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May 2006 Issue

Vol. 4, No. 5

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Super 3DStation Allows True, Polarized Stereo Viewing on your Computer

Super 3DStationBerezin Stereo Photography Products is now selling the Super 3DStation, which enables user to view true polarized stereo pictures, animations or movies with full color stereoscopic effect on your computer monitor.

This device allows you to view 3-D on your computer with polarized glasses. Polarized 3-D allows much better color reproduction than using anaglyph (red/blue) techniques. Super 3DStation makes use of polarization of light and gives a true stereo 3-D effect. The optical design of the Super 3DStation lets you enjoy fascinating 3-D stereo images including photos, animations, movie clips and even games on your home personal computer.

3-D Review Online Magazine tested one of the units and we were impressed with the realistic 3-D it produced. Although it might look like you don't get much viewing space (see the sample photo on this page), the actual image is large and extremely sharp. This might be partially due to the high quality digital monitor we used to mount the viewer on but we think it would be vivid on any monitor. This system works with both LCD and CRT monitors.

Super 3DStation animationThe viewer is a marvel of engineering. The viewer unfolds to allow the opening of the viewing window. Two adustable arms with pads to protect your montior allow the viewer to hang over the front of your monitor. The interior of the viewer is black to allow a dark, theatrical enclosure around the stereo images.

The software used to create your own stereo images is included with the Super 3DStation. The software allows you to see small previews of the stereo images in your saved galleries to the right of the viewer. Several preview stereo images are included with the software, plus more images are available a special Web site.

Creating your own stereo images is fairly uncomplicated with selection tabs to choose the left and right images for each corresponding window, but the preview function could be improved. While it was easy to import and load the images, it wasn't so easy for us to line the images up, even using the "Auto Align" feature. However, with a little practice, we were able to get the images to the point that they were in sync. Maybe it is just an issue of learning to use the software. Try to made sure photos are properly lined up in the first place if you're scanning stereo pairs or taking separate side-by-side images to import to the software. This simple effort will save you time in creating your final image. One improvement we would suggest is for the software developers to include an full-size preview instead of the small preview window used to work on the stereo separations. Maybe we'll see that addition in a future release or as a downloadable add-on. Still, this doesn't detract from the desirability of the overall product.

Features

  • Photos of five-inches can be displayed on a 12-inch or larger display monitor
  • User-friendly: easy to install, easy to use. With provided software, user can enjoy series of 3-D photos/animations and movie clips
  • Foldable design: easy to store, space saving
  • Competitively priced
  • Innovative patented product and design patent pending
  • Works with linear polarized glasses

Basic Requirements

  • 12 inch (or larger) LCD/CRT display monitor
  • Desktop or laptop computer
  • Pentium 1GHz (or above) Computer
  • Windows 98 (or above) OS

The Super 3DStation sells for a reasonable $19.95 and is available from Berezin Stereo Photography Products at 21686 Abedul, Mission Viejo, CA 92691 USA. Call (949) 215-1554 or fax (949) 581-3982.

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Wisconsin firm produces 3-D Cover for Rolling Stone's 1,000th Issue
by Joel Dresand - Courtesy of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal

Rolling Stone logoA small Brookfield, Wisconsin developer of printing technology is about to go where every performing artist would kill to be - on the cover of the Rolling Stone, and not just any cover.

National Graphics Inc. has engineered what promises to be a historic, eye-popping 3-D cover for the 1,000th issue of the pop-culture biweekly The Rolling Stone, which hits newsstands May 5.

Rolling Stone commissioned the cover using National Graphics' patented Extreme Vision technology, which tricks the eye into seeing depth and motion in images that are flat and static.

"We're creating an optical illusion on a flat surface," says Don Krause, president and majority owner of the business, which employs 20 people in an old schoolhouse on N. Calhoun Road.

"This cover is extremely more expensive, over ten times the cost of a normal cover, celebrating a milestone that few magazines achieve," Patrick W. Bryan, manufacturing director for Rolling Stone, says in an e-mail from New York.

What exactly is on the 2 million covers is still somewhat under wraps. The magazine has said it will show a crowd of individuals integral to the American cultural scene since the first cover (featuring then-Beatle John Lennon) in November 1967. Bryan says the 3-D technology "gives us the ability to project a likeness of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club album."

Early images of the 1,000th cover are so guarded that National Graphics has had to enforce high security at its shop and at each step along the production process.

