Rock from the Sun 3-D DVD
fans will want to add the DVD boxset of 3rd Rock from
the Sun Season Two to their collection. One of the highlights
of the season two boxset is the 3-D episode. The 3-D episode
originally aired as a one-hour show. The boxset includes the
syndicated version, which makes it into two 3-D shows edited
to run within half-hour broadcaster windows. There is also
a behind the scenes featurette about the filming of the 3-D
episode. The set includes a never before aired alternate 3-D
3rd Rock from the Sun features a group of aliens
who have come to Earth to learn about its population and customs.
To avoid detection, they have taken on human form which gives
them human emotions and physical needs, without the understanding
of what they mean or the inhibitions normally present in humans.
Their leader "The High Commander" (John Lithgow)
takes the position of college professor Dick Solomon, their
military expert Sally Solomon (Kristen Johnston) as his sister,
their intelligence expert, supposedly oldest of group takes
form of his teenage son Tommy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and the
final member of the group is Dick's brother Harry (French
Stewart) who occasionally receives transmissions from "the
big giant head" (WIlliam Shatner) back on their home
planet. The uninhibited reactions turn everyday events into
As a special selling point, Anchor Bay Entertainment included
a surprise with the DVD boxset. When you push the front of
the package, the box talks to you. John Lithgow says, "You're
Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
All 26 episodes, complete with 3-D Glasses
Brand new John Lithgow Interview
Behind-the-Scenes of the 3-D episode
Season 2 Highlights
Never Before Aired 3-D Episode Alternate Ending
3rd Rock from the Sun Season Two Episode Guide
1. See Dick Run (2)
While Evil Dick hatches a plan to impregnate
all women in Ohio, the original Dick remains trapped in the
2. See Dick Continue to Run, Continued (3)
After the real Dick is freed and overcomes Evil Dick, Dennis
Rodman (who turns out to be an alien) escorts Evil Dick back
to their home world.
3. Hotel Dick
Aghast with how humans portray aliens in films, the Solomons
attend a sci-fi convention to set the record straight. Sally
gets hooked on room service.
4. Big Angry Virgin From Outer Space
While Sally fights with Mr. Randall (John D'Aquino), Harry
goes on a blind date after making a video and August (Shay
Astar) tests Tommy's loyalty to her.
5. Much Ado About Dick
Mary is afraid to let others know about her relationship with
Dick, Sally wants to be a cop after meeting Don again and
Tommy wants a car.
6. Dick the Vote
Complications arise when Harry decides to run for
7. Fourth and Dick
While Dick learns about obsessions with football and Sally
makes Nina her best friend, Tommy gets a crush on his glee
8. World's Greatest Dick
After Dick enrolls Tommy in a school for gifted children,
Sally gets mistaken to be a drag queen.
9. My Mother The Alien
Dick accidentally kills Mary's fish while taking care of her
10. Gobble, Gobble, Dick, Dick
After Dick invites Mrs. Dubcek and her daughter Vicki (Jan
Hooks) over for Thanksgiving dinner, sparks fly between Harry
11. Dick Jokes
When Mary asks another professor to emcee an event
she's organizing, Dick gets very jealous and tries to prove
how funny he can be.
12. Jolly Old St. Dick
For Christmas, Sally wraps presents at the mall where Harry
gets a job assisting Santa while Tommy bemoans finding the
perfect present for August.
13. Proud Dick
Dick quits his university job after being denied a parking
space, then works serving burgers to his former students.
Harry gets amnesia and thinks aliens are taking over the world.
14. Romeo & Juliet & Dick
Things go awry when Tommy asks Dick to direct their school
production of Romeo and Juliet.
15. Guilty as Dick
After Dick sprains his ankle while helping Mary, he really
plays it up. In the meantime, Harry moves into a tree house.
16. Dick on One Knee
Sally accepts when a Frenchman (Jim Pirri) asks her to marry
him so that he can stay in the country.
17. Same Old Song and Dick
Dick thinks that he and Mary are getting into a rut.
18. I Brake for Dick
Dick becomes a crazed animal rights activist after accidentally
running over a chipmunk and Tommy gets into trouble with August.
19. Dick Behaving Badly
Everyone accuses Dick being in Mary's control, but Harry offers
to make him a man.
Dick becomes disillusioned after being accepted into
high society when Mary isn't.
21. Sensitive Dick
While Dick is forced to take sensitivity training, Don tries
to teach Tommy how to drive and Harry takes Vicki to her high
22. Will Work For Dick
When Nina quits, Harry takes her secretarial job.
23. Fifteen Minutes of Dick
Sally and the family learn what it means to be a celebrity
after she beats up Mark Hamill (himself) in a restaurant.
24. Dick and the Single Girl
A shy librarian (Christine Baranski) is attracted to Dick
and Sally realizes that she's attracted to Don for his uniform.
25 and 26. A Nightmare on Dick Street (1 & 2)
When Dick suffers a nightmare after asking Mary to marry him
because she wants to go to Borneo for a year, the rest of
the family returns home for maintenance.
