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March 2007 Issue

Vol. 5,
No. 3

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T3D 2-D to 3-D Conversion Software

Must See 3-D Award - 3-D Review Online Magazine Editor's ChoiceUnityPro logoT3D (Version 6) is 2-D to 3-D conversion software that allows you to make any regular flat photograph into a 3-D image. Version 7 of the T3D software from UnityPro will be released soon with an updated interface and many code improvements.

"As a 3-D enthusiast, we all know that artificial 3-D can not reproduce a perfect 3-D look and feel," said Dr. Todd Wildrick, creator of the T3D software. "That is not the goal of this product. The goal of this product is the user who wants to turn her kids school photos in to 3-D images, or the fan who wants to convert a magazine image of their favorite film star."

"While we have all seen claims of 'It makes great 3-D!' from converters only to find it is jokingly bad," said Wildrick," that is not the case with T3D. T3D uses the latest wavelett theory combined with artificial intelligence to help identify objects in a scene to make fun 3-D images. This software is not designed for your $100,000 3-D sales presentation, it is designed to be fun and useful."

T3D is the most advanced 2-D to 3-D photo maker ever developed. Originally designed for professional studio FX use, it has now been made available to the public. UnityPro will soon be releasing a T3D Interface that will convert entire folders full of images to 3-D.

How It Works
Take an image from a camera, from a Photoshop project, from any source. Select it in the T3D interface, select an output file name, decide what kind of 2-D to 3-D image conversion you want, select from a variety of other parameters and viola! A 3-D picture is generated. No, this is not automatic, you still need to know what the parameters mean and set them accordingly, but that's what makes the 2-D to 3-D image conversion process better than any other 2-D to 3-D product out there!

T3D image converter window

Here are a few 3-D images created by 3-D Review Online Magazine using the T3D software.

Gina1 2-D to 3-D conversion
Gina 2-D to 3-D conversion

The software can be set to give a full range of depth. The girl's cheeks have a fully rounded curve in this image converted using the geometric depth cue with a warp weight of 25. The original is a black-and-white photo taken in 1976.

Converted using the geometric depth cue with a warp weight of 20, the same photo now has just a little too much output on the cheeks and nose and loses pop on the hair and toward the back of the head. Using a combination of the depth cues, warp weight and image shift gives the user a powerful set of tools to customize the 3-D output.

Gina6 2-D to 3-D conversion
Gina9 2-D to 3-D conversion

This image contains quite a lot of depth, especially the frill on the blouse. Converted using the geometric depth cue with a warp weight of 20.

Notice the open window in the background also pops out in 3-D.

Britny 2-D to 3-D conversion

Although her hair and some of the flowers are pseudoscopic, everything else in this photo is a nearly perfect cross-eye 3-D conversion.

How much does it cost?
T3D is affordable 2-D to 3-D software priced at only $39.95. (Editor's Note: Price as listed at www.unitypro.com/t3dconverter.htm on Feb. 23, 2007.)
The software is what it is, a way for those who want a quick way to create some acceptable 3-D from 2-D sources. For such an outstanding product, T3D is receiving a 3-D Review Online Magazine Must See 3-D™ Editor's Choice Award.

(Editor's Note: As of October 2008, Unitypro.com has disappeared from the Web. If anyone finds them back online, please let us know and we will update our links to the T3D software.)

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SeeView Envisions 3-D Previews Inside DVD Cases

SeeView logoSample Spider-man 2 DVD packaging with built in SeeViewerSpecialty promotional group SeeView has announced a new kind of DVD case that would allow consumers to get a 3-D preview of the movie or game content on the disc.

The SeeViewer snaps into the bottom section of the open SeeView DVD case so that when closed the viewer and 12 images are accessible to the customer in stores. The consumer would hold up the bottom of a DVD case like a pair of binoculars to view the 3-D scenes. It would offer consumers a better sense of what to expect in the DVD.

"It's very innovative and inexpensive compared to fancier packaging; there's nothing like it on the market. We hope consumers will ask for all DVDs to have previewers built-in," said SeeView creator and president Rick Andrade.