"There's nothing that's left behind at the printer that could end up on eBay," Krause says.

To hype National Graphics' capabilities to potential advertisers, Rolling Stone has distributed about 5,000 promotional samples showing a 3-D collage of more than 40 past covers including Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, John Belushi, J-Lo, Madonna, Prince, Dr. Dre, Michael Jackson and Bill Clinton. National Graphics also made 3-D business cards for the magazine's sales executives.

"Being the thousandth issue, advertisers are extremely interested and excited about being part of this historic issue," Bryan says, adding that one company is even running a 3-D ad on the back cover.

National GraphicsLaunched into stardom
On the financial reward from the Rolling Stone work, Krause just suggests that it represents "a significant amount" of National Graphics' annual revenue. More importantly, the rollout heightens visibility for the company.

"It's a high-profile piece, kind of like Independence Day was in 1996," Krause says, referring to the firm's work on animated displays for the science-fiction movie. "That was one that kind of launched us into stardom."

The science behind National Graphics' success involves parallax, the same concept behind View-Master® and those two-dimensional toy surprises in Cracker Jack that wink at you as you move them. What happens is the right eye and left eye see an object from slightly different positions, resulting in two slightly different images that fuse together in the brain to create a sense of depth perception.

Through 14 patents, with about 14 more pending, National Graphics has been mastering the art of what's called lenticular printing, in which parallax is applied in mass-production.

Technicians at National Graphics use proprietary software to take 12 separate images, split them into skinny strips and lace them together as one jumbled-up image that's then printed on the underside of a plastic lens. The topside of the lens is rippled (with as many as 200 ridges per inch) in such a way that vision is directed toward underlying images to create the effects of depth and motion.

The lens is then affixed to a growing array of packaging material, book and CD covers, food and cosmetics labels, beverage containers, to make products stand out on the shelf.

"It has a visual impact. The image changes as you walk by. It catches your eye," Krause says.

Gaining wider exposure
Greater eye play through Rolling Stone also should help other lenticular specialists in Wisconsin, who are part of an extensive cluster of printing businesses across the state. Bryan also is manufacturing director for Men's Journal and Us Weekly, which he points out are printed in the Milwaukee area by Quad / Graphics Inc., based in Sussex.

"This is wonderful for the technology," says Steve Elbing, chief executive officer of Service Litho-Print Inc., in Oshkosh. "It really drives the visibility and uniqueness of lenticular as an option."

Lenticular effects are a niche market that benefits from occasional mainstream exposure, says Joe Baksha, president and CEO of Outlook Group Corp., in Neenah.

"People like toys," Baksha says, "and printing can get kind of boring. If you attach a toy to it, it makes it interesting."

National Graphics got the ball rolling on the Rolling Stone project late last summer, and production is still not finished. Krause figures the process has employed more than 100 workers along the way, including:

  • Plastic extruders in Sheboygan Falls, who custom-made the plastic lenses used in the printing.
  • Commercial printers in central Wisconsin, who are specially licensed to use National Graphics' technology.
  • Finishers in the Milwaukee area, who laminated the printed lenses to white synthetic paper backing and cut them down to size.
  • Out-of-state vendors, who will glue the 3-D covers to printed paper that will be attached to the rest of the magazine when it's printed.

National Graphics, Service Litho-Print and Outlook Group are examples of old-line printing businesses that have been investing in specialized technologies to survive and increase profits.

Elbing says improvements in the plastic printing material and computer imaging have helped lower costs for lenticular at the same time quality has sharpened. His company is working on 3-D labels for a California winemaker.

Krause has established relationships with manufacturers and suppliers in Asia and is working to get the lenticular technology to work better on curved packages. He plans to expand National Graphics in coming months, adding his own printing equipment to have greater control of research and development.

"It's an area of the business," Krause says, "we think will be a growing market for us on a global basis."

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Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner has assembled 154 of his best friends on the bold 3-D cover of the 1,000th issue of his pop-culture magazine

Rolling Stone logoThe hefty volume boasts a 3-D lenticular attachment featuring a Sgt. Pepper's-style collage of some of the biggest names in music, film, TV and literature of the last four decades. A few world leaders also made the cut, but not President George W. Bush, the subject of the cover of No. 999, which asked if he was the worst president in history.