Actors: John Lithgow, Kristen Johnston, French Stewart, Joseph
Gordon-Levitt, Jane Curtin
Directors: Robert Berlinger, James Burrows
Format: Box set, Color, Full screen, Ntsc, Academy, Full Screen
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Back to top
View-Master® 3-reel set to be released March 23
will release a Superman Returns 3-reel set on March
23, 2006. Superman Returns will be released in theatres
on June 30, 2006, by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros.
Following a mysterious absence of several years, the Man
of Steel comes back to Earth in the epic action-adventure
Superman Returns, a soaring new chapter in the saga
of one of the world's most beloved superheroes. While an old
enemy plots to render him powerless once and for all, Superman
faces the heartbreaking realization that the woman he loves,
Lois Lane, has moved on with her life. Or has she? Superman's
bittersweet return challenges him to bridge the distance between
them while finding a place in a society that has learned to
survive without him. In an attempt to protect the world he
loves from cataclysmic destruction, Superman embarks on an
epic journey of redemption that takes him from the depths
of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space.
Directed by Bryan Singer (X2: X-Men United, X-Men, The
Usual Suspects), Superman Returns stars newcomer
Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth (Beyond the Sea, Blue Crush),
James Marsden (X2: X-Men United, The Notebook), Frank
Langella (HBO's Unscripted), Academy Award-winner
Eva Marie Saint (North By Northwest), Parker Posey
(Best in Show), Sam Huntington (Detroit Rock
City), Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle)
and Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey (Beyond the Sea, American
Beauty, The Usual Suspects).
The film is based upon Superman characters created by Jerry
Siegel and Joe Shuster and published by DC Comics.
Editor's Note: 3-D Review Online Magazine's January
2006 issue featured a look at Superman's
3-D Adventures including previously released Superman
View-Master® packets. Thanks to View-Master® for providing
information about the forthcoming Superman Returns
Back to top
1968, Topps released one of its scarcest issues, a limited
test issue of 3-D baseball trading cards. In 2006, the 12-card
set is valued at $12,000. The lenticular cards feature an
image of the featured ballplayers against a blurry background
image to create the 3-D effect. (See the checklist below.)
Predating the better known Kellogg's sets by a couple of
years, Topps first and apparently last attempt at "true"
3-D was absolutely spectacular. Too bad these weren't snapped
up at the time they were issued, because if you want one now,
it's gonna cost you. Commons go in the mid to high three figures
and the stars, well forget it. Roberto Clemente will run you
a mere four grand or so. These 2 1/4" x 3 1/2" cards
came two to a pack and there is an insert as well: a small
easel to display one 3-D card. Getting back to the 3-D's,
a proof card is also known to exist, as well as a salesman's
sample, which features part of a card cut into a circle and
slapped in a plastic pin. Topps must have had high hopes for
this set, which were probably dashed when production costs
soared. The insert was a little stand designed to display
the 3-D card of your choice.
test issue never took off with Topps, but in 1970, Kellogg’s
cereals began using 3-D baseball cards as promotional item.
Except for 1973, all years featured 3-D cards in the same
Topps style with the blurry background.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the Kellogg’s cards were
very popular among collectors. Upper Deck introduced the 30-card
3-D Sluggers subset as part of its 2003 Vintage issue.
It was popular enough to return as a 90-card subset in the
2004 Upper Deck Vintage set. The 2004 3-D Sluggers
cards are slightly more common, inserted in two per box rather
than one per two boxes, like the 2003 issue.
1985 and 1986 Topps 3-D Baseball Stars were sold in a box
of 24 wax packs. The word 3-D on these cards is slightly deceptive
to the true stereoscopic collector as the card inside is actually
a plastic embossed card. These packs have one 3-D card measuring
4 1/4" x 6". It must have seemed unusual to card
collector's to have to buy a wax pack that contained only
one card in it. Collector's note: The boxes were issued with
various player photos on them. One of the boxes has Rickey
Henderson. Another known variant has a photo of Mike Schmidt.
Other attempts to create a true 3-D image on a card. The
1995 Topps D3 set a new quality standard for 3-D baseball
trading cards. The technology was reaching out to the card
collectors offering a true, full 3-D image without needing
to use special glasses. A gloved hand was reaching out of
it to make a catch, or dirt was coming up to hit you in the
face as a player slid into a base.
So, why haven't you heard about them? There were seemingly
countless sets being issued in 1995, including a very similar
brand from Sportflix, so it wasn’t hard for the Topps
D3 cards to get lost in the shuffle.
The only insert set was a six-card "D3 Zone" series,
issued at a generous rate of one in three hobby packs, so
collectors really didn’t have any scarce chase cards.
Upper Deck’s numerous 3-D hologram cards achieved
various success, but when it comes to 3-D cards, the 1993-94
Upper Deck Pro View basketball set is in a league all its
own. Instead of the high-tech, hologram-oriented approach,
Upper Deck used anaglyphic 3-D to create its 1993-94 Pro View
NBA set. To properly view the 3-D cards, you need to wear
special 3-D glasses included in each pack.
