November 2012

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3-D Super Star Ray Zone Dead at 65

Ray ZoneOne of the most well-known, well-liked and enthusiastic supporters of 3-D, Ray Zone, passed away suddenly from a heart attack at age 65 on Nov. 13, 2012. A memorial gathering is being planned for early December, but details are not yet available.  

To put it simply, Ray was a great guy.  He had so much energy, so much passion and so much enthusiasm - not only for 3-D, but for life itself.  He was a teacher, a hero and friend to so many in the 3-D community.  His light burned brightly, but now it is dark.  Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all his friends, colleagues and family.

Eric Kurland, President of the Los Angeles 3-D Club (SCSC) and a close friend of Ray, said that, Ray was the heart of the 3-D community, not just in Los Angeles, but all over the world. His work reached so many people and he personally touched so many lives. He had a generous, welcoming nature, always eager to share his knowledge, and was our greatest advocate for the art and technology of 3-D. He leaves a long legacy as an author, publisher, historian, educator, photographer, filmmaker and artist. Ray was a longtime member and past President of the LA 3-D Club, and was currently serving as the clubs vice-president.

Jim Chabin, CEO of the International 3-D Society and 3-D @ Home Consortium said, "Ray has been a friend, mentor, evangelist, stereographer, film maker,  teacher and scholar for the 3-D community for so long, its hard to imagine all of us moving ahead without him. Ray served as the Society's historian because we all knew Ray had all the answers. What a friend we have all lost."

Jason Goodman, CEO, 21st Century 3-D said, "I remember being 10 years old and making my first trip to the local comic book shop where I got Battle for a 3 Dimensional World. I still have it, sealed in a plastic bag. This book was one of my earliest inspirations in 3-D and Ray was one of the first people I met when I began my career in 3-D. He was always positive, and always encouraging and always so great to talk to and laugh with. The death of Ray Zone marks the passing of a true 3-D legend. I was shocked to hear the news and I am profoundly sad that we have lost him. I have lost a friend and a mentor. The world has lost a genuinely kind and truly unique individual. He will be sorely missed by many."

3-D pioneer Lenny Lipton had this to say: "I now regret every opportunity that I missed to hang out with Ray. We were kindred spirits both maniacally in love with the stereoscopic medium. But Ray was like some indiscriminate lover, he loved ratty old 3-D cards, and broken down 3-D projection lenses and the weird characters who thought they knew more about 3-D than anyone else. He loved terrible 3-D movies, movies that had no right to be loved, forlorn eye straining madness. Ray loved anaglyphs and lots of parallax. Ray suffered fools and even raving idiots and he was polite to them all, and on top of it he was a great scholar. He taught me a lot about the medium and like I say the only regret I have is that I didn't spent more time with him."

University of Southern California Associate Research Professor, Perry Hoberman, said that, "Ray was the heart and soul of 3-D, and he understood it better than anyone, on every level - from its reputation as a cheap gimmick to its potential for the most sublime art. He led the way for all of us, and mapped out the entire territory of the stereoscopic medium - its past, as a historian; its present, as an artist; and its future, as a visionary. Ray's legacy is not just his work, but the community that he fostered, and his huge impact on all stereoscopic media. He was a dear friend and a mentor, to me and so many others, and I already miss him in more ways than I can count."

His wikipedia page partly summarizes his accomplishments.
Ray Zone is an  American film historian, author, artist, and pioneer in methods of converting flat images (in particular,  comic books) into stereoscopic images.   Starlog has called him the "King of 3-D Comics", and Artsy Planet has called him the "3-D King of Hollywood".