Wenner told Reuters the issue has been in the planning stage since last summer, with printing on the cover starting in January. The cover cost about $1 million to produce, with the expense offset by a $2 increase in the cover price to $5.95, and "a huge amount" of advertising, including Target Stores' own lenticular image on the back.

Inside, the magazine revels in its storied history, and spotlights its 100 greatest covers, spanning Wenner's 1967 interview with John Lennon in the first issue, through rapper Kanye West's Jesus Christ pose in issue 993 this past February.

"What other magazines are there that I want to see a hundred covers of? That I could look at a hundred of their best covers and go, 'Wow! That was our times ... those are brilliant ... that band meant something to me,"' Wenner said.

But the magazine is more than a forum for pretty faces and the work of such photographers as Annie Leibovitz, Baron Wolman and Herb Ritts. Writers included Hunter S. Thompson, P.J. O'Rourke and Tom Wolfe, and virtually every pop culture notable sat down for an interview, Lennon, Mick Jagger, Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix, all the way down to Nick Lachey in issue 999.

Rolling Stone will vie for three National Magazine Awards on May 9, with Wenner's interview with U2 singer Bono nominated in the profile writing category.

At 60, Wenner said he remains very involved in the magazine's direction and strategy. But he does not control every page as Hugh Hefner still does at Playboy.

Rolling Stone's audited total paid circulation stood at 1.3 million in the six months to December 2005, up by about 34,000 copies from the year-ago period.

But newsstand sales, where the profit margins are higher, fell by about 5,700 copies to 128,580 in the same period.

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas being digitally enhanced for 3-D release

The Nightmare Before Christmas posterSally will drop nightshade into Dr. Finkelstein's tea in 3-D come Halloween, when Walt Disney Pictures releases a digitally remastered version of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The digital release of the 1993 stop-motion animated classic is set for October 20.

The Nightmare Before Christmas marks the second digital 3-D theatrical release from Disney after Chicken Little did banner business last year in digital 3-D on 84 U.S. screens at 81 locations. The digital 3-D boxoffice returns outperformed the standard screenings nearly 3-to-1, according to Disney estimates.

Burton and The Nightmare Before Christmas director Henry Selick are involved in the digital remastering of the stop-mo feature starring Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town.

"When visitors came to visit the set of The Nightmare Before Christmas they were always amazed by the intricate sets and beautiful puppets, that they actually existed in miniature," Selick said Monday. "It was disappointing to see this effect lost on film. By remastering for 3-D, I hope that some of this magic can be captured and shown to the audience in a way they've never seen before."

Disney's rerelease of the wicked tale represents the first 3-D feature to stake a claim on the Halloween holiday, much like Warner Bros. Pictures called dibs on the Christmas frame with the 3-D rerelease of 2004's The Polar Express.

The Nightmare Before Christmas is in the early stages of being digitally scanned and converted into 3-D by the computer-graphics group at George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic.

Executives were reluctant to discuss the design of the 3-D passive glasses that will be handed out to audiences at The Nightmare Before Christmas screenings but suggested they will be appropriately ghoulish and collectible.

Domestically, The Nightmare Before Christmas made $50.3 million when first released in 1993.

Sony Pictures' Monster House, executive produced by Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg, is expected to be the next film to play in digital 3-D when released July 21.

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National Stereoscopic Association National Convention is July 11 - 17 in Miami

NSA 2006 logoThe 32nd National Stereoscopic Association (NSA) Convention is July 11-17, 2006 at the InterContinental Hotel in Miami, Florida.

Events and Activities

Art Gallery Show
The Art Gallery will feature the most prominent 3-D artists displaying their best work. The entire gamut of 3-D images will be displayed, stereoviews in Holmes, ViewMagic, DSEC and large formats; anaglyphs; phantograms; lenticulars; computer generated and hand-drawn; vintage and modern. Hourly docent talks will discuss specific aspects of the displays. If you would like to apply to participate, contact the Art Gallery Chairpersons.

Auction
Members and non-members consign 3-D views and equipment, modern and vintage for the annual NSA Spotlight Auction on Friday night. Viewing usually begins at 6 PM, followed by the auction. Bids may be mailed in advance. To attend the auction, you must have a convention badge. For information on how to consign material, contact the Auction Chairman.