1968 Topps 3-D Checklist
- Clemente, Roberto
- Davis, Willie
- Fairly, Ron
- Flood, Curt
- Lonborg, Jim
- Maloney, Jim
- Perez, Tony
- Powell, Boog
- Robinson, Bill
- Staub, Rusty
- Stottlemyre, Mel
- Swoboda, Ron
Editor's Note: This article is not an in-depth look at all
the 3-D baseball cards ever produced. There are many more
3-D baseball cards available than those featured in this article.
Watch for future articles about baseball in 3-D, including
some vintage stereoviews featuring early baseball teams.
Back to top
Elfman scores Deep Sea 3-D with Deborah Lurie
Deep Sea 3-D records at the
Newman Scoring Stage
Following up on the scoring session from December, Danny
Elfman and his team returned last week to the Newman Scoring
Stage at 20th Century Fox to finish recording the score to
Deep Sea 3-D. The score features excerpts from Elfman's
"Serenada Schizophrana" concert work as well as
original music and adapted cues. Deep Sea 3-D is
an IMAX short film narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet.
Pete Anthony conducts the
Hollywood Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Pete Anthony led a 76-piece ensemble of the Hollywood
Studio Symphony performing the newly written and adapted pieces
- a few of which were composed by Deborah Lurie (An Unfinished
Life), based on themes from Elfman's "Serenada Schizophrana".
Composer Danny Elfman and
Score Mixer Armin Steiner
The new music that Elfman wrote was primarily
orchestrated by Edgardo Simone, with Steve Bartek providing
a little assistance as well, and Jon Kull orchestrated Lurie's
cues. As music editor Shie Rozow explained, "Some cues
are new original cues, some are edits of Serenada, and others
are the Serenada blended with newly original material, and
even more are overlapping and merging - it's a puzzle!"
Danny Elfman and Deborah Lurie
at the Deep Sea 3-D mix at Warner Brothers
Score mixer Armin Steiner worked in full 5.1 surround sound,
as IMAX films tend to take advantage of the immersive environment.
As a result, the music, which in addition to the orchestra
also takes advantage of female choir and electronic elements,
will engulf the viewer.
Deep Sea 3-D will be released in IMAX theaters on
March 3, 2006.
Back to top
Postcard's 3-D Mailer Goes Back to the Future
by Melissa Campanelli - Senior Editor Article Courtesy
Postcard's latest sales tool gives a new look to what can
be seen with those old 3-D glasses from the 1950s.
The new product, 3-D Direct Mail, uses a patented Phantaglyph
3-D technology that allows a better three-dimensional effect
when viewed with the glasses.
"The tool creates a vertical holographic effect,"
said Keith Goodman, vice president of corporate solutions
at Modern Postcard, Carlsbad, CA. "But that might be
more than you need to know. It's just very cool."
Previously, companies sent direct mail with the anaglyph
3-D technology. But while that technology gives depth, "it
doesn't really give you any height," he said. "This
technology offers vivid colors and images that are more realistic."
The technology is used in two of Modern Postcard's folded
self-mailers: the Double Deluxe, which folds to 6 by 8.5 inches,
and its Folded Double Sumo (6 by 11). It is also used in two
tri-fold products (5.75 by 8.5 and 5.75 by 11). The mailing
has to be in a folded format so the glasses can be inserted
inside. No outer envelope is used.
Such a mail piece tends to be expensive, partly because Modern
Postcard has a $2,000 setup fee to photograph the highlighted
items. For a typical 5,000-piece tri-fold mailer made with
premium, coated cardstock with one 3-D image, copy, a reply
device, and the glasses, costs are $1.60 per piece plus postage.
"That would include everything from the photography
to putting it in the hands of the client and everything in
between," Goodman said.
Modern Postcard did a soft launch of the product at last
fall's DMA*05 in Atlanta but began its major launch at this
month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
"We have about six or seven clients putting these pieces
out this year," Goodman said, though he offered no details.
"We will be launching the first of these mailings in
February, and some of them could be up in the 1 million-plus
Modern Postcard spokesman Fred Hernandez said the company
has not yet begun a mail campaign to promote the mailer to
its customer base because "most of our current customers
most likely will not be interested in the product. It really
is a new area for us." Instead, he said, the company
is in an acquisition phase, promoting the product to new customers
at trade shows and gauging interest. Feedback has been very
good, he said, and Modern Postcard likely will send a mailer
targeting ad agencies in a few months.
The most interest has come from the manufacturing space as
well as travel and hospitality companies, Goodman said.
"Anywhere there is a high-value customer," he said.
"For this to be cost-effective, you want to send this
to a customer that is worth $300 to $500. It's not for a customer
buying a $5 hamburger."
In test mailings, the 3-D postcard has had high open rates,
he said. The company also conducted focus groups, which found
that all potential recipients said they would put on the glasses
and read the piece. More than 70 percent who participated
in the focus groups said they would save the direct mail piece
and show it to family, friends or associates.
Back to top
Largest 3-D Theatre
Tyco Brahe Planetarium plans to show more than just science
films in the world's largest 3-D movie theatre - sports, concerts
and even video games are on the program.
Normally gala premieres are held for films. Tuesday night,
however, the ado in Copenhagen was more about the city's newest
movie system than it was about the film it was showing.
A new, high-tech 3-D movie projection system has transformed
The Tyco Brahe Planetarium theatre and its 1,000 m2 dome screen
into the world's largest 3-D movie theatre.