Professional History
Ray Zone began working in comic books in 1983 and his early collaborations with  Jack C. Harris and Steve Ditko  drew the attention of Archie Goodwin, who recruited him to work with  John Byrneon the 1990 Batman 3-D, a full-length 3-D graphic novella. Since then, he has produced 3-D adaptations of art for over 150 comic books, including stories by Alan Moore and  Grant Morrison , which were specifically written to accommodate stereoscopy. Zone is the author of 3-D Filmmakers, Conversations with Creators of Stereoscopic Motion Pictures (Scarecrow Press: 2005) and Stereoscopic Cinema and the Origins of 3-D Film, 1838 - 1952 (University Press of Kentucky: 2007). In 2008 Zone worked as 3-D Supervisor on the feature film Dark Country 3-D (Sony Pictures) with director/star Thomas Jane and in 2010 as 3-D Producer on Brijes 3-D, (Ithrax/SDA), the first animated 3-D feature film made in Mexico.

Biography
Ray Zone moved to Los Angeles in the early 1980's and began working in the world of 3-D converting flat art to 3-D images. He has converted more than 150 "flat art" comic books to 3-D for clients such as Disney, Warner Bros and The Simpsons. Ray Zone was an author, 3-D film producer, speaker and award-winning 3-D artist. An internationally recognized expert in all things 3-D, Zone had a special interest in stereoscopic cinema and Large Format 3-D (15/70) filmmaking. Since 1983, he created stereo conversions and stereoscopic images for a wide variety of clients in publishing, education, advertising, television and motion pictures. In 2006 Zone was acknowledged by the Grammy Award as "3-D Artist" on the platinum selling Tool 3-D CD 10,000 Days which garnered the Grammy in the category of "Best Recording Package." Ray Zone was the recipient of numerous awards for his 3-D work, among them a 1987 "Inkpot Award" from San Diego Comic Con for "Outstanding Achievement in Comic Arts." Zone's website is viewable in anaglyphic 3-D at: www.ray3dzone.com.

We at 3-D Review Online Magazine also collaborated with Ray Zone on several articles over the past 10 years. We send our condolences.

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Animated 3-D Filmmaking - A Crash Course

 

Jeff Boller recently posted a 30-minute video in which he describes how to create animated 3-D videos. Jeff is the primary musician behind The Simple Carnival, a Pittsburgh-based power pop band. As we mentioned in the August 2012 issue of 3-D Review Online Magazine, The Simple Carnival's next album won't be an album at all, but a 40-minute animated music video movie called Smitten 3-D. Watch the video above to find out Jeff's techniques for making his 3-D videos.

More information about The Simple Carnival Smitten 3-D project is available here.

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Entrepreneur Seeks Funding to Produce Delphi View-Master® 3-reel Packet

Delpi test reel

A project to fund production of a Delphi View-Master® 3-reel packet is underway on a crowd-fundraising website through Dec. 12, 2012.

This project is for the production of a brand new View-Master® 3-reel packet featuring the archaeological site of Delphi in Greece.

The reels contain 21 outstanding 3-D photos of the archaeological site and museum.The photos are new ones taken by a professional 3-D photographer.

People who pledge to the project get rewarded if the project reaches it's funding goal. If the goal is not met, pledges are refunded. Listed below are the various pledge rewards for this project.
Editor's note: The pledges are listed in English pounds since the funding website is in the UK.

Pledge £5 or more
You get a thanking postcard of Delphi, custom made and commemorative of this project, signed by the photographer.
Delivery: December 2012

Pledge £10 or more
You get one Delphi 3-reel packet plus the postcard mentioned above.
Delivery: February 2013

Pledge £25 or more
You get one Delphi 3-reel packet with a View-Master® viewer in a box, plus the postcard mentioned above.
Delivery: February 2013

Pledge £250 or more
You get 50 Delphi 3-reel packets, plus the postcard mentioned above and your name or website written on the postcards sent to every backer. This pledge is not available for Greece.
Delivery: February 2013

Pledge £500 or more
You get 100 Delphi 3-reel packets, the postcard mentioned above, your name or website written on the postcards sent to every backer, plus a DVD with additional 3-D photographs of the site for personal use. This pledge is not available for Greece.
Delivery: February 2013