Banquet
The Saturday night banquet includes the presentation of annual and convention awards and features a noted 3-D personality as the speaker

Club Room
3-D clubs from all over the world have tables highlighting their past and future activities. For information on how your club or organization can participate, contact the Convention Chairman.

Competition Room
In addition to the traditional stereo view competitions, there will is a competition for other non-projected stereo formats. Entries in NSA and SSA competitions are displayed, with hourly docent talks by selected entrants. Competitions include both modern and vintage images. For information on the vintage competitions contact the Vintage Chairwoman. For modern image competitions, contact the Modern Competition Chairperson.

Equipment Room
A curated display will explain the role of specific equipment in the development of 3-D photography.

Exhibit Reception at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida
Thursday afternoon from 5 to 7 p.m. for NSA registrants and the Board and Fellows of the HMSF

Stereoviews of Florida and the Caribbean is a joint exhibit by the NSA and the Historical Museum of Southern Florida. It will feature stereoviews of Florida and the Caribbean from the collections of NSA members and the HMSF permanent collection. It will open in the Lobby Gallery on June 22 and continue to September 9.

The Historical Museum of Southern Florida is centrally located in downtown Miami, at the Metro-Dade Cultural Center Plaza, 101 West Flagler Street. The plaza resembles a Spanish fortress and covers an entire city block. The plaza includes the Historical Museum, Miami-Dade Public Library System Main Library, and the Miami Art Museum. The Metromover Government Center Station opens onto the Plaza and the Miami-Dade Cultural Center parking garage is just across the street.

Exhibit Room
The entire gamut of 3-D images is displayed including stereoviews in Holmes, ViewMagic, DSEC and large formats; anaglyphs; phantograms;
lenticulars; computer generated and hand-drawn; vintage and modern. Hourly docent talks will discuss specific aspects of the displays. For more details, contact the Exhibit Chairperson.

Harbor Tour
Relax with your convention mates after six 3-D action packed days, while enjoying the beautiful homes around Biscayne Bay and adjoining waters.

Hot Miami! Cool 3-D!
Convention photographers take advantage of scenic Miami to document the area in 3-D during the convention. The entries will be shown as the last show of the Stereo Theater on Sunday. E6 slide film will be processed twice per day by a local lab. Facilities will be available during the convention to mount the slides or format the digital images for projection.

Little Theatre
The theater will present alternative shows which supplement the main Stereo theatre. These will include activities such as View-Master projection, anaglyph movies and slide critique sessions. If you have some material which you would to share, contact the Little Theatre Chairperson.

Miami Photo Tour
The Monday tour gives convention attendees a chance to see local sights of interest. The tour is typically from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., approximately. Exact times and itinerary will be posted later.

President's Breakfast
The President gives his State-of-the-NSA talk and members may ask question about the association.

Room Hopping
Many individuals choose to sell stereo collectibles out of their rooms during the convention. This is an excellent opportunity to find stereo rarities or to just sit around and chat with old and new friends in the stereo world.

Special Interest Group Meetings
These meetings are for groups with special interests to meet with their like-minded cohorts (and for people who think that they might like to become interested). Typical groups include View-Master collectors, medium format stereo slides, collectors of 1950/60s vintage slides and Internet 3-D discussion groups. If you would like to chair a meeting, contact the Convention Chairman.

Stereo Theatre
If you are new to the 3-D world, this is the place to see the type of photography that is possible with 3-D. The best in 3-D slide show, both film and digital, modern and vintage- are featured in the main stereo theatre. This is your opportunity to see the best shows in the country with some representation from the rest of the world. Come see some awesome 3-D slide shows. If you have been shooting 3-D and have a slide show that you can share with an audience, please share it with us. If you would like to present a show, contact the Stereo Theatre Chairman.

Stereoscopic Society of America Dinner
The SSA is a division of the NSA which exchanges images through the use of circulating folios. The annual dinner on Thursday night will follow the HMSF reception and be held at a nearby restaurant. It is open to all SSA members and those interested in joining. For information about the SSA or to join, contact SSA

Trade Fair
Do you need 3-D supplies? Do you collect stereoviews? Do you want a new 3-D camera? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to attend the world's largest 3-D Trade Fair. Vendors will be here from all over the country, with over 100 tables of vintage and modern items. Manufacturers will be showing off their latest products. All will be happy to talk with you. To get a first crack at what everyone is selling, don’t forget to select the Early Bird Trade Fair Admission on your registration. If you want to be a vendor at the Trade fair, contact the Trade Fair Chairman.

