February 2009

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Minoru 3-D Webcam is Must See 3-D

Minoru 3-D Webcam.If you don't have the Minoru 3-D Webcam perched on your monitor then you're missing out on one of the best 3-D electronics products released in years.

No longer do you need to have two singular Web cameras and hard to find software to create 3-D video. With the Minoru 3-D Webcam, installation, taking 3-D video or stills and broadcasting in 3-D is easy.

The Minoru 3-D Webcam is a single piece with two cameras spaced
roughly the same distance apart as human eyes, for the stereoscopic
effect. The Webcam has a
multi-position stand that can sit or stand on a desk or on a
monitor. Minoru means “reality” in Japanese.

The eagerly awaited Minoru 3-D Webcam got its first public showing, and simultaneous worldwide launch at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. The British designed 3-D Webcam has been fascinating people around the world since it was entered into the i-stage competition run by the Consumer Electronics Association. After winning the Fans Favorite award, and a stand at CES, designer David Holder has been preparing for the launch of the product.

“It’s been a fantastic process to see my design go from drawing board to finished product. There has been tremendous interest in the Minoru 3-D Webcam, and I’m excited to finally have products that people can try out (here at CES) and now buy,” said Holder.

With the Minoru 3-D Webcam, your friends and family can see you in 3-D over messaging programs like Windows Live Messenger, Skype, AOL instant messenger, OoVoo and many others. You can also take 3-D photos or even shoot 3-D videos and upload them to YouTube.

Minoru connects easily to a USB port just like any other Webcam but that’s where the similarities end. The Minoru software has stereoscopic anaglyphic processing that lets you be seen in three dimensions. The red and cyan anaglyph image produced by Minoru can be viewed by anybody who is wearing commonly available red and cyan 3-D glasses. Five pairs of Minoru brand anaglyphic 3-D glasses are included with the unit as well as installation software. Minoru can also be used as a standard 2-D webcam for anyone who doesn’t have the 3-D glasses at hand. The two lenses on the unit light up when in use so you know when the camera is active.

Installing the software was a snap and an User's Guide instruction manual in PDF format is included on the installation DVD.

In testing the Minoru 3-D Webcam, we found that video recorded at 640x480 output and below did a great job of keeping the audio synchronized with the video. However, the 800x600 audio was slightly behind the video being recorded. The picture is the best 3-D we've seen from any Webcam. The colors were target on and the video image is sharp. Sharp enough that, when well lit, the video can be viewed comfortably when transferred to DVD and viewed on a regular TV. This opens up the possibility of seeing some 3-D anaglyphic home made DVD productions.

The video can be saved in *.avi or *.asf format. The most common filetypes contained within an *.asf file are Windows Media Audio (*.wma) and Windows Media Video (*.wmv). ASF files can also contain objects representing metadata, such as the artist, title, album and genre for an audio track, or the director of a video track, much like the ID3 tags of MP3 files. It supports scalable media types and stream prioritization; as such, it is a format optimized for streaming.

All sizes of the 3-D still images were as good as any video grabbing software we've seen. We couldn't figure out where the audio was being picked up from except possibly from the two small square notches in the front of the unit. Regardless, the audio was extremely clear with just a slight bit of ambient room noise.

Specifications
USB 2.0 High Speed 3-D Webcam.
Output Modes – 3-D, 2-D, Picture in Picture (PiP).
3-D Mode – Optimized red/cyan anaglyph viewed with Red/Cyan 3-D Glasses.
Output size – 800x600, 640x480(VGA), 352x288, 320x240 pixels.
Frame rate - 30 frames per second.
Power consumption < 1.5 W operating mode, <2 mW in standby mode.

You can order the Minoru 3-D Webcam for $89 by visiting the Minoru Web site at http://www.minoru3d.com.

For such an outstanding product, the Minoru 3-D Webcam receives 3-D Review Online Magazine's "Must See 3-D™" Editor's Choice Award.

Editors Note: Read more about the Minoru 3-D Webcam in our November 2008 issue.

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The Stewardesses 3-D: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition DVD

The Stewardesses 3-D DVD cover art.It’s 1969 and the skies have never been friendlier. Experience a day in the life of a group of swinging stewardesses where anything goes. After The Stewardesses film opened in San Francisco in the summer of ’69, it ignited screens across the country, building a buzz that the Hollywood majors would die for. During the film’s run into the early ’70s, new scenes would be filmed and added to bring more story and “action” to the feature.

