Disney World to home theaters. Retailing for $3,000, the Sensio™ is billed as the first affordable stereoscopic system. The glasses cost an extra $57.50 each. "Earlier stereoscopic processors cost $20,000 to $25,000," Veber said.

The Sensio unit is compatible with most any big screen TV and DVD player. The processor takes an interlaced signal from a DVD player, converts it to a progressive-scan image, adds Sensio's technology for 3-D processing, and outputs the signal to the TV.

"It's really a very easy addition onto a home theater system,'' Pflanz said.

At the present time, there are seven full-length movies available in the stereoscopic format, retailing for $32.95 each. Most are of the sci-fi varieties, with titles such as Alien Adventure, S.O.S. Planet and Haunted Castle. A stereoscopic version of Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over is scheduled for release.

Sensio™ plans to add two titles per month this year. The company has plenty of material to work with. Since the 1950s, more than 250 feature-length 3-D movies have been released.

Films must be shot with two cameras to become three-dimensional. That's why you'll never see a 3-D version of older blockbusters like Star Wars. But Veber noted that studios and filmmakers are increasingly choosing to shoot in 3-D. "Most films are now shot in a digital format, which makes 3-D production easier than with the traditional bulky film cameras," he said.

"It'll never be a high definition format just because of the anomalies at go into 3-D,'' Veber said. "But the wow factor is at the point where people don't care if it's high definition or not. It's something that's completely magical.''

Excerpts from the movie SPY KIDS 3-D: Game Over presented in Sensio™ 3-D format at Consumer Electronics Show 2004

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over PosterMega-hit Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over takes on new dimensions at the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), thanks to Sensio™ 3-D technology. The Sensio™ version of Spy Kids 3-D features unaltered colors and a 3-D experience that exceeds the theatrical release, which used the traditional red and blue glasses. The screening allowed show attendees to experience this electrifying new technology first-hand, in booth #17226 during the CES show held in Las Vegas in early 2004.

Integrated in a conventional home theatre system, the 2003 CES Innovations award-winning Sensio™ 3-D gives the audience a fully immersive experience, laying the foundation for the next stage of home entertainment. 3-D technology extends the viewing experience by bringing the viewer directly into the heart of the action, a characteristic that is avidly sought by home theater enthusiasts.

“By shooting the third installment of the Spy Kids film in 3-D, the studio renewed the sequel concept and consequently increased its return on investment,” says Nicholas Routhier, Sensio™ president. The record-breaking sales generated by Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over clearly demonstrate the added-value of its third dimension.

Many major players in the film industry, including producers and directors, have been quick to support Sensio’s leading-edge technology. “As with the move from silent films to sound-tracked or black-and-white to color, the next leap forward in filmmaking will be 2-D to 3-D,” says Steve Oedekerk, a producer and director whose extensive credits include Ace Ventura and The Nutty Professor, among others. “Santa vs. the Snowman was the first 3-D project I had ever participated in,” notes Oedekerk. “I’m completely hooked. The Sensio™ 3-D processor brings the future to the present. I look forward to the day when the film Bruce Almighty will be as dimensional as the characters themselves.”

Consortium Created
With the rapid emergence of 3-D technology and increasing consumer demand, important members of the industry have recently come together to create a 3-D Consortium. Sensio is pleased to announce it has joined the likes of Sanyo, Sharp, Sony and Toshiba in their mandate to set new standards for the 3-D industry while making more of the technology available to a wider market. Together, they will also work to facilitate the creation of more extensive 3-D content. “In the past years, the film industry has embraced the Sensio™ 3-D format and recognized its many qualities,” states Nicholas Routhier. “By joining the 3-D Consortium and working closely with its members, Sensio™ is confident that we will lay the foundation for and define a new 3-D distribution standard that will enable us to build a bridge between filmmakers and consumer electronics manufacturers.”

