June 2010

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Playboy Goes 3-D with June 2010 Hope Dworaczyk Centerfold

June 2010 Playboy magazine cover with True Blood 3-D glasses.

The June 2010 issue Playboy features a 3-D centerfold of Playmate of the Year Hope Dworaczyk, a groundbreaking first for the men's magazine and sure to be a collector's item.

The issue will come with a free pair of 3-D glasses imprinted with the True Blood logo, a promotional tie-in sponsored by HBO.

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DIY movie makers push 3-D to the limits

After the blockbuster Avatar, 3-D movies are all the rage in Hollywood but 3-D is no longer the playground of big studios.

More shutterbugs and independent filmmakers are producing 3-D photography and video. These intrepid experimenters are rigging up cameras and using software tricks to produce short films, home videos, note cards and photos that pop out of the page or off the screen.

“What you are finding in the DIY community is that there’s a lot of experimentation with the language of 3-D and what it can do,” says Eric Kurland, a 3-D photography enthusiast and vice president of the Stereo Club of Southern California. “The studios are primarily focusing on children’s movies, or flagship tent-pole action movies, but we are doing more.”

Kurland and other 3-D photography enthusiasts gave a how-to presentation at the fifth annual Maker Faire Bay Area, Saturday and Sunday, May 22 and 23, in San Mateo, California. The annual event, put on by O’Reilly Media, is a celebration of DIY culture, arts and crafts. Kurland and other 3-D enthusiasts showed off a home-brewed stereoscopic camera, displays, 3-D video and photos.

3-D s making a big comeback this year. Hollywood has been flooding theatres with 3-D movies like Avatar, Up, Alice in Wonderland and Clash of the Titans. 3-D TVs were one of the biggest stars of the Consumer Electronics Show. Almost every major TV maker including Sony, LG, Panasonic and Mitsubishi plans to offer big screen 3-D TVs. TV channels such as ESPN and Discovery have promised 3-D channels to begin broadcasting early next year.

Still, it’s amateur content that could be the real catalyst for 3-D’s popularity. YouTube has started offering a 3-D display option.

“Personal content could be a very under-appreciated part of driving 3-D technology ,” says Kuk Yi, managing partner for the venture capital arm of Best Buy. “Being able to see your own 3-D content has a strong emotional pull.”

Yi says the most impressive 3-D demo he’s seen used two jury-rigged cameras that shot a clip of someone having coffee. “It was more impactful for me than all the sports 3-D demos."

There is not a lot of professional hardware available for home 3-D enthusiasts. Major electronics makers are peddling cameras to Hollywood or professional cinematographers, and there aren’t a lot of ready-to-use options for ordinary folks who want to make 3-D imagery.

“I don’t think anyone’s caught on to doing something like a 3-D Flip,” says Yi. “It’s a market right for innovation.”

Last year, Fuji released the first 3-D point-and-shoot digital camera, a $600 gadget still mostly available in Japan.

For DIYers, the lack of off-the-shelf equipment is a call to action.

MacGyvering 3-D Cameras
Videos shot in 3-D trick our brain to perceive depth. Our eyes are about three inches apart and each eye sees a slightly different perspective of the same scene. The brain takes images from both eyes and uses the difference between them to calculate distances to create a sense of depth.

To make a 3-D image, you need to rig two cameras together so each shoots the same scene from a slightly different perspective. You use software and 3-D glasses to look at the images on your screen, recreating the visual field created by the two cameras.

For those willing to experiment, everything from two iPod Nanos or two Flip camcorders hooked together can become a 3-D camera setup. Kurland used off-the-shelf hardware and parts scavenged from other camera mounts to build a stereo camera for himself.

“I have a flash mounting bar that lets me attach two cameras and vary the distance between the two,” he says.

You don’t necessarily need a two-camera rig, says Barry Rothstein, who’s written four books on the art of 3-D photography. With a single camera, he says, you have to first take the left-eye picture and then slide the camera about 2.5 inches to the right for the right-eye image. There are limitations to the technique which works best with a tripod, and still life shots are pretty much all you can do, since you need a subject that will hold still while you move the camera.

The magic of 3-D lies in the post-production
A freeware program called Stereo Movie Maker has become the go to software for 3-D enthusiasts. The software works only with PCs but it can correct alignments so two photos of a frame are perfectly positioned.