This 2-DVD set presents the full, uncut film in the original 3-D color and black-and-white restored editions as well as a color 2-D version. So put your tray table down, make sure your seat is in the reclined, relaxed position and enjoy the trip.

As with many DVD projects produced by Shout! Factory, the DVD is loaded with awesome extras including interviews with the cast and crew.

Disc One
The Stewardesses 3-D in Color The Stewardesses.
The Stewardesses 3-D in Black and White.
Bonus - Original 3-D Screen Tests.
Bonus - 3-D Outtakes.

Disc Two
The Stewardesses 2-D in color.
Bonus - A Short History of 3-D.
Bonus - The Stewardesses: How It Was Shot and Shown.
Bonus - How The Stewardesses Took Off.
Bonus - Second CIty TV Spoof: Dr. Tongue’s House Of Stewardesses.

Starring Michael Garrett, Christina Hart and William Basil. The Stewardesses is written and directed by Alf Silliman Jr. Produced by Louis K. Sher, Alf Silliman Jr. and Christopher Bell.

The Stewardesses 3-D: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is available from Shout! Factory for $19.98 plus shipping and handling. The DVD was released on Jan. 27, 2009.

To download and view a 2-D preview clip from the film click The Stewardesses 3-D.

The DVD is copyrighted by Sabucat Productions, the same people who sponsored the 2003 World Film Expo and the 2006 World 3-D Film Expo II in Hollywood.

Must See 3-D AwardSee several exclusive 3-D scenes from the movie (by Dan Symmes of Dimension 3) on the official The Stewardesses 3-D Web site. There are also video clips available to view including interviews with the cast and crew online.

The DVD release of The Stewardesses 3-D: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition receives 3-D Review Online Magazine's "Must See 3-D™" Editor's Choice Award.

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A Super Monsters vs. Aliens Promotion to Bowl Over 3-D Fans

Monsters vs. Aliens Ginormica poster art.Some 150 million 3-D glasses are being given away for Super Bowl viewers to watch a three-minute 3-D sneak preview of the big-screen animated feature Monsters vs. Aliens. While 3-D telecasts are nothing new, this marks the first time one has been done for such a large audience.

DreamWorks Animation chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg called the stunt "perhaps the biggest media-advertising event in history." He wouldn't give a hard figure on the cost, but said it "involves tens of millions of dollars."

Katzenberg promised the quality of the 3-D will be superior to what has been done in the past. He said the glasses will use Intel InTru 3-D and ColorCode 3-D, which updates the old red-blue Anaglyph system.

The technology will also allow those without the glasses to see an almost ordinary image on the TV screen. But, Katzenberg added, it still doesn't come close to the 3-D quality moviegoers will see in theaters when the film opens stateside March 27.

Monsters vs. Aliens follows a group of ragtag Earthling monsters who are out to save the world following an alien invasion. The film features the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen and Kiefer Sutherland.

The glasses will be distributed free at Pepsi/SoBe Life Water displays at 28,000 locations including grocery, drug and electronics stores and big-box retailers. SoBe Life will also air a 3-D commercial during the Super Bowl featuring animated lizards apparently dancing to the music of Michael Jackson's Thriller.

The promotion was unveiled during NBC's telecast of the AFC Wild Card Playoffs between the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers. NBC, which will air the Super Bowl on Feb. 1, has its own interest in making sure the glasses are used, as it will air a 3-D episode of its series Chuck the following night.

Monsters vs Aliens is co-directed by Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon who supervised production of the promotion that will air during the Super Bowl.

The directors said they will be watching the telecast from home. "With beer," Vernon said, laughing. "We're going to test the effects of beer and 3-D," said Letterman.

NBC-TV commercial promoting the 3-D Monsters vs. Aliens commercial

Dreamworks Animation Monsters vs. Aliens preview movie trailer

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Sony Unveils Prototype 3-D Glasses at the Consumer Electronics Show

Tom Hanks wearing Sony's prototype 3-D glasses.
Actor Tom Hanks wearing the prototype Sony 3-D glasses.

Just a few years ago most people were content watching their videos on a TV in the living room. But even though we now watch television over our computers, on high definition flat screens or even on our iPods, we have still only seen the tip of the iceberg.

That's according to Japanese electronics giant Sony, which unveiled a pair of futuristic glasses at the Consumer Electronics Show that project 3-D video onto the lens while still allowing you to see the world around you.

The glasses, which are still a prototype, were among the products that Sony unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, one of the technology industry's largest showcases, where more than 2,700 exhibitors show off their latest gadgets.

