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March 2005 Issue

Vol. 3, No. 3

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

StereoVision Entertainment Announces Agreement to Produce Hawaiian Tropic 3-D Film

Hawaiian Tropic's Marci NievesStereoVision Entertainment, Inc. announced that it has signed an 18 month option agreement with Hawaiian Tropic to develop and produce a new feature length 3-D movie direct to DVD. The action comedy will feature beautiful Hawaiian Tropic girls. The company also has an option to produce a theatrical release version of the movie. As part of the agreement, Hawaiian Tropic has agreed to launch its own marketing campaign in cooperation with StereoVision when the movie is ready for release.

Doug Schwartz, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of StereoVision, who negotiated the agreement, said, "I am extremely excited at the prospect of producing this Hawaiian Tropic theme based movie with my good friend, Ron Rice, founder of Hawaiian Tropic. Along with the new 3-D technology the movie will have a comedic tone set against a horror adventure background. I believe that the 3-D format will be a huge success with audiences of all ages. Filming will be managed by Daniel Symmes, a leading expert on 3-D filming techniques and Director of Technology for StereoVision. I have seen what Dan can create with his 3-D cameras and it is a truly remarkable viewing experience. I believe that the combination of StereoVision's creative and producing abilities with the worldwide brand awareness and marketing strength of Hawaiian Tropic will make for a resounding success."

Ted Botts, President and CEO of StereoVision, stated, "The agreement with Hawaiian Tropic represents the first step in our 'cornerstone for success' strategy, namely the production and distribution of direct to DVD 3-D and 2-D high profile low to medium budget films. This is a tremendous opportunity for the company and an excellent deal for shareholders. In conjunction with this project, the company is holding discussions with major studios and distributors about co-funding and distribution. Last year, $11.7 billion in sales of DVD's out grossed theater ticket sales of $9 billion for the first time. The success of Spy Kids 3-D, which rang up DVD sales of $38 million, and the new surge in new 3-D IMAX movies proves that there is great demand for 3-D. Our unique combination of 3-D technological capability together with the track record of Doug Schwartz as a highly successful producer will undoubtedly make this project a tremendous success."

Avon Books Using 3-D Images for Limited Edition Covers

Sandstorm cover artHarper Collins imprint Avon Books is collaborating with Handbridge Associates, National Graphics and Offset Paperback Manufacturers to produce 3-D covers that will be available in limited edition runs on selected titles.

James Rollins's action thriller Sandstorm will be the first title to sport a 3-D cover when released in May 2005. The 3-D art is created using new software developments in lenticular imagery permitting better interlacing of multiple images that provide the illusion of depth on a flat service.

Avon said that the 3-D covers will be on initial orders only and that "subsequent reprints will be produced using traditional mass market special effects."

Big3D.com Worldwide Wins Lenticular Industry Award for Spy Kids 3-D Poster

PH3D AwardSpy Kids 3-D animated posterDr. Tom Saville, Ph3D was awarded a Ph3D for outstanding lenticular production for the Spy Kids 3-D poster, being praised around the world as probably the best 3-D Lenticular poster ever printed.

The poster was printed in three versions: Litho Reflective, Litho Backlit and Photographic Backlit. The posters are so outrageously cool, they are disappearing out of theatres and found for auction on eBay.

The Ph3D award is given by FlipSigns.com, a club and trade organization that is also the maker of lenticular software used by the majority of lenticular creators worldwide.

The Ph3D award is given in honor of an excellent achievement in the 3-D and Motion Print industry "that raises the tide and lifts everyone's boat in the industry with it." "The Big3D quality is so outstanding that all the Spy Kids 3-D posters have the www.Big3D.com credit on them, just like the other movie stars on the poster!" according to Flipsigns.

2001: A Space Odyssey Lenticular Posters to sell at auction

Two lenticular posters produced to promote Stanley Kubrick's classic 1968 sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey will go up for auction on March 17 and 18, 2005. There were three 10 3/8" x 13.5" lenticular posters issued by MGM to promote the 70mm Cinerama release of the film. The auction estimates the poster showing the astronauts between $1,500 and $2,000 and the space station poster between $1,000 and $1,200.