The theatre opens to the public on Saturday. On Tuesday,
however, special guests such as Crown Prince Frederik were
on hand for a sneak preview.
"We have four of the newest and most powerful digital
3-D projectors that will deliver the big picture," said
Karin Ribe, the planetarium's head of information. "Right
now, we can't fill up the entire screen, but our picture is
the world's biggest. The next biggest 3-D cinema is found
at Universal Studios in Los Angeles."
During the day, the planetarium intends to show traditional
science fare such as films about nature and space. When the
lights go down on the town, however, a less scholarly crowd
will move in, as the theatre will also have entertainment-oriented
films on the marquee.
The new technology will also allow the planetarium to transmit
live sporting events, live pictures from scientific expeditions,
concerts or even to play video games.
"We're at the front edge of a new wave of 3-D films
from Hollywood that will wash in over us in the coming years
as movie theatres become digitialised. We're not alone in
using the new technology, but we will be able to use it to
its fullest by projecting the films on the existing overwhelmingly
large dome screen," said Steen Krener-Iversen, the vice-director
of the planetarium.
The first film shown using the 3-D system will be the children's
film The Blue Planet, a film about the Earth's ecosystems.
Also on the bill is The Moon, a documentary produced
by Tom Hanks, as well as a heart-stopping ride on a virtual
Back to top
Cafe uses View-Master® reels for Kids Menu
Cafe in Croton-on-Hudson has a new entry in the keep-the-kids-busy-at-the-table
category: The View-Master®.
As adults are handed a menu, children are handed the familiar
toy. But instead of flipping through 3-D images of Pinocchio
or The Chronicles of Narnia, the young diners are
perusing something else: the children's menu. There are photos
of macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly and a bowl
of spinach, which comes with a child-friendly caveat, "Yuck!"
Craig Purdy, the cafe's owner, got the idea at a seminar
for restaurateurs in Las Vegas last year. As participants
brainstormed on how to compete with the chains, someone shouted
out the idea of putting a dessert menu on a View-Master®.
Purdy thought the toy was a better fit for a children's menu.
He also offers extra reels with a game called I Spy.
"It's great entertainment for them while we're waiting
for dinner," says Margaret Anderson of Cortlandt Manor,
who has five children, the oldest of whom is 7. "We talk
about which food is in there and what they're going to have."
The View-Master®, which was first introduced at the 1939
World's Fair, falls somewhere between crayons and the Playstation
Portable on the tech-savvy scale. It looks like a bulky pair
of binoculars, into which you slide a thin reel studded with
transparencies. Look inside to see a 3-D image and pull the
lever to go to the next one.
It's been a source of amusement for several generations and
it seems to be a hit as a menu. On Sunday, one girl had five
machines at her table.
"In this digital age, it's kind of square and corny
and old-fashioned," Purdy says. "The parents are
more pleased with it because it's their generation, the pre-electronic
age." The photo of chicken fingers winks at adults; it
includes a giant garden glove and a rooster.
Purdy spent months trying to develop the idea on his own
before throwing up his hands and calling Fisher-Price, which
owns the brand name. The company sent him a 3-D camera and
the View-Masters. Find
out how you can make your own custom View-Master reels here.
"It cost me a bomb, money I shouldn't have spent on
that, but I think it's a nice gesture to the kids," Purdy
says. "It certainly works, and it functions on a certain
level as the baby sitter or pacifier that it was intended
Back to top
Collaboration to Enhance 3-D Entertainment Experience With
Flexibility and Low-Cost Benefits of Xilinx® 90mm Programmable
Inc. and Sensio, maker of the Sensio 3-D stereoscopic processor,
today announced the continuation of their six-year collaboration
that has resulted in the development of breakthrough 3-D video
processing technology. The latest innovation from Sensio,
the Sensio S3D-PRO processor, is implemented with Xilinx®
Spartan-3™ programmable devices, the lowest-cost FPGA
solution for a wide range of applications. When used in conjunction
with conventional high-definition players, this next-generation
processor enables 3-D video output from any device in any
format to provide a low-cost, cinema-quality video experience.
The Sensio S3D-PRO processor, launched in conjunction with
a state-of-the-art projector system from consumer electronic
giant JVC at CEDIA 2005 in September, supports multiple video
formats and is available in a number of configurations that
target presentation venues with 5 to more than 300 seats,
such as screening rooms, museums and theme parks. The launch
of the S3D-PRO follows a successful introduction of its Sensio
Processing System at the 2003 Consumer Electronics Show, where
it won the prestigious CES Product Innovation Award. This
award-wining product also was based on the Xilinx® Spartan
family of devices.
programmable devices have been key to our pioneering technology
and market success, and we had no doubt that their latest
generation FPGAs could take our products to the next level,"
said Nicholas Routhier, President and CTO at Sensio. "That
meant working at higher frequencies, more powerful calculation
capabilities, more block RAM and dedicated memory, and lots
of external pins. And, of course, the flexibility to quickly
change or upgrade the 3-D options available in the processor
based on customer requirements.Spartan-3™ FPGAs provide
all of this and more in a competitively priced and easy-to-use
Breakthrough 3-D Video Processor
The patent-pending universal output architecture of the Sensio
S3D-PRO processor makes it adaptable to a wide range of devices
and applications and
eliminates the need for multiple video servers and channels.