Watching 3-D photos or video is possible with the classic red-cyan anaglyphic glasses. YouTube’s 3-D player also offers options compatible with different types of glasses, depending on what kind of display you’re using to view the videos.

“I love 3-D photography because it is fascinating and when you get a really good image, it gives you much more than a regular photo can,” says Rothstein. “I get a remarkable response from people to my 3-D photos.”

Kurland said, “There’s a new respect for the DIY community of 3-D photographers that we were not seeing before.”

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Buy 3-D items at The Stereo Store!


Comin' At Ya Motion Picture Soundtrack

Comin' At Ya CD soundtrack cover art.

Here is the cover art for the CD soundtrack for the 3-D film Comin' At Ya.

Tracks:
The never released 33 rpm album
1. FULL IN THE SUN 1:52
2. LOVING A GIRL LIKE YOU 4:17
3. BEFORE YOUR SOUL 2:46
4. BROKEN DREAMS 2:18
5. DARING DANGER 1:52
6. A GREEN WOUND 3:15
7. CARRIED AWAY 4:08
8. PEACEFUL MEMORIES 1:49
9. GLOOMY SHADOWS 2:10
10. MY WRONG SIDE 2:04
11. CHALLENGE TO DEATH 3:18
12. THE GRASSLAND 2:21

Supplemental material
13. LOVE AND NOSTALGY 2:11
14. SCOTTISH COW-BOY 0:56
15. ENEMIES IN THE DARK 2:02
16. LONELY GUITAR 1:19
17. TO THE BORDER 1:22
18. HORSE RIDERS 1:38
19. IN THE CANTINA 0:56
20. DARING DANGER (version 2) 1:51
21. COMIN’AT YA 5:05

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View*Productions releases Frank Gehry: 3 Theaters on 3 View-Master® reels

Frank Gehry 3 Theaters cover art.

Frank Gehry: 3 Theaters features three of the Canadian-American architect's performance venues that illustrate the startling evolution of Gehry's work in the 21st century. 21 stereoscopic images chronicle the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park in Chicago and the Sosnoff Theater at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

As usual, View*Productions quality is outstanding. The reels come packaged in a custom plastic case with full color insert sleeve that secures the reels and also acts as a fold-out booklet. The package is as much a work of art as the subjects featured Must See 3-D Awardon the reels and is a must have for View-Master® collectors.

See examples of the images featured on these reels at the View*Productions website here. These reels are produced in limited quantities. Past View*Productions releases are still avaiable with some titles running low or sold out so check their title list for details.

Frank Gehry: 3 Theaters receives a 3-D Review "Must See 3-D Award."

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3-D PCs

The growing 3-D trend has spread from cinemas to TVs and now to computers, with PC makers including MSI and Asus showing off systems at Taiwan's Computex show that can play back 3-D movies, games and Internet content.

The PCs are home entertainment systems and come with 3-D screens, glasses and high-quality speakers, the companies said. Some PCs also include software to convert 2-D content to 3-D, and HDMI 1.4 ports to play back 3-D content on TVs.

A few 3-D PCs are already available, but the adoption has been slow because of cost and lack of interest. The 3-D technology is now being built into laptops with larger screens and new form factors such as all-in-one PCs to drum up renewed interest. An all-in-one PC comes with all components built into a panel holding the screen, but with a separate keyboard and mouse.

MSI showed off the Wind Top AE2420 3-D, an all-in-one 3-D PC that comes with a 24-inch multitouch screen, the company said. It comes with 3-D glasses developed by the company, and software included can convert 2-D content ranging from DVD movies to on-screen images into 3-D. The Wind Top includes Intel's latest Core series of processors and Advanced Micro Devices' ATI Mobility Radeon discrete graphics processors, according to MSI. The availability and pricing for the PC were not immediately available.

Asus showed the EeeTop PC ET 24", another all-in-one 3-D desktop designed to replace home theater systems. The desktop will come with USB 3.0 connectivity, which will allow for fast data transfers between PC and external devices. That should make it faster to move 3-D content from external hard drives to PCs.

The company also said it would offer its fastest Blu-ray writer that will instantly convert 2-D movies in the 720p resolution to 3-D. Pricing and specifications for the Asus PC were not immediately available.

For 3-D PCs to be used, content must be available. Chip company Nvidia at Computex demonstrated 3-D video streaming live over the Internet using a video player based on Microsoft's Silverlight multimedia platform. Nvidia offers PC graphics cards and 3-D glasses as part of its 3-D Vision platform.