The Texas based auction house is allowing Internet bidding prior to final bidding on the auction floor. Internet bidding ends at 10 p.m. central time on March 16. Floor dates are March 17 and 18.

Hershey's Really Big 3-D Show

Hershey's Really Big 3-D Show logoCome see the Hershey's product characters come to life as never before. Hershey's Really Big 3-D Show will be featured throughout the day in a new 250-seat, state-of-the-art theater. Without giving too much away, the show begins as a glimpse into the history of Hershey's chocolate, complete with a nostalgic look at vintage packaging and advertising and a lecture on the history of chocolate by the impassioned (fictional) chocolate historian Don/Dawn P. Quigley. It ends up as something else entirely.

Hershey's Really Big 3-D Show was designed and produced by Landmark Entertainment Group, creators of internationally recognized themed entertainment such as Universal Studios Terminator 3-D and Star Trek: The Experience for Paramount Parks and The Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas. The 30-minute experience immerses the audience in an interactive musical adventure featuring the Hershey's product characters. The young and young at heart will delight in the fun and excitement of Chocolate World's new 3-D show.

3-D auditorium Originally finished in spring 2002 and recently upgraded with new hi-def video servers the Really Big 3-D Show at Hershey's Chocolate World showcases Clair Brother's Systems expertise in integrating multiple audio/video/lighting and control technologies into one working system.

During this installation Clair Brother's Systems worked with other companies to combine the audio visual experience with moving props, water sprays, compressed air bursts, scent dispensers and other surprises that are a part of the whole experience.

The audio part of the installation features a complete theatrical sound loudspeaker package in addition to four Clair R3T loudspeakers. The equipment racks hold a combination of audio, video, lighting, networking, control and power equipment as well as computers running show control specific software.

DLP projectorsThe Waiting Room and Pre Show area feature distributed audio systems, remote controlled architectural lighting and their own video feeds. Touch panels in each room allow the personnel to control multiple aspects of the system and communicate with other personnel. Additional audio impact and some special effects are achieved through the use of Bass Shakers that are mounted behind chairs and powered by over 60,000 Watts from 20 QSC amplifiers. Dual 12,000 Lumens DLP projectors with polarized optical filters deliver the specially encoded video to the viewers. Polarized glasses are required to properly view the 3-D program.

Clair Brother's Systems is a comprehensive design and installation company with expertise in the fields of audio, video, lighting, staging and rigging. This department, a separate entity from its renowned touring division, was set up in 1989 to cater to the regional market by servicing institutions, churches, theaters and entertainment complexes.

Shaker seatsClair Brother's Systems began providing professional audio products and installations to the expanding market and the projects region successfully expanded utside the U.S. The strategy was to make available the same products that have made the Clair Brothers touring division successful and to develop new items that would be welcomed by the public, small touring companies and various venues. As the demand grew, Clair Brother's System focus was not merely sales, but systems, which were completely designed, built and installed. Many famous venues use Clair Brother's Systems including

  • CBS-TV's The Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York, home of The Late Show with David Letterman
  • WSM's The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville
  • Mel Tillis Theater in Branson, Missouri
  • NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O'Brien

Admission to the show is $4.95 for adults and $3.95 for children (3-12). Discounts are available for seniors and groups.

IMAX NASCAR 3-D The Soundtrack

IMAX NASCAR 3-D Soundtrack cover artThe Nascar IMAX film is an impressive, immersive look at the stock car racing phenomenon, with much factual coverage and a script by Sports Illustrated correspondent Mark Bechtel. The soundtrack CD is a nice fit to the film, if only it were SACD for the true 3-D experience. It sounds mighty fine, however, in Dolby ProLogic II.

The selection of songs ranges from the hard-firing Boom by P.O.D. to a clear-pitched Star Spangled Banner by LeAnn Rimes.

The first song, Boom is a true-blue, Southern Rock number, dealing with the challenges, and opportunities in the Nascar experience, although nominally about 'rocking the masses, from madrid to calabasas'.

Firing Line comes from the 2003 Allman Brothers Band album, Hitting The Note with hard riffs from guitarist W.arren Haynes and smooth slides from Derek Trucks.