Compared to alternative 3-D approaches, it uses less processing
power and eliminates
synchronization problems to provide a low cost video server
solution. The performance and flexibility of the Sensio processor
required a versatile development platform for which Xilinx®'s
Spartan-3™ FPGAs are an ideal solution. Efficiently
utilizing advanced 90-nanometer (nm) semiconductor technology,
Spartan-3™ devices provide Sensio with the optimal mix
of density and features at the lowest cost for their next-generation
systems. The success with Sensio underscores the unprecedented
adoption of the Spartan-3 Series FPGAs across diverse markets
such as consumer, digital video, industrial, medical and communications
"We have a great working relationship with Sensio and
are pleased to help them advance the state of the art in 3-D
video processing. Theirs is an ideal
application of the power and versatility of our Spartan-3™
FPGAs because it requires high performance, aggressive pricing,
a wide range of features and
on-the-fly programmability to stay in step with this fast
moving market," said Clay Johnson, vice president and
general manager of the General Products
Division at Xilinx®. "We look forward to continuing
to enhance the Sensio product line with our programmable platforms."
The Right Features at the Right Cost
Accurate and flexible clock timing is a critical design requirement
to enable the variety of video resolutions supported by the
Sensio processor. Engineers were able to adjust frequencies
without changing the external clock generator, using the Spartan-3
FPGA to drive clocks to other external components. Spartan-3
devices also provided the high frequency capabilities needed,
both at the core of the processor as well as for input/output
signals with rates of 100MHz and 200MHz, respectively. The
Sensio S3D-PRO processor also benefits from 36-bit dedicated
multipliers available with Spartan-3 FPGAs to support large
numbers of on-chip calculations. Sensio developers used the
Xilinx® Integrated Software Environment™ (ISE) that
provides an intuitive suite of design tools for rapid development
of Spartan-3-based designs. The Sensio team extensively leveraged
the advanced capabilities available with the latest release
of the ISE software to save critical development time, including
upgraded synthesis and compilation tools.
Back to top
TV to appear in 2008
Electronics hopes in about two years to introduce a high-definition
television that can play 3-D content," said CEO Rudy
Provoost in an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show.
"Although movie studios don't produce movies in 3-D yet,
consumers will be able to get a 3-D experience from a 2-D
high-definition disc and these TVs," he said. "As
the technology catches on, studios will likely produce movies
made from the beginning with 3-D in mind, "he added.
The technology is in the labs at Philips and not yet being
shown publicly. The 3-D experiments are part of an overhaul
at the European electronics company. Historically, Philips
has been a large company with a sprawling product line that
bounced in and out of profitability. It did well in Europe,
but often struggled in other parts of the world.
Since becoming CEO last year, Provoost has trimmed the company's
product lines and re-emphasized upscale features on many products.
The Ambilight lighting system on its TVs, for example, match
the light coming from the TV with the ambient light in the
room. The company has been reorganized into two groups: one
that concentrates on premium products and another that works
on DVD players and other established product categories.
Sales have begun to rebound in North America, Asia and Latin
America. "Before were we running on one cylinder (Europe).
Now we are running on four," he said.
Provoost also shed more light on the acrimony behind the
HD DVD and Blu-ray dispute. Although the two standards differ
technically, the participants behind each of the standards
stand to collect substantial revenues.
"They all look for return on investment," he said.
Philips backs Blu-ray and contributed some of the intellectual
property behind it. The company also garnered substantial
royalties from CD. The company will come out with its first
Blu-ray player in the second half.
Back to top
Our fascination with artificial 3-D imagery is seemingly
endless, and we've been entertained and tortured by countless
different 3-D technology over the 100 years, from stereoscopic
still images to blue and red lenses that make you ill to polarized
lenses that achieve a truer effect on moving images. In recent
years, however, we've seen more new technologies in film and
on computer that take the concept of 3-D to a more realistic
level. Now comes TDVision, a new company with yet another
new way of helping consumers see moving images in 3-D.
As with most other similar technologies, TDVision starts
with a stereoscopic camera that captures two images a few
inches apart. However, instead of combining them into one
scene where the two images are slightly offset and have to
be combined with special glasses, TDVision delivers two separate
video streams to two displays in a special visor, creating
a 3-D effect. The technology can, however, at the same time
deliver a standard 2-D images to a regular monitor. So some
viewers can enjoy the show in 3-D (with a visor), while others
can choose to watch it the old fashioned way.
TDVisions technology is compatible with all kinds of file
formats, including MPEG 2 and 4 and display technologies.
These special visors will eventually sell for around $200.
The company plans on licensing the technology to a wide array
of partners and said it could even, conceivably, be incorporated
into a competing product like the eMagin 3-D Visor.
Visitors to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2006) got
a chance to try out the tech behind close doors and found
it surprisingly good. Actually, the rollercoaster film managed
to achieve the impact of the best and worst of 3-D. it was
highly entertaining and so realistic, it made us sick.