Nvidia also announced it was partnering with companies including Dell and Asus to bring 3-D PCs with 3-D Vision technology to consumers.

Prices for such PCs will begin at about US$1,500 and include the screens, glasses and drivers, wrote Phil Eisler , general manager of 3-D Vision at Nvidia, in a blog entry.

Asus also announced 3-D laptops with Nvidia's graphics cards. The laptops include the G73Jw laptop, which includes a 17.3-inch screen and the G53 laptop, which comes with a 15.6-inch screen and includes an HDMI 1.4 port to display 3-D content on TV sets.

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Sony Chief Charts 3-D horizons at SID 2010

Sony Electronics' President and Chief Operating Officer Stan Glasgow delivered the keynote address during the Society for Information Display / DisplaySearch Business Conference, held during Display Week May 23 through 28 in Seattle.

Glasgow described Sony's vision of the future, with 3-D emerging as the next great platform for home entertainment. Drawing upon Sony's work on implementing 3-D capabilities in its professional cameras, digital cinema 4K projection systems and other equipment, as well as consumer products including TVs, Blu-ray disc players, and gaming consoles, Glasgow provided a comprehensive view of the challenges and opportunities in the 3-D platform.

Sony presented a 3-D cinema experience within the SID DisplaySearch Business Conference using their 3-D equipment. Specifically, the company used a Sony SRXR320 3-D Projector and a Silver Screen to show the 3-D images and distribute 3-D glasses for attendees. Attendees were shown a mixture of content from Sony and other content providers, including movies, live sporting events, gaming and other entertainment.

The release of numerous 3-D movies has created a tremendous amount of interest in 3-D beyond the cinema. But in moving from the cinema to the home, there are additional challenges; in his presentation, Glasgow described Sony's concept of the "lens-to-living room" ecosystem for 3-D, encompassing content creation, processing, delivery and viewing in the home.

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Shrek 3-D Better than Sex

Shrek Forever After imageShrek Forever After, a 3-D sequel about the gentle green ogre, has hung onto the North American box office top spot for a second week.

The fourth film of the Mike Myers-voiced animated series took in $55.6 million during its second weekend, according to figures released by box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

It beat competition from new releases Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time and Sex And The City 2, which took the number two and number three spots respectively.

Prince Of Persia, a movie adapted from a video game series starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ben Kingsley, took $37.8 million in its first week in theatres.

Sex And the City 2 earned $37.1 million, despite dismal reviews.

In spot number four was Iron Man 2, down two from last week.

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PC World's History of 3-D Slideshow

Audioscopiks poster art

With 3-D TVs like Samsung's Series 7 (UA55C7000) hitting the market, PC World decided to take a look back at where it all began. Check out the PC World slideshow here.

Editor's Note: Some of the "facts" don't go with the photos on the PC World slideshow.

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LG 84" 3-D TV

Models show off the LG 84-inch 3-D TV

LG is certainly in the limelight at the Society for Information Display 2010 trade fair with possibly the world's first 84-inch 3-D TV. This mammoth display unit is also the first of its kind with four times the resolution of full-HD panels, thanks to its native 3,840x2,160-pixel screen.

This TV still requires 3-D glasses, but at the same event is a 47-inch 3-D TV that does away with 3-D glasses. The key enabling technology is the "liquid lens," though details on this solution are sketchy at the moment. If its double-image is an eyesore for you, LG is demonstrating a polarized glass-based 3-D TV said to minimize this problem to less than 1 percent.

What's the take-home message here? It may be a good idea to be a prudent shopper while 3-D TV makers figure out all the teething problems behind their first-gen products, ranging from strong flickering to ghosting and side effects like giddiness.

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3-D Tech Hot at World IT Show 2010 in Korea

3-D technology is one of the hottest products at World IT Show 2010, the greatest IT exhibition event in Korea. The competition between Samsung and LG 3-D displays are a main highlight of the event.

In COEX, Seoul, where World IT Show 2010 is held, many people drop by to see 3-D displays created by Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics.

Samsung's display, named 3-D Cube, is a tower consisting of 36 televisions. These are 55-inch full Samsung 3-D LED TVs and visitors can experience full 3-D images. Samsung is also demonstrating other 3-D products, such as a 3-D Blu-ray player and 3-D home theater.

