UCSD Workshop on Future of 3D Cinema
The Stereoscopic 3D Cinema Workshop will be held in the high-tech theater complex in Richard C. Atkinson Hall on the UC San Diego campus (San Diego, CA, USA) on February 5-7, 2013.
Hosted by the UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), the three-day event is co-produced with the Prague-based International Centre for Art and New Technologies (CIANT) as part of its international stereoscopic 3D (S3D) world training initiative funded by the European Union. The workshop will focus on emerging trends in stereoscopic 3D, as well as integrating this technology into the 'mixed reality' of real and virtual imagery.
Advances in S3D technologies and the conversion of many cinemas to digital projection have fueled a proliferation of movie theaters capable of showing S3D movies under a variety of different formats (e.g., RealD, Dolby 3D and MasterImage 3D) and brands (Disney Digital 3D, for example). In turn, Hollywood and independent production companies have ratcheted up the number of films hitting U.S. movie theaters - from five in 2009 when Avatar was released, to 43 in 2012, a more than 7-fold increase.
In some, the S3D effects are created during filming; in others, it can be done in post-production (which accounts for the large number of animated movies produced in 2D and now being converted and re-mastered for release in S3D). In general, audiences of S3D movies are viewing footage that has been transformed using computers to make use of the "stereo" effect of how our eyes and brain work together to perceive moving images.
In S3D, two images are superimposed, and viewers typically must wear special glasses that permit each eye to perceive one of the two images; the viewer's brain then "stitches" the two images together into a single image with a realistic depth of field.
Calit2 and S3D The UCSD Division of Calit2 is a natural venue for the S3D Workshop. In addition to having incubated CineGrid, a major effort to prototype high-bandwidth solutions for digital cinema, Calit2 engineers have developed new ways to improve on S3D, including techniques for viewing S3D with no glasses required.
To achieve this so-called "autostereoscopic 3D," Calit2 and University of Illinois at Chicago researcher Dan Sandin was one of the first to use a photographic film barrier screen affixed to a glass panel mounted to the front of an LCD display. Similar technology used in some smart phone displays and handheld game consoles creates the glasses-free S3D imagery by using small lenses to direct each of the stereo pairs of images to the correct eyes, effectively halving the screen resolution to accommodate both the left and right images within the same display.
In 2006, Sandin led the team that developed and deployed the first large-scale Varrier autostereoscopic 3D display system, a cylindrical wall of 35 LCD displays providing 80 million pixels (40 megapixels per eye), built in the Immersive Visualization Lab at Calit2's Atkinson Hall headquarters.
- Feb. 5 -- Prague-based filmmaker Tomas Petran will introduce S3D principles, techniques, and state-of-the-art filmmaking equipment to attendees, followed by a hands-on training excursion to La Jolla Cove for an underwater S3D shoot.
- Feb. 6 -- European filmmakers and UC San Diego scientists and visual artists will discuss such thought-provoking topics as improving S3D technology for enhanced viewer experiences and exploring future applications of gaming, "mixed reality," and datamoshing in S3D cinema. (Datamoshing is the practice of using intentionally corrupted digital video as a form of art.) This day will close with an interactive tour of Calit2's advanced visualization systems.
- Feb. 7 -- Attendees will compile, assess, and edit footage from the La Jolla Cove shoot and other workshop events, and will then view a short film crafted from these recordings.
For details, visit the workshop's web site.