Posted on November 17, 2010

3D Flic Wants to Turn Toronto into a 3D Movie Mecca

You don’t need fancy lenses to view this picture in 3D, but you do have to be willing to look like an idiot for a few seconds. Take your pinky, index, middle, and ring fingers and cup them around your palm to form a tube. Do this with both hands, making sure your thumbs are out of the way. Put your right hand up to your right eye and point it at the left picture. Then put your left hand up to your left eye and point it at the right picture, making sure the whole ship is visible through each eye. Finally, let yourself go cross-eyed and watch the two images merge into one.

That’s pretty much all there is to it. When your eyes view the same object at slightly different angles, your brain fuses both retinal images to create a sensation of depth. This process, termed stereopsis, has been known for centuries. In the mid-1800s, Charles Wheatstone caused more than a few monocles to drop into their respective champagne glasses with his stereoscopic picture viewer.

Nowadays, with films like Avatar grossing more than the GNP of many small nations, it’s not surprising that many are taking a renewed interest in 3D technology. Just last spring, vision scientists and filmmakers at York University founded 3D Flic, a stereoscopic film research initiative destined to stake out Toronto’s own slice of the increasingly well-rendered 3D pie. Continue Reading

Posted on November 5, 2010

Cure for 3D Viewing Motion Sickness in the Works in Canada

A cure for nausea or headaches from 3D movie or TV viewing is in coming from Canada.

Starz Animation Toronto has teamed up with Canuck academics to ease or even end motion sickness that movie and TV audiences experience in a virtual world.

The fault, says York University film professor Ali Kazimi, lies in 3D stereoscopic cinematography.

“The reason people feel nauseous or have discomfort, headaches or eye strain is when there’s something being done improperly or incorrectly in the Stereoscopic 3D process,” Kazimi explained.

The challenge, adds Rob Burton vp of technology at Toronto-based Starz Animation, is controlling stereoscopic camera parameters to generate comfortable 3D images, where possible.

Discovering a more viewer-friendly stereoscopic film language and camera work is especially important as 3D audiences increasingly move from stationary seats in a cinema to watching stereoscopic content in homes, where neck angles and sight-lines vary greatly as viewers move round a 3D TV set. Continue Reading