The glasses, which Sony claims could be on the market in just a few years, will also form part of a new push by the company to embrace 3-D television and make all of its technologies internet-connected.

Sir Howard Stringer, the company's chief executive, said that by 2011, 90 percent of all the products made by Sony including television sets, cameras and video players would be able to connect online.

As an example, he unveiled the company's latest digital camera, a model with built-in Wi-Fi internet access and even a Web browser, allowing budding photographers to upload their pictures directly to the Internet without ever touching a computer.

"If you can imagine it, we can help you make it real," Sir Howard said. "At Sony we're trying to dream the impossible, to turn imagination into reality. No drop in the economy can change that."

Sir Howard said that 3-D, for years restricted to one-off stunts and B-movies, was now coming of age and would soon be available in cinemas and on TV screens worldwide. Major Hollywood studios Disney and Dreamworks were among those demonstrating 3-D. John Lasseter, one of the founders of Pixar, famous for films such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo and WALL•E, joined Sir Howard on stage to highlight the virtues of high-definition, three-dimensional video.

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Hondo 3-D Corrections

Hondo campaign bookThe June 2007 3-D Review article about the 3-D version of John Wayne's Hondo being shown at Cannes contained some incorrect information. We apologize for any inaccuracies and are glad to find out about updated information for the film's initial 3-D release, seen by millions around the world in polarized 3-D in 1953.

Following the posting of a correction footnote to our June 2007 article after
3-Dreview.com visited the 3-D Film Preservation Fund Web site and read an article containing updated information about Hondo, we were contacted by Jack Theakston, author and Head of Research for the 3-D Film Preservation Fund.

Theakston let us know the information was inaccurate that "Hondo in 3-D screened at only a few theaters and has almost never been seen in 3-D since." Theakston wrote, "A cross-section of theaters across the country, and the majority of them, if not almost all of them, played the film in 3-D and not only did it play in 3-D in many theaters across the country, it was a main attraction in 3-D on Times Square in New York City, where it was seen by thousands in that format."

Research indicates the film played in 3-D at The Paramount in New York City for more than three weeks. All of this and more is detailed in the 3-D Preservation Fund Web site article Birth of a Myth: The Restoration of Hondo
by Bob Furmanek and Jack Theakston. Theakston told 3-Dreview.com, "Our article has garnered notoriety among the Web since we posted it, having even been linked to on Leonard Maltin's personal Web site."

Read more about Hondo's history, myths and corrections on the 3-D Film Preservation Fund Web site.

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NBA All Stars Live TNT 3-D Broadcast in Theatres

NBA All-Star 3-D poster artGet out of the way, Dwight Howard’s about to dunk in your face.

Or so it will seem at least. The reigning NBA slam dunk champion will be showing off his ridiculous skills to some viewers in 3-D during a February 14 live TNT-broadcast NBA All-Star festivities.

Turner Sports partnered with the NBA and Cinedigm Digital Cinema to give us the latest 3-D movie theatre broadcast of a high-profile sporting event, with its All-Star broadcast on Saturday, February 14. We saw college and pro football get some 3-D treatment recently during a Thursday night Chargers-Raiders game and the BCS championship between Florida and Oklahoma.

The slam dunk, 3-point shootout and skills competitions will be part of the 3-D All-Star festivities from Phoenix that will be shown in 80 theaters, on up to 160 screens featuring Cinedigm Digital Cinema. Such theaters include: Carmike Cinemas, Celebration Cinemas, Cinema West, Emagine, Galaxy Theatres, Marquee Cinemas, MJR, NCG, Rave Motion Pictures, Showcase and UltraStar Cinema locations.

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Stereo Photography: Places and Times Remembered DVD

Sandpail Productions has released Stereo Photography: Places and Times Remembered, a DVD documentary about the history of stereography through the reminiscences of Philip Brigindi, one of the top stereographers for the Keystone View Company.

Documentary filmmaker Pamela Glintenkamp collaborated with the California Museum of Photography, whose Keystone-Mast Collection is the largest surviving archive of American stereoscopic photographs in the world. More than 200 images from the collection bring the history of stereography alive in this meticulously researched 40-minute award winning film.

Stereo Photography: Places and Times Remembered explores the period between 1850 and 1940, when photographers took their twin-lens cameras around the world to capture landscapes and architecture, wars, cultural events, disasters and political moments. The film's soundtrack dramatizes Brigandi's insights and commentary from his contemporaries and features the period music of Scott Joplin.