Pledge £900 or more
You get 200 Delphi 3-reel packets, the postcard mentioned above, your name or website written on the postcards sent to every backer, plus a DVD with additional 3-D photographs of the site for personal use. This pledge is not available for Greece.
Delivery: February 2013

Pledge £1,100 or more
Silver Backer! You get 200 Delphi 3-reel packets, the postcard mentioned above, your name or website written on the postcards sent to every backer, a DVD with additional 3-D photographs of the site for personal use, plus a written licence to produce up to 500 Delphi packets whenever you want!! You'll get them at cost straight from the factory (they'll be informed for this licence to you). This pledge is not available for Greece.
Delivery: February 2013

Pledge £1,300 or more
Golden Backer! You get 200 Delphi 3-reel packets, the postcard mentioned above, your name or website written on the postcards sent to every backer, a DVD with additional 3-D photographs of the site for personal use, plus a written licence to produce up to 1,000 Delphi packets whenever you want. You'll get them at cost straight from the factory (they'll be informed for this licence to you). This pledge is not available for Greece.
Delivery: February 2013

This project is the first of a series of View-Master® packets the entrepreneur hopes to produce about the most prominent archaeological sites of global significance. Acropolis of Athens, Ancient Olympia, Magna Graecia and others will follow if this project is successful.

To help fund this project, visit Delphi View-Master® 3-reel Packet site. You can also see the all the Delphi View-Master® test reels and a draft version of the packet artwork that shows the list of 21 images to be featured on the reels. Deadline to make a pledge is 12:12 a.m. on 12/12/12.

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UNKL View-Master® Picture Frame

UNKL View-Master Picture Frame

An Indonesia company has produced a giant View-Master® picture frame. U.S. cost is only $21 but you cannot buy it online. The frame is available only in the company's brick-and-mortar stores in Indonesia.

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. Free View-Master Custom Production Kit on DVD

FujiFilm W3 3-D Digital Camera Review

First off I love this camera. It does a great job of taking 3-D images including 3-D video! Viewing the images on a 3-D TV are breathtaking.

Everyone who I have shown the camera to is amazed. The built-in 3-D monitor on the back of the camera literally freaks them out every time I show them the 3-D image. One note: Buy extra batteries! You'll be glad you have a the extra power. The camera battery usually runs down after shooting a few hundred shots because you most often share the images with people on the monitor and that uses a lot of power consumption.

For those who are not 3-D savvy, you will make your life much easier when converting the *.mpo files to anaglyphs or side by side 3-D if you download a free piece of software that does not come with the camera software disk. The software is Stereo Photo Maker. It is extremely easy to use and you can even batch convert an entire folder of photos to the format you want with just a few clicks.

Fujifilm can improve the camera in the following ways.

1. Make the shutter take the image exactly when you push the button. There is a slight delay in taking the picture and you sometimes miss the shot you want because the shutter takes a second to fire.
2. I have noticed a few light flares (usually a round orb) on several shots. There may be no way to avoid this unless the lenses are shaded more somehow.
3. I would like to see is a way to edit the 3-D video into a series (produce my own 3-D feature using 3-D clips) and output it to a stereo *.avi file that plays on a 3-D TV. Maybe that is possible but I have yet to find that option or figure out how to do it using my existing software (Adobe Premiere, etc.) Add the ability to edit 3-D video clips together on a timeline.
4. Lastly, bring down the price of the accessory 3-D picture frame and make the frame bigger than 8-inches. It costs twice what the camera costs. Surely you would sell more of them by offering them at a more affordable price.

Thanks to Fujifilm for making this camera available to stereo enthusiasts! I've been shooting 3-D since 1995 on slide film and its getting harder to find film and mounting supplies. This 21st Century option is a fine link in the history of stereo photography that dates back to prior to the Civil War.

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3-D Legends

3-D Legends is a website created to tell the story of the creative, inventive people no longer with us that contributed to stereo culture. Share a bit of the 3-D contributions they left us.