While Samsung catches visitors' attention with 3-D Cube, LG has the largest 3-D TV. The size of this full LED 3-D TV is 72 inches and many people form a line to watch it with glasses. Also, LG offers the opportunity to take 3-D pictures with the popular LG Twins baseball player mannequins.

Many others vendors are also excited to display their new products incorporating 3D technology.

3DIS exhibited a 3-D LCD monitor that doesn't require users to wear special glasses. The 3DIS monitor uses high-precision optical 3-D LCD technology to mimic the effect of 3-D without requiring users to wear any kind of special glasses.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer goes 3-D on June 13

The Philadelphia Inquirer announced that its paper will now be printed in 3-D. This special edition is set to be released to newsstands on Sunday, June 13 and with purchase of the paper, patrons will be provided with a pair of 3-D glasses.

The Inquirer says its goal is to give their readers a more in depth experience when reading the news. Publisher Brian Tierney announced the release of the 3-D editions.

This comes after a recently lost battle for control of the company during a bankruptcy spat with creditors. Creditors won the company’s assets with a $139 million dollar bid.

Tierney stepped down as the chief executive officer, but will continue as a publisher for The Inquirer until the close of the bankruptcy sale sometime in early July. The popularity of 3-D effects has grown with the recent releases such as the 3-D Avatar movie and Playboy’s new 3-D centerfold.

Newspapers in London, China and Belgium also rolled out 3-D editions this past spring.

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Auction Results

View-Master® tabletop sales display

A View-Master® tabletop sales display went unsold with a starting bid of $475. The display is manufactured by the Paull Corporation, 1824 W. Kinzie Street, Chicago 22, Illinois” which is stamped on the wood.

The display is made of metal, wood and plastic and is heavy. The light up part of the display unit is plastic and has some damage in the form of cracks. Most of the plastic was touched up (paint) at one time, so this section is not in tip-top condition.There is a section of the plastic (8 ½” long) missing from the rear, mostly where it doesn’t show too much from the front. The wooden sides were described as okay, but could probably use refinishing. The metal tray that holds the reels is fine with some minor chipping to the black paint. The plastic is lighted by a 23" fluorescent bulb. There is a 5-foot long cord that has in inline off/on button. There is also an auxillary outlet plug on the rear. The size of the unit measures: 18½”, deep, 14 ½” high, 25 ¾” wide. The six storage bins are the size of a reel width and 11” deep. There is a bracket to hold a View-Maste® Stereoscopic Viewer, which is included with the display unit.

View-Master 1967 Star Trek/Puss in Boots/Flying Nun poster.

A 1967 View-Master® display poster sold for $95 with Buy It Now. This is a giant 12" x 36" Star Trek, Puss in Boots and The Flying Nun View-Master® store display poster.

View-Master advertising display.

A 1966 View-Master® What in the World Do You Want to See? advertising display sold for $213.50 with five bids. According to the seller, the lot included a large 32½" wide by 34" tall sign that forms a cylinder, small Scenic USA insert fits into bottom of sign, never assembled, inserts have not been popped out, instruction sheet included. Fair condition, left side is slightly curled in and fold has been torn about an inch. There are also some creases from storage. Four small reel signs that fit into the reel slot of a viewer, excellent condition. Two 3-dimensional signs, the View-Master® viewers fold out, one shows United Nations and the other Paris, very good condition. Display kits suggestion pamphlet, good condition, some slight discoloration from age and one corner is bent. Six sheets of three View-Master® packet pictures, all in very good condition. Three viewer displayers, never used, fold to form display for viewer, very good condition. Fold-over sign to hang on wire, excellent condition, never folded. 17" round View-Master® reel easel sign, never used, excellent condition.

View-Master packet display.

Eight View-Master® packet displays sold for $56.55 with six bids. The displays are on card stock. Tabs are on each end to form a cylinder. Each segment measures 14" x 4".

  • Floral Paradise in beautiful Cypress Gardens; Disneyland Fantasyland; Mount Rushmore.
  • Yosemite National Park; Scenic USA; Colonial Williamsburg Virginia.
  • Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree; Secret Squirrel and Atom Ant; Peanuts.
  • Batman; Blondie & Dagwood; Flipper.
  • Island of Bali; Washington D.C.; Spain.
  • New York City; London; Bangkok.
  • Television Shows at Universal City; Scenes from McHale's Navy, The Virginian, Wagon Train: Walt Disney's Mary Poppins: Bonanza.
  • Noah's Ark; Walt Disney's Cinderella; Daniel Boone.

 

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