A great version of Lynryd Skynryd's Sweet Home Alabama, another southern classic, almost made for the Nascar mood, although somewhat contrary in sentiment. The song is played at NASCAR races at Talladega Speedway, Alabama, and is a fine rejoinder to racist perceptions of the fans.

Sheryl Crow's Steve McQueen is a song about "all American rebels" and "fast machines," both key themes of NASCAR

LeAnn Rimes provides I Got It Bad from her new album This Woman, an apt theme song for NASCAR, with lyrics like "I'm addicted to the fast life/I cut my teeth on concrete dreams/The rush of no control gets me high/You know what I think/too much of a bad thing/Is exactly what I need". Frenetic, intelligent chords underlay LeAnn's awesome voice to create a great song.

One of the nice things about soundtracks and compilations is the introduction to one of new singers. Sounding like a Chris Rea number, then taking off into fast-paced rock, this is a neat song by Filipino (via Dallas) songwriter Wes Cunningham. Originally a ZZ Top number, Wes blends multiple styles 'bout 'that shack outside la grange'.

Robert Belfour's instrumental Hill Stomp is a String Cheese Incident-style jam reminiscent of classic Hill Country blues

Eric Colvin is the composer for the film and provides a gentle piece titled Earnhardt Remembered/.... The film never shows the actual, tragic crash, but images surrounding it, transcending the event itself.

Collective Soul contributes Counting The Days as a bonus track to the CD. It captures the inner tensions of a Nascar driver's heart, perhaps, "batten the hatches down," and asking if you 'dig it what you are searching for'?

Smash Mouth lead singer Steve Harwell provides You'll Never Catch Me. He's a race fanatic and has done concerts at places like the Indy Motor Speedway. An extremely fast-paced song, capturing the danger and passion of the races. The Nascar interview with Steve captures some of his motivations behind the song, which also appears on the Cursed soundtrack.

Hot Wired is by The Shams Brothers, an Ohio 60's garage-rock style band. It is a hard rock number with a powerful bass.

LeAnn Rimes' rendition of The Star Spangled Banner is voice only, very fine indeed.

Dave Robideaux's easily recognizable Thunder scene was the official NASCAR theme for the 2004 season. Combining majestic notes with a fast guitar theme, it effectively brings home NASCAR pomp and circumstance.

Laporte County Indiana Herald-Argus Prints 3-D Newspaper

Herald-Argus mastheadOn Feb. 5, 2005, The Herald-Argus, printed in Laporte County, Indiana, celebrated it's 125th anniversary by printing a 3-D edition of the newspaper. "Although we do not know for sure, we feel that we may be one of the smallest newspapers in the country to attempt this," said quality control manager John Williams. The circulation of The Herald-Argus is 12,500.

The photos featured in the edition are in anaglpyhic (red/blue) 3-D. The newspaper also included a free pair of 3-D glasses. Advertising was included on the glasses from a car dealer, a credit union and two optometrists.

The newspaper also posted the 3-D photos on it's Web site.

Florida Times-Union Prints Super Bowl 3-D Newspaper

Times-Union logoAs part of its Super Bowl week coverage, the Florida Times-Union offered readers a 3-D photo section in the Friday Feb. 4, 2005 newspaper, complete with special glasses.

The 16-page special section was months in the making and offered along with a Super Bowl section the paper has produced each day this week. It includes 28 action shots from the past NFL season and ads that are also in 3-D.

Readers can also use their 3-D glasses to view the photos on the Times-Union's Web site.

Dede Smith, the paper's director of photography, said the project included six tests during the football season to tweak the 14-step process of making the photos three-dimensional. The 2-D to 3-D conversions were made using an Adobe Photoshop technique.

"Our big thing is that we wanted to do something that was visual eye candy for our visitors," Smith said.

Managing Editor Pat Yack said the Times-Union's planning for Super Bowl week began about two years ago.

Sharp Releases 3-D Flat Panel LCD Monitor

sharp 3-D LCD flat panel monitorSharp has finally released its 3-D flat-panel LCD monitor, a 15-inch version creatively dubbed the “LL-151-3D.”

