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Chat live with David S. Cohen and Legend 3-D’s Barry Sandrew

[by Variety]

8:56
David S. Cohen:

Hi everyone. Join Legend3D founder and chief technical officer Barry Sandrew for a live chat about the art, science and business of 3D, starting at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time today, Friday, April 29. Your questions and comments welcome.

8:56
David S. Cohen:

Find Legend3D’s site here:

http://www.legend3d.com/

and a bio of Barry here:

http://www.legend3d.com/our-team/barry-b-sandrew-ph-d/

8:57
David S. Cohen:

Legend3D is hard at work on a number of library title conversions, some of which he may even be able to talk about. We’ll see at 10.

10:00
David S. Cohen:

Hi everybody and welcome to Variety. com. My name is David Cohen, I cover technology for Variety, and as many of you know I’ve become the resident 3D maven.

10:00
David S. Cohen:

Today I’m excited to have as our guest one of the really smart guys in the 3D business, Barry Sandrew of Legend3D.

10:00

Expand
Barry Sandrew, Ph. D.
10:01
David S. Cohen:

Hi Barry, and welcome.

10:01
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

Hi David – Happy to be here.

10:01
David S. Cohen:

Barry, your background is originally in neuroscience and other very technical fields. How did you transition to working on stereoscopic cinema?

10:02
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

Well – I have my doctorate in Neuroscience. I was on staff at Harvard and Mass General back in the 80′s

10:02
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

I was approached by some entrepreneurs who wanted to colorize feature films. 

10:03
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

because if you colorize a feature film it’s eleigible for a 95 year copyright 

10:03
David S. Cohen:

Ah-HA!!

10:03
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

to make a long short… they apprached me because of my medical imaging expertise

10:03
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

I started American Film Technologies in 86′

10:04
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

after inventing the first all digital colorization process

10:04
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

did all Ted Turners work and work for thye major studios

10:04
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

In 2000 I reinvented colorization

10:05
David S. Cohen:

Now, does that same 95-year copyright rule apply to a movie that’s been converted from 2D to 3D?

10:05
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

The technology had advanced so much that I was able to make coloriztion photo real

10:05
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

I would imagine so but not been tested. The reason for the 95 year copyright is because of the creative input. A Derivitive work 

10:06
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

5 years ago my good friend and colleague, Greg Passmore and I got together and examined the state of 3D at that time 

10:06
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

we knew what Cameraon was up to with Avitar and we knew it was going to be a game changer

10:07
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

We saw the latest in 3D ready HDTV and we were blown away

10:07
David S. Cohen:

Interesting that 3D TV was part of your thinking even then.

10:07
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

we knew basically how to convert a film from 2D to 3D and Greg had been experimenting.

10:08
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

We then realized that colorization – the process of colorization is about 65% of the process of converting 2D to 3D.

10:08
David S. Cohen:

I can tell you that there’s a long history of thinking about putting library titles into 3D — or something similar. When 3D was booming in the 50s there was talk (covered in Variety) of using some sort of depth process on library titles.

10:09
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

We then devoted 80% of our R&D budget to making what we expected to be the most advanced process for conversion and I believe we succeeded based on the comments from all of our Hollywood clients.

10:09
David S. Cohen:

Barry, what do you think the business is getting right about 3D and what is it getting wrong?

10:09
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

Yes I know – glad no one wasted time on it back then.

10:09
David S. Cohen:

I don’t think that 50s process was a stereoscopic conversion, exactly.

10:10
David S. Cohen:

But they did seem to have something in mind.

10:10
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

Geshwin invented the original process in the 70′s

10:10
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

those patents have expired. It was the very basics.

10:11
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

I think Avitar woke everyone up and the following year was one of growing pains and exploration. I believe things are shaking out now.

10:11
David S. Cohen:

Creatively, what do you see that seems promising and exciting?

10:12
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

I can only speak for Legend3D… we have 6 films in progress currently. Two of them are huge feature films. We spent the past year doing special software development just to take on these two titles. The results will be a bar settter!