Workshops
The workshops cover all aspects of creating 3-D images, both printed, slides and projected, in both film and digital formats. Some sessions will be deal with instruction for new converts to creating 3-D images. Others will cover more advanced topics. Panel discussions/demonstrations will include the latest in digital 3-D cameras. Traditionally workshops have included How to Make Stereo Cards, How to Mount Slides, Using Photoshop, and Making Your Own Viewers or Cameras. If you want to put on a workshop, contact the Workshop Chairman.

Historical Equipment Exhibit
Equipment used to make, view or display 3-D images will be displayed with descriptions of its role in the historical development of stereo imaging. Contact the Historical Equipment Chairman if you would like more information or wish to assist in the exhibit.

Open times vary and will be included with later schedule details. Unless described otherwise, expect activities to be included within the 9 AM to 5 PM time period. All venues will close at 3 PM on Sunday.

There are three levels of registration. Full Registration, Day Registration and Trade Fair Registration. Day and Trade Fair registrations do not have access to all activities.

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, July 11
Room Hopping
Art Gallery Show Evening Opening

Wednesday, July 12
Room Hopping
Little Theatre
Workshops
Art Gallery Show
Special Interest Group Meetings
Hot Miami! Cool 3-D!

Thursday, July 13
Stereo Theatre
Little Theatre
Workshops
Room Hopping
Special Interest Group Meetings
Club Room
Hot Miami! Cool 3-D!
Art Gallery Show
Exhibit Reception at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida
Stereoscopic Society of America Dinner

Friday, July 14
Stereo Theatre
Little Theatre
Workshops
Exhibits
Competition Room
Equipment Exhibit
Hot Miami! Cool 3-D!
Art Gallery Show
Club Room
Auction
Evening Theatre

Saturday, July 15
Trade Fair
Stereo Theatre
Little Theatre
Workshops
Exhibits
Competition Room
Equipment Exhibit
Hot Miami! Cool 3-D!
Art Gallery Show
Club Room
Banquet

Sunday, July 16
Trade Fair
Stereo Theatre
Little Theater
Workshops
Exhibits
Competition Room
Equipment Exhibit
Hot Miami! Cool 3-D!
Club Room
Art Gallery Show
Harbor tour
President's Breakfast

Monday, July 17
Miami Photo Tour

For more information contact Bill Moll at whmoll@aol.com.

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James Cameron's Message At NAB: Push 3-D Into Theaters

James CameronTitanic and Terminator 2 aficionados could soon see the movies released in digital 3-D, James Cameron said Sunday during the National Association of Broadcasters' Digital Cinema Summit keynote.

Titanic director James Cameron, has issued a warning that Hollywood is "in a fight for survival." He wants the movie industry to offer films in digital 3-D to counteract declining sales and rampant piracy.

"Maybe we just need to fight back harder, come out blazing, not wither away and die," Cameron said during his keynote address Sunday at the National Association of Broadcasters' Digital Cinema Summit.

Through a partnership with The Walt Disney Co., Cameron has made several underwater 3-D IMAX documentaries, and told more than 600 in attendance he's been working with digital 3-D for the past five years. The NAB conference, which ran April 24 through 27, expected to attract more than 120,000 attendees to the Las Vegas, Nev. show.

Cameron, the director of the highest-grossing film of all time at $1.8 billion worldwide, said he's working on several full-length action 3-D movies, including Battle Angel and Project 880.

Cameron also took the occasion of the world's biggest annual film and broadcast technology trade show at the Las Vegas Convention Centre to fire a few shots across the bow of the controversial practice of simultaneous movie and video releasing being promoted by entrepreneur Mark Cuban and Bubble director Steven Soderbergh, among others.

"We're so scared of piracy right now that we're ready to pimp out our mothers," Cameron said. "This whole day-and-date DVD release nonsense? Here's an answer: (Digital cinema is) one of the strongest reasons I've been pushing 3-D for the past few years because it offers a powerful experience, which you can only have in the movie theatre."

Digital cinema and sophisticated cameras that enable directors to view shots on location in 3-D have made shooting three-dimensional major motion pictures easier. "We're halfway through the looking glass," Cameron said. "We're past the point where the fear of change is outweighed by the fear of not changing."

