Cycle 3D – Original Extended Cut

Part of the aim with Cycle 3D was to create a slow paced short film influenced by the films from the late great Stanley Kubrick. Although it’s not in the ‘masters’ league, the slow haunting feel of the film, supported by the brilliant original score by Neil Warden was a deliberate attempt not to rush through the story, rather to flow slowly towards the climax.

The longer cut is approximately a minute and a half longer and although there’s no entirely new scenes there are longer sequences throughout the film that help to maintain the pace and intensify the emotional impact on the main character.

 

The Collection Goes North

Enhanced Dimensions short film “The Collection (3D)” has been selected to play at goNorth Festival in June.

It’s really exciting to be able to share more good news for our little 3D horror short “The Collection” which we created last year as part of the Edinburgh 48 Hour Film Project. It has been selected to play (albeit in 2D) as part of GoNorth, Scotland’s leading Creative Industries Festival in Inverness on 5-6th June 2013.

Apart from winning an award for production values in the 48 Hour Film Project itself, “The Collection” has been a great success for our team, having played in festivals in the UK, Belgium, Czech Republic and USA and was one of the four films that won a Director’s choice award in the LA 3D Film Festival last year.

For more info on the goNorth Festival and actual screening details do visit their website or for more info on the film do check out our official “The Collection (3D)” page here on enhanced-dimensions.com.

3D in The News

I recently helped  journalist Jason Deign in support of an article he was proposing to discuss “3D On the Small Screen: Advertising Gets a New Dimension”

The article discusses the state of the 3D market (i.e. far from dead contrary to the fact free naysayers) and goes on to look at the possible future for glasses free and the potential for brands advertising in a 3D medium.

If you’ve got a moment do head on over and read Jason’s article @ finchannel.com

Gadmei 8″ Android E8-3D Tablet

Hot on the heels of receiving the Gadmei 6″ Media Player I received my spangly new 8″ Gadmei E8-3D autostereoscopic tablet. And very impressive it is indeed.

This latest version of the Gadmei device runs Android 4.0.4 on an 8.1″ glasses free 3D 1280×800 screen.  At its heart is a Dual Core Cortex A9 processor and it offers 1GB RAM alongside it’s 8GB of onboard storage. As per the media player device it has a micro-SD card slot that can take cards up to 32GB. Lastly it features handy dual front and back cameras although both are 2D. The E8-3D looks pretty much like any other 8″ generic tablet – it’s comfortable enough to hold and didn’t feel like it would be much of a burden to carry this about with me, although I doubt it would fit in any of my jacket pockets.

Okay enough of the specs, the real question for me would be (a) how well does the autostereoscopic 3D screen perform and (b) how well does this work as a general use tablet?

The 3D screen itself with the higher resolution than the previously reviewed media player was a revelation, again it needs to be considered that as with any autostereoscopic display at this level it’s meant for a single viewer and as such this is the best glasses-free 3D screen I’ve encountered. Once the tablet’s 3D sweet spot is located the image is fantastic with ghosting limited to particularly extreme or high contrast areas of the image. For well balanced 3D footage the image is beautifully detailed with none of the extreme edge ghosting I’ve seen on most other devices. Some of the demo material pre-installed on the device is pretty extreme use of 3D but in most cases it looks great as long as your eyes can take it!  I loaded on the Enhanced Dimensions showreel in side by side mp4 format, with a prefixed [3D] on the filename and it played back first time and looked the 3D biz! As with the media player this tablet also has the ability to view pictures in 3D so I’m assuming shots taken on my Fuji W1 should look equally spectacular.

In terms of the E8-3D as an Android tablet, I have little to compare this to as our main home tablet is an iPad, however I have used a Storage Options Scroll Excel that was touted at the time it came out as a pretty usable budget device. In comparing these Android devices they are like chalk and cheese; the E8-3D although not in the iPad’s league was way superior to the Scroll Excel in every way. The graphical navigation scrolls pretty nimbly and even for an Android novice like myself it was simple to locate Google Play and purchase, download and install a range of apps. Web browsing is quick and I had no problems with this tablet connecting to and maintaining the WiFi connection. YouTube similarly connects and plays back videos with no problem at all, although as of yet I cannot figure out if there is any way to play back YouTube 3D (yt3d) videos in 3D which would be brilliant to be able to do. I believe Yabazam’s App is coming to the device but currently my search for it in Google Play has not come up with anything.

At the current exchange rate the Gadmei E8-3D comes in at around £150 and I would argue this is a must have for any stereoscopic 3D fan on the go, giving both a brilliant glasses free 3D media player plus an absolutely usable tablet computer. Get yourself over to the Brando website and grab one while you can.

POSTSCRIPT: I have read that some individuals have had problems with a faulty or misaligned parallax barrier in earlier versions of this device. It does appear that brando.com do offer a good return and replacement service from the general feedback I’ve read.