According to Andrade, "Current DVD cases just don't have enough information to help consumers make the best choice. Now they have the chance to preview a movie on 12 3-D slides built right into the bottom of every SeeView DVD case. At the end of the day, we believe we are offering the consumer a chance to see more before they pay for new DVD films, games and TV content. And there’s nothing wrong with that."

The 3-D images and the bringing a pair of "collectable" 3-D glasses to the store is beneficial for retailers and consumers, and would be especially exciting for the 3-D collecting community. "I can see new chapters in the stereo collectors guides dedicated to which DVD packages contained SeeViewers," said Van Beydler, editor of 3-D Review Online Magazine. "Will collector's want to have every Seeviewer color variant to have a complete collection? Will the movie companies offer different views inside the SeeViewers to make them more collectible? It could become an entire new 3-D collecting field if the idea takes off."

SeeViewerSeeView DVD Previewer Case and SeeViewerThe SeeViewer is a patented cell-phone sized pocket viewer. The idea for the SeeViewer was developed by Andrade after his wife sent him to the video store to rent a DVD movie. Knowing his wife’s taste in movies was very discriminating compared to his own, Rick tried desperately to compare a few movies side by side. But the packaging on the front and back of each DVD movie was not enough.

With a long history of Hollywood film distribution in his background, and using both his UCLA Film and MBA degrees, Rick discovered a better way to help him make the best choice, he would find a way to craft a small pre-viewer inside each DVD case. This pocket-sized viewer could then become part of the case itself, it could show select preview scenes, reviews or other exciting reasons to buy or rent a movie. Problem solved, right?

It would take another year making models in his garage before he was awarded a patent, and another year more making dozens of design and prototype changes. Then, finally with the help of two brilliant designers, Luis Niquet and James Graham, 3-D master conversion artist Jim Long, and film recorder experts Nelson and John Monceaux, the SeeViewer was born.

The 3-D DVD case is only one way the SeeViewer could be used to present 3-D images. The SeeViewer could also be customized to promote any product or service. Using new technology, the SeeViewer team of film and digital experts can convert and display any image-sequence into a 3-D film strip. For the first time, marketing and advertising programs can now tell a story in pictures, cartoons or sketches, and create memorable sequences for their customers to laugh, cheer and collect for a lifetime...all without batteries or electricity

No publishers have announced plans to begin using the SeeView packaging.

Inside the SeeViewer DVD case
The SeeViewer fits snugly inside the specially designed DVD keepcase. (Image courtesy of Rick Andrade)

SeeViewer mirrors
A close up look at the mirrors and advance knob on the SeeViewer. (Image courtesy of Rick Andrade)

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View-Master® Store Display Ceiling Light Sign from Belgium (1960)

View-Master® produced many advertising items to promote selling reels, viewers, cameras and more over the years. Recently a unique ceiling light sign from Belgium came up for auction on eBay. The item sold for $567.57 with seven bids. The lighted display sign has the same View-Master® image on both sides. Around two of the image cels were the words "Rob otten . 734 Chee de Gand . Bruxelles" and "T.P.B. 12/142/60." The sign operates on 130 volts. The electric cord was missing it's plug but the owner had tested the light, which worked perfectly.

View-Master® ceiling light

View-Master® ceiling light

View-Master® ceiling light

View-Master® ceiling light

View-Master® ceiling light

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Sigourney Weaver teams up with director James Cameron, with whom she worked in the 'Aliens' series, for the sci-fi movie 'Avatar' being shot in 3-D

James CameronAvatar will be one of the first mainstream films to be made in 3-D only and both the actor and the director are excited about the project as its giving them and opportunity to work together after a long hiatus.

Director James Cameron said, "Weaver and I have always looked back fondly on our collaboration in Aliens, and we're excited at the prospect of working together again. She has a unique blend of strength, sensitivity and intelligence needed to play the character of Grace, and she has a special significance for fans of science fiction. So, in addition to being perfect in all ways for the part, there is something special about her returning to the genre in our film. I was thrilled when she responded so strongly to the script, and I can't wait to see what she creates."

