3Ality Digital Shows Must-See 3D

By Carl Lindemann

Want to get a gut feeling why 3D is all the rage in the movie biz and will soon move into TV? 3Ality’s hands-on demo at the EVS booth in Central Hall (C9508) puts you both behind the scenes and in the frame.

Bringing 3D to the big and small screens calls for a new set of tools and skills. Actually seeing how 3D images are captured is instructive. The key is knowing how adding a dimension does not multiply complexities and costs while generating a terrific payout.

“It creates a sense of personal engagement that reaches people in a way not possible before,” says 3Ality CEO Sandy Climan.

Feeling is believing. The live demo is conducted by 3Ality’s Ray Hannisian, stereographer. This is a novel title for the new creative skill required to master the 3D experience. The stereographer’s task is akin to a director of photography’s feeling out the proper depth-of-field to properly frame a subject. Here, this means deepening or shallowing the 3D effect.

“You dial up or dial down the emotional component,” says Climan.

A staple of the demo is stepping in front of the lens and putting an arm forward while looking at a monitor. The experience is startling, as the limb seems to reach out of the monitor into the same space you occupy. Some may still dismiss this as a theatrical gimmick that will become old hat soon enough. Judging by the reaction of those taking the test (myself included), this is something far more profound. Think of how the first motion-picture images a century ago seemed to those comfortable with still images. The skeptics’ view did not persist.

“We’re here to allow for the creative and economic transition from 2D to 3D that makes sense to broadcasters and studios,” Climan says.

How fast will that transition be? It’s anyone’s guess. But a visit to the EVS booth demo or to 3Ality’s booth at the NAB Show 3D Pavilion (SL9220) suggests that it may be sooner than you think.