Sharp, Sony, and other display manufacturers worked to develop a standard for the 3-D monitors, though, which means that investing in the $1,500 unit means it should continue to work with future products for a while.

While the technology is intended primarily for gamers, Sharp hopes to also sell units to scientists and bathtub chemists who have a need to view molecular structures and the like in 3-D.

No special equipment is required to see the 3D images, but users do have to sit directly in front of the screen to get the full effect.

True 3-D Research at The University of Washington

True 3-D apparatusThe goal of "True 3-D" research at the University of Washington is to develop a visual display that mimics natural 3-D viewing, unlike most all stereoscopic displays available today.

The eye captures two-dimensional images on the retina and the human mind perceives distance or depth by using the many available depth cues. Each eye can focus at various fixation distances by changing the shape of the crystalline lens (accommodation) to minimize blur and by changing the relative eye position (vergence) to eliminate double vision.

Accommodation and vergence are the most important physiologically driven processes of the eyes involved in viewing real three-dimensional objects and they are linked with one another at a muscular reflex level. An involuntary movement in one cue is triggered when the other process is moved, such as converging the eyes to see an object up close (vergence cue) triggers the eyes to focus closer than previously (accommodation cue).

Current electronic 3-D displays do not match the accommodative and vergence requirements of our human visual system for viewing objects in depth and violate this linkage. Standard stereographic displays provide two disparate perspective views that must be actively fused via vergence by the viewer to display objects that appear at distances other than that of the fixed-plane image display. Users must uncouple the natural response of accommodating in concert with these vergence shifts to the changes in apparent distance and instead maintain a fixed focus on the display surface. The conflict that occurs between the accommodation depth cue and the stereoscopic depth cue is documented as one of the leading causes for discomfort when viewing 3-D displays. The elimination of this cue conflict in prototype virtual retinal displays is hypothesized to be able to alleviate fatigue when viewing 3-D displays.

The accommodative cue will be generated in hardware using wavefront shaping deformable membrane mirrors. In addition, software cues, such as blurring, relative size, occlusion, etc., will be tested for triggering appropriate accommodative responses in electronic 3-D displays. The prototype electronic display that allow for both accommodation and vergence is being called "true 3D" displays since it allows the viewer to see in 3-D more naturally that current stereographic displays. Researchers anticipate that these more natural true 3-D displays will reduce viewer fatigue and make a more compelling visual experience.

Holland Experience 3-D Movie Theatre

Holland 3-D Experience logoAmsterdam ArenA is offering travel packages including the Holland Experience 3-D Movie Theatre for an exceptional day out in Amsterdam, Holland.

Holland Experience 3-D Movie TheatreYour visit to Amsterdam starts in Holland’s most high profile stadium. The 52,000 brightly coloured seats, the pitch and the moving roof lend a certain something to the extensive tour of the stadium and the Ajax Museum.

The Kid's Tour with lemonade, a football fame and quiz offers fun and excitement for primary schools with an exciting treasure hunt an option for secondary school pupils. From the Amsterdam ArenA you travel by bus to the Holland Experience 3-D Movie Theatre.

Holland Experience 3-D offers you a 30-minute tour of the Netherlands that you will never forget. All your senses are stimulated during your journey past the many typical faces of Holland. The moving platform, comfortable aircraft seats and the 3-D film make this trip through the Netherlands an explosive and "exciting spectacle.

College Lessons Go 3-D

MCC President Walt Packard holds a check from SBC Illinois for $30,000, the total amount given to three McHenry County organizations. MCC is the recipient of a $9,200 technology grant as part of the SBC Excelerator program. The grant will support a 3D Virtual Reality Lab enhancement at the college. Pictured, front row, l-r: Lillian Roy, MCC faculty development chair; Nancy Loomis, assistant vice president of Human Resources at MCC; Walt Packard, MCC president; State Rep. Jack Franks and Brad Jensen, director of external affairs, SBC Illinois. Back row, l-r: Wendy Moylan, director of Resource Development at MCC; Marla Garrison, MCC biology instructor; Jim Gray, MCC vice president for Learning and Student Support Services; and State Rep. Mark Beaubien.