Back to top
Movies: New Approach to an Old Idea
Scientists at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
and Carnegie Mellon University can deliver HDTV-quality stereo
viewing at reasonable cost - Article courtesy of
Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
you’re a baby boomer, you may remember watching horror
movies with 3-D glasses. This novelty approach to creating
a visual sensation of depth was one of the first movie forays
into stereo viewing. Since then, with stereo goggles for computer
gaming and, at the high-end of quality and expense, with supercomputing
applications in science and engineering, the technology has
improved. But you still can’t go to the movies and see
good 3-D, say visualization experts at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing
Center (PSC), who have come up with an approach that may fill
the void in theaters, meeting rooms and at home.
The key is low cost and high performance, says PSC scientist
Joel Stiles, an associate professor in the Mellon College
of Science at Carnegie Mellon. Stiles, a medical doctor, physiologist
and neuroscientist, and colleague Stuart Pomerantz, a programming
expert, created the new system, called the PSC Stereo Animation
System (PSC-SAS). “If you make good stereo content and
have a good display system,” says Stiles, “stereo
viewing works fabulously. But it’s tremendously underused,
because few people have put all the pieces together in an
optimum way. Our system provides theater-quality stereo viewing
of complex animations at extremely high performance-cost ratio.”
With PSC-SAS, images display on a screen, as in normal movie
viewing, and the viewer wears light, comfortable glasses,
like polarized sunglasses, making the system easily adaptable
to in-theater or home viewing. Many stereo-viewing systems,
in contrast, rely on special goggles, connected to a computer
that can be used by only one person at a time while looking
at a computer monitor.
To date, PSC-SAS has been used mainly in scientific settings,
for 3-D display of dynamic data, compiled as movies, from
computational simulations of biomolecules, cellular physiology
and other applications, where being able to see depth enhances
the ability to understand and analyze complex phenomena. The
reaction among scientists, say Stiles and Pomerantz, has been
“Many scientists and other professionals who have seen
various types of stereo display,” says Stiles, “are
jaded. They think it sort of works, but it’s basically
a toy. When they see our system, they say ‘wow’
and they’re reaching out to touch what they see, because
it looks so real as it hangs there in space.”
All stereo-viewing systems achieve the effect of depth by
displaying a slightly different image to each eye. PSC-SAS
is distinctive in providing high-quality content in movie-form
with “passive” stereo display technology. Most
scientific systems and computer games are “active”
stereo, relying on goggles that are, in effect, shutter glasses,
controlling what each eye sees by electronically switching
between the right and left eye at a rate faster than the wearer
Active stereo can provide high-quality effects, but it has
several disadvantages. Prominently, it may present a health
and safety problem. In some people, the rapid on-off flashing
seen by each eye may become uncomfortable, and flashing lights
can sometimes trigger an epileptic reaction. Visualization
professionals generally limit their use to relatively short
periods at a time. Active stereo, furthermore, is prohibitive
for theater viewing, because of the cost of providing computerized
goggles to everyone in the theater. The goggles, moreover,
are heavy, need batteries and a link to a computer to keep
A more recent technology, “glasses-free” stereo
on computer monitors, offers limited resolution and requires
the viewer’s head to remain in a particular location
to see the effect.
With PSC-SAS, two projectors display a right and left-eye
image on the screen simultaneously, overlaid on each other,
based on the well understood phenomenon of polarized light,
so that one image is polarized at a 90 degree angle to the
other. Polarized glasses allow the left and right eyes to
perceive the two distinct images separately. With this approach,
many viewers at one time can see stereo depth.
“One lens is polarized in one direction,” says
Pomerantz, “and the other in the opposite direction.
As long as the filters on the projectors match the filters
on the glasses, you can deliver one image to the right eye
and another to the left. It’s an old trick.”
PSC-SAS implements the old trick with stereo-movie content
created by software called DReAMM, developed by Stiles, coupled
to playback software called PSC-MP, developed by Pomerantz.
To accommodate the high resolution of scientific images, PSC-SAS
relies on sophisticated compression techniques that reduce
file size, but only to a degree that the eye can’t detect
as different from the original. PSC-MP delivers the polarized
images to the dual projectors in synchrony at high realism.
It decodes and transmits data at 100 megabits per second,
20 times faster than DVD data rates, for high-definition quality
at 30 frames per second.
The result, vivid color and sharp, unpixelated images without
uncomfortable, unsafe goggles, also comes at reasonable cost.
Stiles estimates a total expense of $12,000 for the hardware
components of PSC-SAS, available off-the-shelf, easily within
the range of today’s home theater market. A non-depolarizing
screen, two computer projectors, a dual-processor PC, and
a pair of polarized glasses, bring your own popcorn.
PSC-SAS is available for licensing and commercialization
through the Carnegie Mellon University Innovation Transfer
The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort of
Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh
together with the Westinghouse Electric Company. It was established
in 1986 and is supported by several federal agencies, the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry.
Back to top
Finds 39 Million Adults Would Go To The Movies More Often
For Feature-Length 3-D Films
Opinion Dynamics Corporation survey also finds 43
Million adults would pay more at box office for a unique 3-D
than 39 million American adults would go to the movies more
often if Hollywood offered more feature-length films in 3-D,
according to a new survey by Opinion Dynamics Corporation.