Stereo Photography: Places and Times Remembered, is a time machine transporting the viewer to the heyday of stereo photography, providing an in-depth understanding of the historical context of this unique photographic art form.

Although not filmed or presented in 3-D, the documentary

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February Events at the 3-D Center of Art and Photography

3-D Center logoThe program schedule at the 3-D Center of Art and Photography in Portland, Oregon is now more regularized. The center will be opening either a new gallery exhibition or a new Stereo Theatre show each first Thursday.

In the Stereo Theatre:
February 5 - March 29
Unseen Ellis Island by Sheldon Aronowitz and Gary Schacker
A 15 minute 3-D digital presentation combining vintage stereo images
of the island with contemporary images taken in areas not seen by the
general public.

In the Gallery:
Continues through March 1
Avshalom Cave by Yitzhak Weissman
Large anaglyph photographs taken inside an Israeli cave that was discovered in 1968.

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

The 3-D Center of Art and Photography has regular monthly Stereo Theatre and 3-D Art Exhibitions. Open Thursday - Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. First Thursday (Free), 6 to 9 p.m. Admission for adults (over 15) is $5.

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Sex and Zen 3-D to Lens in April

A Hong Kong filmmaker aims to lure audiences back to the cinema with what what he says is the world's first 3-D erotic movie.

Stephen Shiu Jnr, chairman of One Dollar Production, said he would use special effects to make the love scenes in his HK$30 million (S$5.8 million) 3-D Sex and Zen as realistic as possible.

"'The 3-D erotica will probably be the world's first*," he told The Sunday Morning Post. "Just imagine that you'll be watching it as if you were sitting beside the bed."

The film is based loosely on the 17th century Chinese erotic classic The Carnal Prayer Mat, a tale about how overindulgence in pleasure can lead to tragedy.

Shiu told the newspaper that about 25 to 30 per cent of the movie would be love scenes, including many close-ups. He said the actresses would appear to be only a few centimeters from the viewers, who would have to wear special glasses to enjoy the 3-D effects. According to reports, the 3-D would be produced by the same company that did the 3-D conversion of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The producer said he was planning to use adult video actresses from Japan and Taiwan, but he admitted having difficulties in finding the male lead.

"We're having trouble finding a male lead who is willing to undress in front of the camera. It's a lot more difficult to find an actor than an actress for this kind of movie."

Shooting will begin in April and it is expected to be released in December, the report said.

*Editor's Note: Shiu is apparently unaware of the many other erotic 3-D films already in release. Here are just a few of the exxxisting 3-D titles:

The Stewardesses (1969)
The Playmates (1973)
Black Lolita aka Wildcat Women (1975)
Blonde Emmanuelle aka Disco Dolls in Hot Skin aka Hot Skin (1977)
The Starlets (1977)
Emmanuelle 4 (1984)
13 Erotic Ghosts starring Julie Strain (2002)

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Koch Records to Release Coraline 3-D Soundtrack

Koch Records is pleased to announce the soundtrack release of the 3-D stop-motion animated movie Coraline digitally on February 3, and in stores on Feb. 24, 2009. Focus Features will release the movie, from animation studio LAIKA, in theaters nationwide (in 3-D and regular 2-D theaters) on February 6.

Combining the visionary imaginations of two premier fantasists, director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) and author Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Coraline is a wondrous and thrilling, fun and suspenseful adventure that honors and redefines two moviemaking traditions. It is a stop-motion animated feature - and, as the first one to be conceived and photographed in stereoscopic 3-D, unlike anything moviegoers have ever experienced before.

Coraline Jones (voiced in the movie by Dakota Fanning) is a girl of 11 who is feisty, curious, and adventurous beyond her years. She and her parents (Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman) have just relocated from Michigan to Oregon. Missing her friends and finding her parents to be distracted by their work, Coraline tries to find some excitement in her new environment. Soon she uncovers a secret door in the house. Walking through the door and then venturing through an eerie passageway, she discovers an alternate version of her life and existence. On the surface, this parallel reality is similar to her real life - only much better. The adults, including the solicitous Other Mother (also voiced by Teri Hatcher), seem much more welcoming to her. Coraline is more the center of attention there - even from the mysterious Cat (Keith David). She begins to think that this Other World might be where she belongs. But when her wondrously off - kilter, fantastical visit turns dangerous and Other Mother schemes to keep her there, Coraline musters all of her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home - and save her family.

