News Stories

Queen Elizabeth II Goes 3D For Her Diamond Jubilee


…Artist Chris Levine has created “Equanimity,” a holographic portrait of the queen constructed from 10,000 pictures of the queen’s head at different angles, which sounds like it must have been really fun for the queen to sit through. Now, “Equanimity” is being combined with a replica of the diadem Queen Elizabeth II wore at her coronation. That replica, crafted by jewelers from Asprey, is made up of a ridiculous 1,000 plus brilliant-cut white diamonds and pearls, set in platinum. After being superimposed on “Equanimity,” the piece will be called “The Diamond Queen,” and will be on display at Asprey’s flagship store on Bond Street. After that, it will be on display for about one week at the Masterpiece fair in London. …

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[Digital Arts Online]

Following our interview with Pixmondo’s VFX supervisor Ben Grossman – who won an Oscar for Hugo – about how to use stereoscopic 3D to subtly affect viewers emotions, we wanted to find out how other creative techniques are being used with the new medium. We caught up with colourist Dado Valentic of Mytherapy, who worked on many early IMAX 3D projects and mastered StreetDance 3D, the first British stereo 3D film, to find out how grading can be used artfully in 3D.

Dado says that there are a few technical challenges that need to be overcome first when working with 3D footage. The first is that because of the glasses audiences wear, 3D films and TV shows need to be a lot brighter than 2D productions. “You have to take parts of the image that will disappear into the darkness and make them visible again without creating a distortion,” he says.

You also have to adjust 3D footage differently, depending on whether you’re working for cinema or TV, as bigger screens give audiences a much larger sense of depth. 3D TVs are brighter, allowing more scope for adjusting the overall look of a shot, but you can’t use a correction technique called ‘floating windows’, as this only works when the audiences are in darkness.

Dado says that some traditional techniques for increasing the perception of depth in 2D footage also enhance stereo clips. “Warmth of colour doesn’t affect depth perception but …

Below Dado takes us through grading a shot from Jet Set Films using Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve colour grading software. For each step we’ve placed the left eye frame first and the right eye second. …

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Data & Analytics Project

The Storytelling Cipher: Mapping Precise Story and Character Mechanics to Box Office Returns

Our Data & Analytics Project held “The Storytelling Cipher: Mapping Stories & Characters to Box Office Revenue” Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

This study leverages the Dramatic taxonomy of film narrative to infer which scene-level character and story attributes generate more box office returns, by genre. We are extending this study to ads and movie trailers.

The project researchers used machine learning to map 70+ story attributes for 300 films to their box office returns to extract which story mechanics or character features in film generated the most revenue. This was the first time granular story and character mechanics have been used to predict box office returns, which opens up many avenues to make more data-driven creative and development decisions throughout the industry.

What’s a good story? The question has been hanging without a scientific answer since the dawn of man. It seems that a story’s lack of clear mathematical structure and universal taxonomy would relegate such classification of stories to the qualitative – and highly subjective- empire of critics and … people.

Until now.

The event presented results from the research, discussed applications for the development and creative process, and outlined next steps.

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