10:13
David S. Cohen:

Can you name any of those titles?

10:13
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

You know I wish I could but the studios are very clear about NDAs

10:13
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

We delivered the Conan Trailer to Lionsgate on Monday. It’s 120 shots, 2.5 min and we completed it – all in – in just 10 days. The client thought it was awesome and so do we. I’ll put money on the fact that no other conversion company could accomplish that without compromising quality. It’s going to be screened in front of Thor.

10:14
David S. Cohen:

What are your clients asking you for, generally?

10:14
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

That I can tell you. Conan is not however one of the two.

10:14
David S. Cohen:

Are they looking for off-the-screen gags, immersive depth…?

10:14
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

highest quality and speed…

10:14
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

Oh -

10:15
David S. Cohen:

What does “quality” mean in 3D nowadays?

10:15
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

No – the work is more sophisticated than that… gags are not part of the process we’ve been dealing with for the most part.

10:15
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

Quality = looking as good or superior to captured 3D. We’ve achieved that and it will become clear after these films are released.

10:16
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

Bold claim huh David?

10:16
David S. Cohen:

Yes.

10:16
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

Would not say that to you unless I felt confident.

10:16
David S. Cohen:

But we’ll have to see the pictures, right?

10:17
David S. Cohen:

When are you allowed to reveal you worked on a title?

10:17
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

You definitely will :-)

10:17
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

When they are released

10:17
David S. Cohen:

Do you generally do a whole title, or part of a title?

10:18
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

The industry is trying to mitigate risk after what happened with Clash and Potter. They bring in as many as 7+ converison companies on a project but the most of the time there are 2.

10:18
David S. Cohen:

I know Warner was just down there having a look at what you’re doing.

10:18
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

We prefer to do a whole title… there are less than a handful that can do a whole title today.

10:19
David S. Cohen:

Are you seeing attitudes toward 3D changing over time, both from clients and from audiences?

10:19
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

Somewhat but I think there will be a lot of evangelists coming out publically later this year.

10:20
David S. Cohen:

Have you seen “Cave of Forgotten Dreams?”

10:20
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

I’m hoping audiences will become more discerning this year as well.

10:20
David S. Cohen:

Even Roger Ebert admitted to seeing the value of 3D on that picture.

10:20
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

no way! Ebert liked it?

10:20
David S. Cohen:

I’m hoping to go this afternoon or this evening.

10:21
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

I’ve heard about it… not seen it.

10:21
David S. Cohen:

Well, Mr. Ebert is a Werner Herzog acolyte (not that I blame him) and if Mr. Herzog chose 3D, Mr. Ebert would be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

10:21
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

By the way – Greg Passmore has done some great documentaries about caves all over the world. Pretty amazing stuff. He makes his own rigs.

10:22
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

I see. He never was a fan of my work :-)

10:22
David S. Cohen:

What are the biggest challenges today in converting a library title to 3D?

10:22
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

I think colorization bothered him a little

10:22
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

Time, Time and Time

10:23
David S. Cohen:

How much time is enough for a full feature film of say, 115 minutes.

10:23
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

Also, the studios should consider putting into their budgets – getting assets from the FVX studios.

10:23
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

We did all three Shreks in 6 months… 2 months per film.

10:24
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

VFX studios… sorry

10:24
David S. Cohen:

We know how fussy the DWA people are about 3D, so that’s a compliment. Did you work with Phil “Captain 3D” McNally closely on that?

10:24
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

We often have to convert very complex VFX without assets because it is simply too costly to go back and dearchive, etc.

10:25
David S. Cohen:

Interesting. So you have to treat the plate as if it was all captured live?

10:25
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

Phil was fantastic! We learned so much from him.

10:25
David S. Cohen:

Such as?

10:26
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

But also Wendy Rogers and Nancy Bernstein who were the producer and creative on the shows. They all held our feet to the fire on those films and it was a great experience.