Maybe so, but price remains an obstacle. Camera costs for a 3-D movie nearly doubles, because production requires two of everything - camera, lenses, recorders and data streams. Then factor-in post production and visual effects, Cameron said, and the price to make the movie jumps between 5 percent and 15 percent, but the finished product in 3-D could gross up to 40 percent more.

To support his point, Cameron said Walt Disney Pictures installed nearly seven dozen digital cinema projectors and systems for the release of Chicken Little in November 2005. Those 83 screens generated a gross of $12.9 million. Theaters running the movie in 35 millimeter brought in $54,000 on average, compared with $162,000 in 3-D theaters. "In North America, two percent of the theaters, numerically, yielded 10 percent of the movies overall gross," he said.

Chicken Little isn't the only movie that has seen success in 3-D. Cameron said 25 percent of the gross revenue for Polar Express came from two percent of the theaters.

While digital cinema enables the explosion of 3-D movies in theaters, don't expect to see Cameron's flicks repurposed for delivery on cellular phones and iPod. "I love movies, and I love them on the big screen," Cameron said. "I'm not going to make movies for people to watch on their cell phones. To me that's an abomination."

Not all agree with Cameron's stand to limit media on portable devices. Ears XXI independent moviemaker Christopher Coppola would rather see James Cameron make a short 3-D movie for portable media content, so young people could easily become familiar with his style. "It wouldn't take anything away from a major movie release, he should do that too," Coppola said. "Hollywood is terrified that young people are embracing this alternative content because they would rather have it on their iPod."

Cameron wants to retain the "grand vision-transporting movie experience" made for the big screen. Motivating conference attendees, he argued digital 3-D can get people off their "butts and out of their homes, away from their portable devices and back in the theaters where they belong. That's my Saint Crispin's day speech," he said. "Who's with me, dammit?"

Among the films planning 3-D releases are Walden Media and New Line Cinema's Journey to the Center of the Earth, Robert Zemeckis' Beowulf, and Walt Disney Feature Animation's computer-animated Meet the Robinsons.

Cameron also said Peter Jackson might release King Kong, and possibly, The Lord of the Rings trilogy in 3-D; and George Lucas will release the Star Wars trilogy, too.

The filmmaker said his interest in digital 3-D goes back to his love of movies and his love of making them for the big screen. "I'm not going to make movies for people to watch on their cell phones. To me, I'd rather go back to doing some more deep-ocean expeditions," Cameron said, referring to the handful of maritime documentaries he has made since Titanic. "I don't want that grand, visionary, transporting movie experience made for the big screen to become a thing of the past."

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Brendan Fraser will star in Journey 3-D

Brendan FraserVariety says that Brendan Fraser will portray a geologist who, with his teenage son, discovers a message hidden in an ancient artifact, leading them into a previously unseen world in Journey 3-D, Walden Media/New Line's update of Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth. The story revolves around a scientist who is stuck with his nephew as they embark on a trip to Iceland to check on a volcanic sensor. During a storm, they get trapped in a cave and the only way out is through the center of Earth.

Verne's book has been adapted for the screen many times, most notably in 1959 with James Mason starring in an Oscar-nominated epic for director Henry Levin.

Fraser, one of the stars of Crash, next appears in Journey to the End of the Night, which will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival next week. He recently wrapped the ensemble crime drama The Air I Breathe and the romantic comedy-drama The Last Time.

Eric Brevig, who won a Special Achievement Academy Award for his visual effects work on Total Recall, will make his feature directorial debut. D.V. DeVincentis (High Fidelity) has written the script, and visual effects veteran Charlotte Huggins is producing.

Journey 3-D will be shot in live action, with the otherworldly landscapes and creatures supplied by high-definition, photo-realistic 3-D technology.

Fraser will also executive produce. Shooting starts June 10 in Montreal.

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The 3-D TV Network
The World’s First 3-D Television Network is Poised to Launch in the Arab World this September

Dr. Issam Daoud’s station, ABCD, could revolutionise the way people watch television. The broadcasters have spent nearly US$300 million on the project, due to launch in September.The world’s first 3-D TV Network is poised to launch in the Arab world this September. The station, called ABCD, will offer programming that can be watched in conventional 2-D, or through 3-D glasses designed to bring the screen to life.

The project is being finalized by Arabian Broadcasting Company, part of the Avanti Consulting Group. So far, nearly $300 million has been ploughed into developing the new channel, with will be available on the Nilesat satellite print.