The live action would be shot with the proprietary Fusion digital 3-D camera system developed by Cameron and Vince Pace. According to Cameron, the film would be composed of 60 percent computer-generated elements and 40 percent live action. The performance-capture photography would last 31 days on a high-tech soundstage in Playa Vista. Cameron will shoot live-action for 31 days in New Zealand. The shooting will begin in April and the movie is expected to be released in summer 2009.

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Ghost Rider 3-D Lenticular 1-sheet Movie Poster

Ghost Rider lenticular poster 1 Ghost Rider lenticular poster 2

Here is a look at the Sony Pictures Ghost Rider lenticular 3-D movie poster that was distributed to movie theatres to promote the Nicolas Cage film based on the Marvel Comics character. The poster features a close facial shot of Johnny Blaze (played by Nic Cage) that transforms in its lenticular-ness into a fiery Ghost Rider skull.

University of Oregon's The Cultural Forum showing free 3-D Movies through March 2007

3-D glassesSitting in a crowded movie theater is seldom worth it, unless you're wearing cardboard glasses, face the possibility of suffering a severe headache and the film's villain is a fish-human hybrid.

The Cultural Forum started providing a weekly 3-D movie showing, beginning Friday, Feb. 5, in 180 PLC, with the science-fiction film, Creature from the Black Lagoon. Released in 1954, the popular film features a prehistoric fish-human hybrid who escapes from scientists and captures a female research assistant.

Michael Aronson, a University assistant professor who teaches various film courses, said Creature from the Black Lagoon came in the middle of the "golden era" of 3-D movies, which was a short lived period between 1952 and 1955. "3-D had been around as a technology since the '20s, but it became popular in the '50s to differentiate movies from TV, which was beginning to become a threat," Aronson said. "Original 3-D technology required two cameras and used mirrors to angle shots, but the film (projection) had to be perfectly synchronized to avoid giving massive headaches to audience members," Aronson said.

Alexa Koenings, a University junior and film coordinator for the Cultural Forum, said she wanted to create this series because she believes most students haven't experienced 3-D movies. "It's a phase in art history that hasn't really carried on into our generation," she said. Koenings, who is undeclared but wants to major in fine arts, transferred from the University of Washington a year ago, even though Seattle is where she developed her enthusiasm for film. "The visuals are sometimes more important than the plot," she said. 3-D movies "are so aesthetically different than other movies today."

While Aronson said he finds 3-D movies "artificial," he praised them for their advances in technology at the time, such as the use of stereo sound. "Our sense of what cinema is or what movies are can change," he said, adding that while 3-D is considered "cheesy" today, it was popular in its time.

Priscilla Ovalle, a University assistant film professor, said movie genres not only tell us what was popular during a time period, but viewers can learn about societal issues from movies. "At the time, creature films were out of fashion, so the studio releasing Creature from the Black Lagoon advertised it as a science-fiction film. The publicity worked and the film is still highly regarded as a sci-fi flick," she said.

Aronson said one of the reasons science-fiction films were popular in the postwar era was because people had anxieties about the affects of the Atom Bomb. This was reflected in mythic hybrid creatures, such as in Creature from the Black Lagoon.

While Koenings admitted she doesn't know very much about 3-D films, she said she appreciates how the genre attempted something different in cinema, which was the approach she took when making an art film last summer.

"Working with Alexa was really great. She has a lot of ideas," said Kevin Hazlewood, a University senior who worked as art director on a movie with Koenings. Koenings, who enjoys drawing and watercolors, said she believes good movies are similar to other artistic mediums.

Aronson said cinema can be a beautiful experience, but he believes the clunky technology of 3-D filming takes away from this possibility.

"I think 3-D movies are only as good as the scripts and ideas at their core," Ovalle said. "The best 3-D effects will only do so much if the film itself is otherwise unwatchable, but nothing beats a flying saucer in your face."

The film series were held on Feb. 2, 9 and 15 and the same dates in March, which are all Thursdays and Fridays. There is no charge for admission.