Results from a nationwide survey of 900 adults show that 12
percent of Americans. roughly 26 million adults. would go
to the movies more often to see 3-D movies. Another six percent,
13 million adults, would go more often depending on the types
of films offered in 3-D.
In the early 1950’s, movie studios were losing audiences
due to the rising popularity of television. Studios lured
audiences back with 3-D films, but their success was short-lived.
Today, the movie industry is again faced with diminished ticket
sales. In 2003, there were 29 films that grossed $100 million
or more in the U.S.; in 2004 there were 24 such films and
only 15 to-date in 2005.
Ticket price increases have somewhat offset the decrease
in ticket sales, but the movie industry as a whole is showing
signs of wear. Studios, movie theaters, production and distribution
companies, projection systems makers and other industry players
are trying to determine the content, formats and dissemination
methods that can lure consumers back to the theater. Once
again, players in the industry are investing in 3-D technology,
which has been updated and refined for the modern audience.
According to the latest public opinion research, moviegoers
are warming to the trend.
The survey by Opinion Dynamics gauged consumers’ attitudes
toward feature-length 3-D films, which have been primarily
limited to animated fare. Last year, Warner Brother’s
blockbuster, The Polar Express, grossed close to
$290 million worldwide; almost $50 million of that came from
the 3-D version of the film, which aired in IMAX® theatres.
This year, Disney funded the nationwide installation of 85
digital projection systems with brand new, state-of-the-art
3-D capabilities for the release of Chicken Little,
which also showed significantly higher per-screen averages
for the 3-D version of the film.
“Given that there were only two feature-length 3-D
films released in 2005, there appears to be pent-up demand
for 3-D films, especially when feature-length, live-action
3-D films come to market," said Richard Greif, project
director at Opinion Dynamics Corporation. “Studios and
theaters need something compelling to offer movie-goers, and
3-D could be a big draw if enough highly entertaining films
can be made. A well-made 3-D movie can provide an audience
with an unparalleled cinematic experience.”
The Opinion Dynamics survey, entitled Measuring
the 3-D Film Revolution: Understanding the Impact of New Technology
on Movie Theater Visitation, is available in white
paper form on the Opinion Dynamics Web site. Key findings
- Fourteen percent, or 30 million adults, would pay $2-3
more to see a feature length film in 3-D, and another six
percent, or 13 million adults, would also pay more depending
on the films offered in 3-D.
- Almost one-half (48 percent) of Americans have seen a
3-D film (of any length), with 22 percent seeing it at a
regular movie theater, 19 percent at an IMAX® theater
and seven percent at both types of theaters.
- If they were to see a 3-D film, Americans are somewhat
more likely to prefer 3-D effects that appear to come out
of the screen at them (37 percent) as they are to prefer
3-D effects that give better depth to images on the screen
- More than one in four (28 percent) Americans go to the
movies once a month or more; 29 percent go several times
a year; 23 percent go once a year or less, and 20 percent
do not go to the movies at all.
The future of the 3-D movie is the latest research effort
by Opinion Dynamics Corporation to measure consumer attitudes
regarding entertainment. Founded in 1987 and headquartered
in Cambridge, Mass., Opinion Dynamics is a national leader
in market research, public opinion polling and consulting
with a specialty in entertainment and media. ODC conducts
research for media outlets, theaters, distributors, producers,
museums and tourist attractions, including National Geographic
Films, Smithsonian Business Ventures, Disney World, Destination
Cinema, MacGillivray Freeman Films, Boston Museum of Science,
FOX News Channel, Giant Screen Theater Association and the
Digital Sports Network.
Back to top
Han Snook Joins
DDD Group PLC Board of Directors
Group plc, the 3-D software and content company, announced
the appointment of Hans Snook to the company's board of non-executive
Mr. Snook is the Chairman of MonsterMob Group plc ("MonsterMob")
and the founder and former Chief Executive of Orange.
Hans Snook was appointed Chairman of AIM-listed MonsterMob
in May of 2005. MonsterMob is a leading media and entertainment
company that specializes in the sale of mobile telephone entertainment
content and services, with operations in 20 countries and
connectivity to 38 mobile telephone network carriers.
Hans was the founder and Chief Executive of Orange, a leading
mobile telephone network carrier. He articulated the vision
of the 'wirefree future' that has driven the branding, strategy
and operation of Orange. Under Hans' leadership, Orange launched
their mobile phone service on 28 April 1994 and had a profound
impact on the mobile market both in the U.K. and globally.
In March 1996, Orange listed on the London and NASDAQ exchanges
and, in June of 1996, became the youngest ever company to
enter the FTSE 100.
Following the agreed acquisition of Orange by Mannesmann
at the end of 1999, Mannesmann was acquired by Vodafone early
in 2000 and, on 30 May 2000, the agreed acquisition of Orange
by France Telecom was announced. Hans continued as Chief Executive
of the enlarged Orange Group, leading it to flotation in February
2001, at which point he became Special Advisor to the Group,
a role from which he stepped down at the end of 2001. From
2002 until early in 2005, Hans was non-executive Chairman
of Carphone Warehouse Group PLC.
