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Day 1 - IFA International

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SPECIAL FEATURE - 3D

SPECIAL FEATURE - 3D comes alive! 3D ON THE HOME RUN Sony announces global launch of 3D-enabled TVs in 2010 by Jo Stevens 3D in the home has come a step closer with the news that Sony is to introduce a 3D-compatible BRAVIA LCD television set in 2010. The official announcement was made by Sony Corporation Chairman, CEO and President Sir Howard Stringer at a packed IFA press conference on Wednesday, amid rumours in the world's business press that the consumer-electronics giant was set to throw its weight behind the technology. "Today, 3D is clearly on its way to the mass market through technology, distribution and content," Stringer said. "As with HD a few years back, there are a variety of issues yet to be addressed. But the 3D train is on the track — and we, at Sony, are ready to drive it home." Sony's decision to board the 3D express will be welcomed by the wider 3D industry, which remains focused on cinema and has yet to take ownership of the TV market. In addition to 3D-compatible BRAVIA sets, Sony will also develop 3D compatibility into several devices, such as Blu-Ray discs, VAIO laptops and PlayStation3 consoles, expanding the ways in which 3D content — from movies to games — can be enjoyed in the home. Stringer added: "Sony's technological leadership, together with our unique understanding of all forms of content, means we will be able to deliver the entire 3D value chain in cinemas, at home and on a variety of Sony devices." Stringer also announced the European launch of the PlayStation Network (PSN) video-download service, which starts its roll-out this November in France, Germany, Spain and the UK. The service will feature hundreds of movie titles from all the major Hollywood studios, alongside local content from Sony's European partners. "In the US, the PSN videodelivery service now offers over 12,000 TV episodes and more than 2,200 movies, with more than 35% of these movies in HD," Stringer added. Hall 4.2 / Stand 101 10 www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Friday, 4 th September 2009

SPECIAL FEATURE - 3d comes alive A Watershed Event for 3D! Sci-Fi and 3D come together on the movie screen with AVATAR! Many of us grew up enthralled by science fiction and in love with the movies. In many cases, we have been fascinated by 3D. These three continuing interests will all come together on December 18th with the release of Avatar. As has been well publicised, Avatar is a movie that is being filmed in photo-realistic, stereoscopic 3D. It hopes to mix live action and CGI imagery in a seamless blend. Insight Media Consultant Art Berman tells us more… Making a film using digital 3D technology is still very new. This means that much of the filming process itself is being improvised along the way, with new technologies being developed as they are needed. Consider first the Computer Graphics aspects of the film. Avatar’s footage is built from about 70% CGI. But it will also include computerized images from real human action, which is called "performance capture." This is accomplished by the cast donning motion capture suits, essentially leotards covered in sensors that feed the movements of the body back to a bank of computers. In Avatar, scenes were accomplished on a "performance capture" stage six times bigger than anything previously used in Hollywood. The realism of the performance was enhanced by improving the way the suits captured the actors’ facial expressions. Facial Performance Replacement The new technique is called Facial Performance Replacement. The FRP process calls for the use of a skullcap with a camera enhancement that closely monitors the actor’s eyes and mouth as well as other small movements. Each frame is analyzed for facial details such as pores and wrinkles all of which enable creation of a moving, computerized image that better reproduces human emotions. In addition, FPR allows the Director to digitally re-work an actor’s facial movements. The performance capture workflow on Avatar used a so-called "Simulcam" or "virtual camera." This tool allows the director to hold a camera (really a monitor) in his hands, point it at the actors and see them in real time as their CG characters. The virtual camera allows the Director to move through, edit and record the computer generated 3D scene as if he were the actual cameraman. The effect on screen of this approach is that of a "shaky cam." The effect makes action sequences seem upclose and can be used to focus audience attention on a particular part of a scene. Next consider the live action 3D capture aspects of the film. When James Cameron directed his first 3D film, "Terminator 2: 3D," for Universal Studios theme parks more than a decade ago, the bulky camera equipment made some shots awkward or impossible. The 450 pound contraption, had two film cameras mounted on a metal frame and was so heavy that producers had to jury-rig construction equipment to lift it off the ground for shots from above. The cameras, slightly set apart, had to be mechanically pointed at the subject and then locked into place to create the 3D effect. To address the camera problem, Cameron collaborated with Vince Pace, a cinematographer and the founder of a Los Angeles based 3D production company. Together they developed and patented a so-called "fusion digital 3D camera system." This camera was first employed in Cameron’s 2003 documentary, Ghosts of the Abyss, and has subsequently been refined and adapted. The camera rig now weighs only 50 pounds. The complete filming suite consists of a number of stereoscopic cameras that each use two camera lenses that can dynamically converge on a focal point with the help of a computer. With these cameras, the cinematographer can capture two images simultaneously and with perfect alignment both of which are crucial in 3D for sweeping camera moves and action sequences. During production, Cameron needed a way to review just-shot footage in 3D. Since no equipment existed to do this, Texas Instruments customized three large screen DLP TVs to allow a scene shot in 3D to be immediately reviewed, enabling on-the-spot directorial decisions. Those of us on the "technology side" of 3D should remember a point well made by Director Cameron: "Ideally, the technology is advanced enough to make itself go away. That’s how it should work. All of the technology should wave its own wand and make itself disappear." IFA International would like to thank Art Berman, Display Daily, www. DisplayDaily.com (published by Insight Media www.insightmedia. info) for the use of this article. Hall 5.2 / Stand 101 Sisvel Launches 3D Enabling Technology at IFA Sisvel Technology, a subsidiary of the Sisvel Group dedicated to fostering innovation and R&D activities, and 3DSwitch, a start-up devoted to 3D stereoscopic imaging, are collaborating on the development of 3Dready, a new method for automatic 2D/3D format recognition and conversion that greatly enhances your 3D TV viewing experience. 3Dready allows seamless transition from the current 2D broadcasts to 3D. Thanks to 3Dready, it is no longer necessary to modify 3D TV setups from the menu each time you switch from a 3D to a 2D channel. Furthermore, 3D is guaranteed to function on 2D TV sets (in 2D view) as long as the decoder has been updated correctly. 3Dready doesn’t replace existing 3D standards for broadcasting and display, but rather unifies them under a single roof by tagging video content and converting the format as necessary. In addition to 3Dready, Sisvel Technology and 3DSwitch are also developing new technologies related to stereoscopic 3D imaging and broadcasting. 3DSwitch and Sisvel Technology provide services in 3D content creation, management, editing, and display. The combined expertise of 3DSwitch and Sisvel Technology offers partners state of the art technology and know how to achieve an unparalleled user experience. By utilizing custom hardware and patented algorithms and through know-how transfer 3DSwitch and Sisvel Technology greatly simplify 3D workflow, from shooting to delivering content to end users. 3Dready technology will be on display during IFA 2009. Hall 2.2 / Stand 114 IFA International • Friday, 4 th September 2009 www.ifa-international.org 11

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