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Jungle Book 3-D Movie in Production

Jungle Book 3-D concept art.

DQ Entertainment Ireland Limited is expanding its production pipeline with the creation of a dedicated feature film division with a steady slate of motion pictures in the coming years based on iconic, universally beloved characters and stories.

The first movie green lit from this new division is a $45 million stereoscopic 3-D animated feature film based on Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale The Jungle Book.

Already in pre-production, The Jungle Book producers have tapped an experienced team of top talent from the world of feature animation, including screenwriter Billy Frolick (Madagascar, Holy Cow), co-directors Jun Falkenstein (The Tigger Movie, The Smurfs, Despicable Me,) and Kevin Johnson (Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, Astro Boy, Stuart Little), and production designer James Hegedus (Shrek).

The film is being produced by Tapaas Chakravarti, Chairman and Founder of DQE, while Eric S. Rollman, CEO of Rollman Entertainment Inc., former President of both Marvel Animation and Saban/Fox Family Productions, with DQE’S VP of Intellectual Property, Rouhini Jaswal, will serve as Executive Producers.

The Jungle Book is targeting a theatrical release date in 2014. Pre- and post-production will be based in Los Angeles with animation production at DQE’s headquarters in Hyderabad, India. Two additional classic titles are already in development for the company’s next two theatrical film projects.

“Our commitment to animated features marks another major milestone for DQ Entertainment,” said Chakravarti. “By leading off our slate with a 3-D Stereoscopic version of The Jungle Book, a classic and universally beloved story based in India, our home country, we’re making a bold statement to the industry – that DQE is committed to put the creative, technical and financial resources together to produce compelling, high quality animation for all distribution channels.”   

“We have assembled a truly world class team with a remarkable résumé of animation accomplishments,” added Rollman. “The net result will be a distinctive and captivating presentation for families the world over to enjoy, and one more illustration of the unique acumen of DQ Entertainment, an unstoppable creative force in our industry.”

“A pulsating journey through the deepest jungles of India with Mowgli the man-cub will entertain and enthrall. The legacy of Kipling will be revived with the magic and mystique of The Jungle Book in breathtaking 3-D,” added Jaswal.

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Buy 3-D items at The Stereo Store!

Star Trek: Into Darkness 9-minute preview on select IMAX 3-D showings of The Hobbit

Want to get a first glimpse of footage from Star Trek Into Darkness? Fans will be able to see the first nine minutes before select screenings of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The footage of the highly anticipated sequel to J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek film will be previewed before IMAX 3-D screenings in roughly 500 theatres starting Dec. 14.

Star Trek Into Darkness, written by Lost alumni Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, has a May 17, 2013 release date. After four years of speculation and hype from eager fans. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto will reprise their roles as James T. Kirk and Spock. Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, John Cho and Bruce Greenwood are also in the sequel.

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The Universe 3-D Blu-Ray Set

The Universe Blu-Ray cover art.

The planets of our solar system have experienced epic catastrophes throughout their long history, both raining down from outside and bubbling up from within. This November, explore the edges of the cosmic unknown with The Universe 3-D Blu-ray set, a follow-up to 7 Wonders of the Solar System 3-D, which is currently No. 2 selling non-theatrical Blu-ray 3-D in the marketplace!

Featuring three new specials never before available in 3-D, voyage back in time to investigate the violent events that profoundly shaped the planets, including earth itself. Home viewers will be witness to stunning revelations about what transformed Mars into a barren, hostile desert, the disaster that changed Venus from temperate to hellish, the impact that blew away Mercury’s mantle, turning it into a planetary core, a colossal disturbance that rearranged the orbits of the gas giants, how a lost moon may finally explain Saturn’s rings and more.

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Auction Results

Wollensak slide mounts

Wollensak stereo slide protectors

A set of 50 Wollensak slide mounts and 50 Wollensak slide protectors sold for $22.50 with four bids. The Wollensak logo is printed on each of the acetate shields.

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