Avanti boss Dr. Issam Daoud told Arabian Business: “It’s something I have been working on for around three years and we have got the technology ready to do it. The first channel will be for the Arab world, with two more channels to follow, for the West and for Asia.”

The new channel’s studios are based in London and Monaco, with an additional studio expected to open in Dubai later this year. Dr. Daoud says his technical team have been working on the technology to shoot programmes in 3-D, which can also be easily viewed in 2-D.

“The reason I think people will watch it is because it is 3-D. Obviously it is unique, because nobody else in the world is watching 3-D. The first print from Nilesat gives us coverage of the MENA and Southern Europe region, and the Iranian subcontinent. That’s a lot of people who will have access to the channel, and all they have to do to watch it is stick on a pair of 3-D glasses,” he explains.

He added: “The real key to success in television is programming, and we have some unique plans there too.”

Apart from a number of adventure style shows filmed in 3-D, the new channel intends to film the religious Kaaba ceremony in 3-D during Ramadan, followed by the Haj in Mecca next year.

“All these major Muslim religious festivals will be covered by ABCD in 3-D. That’s a potential audience of over 300 million people,” he says.

Sponsorship slots for the 3-D Movie Night are selling for $2 million a go and a number of distribution deals for the 3-D glasses required to watch the channel have also been set up.

Dr. Daoud explained: “Many supermarkets in the Arab world have been approached to take branded 3-D glasses on specific products of food, drink and magazines. We have a lot of research to back up the facts. If Coca-Cola have the glasses they will sell more cans than Pepsi. It’s as simple as that. The plan is for the main sponsors to build their own glasses, which we will then distribute at points of sale. This way, advertisers have a pretty good idea who is watching because they know how many glasses have been taken. If we get rid of 80 million, we think at least half those people will try them on out of curiosity. That means 40 million people are tuning into our channel. That is a very, very large number of people,” he says.

Dr. Daoud is planning to float the company on the London Stock Exchange within three years, and says that almost all profits will be donated to needy causes.

“One of the main programms will focus on starvation in Africa, and funds raised through it will be distributed to help people there. We are in talks with the likes of Tim Sebastian and Imran Khan to help us promote the shows, so I am confident we can do something very positive here.”

Dr Daoud says that he is also in talks with a number of other leading celebrities with a view to their participation in the Afrian initiatives. He hopes the initiatives will raise at least $10 million within a few months, and a full line up of participants will be announced later this year.

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Ocean Tomo Offers CircleScan 3-D Patent at Auction

Ocean Tomo logoOcean Tomo, a leading independent merchant banc focusing on intellectual property assets, hosted the world's first, live multi-lot technology patent auction at The Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco on April 6, 2006. Prior to auction day, they had announced the inclusion of Patent Lot 28A that pertains to 3-D Broadcast and Film Technologies. Originally developed by inventor Eddie Paul of EP Industries in El Segundo, CA, the patented technology, commercially known as CircleScan, was owned by BLS Technologies at the beginning of the auction.

The technology makes 3-D television entertainment a technical and economic reality. Unlike traditional 3-D technologies requiring specialized cameras to record stereoscopic images, CircleScan easily attaches to any existing equipment. But what really sets CircleScan apart from all other 3-D systems is that it can be delivered with virtually zero-cost of deployment across the entire media landscape: theaters, broadcast, DVDs, Internet and even iPods and cell phones.

Eddie Paul and the CircleScan attachment
The Circlescan process uses a patented camera attachment consisting of several mirrors at 45 degree angles. Inventor Eddie Paul said, "Instead of looking at a TV screen, you're looking with a window."

"CircleScan puts an end to the 50-year 3-D stalemate," said BLS Technologies founder Ian Bruce. "Despite the renewed public craving for 3-D, and prominent Hollywood directors promoting more 3-D content, the substantial production and delivery infrastructure investment has created a deadlock between exhibitors and content producers ever since the debut of 3-D movies back in the 1950s." Bruce believes that CircleScan's most revolutionary advantage, and one that is vitally important for TV broadcast and digital content, is the fact that CircleScan embedded content looks completely normal to the naked eye.

Only when you view a program through inexpensive glasses is the three-dimensional imagery revealed. No other display independent 3-D technology has been able to provide both 2-D and 3-D in a single format. "BLS is selling the technology because entertainment really isn't our line of work," says Bruce. "We were just lucky enough to have this gem in our patent portfolio."

