3D: A Fad or the Future?

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Sun, 03/22/2009 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

The Digital Cinema Summit has become one of the highlights of the annual National Association of Broadcasters convention held each April in Las Vegas. This year’s Summit takes place April 18-19 and its theme is 3D Cinema & Beyond: Lens to Living Room. The conversation though will be an attempt once and for all to answer the question is digital stereoscopic 3D just a fad or is it in fact the future? I’m on record – and will repeat again here – as being in the camp that thinks stereoscopic 3D is most definitely the future. Major technological change typically takes twenty years or so to be fully implemented. At some point within that time frame 2D imagery will begin to feel as old fashioned as black and white does today and will be used in the same way: to convey a feeling of the past. It will happen in movies television computers and mobile devices. The first wave will require glasses in most cases; the second wave will probably be glassless. The creative community has already begun to embrace it. Consumers especially young consumers like it and are voting with their dollars. Many many details remain to be addressed and the conversation will continue for two days at the Summit. It promises to be an interesting time. Here is what to expect: This year's Summit will educate and inform on all aspects of 3D allowing you to decide if the current explosion of stereoscopic content is a fad – or the future. Digital cinema exhibition is now well established in theatres worldwide. Stereoscopic 3D movies have been the prime business drivers and have proven able to pump up box office draw per screen. With more than 30 stereoscopic productions in the pipeline 2009 and 2010 are expected to continue the trend of explosive growth in 3D cinema. Some audiences are asking: when can I have 3D at home? Some industry veterans believe that the answer is soon. Leading producers cinematographers and technologists will review the entire 3D path from acquisition through post-production distribution and display. Panelists will review lessons learned in producing stereoscopic motion pictures and live events and debate future trends in stereo image capture. You will see demonstrations illustrating the on-screen result of camera positioning which can create either an immersive depth effect or painful eyestrain. Leading engineers will explain and demonstrate the various techniques used for packaging and distributing compressed 3D images for satellite over-the-air IP download and packaged media such as BluRay Disc. A comprehensive review of display technologies will reveal the benefits and shortcomings of today’s stereoscopic displays and provide a glimpse into the R&D labs now inventing the future of stereoscopic display. Session Schedule Saturday April 18 Digital Cinema Roll Out: A Status Report 3D Releases – How Many Screens Are Enough? Update from DCI Advances in Cinema 3D Technology 3D Program Mastering: A Standards Update Update from NATO Stereoscopic Vision – How Do We See in 3D? Tutorial: Fundamentals of Stereoscopic Imaging Stereographer’s Panel Discussion: Lessons Learned Sunday April 19 Stereoscopic Sports – Case Studies 3D Anytime Anyplace Progress Report from the [email protected] Consortium Delivering 3D to the Home Report from the Consumer Electronics Association Studio Perspective: Technical and Business Considerations on Home 3D Options and Opportunities for 3D Displays in the Home Panel Discussion: Future of Home 3D