10:27
David S. Cohen:

I think the whole industry is still figuring out this 3D thing. Where do you feel there’s the most yet to be learned?

10:27
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

Also Corey Turner on Alice – also held our feet to the fire. We have been fortunate to have some very demanding clients. Other conversionc companies have dealt with more softball projects and they don’t know the quality expectations.

10:28
David S. Cohen:

Again, where do you feel the learning curve is headed? Where’s this 3D thing going, creatively and technically?

10:28
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

I think things will simmer down and features will be approached for conversion from pre-production. That will be when the field will get consolidated and the fly by night conversion companies (and they are coming out of the woodwork) will disappear.

10:29
David S. Cohen:

We’re almost out of time. For people who are watching live or who will read this chat later, what would you like people to take away from our conversation?

10:29
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

Unlike others, I feel that camera technology will progress but there’s just so far you can go with that. Conversion on the other hand will continue to evolve

10:30
David S. Cohen:

Do you see movies coming to a blend of the two techniques?

10:30
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

Save your criticism of conversion until the Fall!

10:30
David S. Cohen:

We’ll look forward to seeing those movies, Barry.

10:31
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

It alreay is David – we have been working on a film that is checker boarded and you can’t tell the diff

10:31
David S. Cohen:

That’s all the time we have for today. I want to thank our guest, Barry Sandrew of Legend3D. We’ll look forward to seeing… well, seeing your movies, whatever they turn out to be.

10:31
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

The director has mistaken his capture and our conversion. Nice!

10:31
Barry Sandrew, Ph.D.:

Thank you David

10:31
David S. Cohen:

Thanks to everyone in our live audience for tuning in.

10:32
David S. Cohen:

I’ll be off next week. (Actually, I’ll be at the FMX visual effects and animation conference in Stuttgart.) So no live-chat next Friday.

10:32
David S. Cohen:

We’ll be back live on May 13 at the usual time with another tech chat.

10:32
David S. Cohen:

And one more thing:

10:33
David S. Cohen:

We’re starting a new feature: “Ask Variety.”

10:33
David S. Cohen:

Send your questions about show business to me with #AskVariety in the subject line, or tweet them to me with the #AskVariety hashtag.

10:33
David S. Cohen:

We’ll pick one question a week and post the answer on Variety.com

10:34
David S. Cohen:

No self help questions please, like “How do I get an agent.” or “How do I get my script to Steven Spielberg?”

10:34
David S. Cohen:

Think general interest questions.

10:34
David S. Cohen:

Anyway, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading Variety! Have a good couple of weeks everybody!

See the original thread here:  http://weblogs.variety.com/technotainment/2011/04/chat-live-with-david-s-cohen-and-legend-3-ds-barry-sandrew.html

Trimensional App Turns iPhone into 3D Scanner

[Philip Lelyveld comment: 3D image is constructed that feeds into a 3D printer!]

[by Max Eddy, www.geekosystem.com]

Georgia Tech researcher Grant Schindler has come up with a pretty clever use for the iPhone 4: Use it to create 3D models. It’s a simple process that proves that while there are over 350,000 apps, there’s still plenty of new ideas for the iPhone platform.

Schindler’s app, called Trimensional, works by shining light on a person’s face from four directions, and recording the results. These are compiled into a single image that users of the advanced version of the software can export to a 3D printer and create a model of their face, or whatever they scanned. Cleverly, Trimensional does not require any additional equipment to perform the scan, such as a light kit. Instead, it uses the iPhone’s screen as a light source, and records the images with the front-facing camera.

Schindler describes the scanning process as answering a series of questions. From the Georgia Tech Digital Lounge:

If I take a scan of my face, the app asks ‘what does the image look like if I shine the light from the left side, what does it look like from the right side,’ and so on. There’s one three-dimensional answer per pixel, and combining all those answers results in the full 3-D model[.]

 

See the original post here: http://www.geekosystem.com/trimensional-scanner-iphone/

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