For more information contact Alexa Koenings at (541) 346-0633 or by e-mail at alexa_koenings@hotmail.com.

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Breakfast Toast in 3-D Session to be held at NAB2007 Electronic Media Show in Las Vegas

NAB 2007 logoNAB2007, the world's largest electronic media show, will present a special session about new developments in 3-D digital cinema from 8:30 to 10:15 a.m. on April 14, 2007. The session, Breakfast Toast in 3-D: Raise your Glasses! will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Suites 222 and 223.

With the advent of high resolution electronic cinema projection, it has become much easier to deliver stereoscopic 3-D visual materials to large public venues. Will this only mean a resurgence of the novelty cinema of the 50’s? Or is this, instead, the leading edge of a movement whereby every film in the latter part of this century will be jumping out of its window?

Moderator
Tom Scott, VP Technology, Onstream Media / EDnet, San Francisco, CA

Presenters
Kenbe Goertzen, President and CEO, QuVis, Topeka, KS
Lenny Lipton, Chief Technology Officer, REAL D, Beverly Hills, CA
Boyd MacNaughton, MacNaughton Inc., Beaverton, OR
David Schnuelle, Director, Image Technology, Dolby Laboratories, Burbank, CA

NAB2007, the annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters, is the essential destination for more than 100,000 electronic media executives, trendsetters and visionaries. This event brings together the entire spectrum of media - television and radio broadcast, audio and video production and latest technologies from all corners of the globe.

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3-D Center of Art and Photography offers Digital Stereo Photography Classes

3-D Center logoWant to learn how to make 3-D images from a single-lens digital camera?

People living in the Portland, Oregon area have the opportunity to attend classes hosted by The 3-D Center of Art and Photography. Digital Stereo Photography will be presented starting Wednesday, April 4, 2007, from 7 - 9:30 p.m. Shab Levy will instruct the four week class.

This class is designed to teach the student everything he or she ever wanted to know about digital stereo photography. Students will learn how to take stereo photos with a digital camera, how to use Adobe® Photoshop® and other photo editing programs to align their digital stereo pairs and how to set and adjust the stereo window. Maximum class size is only 10 students and due to this small class size, additional discussion topics will be determined based on class interest. A single-lens digital camera and tripod are recommended for all students.

Class dates are April 4, 11, 18 and 25. Pre-registration deadline is April 1.

Cost for the class is $50 General and $40 for Friends of the Center (level 2 or higher).

The 3-D Center of Art and Photography is located at 1928 NW Lovejoy in Portland, Oregon. Call (503) 227-6667.

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

Dr. Burr stereoview

A Civil War stereoview of Dr. Richard Burr embalming an unknown soldier sold for $338.33 with 14 bids. The stereoview is a Taylor & Huntington Real Photo Stereoview, the War for the Union, Photographic War History, #2531. Dr. Richard Burr Embalming Surgeon, Army of the James. Dr. Burr is credited with designing the basic structure of modern arterial embalming in which the veins of the dead are filled with chemical preservatives in place of blood.

Pullman railroad cars stereoview

A stereoview showing two Pullman train cars sold for $388 with 11 bids. This stereoview was taken by Alfred A. Hart, Artist, 135 J Street, Sacramento, CA. The view is marked Central Pacific Railroad, California, on the front, and Scenes in the Valley of the Sacramento, on the back. The main subjects are two railroad cars from the 1860's. The closest one is marked Pullman Car A Pennsylvania, and the furthest one is marked Pullman's Palace Dining Car. There are a handful of men standing around and a lot of new construction in the foreground.

President Abraham Lincoln stereoview

A stereoview of President Abraham Lincoln sold for $443 with 18 bids. This is a Keystone stereoview created with permission from the Division of Prints in the Library of Congress around 1920. This was from the original and last stereo portrait that Mathew Brady would produce before the president would be assassinated. The card has text on back regarding Keystone's search for lost photographs in the archives of the Library of Congress. This particular stereocard had the upper corners cropped.

 

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