Sensio™ is also very committed to actively pursuing all titles in the existing 3-D library consisting of more than 200 films, with many more in the making. Titles currently available for Sensio™ 3-D owners include Encounter in the Third Dimension, Haunted Castle, Ultimate G’s, Alien Adventure, Transitions, S.O.S. Planet, as well as an adult movie called Erotek Dimension. Sensio™ plans to have at least eight new 3-D DVD titles available in 2004.

XILINX chips help bring 3-D to home theaters in Sensio’s award winning 3-D wireless system

Xilinx® Spartan® family of low cost programmable chips enable breakthrough 3-D Innovation

Xilinx logoAt the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Sensio™ and Xilinx Inc., announced a collaboration that resulted in the breakthrough 3-D video processing technology, Sensio 3-D, winner of the CES 2003 Product Innovation Award . Sensio™ credits Xilinx and its programmable chip technology with enabling the creative design and economic viability of its Sensio™ 3-D Video Processing system. The Sensio™ system transforms conventional home theater into a 3-D stereoscopic movie experience that rivals the best theme park experiences, using Xilinx low cost Spartan programmable chips as its central processing capability. The Sensio™ system recently featured as the cover story in Home Theatre magazine.

Sensio™ has met with major motion picture studios like MGM, IMAX, DreamWorks, LightStorm Entertainment and Troublemaker Studios in efforts to build up a library of 3-D movies under Sensio 3-D DVD. Sensio plans to have eight new 3-D titles available in 2004 for about $40 each. The Sensio system, consisting of a 17x 6.25-inch rack-style component compatible with commercial DVD and digital TV systems -- and the accompanying LCD-based wireless viewing glasses, is based on the processor’s ability to alternatively display left and right stereo images and synchronously communicate to the shutters in the viewing glasses. The left-eye image and the right-eye image alternate every 60th of a second, creating the 3-D effect for the viewer. Because objects can appear to be behind and in front of the screen, or shoot right through the audience, the screen itself virtually disappears, bringing the viewer directly into the heart of the action.

Xilinx Gains Traction in Consumer Space
Sensio™ is among a growing number of consumer product manufacturers to realize the competitive advantage afforded by Xilinx’s low-cost programmable chips, versus traditional ASIC technology. Xilinx attributes its recent record-breaking gain to its focused market diversification efforts and the broad adoption of its low cost Spartan Series FPGAs in high-volume consumer applications.

“Xilinx FPGA technology is helping to shape the future of the digital age by harnessing the flexibility of a programmable device at cost points ideal for consumer products,” said Clay Johnson, vice president and general manager of the General Products division at Xilinx. “Sensio’s innovative application of our technology is a perfect example of our efforts in bringing the digital age to the consumer market.”

Programmable approach from the start
Product developers at Sensio™, a start-up based in Montreal, Quebec, were familiar with Xilinx technology from previous university research. Sensio™ considered the trade-offs between FPGA and ASIC implementations and ultimately decided that Xilinx programmable chips provided the superior price/performance and quality advantages, plus the added benefit of enhanced flexibility.
“By combining low cost, high performance, and a drastically reduced time-to-market advantage, Xilinx programmable chips provided the ideal platform for our 3-D video processing system,” said Pierre-Hugues Routhier, vice president of engineering at Sensio™.

About Xilinx Low Cost FPGAs
Xilinx first shipped the Spartan-3 family in March 2003 as the world's first and only FPGA utilizing 90nm process technology. The Spartan-3 platform is the world's lowest cost FPGA with unrivalled price points, starting at under $2.95. Already, the Spartan Series is the world's most successful low-cost FPGA family in its class with over 11,000 customers worldwide. Since the introduction of the Spartan Series in 1998, the company has shipped more than 60 million devices. By continuing to set new price-density standards for the FPGA industry, Xilinx has dramatically narrowed the price-performance gap between programmable and fixed logic. This has driven Spartan-3 device adoption further into higher volume consumer applications and hastened the decline of ASIC designs.

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