3D Creative Summit London 2013

I recently attended the 3D Creative Summit in London at the BFI Southbank where I had the great pleasure to meet up with some members of the 3D community and had the chance to listen to some really inspiring presentations in the theatres.

I caught up with Michal Thomas whom I’ve known “virtually” online for sometime who is a serious 3D enthusiast and was good company across the morning. Michal blogs and has a presence on Facebook as “Iwatch3D” and has a website @ http://iwatch3d.com/

After an initial welcome message the day kicked off with a presentation from the  International 3D Society President Jim Chabin hosted by Jonathan Tustain from 3D Focus. This was an interesting session presenting stats on the current state of 3D. The discussion touched on one of the recurring topics that came out strongly across the day, that of stereographers perhaps having played too safe with the strength of 3D in the first few years of the 3D resurgence. As you would expect from both a 3D conference and the I3DS the message overall was that 3D is going strong for both film and TV with more professional level 3D productions underway than ever.

I then headed off to Theatre 3 for the “Shooting Better 3D”  panel with Chris Parks from Vision3, Steve Schklair from 3ality Technica & Melissa Byers from Vision3, hosted by Chris Parks. It was a packed session and re-iterated the “let’s use stronger 3D” message, however as a no budget filmmaker it didn’t really inspire me that any of this was achievable with the micro budgets I have available.

After a little wander around checking out the “Rig Zone” a selection of 3ality Technica rigs and the all in one Meduza camera I grabbed a spot of lunch with Ariela from Yabazam. Having recently written an article on 3D VOD it was certainly interesting to discuss 3D VOD with someone who’s right at the heart of it and someone who shares a passion for sharing great stereo 3D content.

Following lunch I headed off to listen to David Conley who gave a great presentation on some of the vfx from “Life of Pi” then we headed over to Ang Lee who spoke on a video link from New York. Ang was truly inspiring, not only did he come across as a genuinely humble and intelligent man, he also exuded a positivity and enthusiasm for using 3D to enhance the cinematic experience. He echoed my belief that the director should be the stereographer in order to fully integrate 3D right into the heart of the story and to come up with ways in which the 3D can be used creatively. I believe anyone in the audience who had any scepticism would have immediately headed to a bookstore to grab a book on stereo 3D… and started their creative journey into the next dimension.

Although the event was on for a full two days I could only make day one and definitely felt Ang Lee made it for me – he revitalised my enthusiasm and I headed home fired up to get creating some Ang Lee worthy 3D!

Quick S3D plug-in for Adobe After Effects & Premiere Pro CS6

It finally look like there may be a good workable solution for working natively with stereoscopic 3D footage within the Adobe CS6 Suite video applications of After Effects and Premiere Pro with the launch of the Quick S3D plug-in from Vision III Imaging Inc.

The plug-in contains a v3 Parallax display feature that provides users with a quick method to review stereoscopic source footage on any standard 2D display. This feature makes any issues and differences in the left/right source footage obvious, allowing a user to make immediate judgments about the footage and determine what corrections will be required. The function presents the left/right imagery alternately in a square-wave switching manner at 4.3 Hz. Alternating imagery in this manner is effective for reviewing in-camera convergence settings and determining what transformations are necessary to bring the imagery into an accurate alignment. The human eye is an excellent comparator when presented with alternating images. This method makes any stereoscopic imagery difference errors like luminance, zoom, rotation, focus, and others immediately apparent. These judgments can be difficult to make using the traditional 50/50 overlay (onionskin) or difference map methods.

The QuickS3D plug-in is the only 3D tool available in both Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects and, so, is able to take advantage of Adobe Dynamic Link. Users save an enormous amount of time by linking their workflows in Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects rather than having to render and export in order to share media. This seamless integration means that changes made in one application appear in the other, offering obvious benefits.

In a similar light, v3 has developed a pop-up parallax visualization toolset (PV Toolset) that communicates with the plug-in. The PV Toolset is designed to make precise alignments on still images grabbed from 3D video in the Adobe Premiere Pro timeline. Users can make corrections in real time while the two images alternate, like the v3 Parallax display type. The pop-up application allows for sub-pixel alignment and other features from the plug-in. The corrections are then reflected in the timeline and in the program monitor. This provides editors with a level of precision and control currently unavailable with any other workflow.

v3 has also produced a version with limited capabilities for Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, which is aimed at users with more moderate needs. QuickS3D Lite maintains the necessary functions for stereoscopic video editing. This version is designed for the amateur and prosumer markets that do not require as many features to meet their 3D needs. If more functionality is required, one can seamlessly upgrade to the full version.

The plug-in is available on pre-order for a limited time at a reduced price until April 21st 2013 from the Vision III website.