Hans' current directorships include MonsterMob Group PLC,
Healthsmart Limited, The Integrated Health Consultancy Ltd.
and Sensophone Limited.
"I am truly delighted that Hans has joined the board
of DDD as a non-executive director," said Paul Kristensen,
Chairman of DDD. "Hans brings a vast, directly relevant
experience to DDD, particularly in the mobile phone market
where DDD has seen the most growth in recent months. His contributions
as a board member will be invaluable."
Back to top
Here are a few auction results on 3-D items from the past
A Roto-Vuer sold for $270 with 17 bids. Made in the
1950s by STER-E-O, INC. of Seattle, Washington. This
novel stereo slide viewer is precision-built and made
of tough styrene plastic. It operates like Realist
or Kodak slide viewers but it uses a SLIDE CARRIER
that permits the sequential viewing of up to 60 slides
without reloading. The ROTO-VUER accomodates either
TRU-MOUNT plastic slide binders, Eastman cardboard
mounts, or any rigid, stereo slide not thicker than
0.075". The viewer can be hand-held or mounted
on a tripod for ease of operation. This deluxe model
is equipped with a dimmer switch which allows you
to adjust the light intensity. Also include are the
original box, a slide carrier (60-slide capacity),
original instructions, new bulbs, and a brand new
AC adapter. The 3-D ROTO-VUER has been re-wired to
use the 6V AC adapter. Two #40 (6.3V) screw-base lamps
provide a bright and even light source.
A View-Master® Model D Focusing Viewer with Stand
Transformer and Color Shift Viewing Filter sold for
$399 with two bids. William B. Gruber designed this
stand and this particular set was included with the
"Chinese Art" collection. There are no cracks,
chips or corrosion on this viewer. The transformer
and filter are vintage and in perfect conditon as
well. The stand features an on/off control, anodized
metal fittings and can be tilted forward, backward
as well as raised. It has a heavy weighted base for
viewing or display. The viewer works with batteries
(not supplied) or transformer (included). This viewer
is brown, has the original inspector number and is
fitted with a special filter for viewing reels that
exhibit a color shift. This viewer also has the special
vintage fluted nut, which fits this stand. Other Model
Ds will not fit this stand without this nut. The filter
is easily removed for regular viewing.
21 View-Master® reels all about Africa sold for
$282 with nine bids.
RHODESIA COPPER BELT
OF ZULULAND-UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA
1-UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA
2-UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA
UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA
OF GOOD HOPE, UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA
#3019 THE GARDEN
ROUTE, UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA
OF THE MOON, UGANDA
OF GOOD HOPE & GROOTE SCHUUR
1, UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA
2, UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA
FALLS, SOUTHERN RHODESIA
A Sawyer’s View-Master®
viewer and 47 Sawyer’s View Master® Military
Study Reels sold for $207.55 with 11 bids. The reels
were all titled "7 Planes" and numbered #1-35,
#38-48 and #50.
Another lot of 38 Sawyer’s View Master® Military
Study Reels with viewer sold for $143.93 with 16 bids.
The following reels were included:
- #1 - "Lightening"
- #2 - "Thunderbolt"
- #3 - "Mustang"
- #4 - "Hudson"
- #5 - "Baltimore"
- #6 - "Vengeance"
- #7 - "Mitchell"
- #8 - " Marauder"
- #9 - "Liberator"
- #10 - "O-52"
- #11 - "Wildcat"
- #12 - "Corsair"
- #13 - "Helldiver"
- #14 - "Dauntless"
- #15 - "Vindicator"
- #16 - "Avenger"
- #17 - "Seagull"
- #20 - "Catalina"
- #21 - "Coronado"
- #22 - "Mariner"
- #23 - "Hurricane"
- #24 - "Spitfire"
- #25 - "Stirling"
- #26 - "Zerstorer"
- #27 - "HE 113"
- #35 - "Zero-Zeke"
- #37 - "7-Planes"
- #38 - "Mary"
- #39 - "BABS"
- #43 - "Adam"
- #44 - "Dick"
- #45 - "Ruth"
- #46 - "Nell"
- #47 - "Sally"
- #48 - "I-16"
- #49 - "PE-2"
- #50 - "IL-2"
- #64 - "Airacobra"
original German 3-D album, titled Der Kampf im Westen
(The struggle in the West) sold for $455 with 27 bids.
The stereoviews show the Western campaign against the
Benelux and France by the German Army in spring 1940.
It is an original 1940 3-D album produced by the Raumbild-Verlag
of Otto Schönstein - Munich. The set has 100 stereoviews,
hardcase album and adjustable stereo card viewer. The
book contains a good number of stories from the campaign
as well as some superb full page color photographs.
The front and back cover of the book has a total of
five pockets/slots containing 4 x 25 stereo cards, as
well as the stereo card viewer.
The cards are high quality photographs and show infantry,
armor (Panzer Tanks), elite troops, allied POW's, Wehrmacht
in the trenches, shot up vehicles and planes and loads
more. The book is hardback and has a total of 77 numbered
pages and measure 11 1/4" x 8 1/4". Weight, three pounds.