MCC President Walt Packard holds a check from SBC Illinois for $30,000, the total amount given to three McHenry County organizations. MCC is the recipient of a $9,200 technology grant as part of the SBC Excelerator program. The grant will support a 3D Virtual Reality Lab enhancement at the college. Pictured, front row, l-r: Lillian Roy, MCC faculty development chair; Nancy Loomis, assistant vice president of Human Resources at MCC; Walt Packard, MCC president; State Rep. Jack Franks and Brad Jensen, director of external affairs, SBC Illinois. Back row, l-r: Wendy Moylan, director of Resource Development at MCC; Marla Garrison, MCC biology instructor; Jim Gray, MCC vice president for Learning and Student Support Services and State Rep. Mark Beaubien.

McHenry County College near Chicago is the recipient of a $9,200 technology grant as part of the SBC Excelerator program. Funded by the SBC Foundation, the philanthropic arm of SBC Illinois, the grant will support a 3-D Virtual Reality Lab enhancement at the college. These labs will enhance student learning by using three-dimensional visualization of math, science, architecture and other vocational technology concepts. Students will use 3-D eye glasses and software, silver projection screens and digital models that “float” independently from their backgrounds.

According to MCC President Walter Packard, “The 3-D lab will allow students in math and science to see what they’re learning in a new way. It will help students remember lessons because they can see the objects in life form, not in flat textbook pages,” he said. The college is the first community college in the state that has the designation of a regional training center for this technology. The grant allows the college to purchase 3-D models so faculty can integrate the virtual lab into their lessons as early as this spring semester.

SBC Excelerator is a major philanthropic initiative that connects the nation’s neediest residents, including at-risk youth and underserved urban families, to important community resources. The program empowers nonprofits to use technology to expand the reach of services and heighten the impact those services have on people in the community. This year, the SBC Foundation awarded $840,500 in SBC Excelerator technology grants to 59 nonprofits throughout Illinois.

McHenry County College is one of three McHenry County non-profit organizations to each receive grants totaling $30,000. This is the second time the college received the Excelerator Grant Award. The first one in 2003 was to purchase projection equipment for staff training in the Professional Development Teaching and Learning Center.

“The first time the college received the Excelerator Grant Award, we saw a lot of promise in the program and innovations in training teachers,” said Brad Jensen, director of external affairs for SBC Illinois. “The second grant is an offshoot of the first grant because the college did a good job of being accountable and showing progress. We were very open to funding future projects like the Virtual Reality Lab,” Jensen said.

According to Jensen, more than 250 nonprofit organizations throughout the state have used SBC Excelerator grants in the past three years to build their technology capabilities and deliver more services at the local level.

State Rep. Jack Franks, who helped identify MCC for the grant, said, “I think MCC is one of the finest community colleges in the state of Illinois. With an educated workforce, we’re able to attract industry and employment. My goal is to have the smartest, well-trained workforce in the state. This (technology at MCC) is one way to get it,” he said.

Since the program’s creation in 2002, more than $4.1 million in SBC Excelerator grants have been awarded to Illinois organizations that connect people with little or no access to technology.

The SBC Excelerator program was founded on the premise that technology access and resources can improve the lives of people in communities across the nation. To qualify for an SBC Excelerator grant, an organization’s major focus and project proposal must emphasize education, community development, health and human services, or arts and culture. Grants, ranging from $2,500 to $25,000, can be applied toward data communications services, hardware, software, technology training, personnel and application development.

The SBC Excelerator program is the largest special grants program undertaken by the SBC Foundation, one of the top corporate foundations in the nation, according to The Foundation Center. Since 1984, SBC Communications and the SBC Foundation have contributed more than $1 billion to nonprofit organizations across the country.

Lilo and Stitch Pleakley View-Master® Pin

Pleakley pin packagePleakley pinThe Disney Store produced a limited edition run of Lilo and Stitch pinbacks. The pin featuring the Pleakley character is shown holding a View-Master® viewer.

The weirdest thing about this pin being produced is that Pleakly only has one eye but is holding a stereoscopic viewer.

Only 3,000 of limited-edition pins were produced.

Original retail price for each pin was $15.99.

 

   

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