BLS has asked Hollywood visual effects expert Chuck Comisky to assist buyers in implementing CircleScan technology. Chuck was Producer and Visual Effects Supervisor for James Cameron's Ghosts of the Abyss, and is currently working with Cameron on his future 3-D film projects including Battle Angel and Project 880. "When reviewing 3-D systems for television and film, Chuck chose CircleScan over nearly a dozen competing systems for its visual quality and sheer simplicity of implementation," says Bruce.

The landmark Spring 2006 technology patent auction, the first-ever of its kind in the world, produced strong results for buyers and sellers alike with further transactions anticipated to close in the coming weeks. Twenty six of the 78 patent lots available for auction were sold on the floor for $3,026,000 including the buyer’s premium, a success rate of 33%. Nearly 400 people attended the sold out event.

Bidding on 52 of the lots on Thursday did not meet the seller’s minimum reserve, but were offered in anticipated post-auction private trading. A number of such lots reached terms off the bidding floor with additional value of $5.6 million, bringing event sales to more than $8.5 million.

“I was told by our auctioneer Charles Ross to expect this two phase process for a first time event and he was right”, states James E. Malackowski, Ocean Tomo’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Ocean Tomo has been given post-auction or Phase 2 indications of interest on an additional 22 lots. “I anticipate that Phase 2 could last another one to two weeks”, explained Andrew Ramer, Director of the Auction. After all post event transactions are complete, Ocean Tomo plans to release specific sale information by Lot to the extent permitted by buyers and sellers.

For more information on Lot 28A or The Ocean Tomo Spring 2006 Live Patent Auction, please call (312) 377-4851 or e-mail auctions@oceantomo.com. File histories on disk and a feature guide sheet to the portfolio's claims were available upon request prior to the auction.

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3-D Auction Results

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

A collection of 400 Keystone world stereoviews and a viewer in an original 19.5" tall Keystone View Co. oak cabinet sold for $550 with 10 bids. The cabinet is circa 1900.

A set of Underwood & Underwood 1904 St. Louis Exposition World's Fair stereocards sold for $965.55 with 25 bids. The cards are photographic views numbered 1-55.

A complete Keystone Tour of the World Stereoview Library sold for $909.99 with 15 bids.

Lost World 3-D poster

A 27" x 40" lenticular 3-D movie theatre poster made for Universal to promote Steven Spielberg's Lost World: Jurassic Park sold for $375 with 11 bids. There were a limited number (2,000) of these produced. This is a heavy plastic 2-image poster with one being the Lost World logo "Something has survived " and the Jurassic T-Rex.

A 27" x 40" lenticular 3-D movie theatre poster made to promote Peter Jackson's The Frighteners sold for $400 with five bids. At one angle it's a white poster with only the words The Frighteners. As you walk past it an evil face looks as if it's coming out of the poster at you with swirling letters that form the words "Dead Yet?" at the top of it.

A 46" x 31" lenticular 3-D movie theatre poster made to promote The Matrix Reloaded sold for $434.82 with 17 bids. The poster was issued in 2003 for the second film in The Matrix trilogy.

Soda Fountain stereoview
A stereoview of the soda fountain in the Hotel Nantasket in Nantasket, MA sold for $461 with 10 bids.

Ox team with 10,00 feet of lumber, Cal.
A stereoview titled Ox team with 10,00 feet of lumber, Cal. by Marysville, California photographer J. J. Reilly, showing an ox team pulling a load of lumber down the main street of a Sierra Nevada town sold for $338 with nine bids.

San Fransisco Earthquake  stereoviews
A set of 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire stereoviews in its original box and 1901 Underwood & Underwood stereoviewer sold for $406 with 13 bids. The viewers were color lithos, not actual photo views.numbered 1001 through 1060. Views 1017 and 1023 were missing.

Paris Relief 3-D book
A rare Paris Relief book by P. D'Espezel sold for $773 with 19 bids. The book in in French. Included are a complete set of 100 stereoscopic images and the viewer. The book is Copyright 1945 by Editions Chantecler. The edition is only 500. There is also a map of Paris, the instructions for the viewer and many color images. There are five pockets in the book. Four hold 25 images each and one holds the viewer.

 

 

 

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