The soundtrack, produced by and featuring award-winning French composer Bruno Coulais, sets the perfect tone for the suspenseful and wonderful world created in the movie, and features a new original song titled Other Father Song by pop favorites They Might Be Giants.

Coulais has been honored three times with the Cesar Award (France's equivalent of the Oscar®), including for Les Choristes, which also brought him an Academy Award nomination in the Best Original Song category.

He was also a BAFTA Award nominee for scoring Les Choristes; a Cesar Award nominee for scoring Crimson Rivers and Winged Migration; and an Emmy Award nominee for scoring Sometimes in April.

Coulais began his musical education on the violin and piano. He has also composed several operas, including for children. In 2005, he wrote and conducted his Stabat Mater in Saint Denis Cathedral with the participation of English musician Robert Wyatt.

Track listing:

  1. End credits.
  2. Dreaming
  3. Installation.
  4. Wybie.
  5. Exploration.
  6. Other Father Song.
  7. The Supper.
  8. Bobinsky.
  9. Fantastic Garden.
  10. Coraline Fly.
  11. Trap For The Mice.
  12. Mice Circus.
  13. Dreams Are Dangerous.
  14. Sirens Of The Sea.
  15. In The Bed.
  16. Spink And Forcible.
  17. It Was Fantastic.
  18. Ghost Children.
  19. Let's Go.
  20. Playing Piano.
  21. Wybie That Talks.
  22. Cocobeetles.
  23. Alone.
  24. Dangerous Garden.
  25. Reunion.
  26. Coraline Despair.
  27. The Theater.
  28. The Famous Mister B.
  29. You Know I Love You.
  30. Mechanical Lullaby.
  31. The Hand.
  32. The Party.

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Auction Results

Mark Twain stereoview.

A stereoview of the interior of Mark Twain's summer study at Quarry Farm sold for $663.53 with 15 bids. The orange mounted card was photographed by E. M. Aken from Elvira, NY in 1874.

Chicago Fire stereoview.

A group of 29 before and after Chicago Fire stereoviews sold for $455 with 13 bids. The Great Chicago Fire, which burned from October 8 through October 10, 1871, was considered to be one of the worst U.S. disasters of the 19th century. About four square miles of central and northside Chicago were destroyed, leaving 90,000 people homeless and about 300 dead. The stereo views in this auction give a sobering insight as to what Chicago's citizens faced after the flames finally ceased. The damage was so catastrophic that these images could easily be mistaken for earthquake or war zone aftermath.

According to the seller, although most seem to be somewhat faded, as all century-old photos are prone to be, the cards are in exceptionally good condition otherwise. Some of the faded appearance my actually be due to residual smoke in the air, too (notice that there is no horizon or distant background visible in most of the after views). The complete set is enclosed in a storage box

Handwritten descriptions (building names or landmark orientations) are inscribed on all views - most on the front but some on the back. Other than such identification and a few instances of a previous owner's name, the backs of all cards are blank. None of the cards have any kind of publisher's printed descriptive text on the back or the front.

The great majority of these stereoviews (25 of them) was issued by P.B. Green, three are by Copelin & Hine (views #21, 22, &23), and one is anonymous (#29).

The first 20 cards are before and after sets of landmark buildings. The last nine are all after views, with the possible exception of #27:

1, 2 - Insurance Building - Washington St.
3, 4 - Palmer House Hotel
5, 6 - Rush Medical College
7, 8 - Chamber of Commerce
9, 10 - 1st National Bank
11, 12 - 2nd Presbyterian Church
13, 14 - Post Office
15, 16 - St. James Church
17, 18 - New England Church
19, 20 - Feild Leiter & Co. ("Feild" is a misspelling- it should be Field. Ten years later, the rebuilt store was renamed as Marshall Field & Co)

21 - Northeast from Harrison & Ellis St.
22 - East from Randolph St. Bridge
23 - Southeast from Court House
24 - Dearborn St. North from Lake St.
25 - Dearborn St. North from Lake St.
26 - American Express Office
27 - Trinity Church "North Side" (seems to be a before view)
28 - St. Joseph Church
29 - Pacific Hotel

Great Easter stereoview.

A stereoview of Brunel's famous ship the Great Eastern sold for $306 with five bids. It was taken around September 1859 and shows the pilot, Mr. Atkinson standing on the exposed bridge with the helmsman to the left of the image. It was taken on the ship's first voyage from Depford, at the time of the sea trials.

There are printed details on the back and a blindstamp for the London Stereoscopic Company.

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