Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cinema Turns Toward High Speed 3D For Greater Immersion

It was announced last month that Peter Jackson's upcoming 2-part telling of The Hobbit would be not only be shot in 3D and with Red's new Epic digital cameras, but would also include a feature that no other major studio production has offered in nearly a century, an increased frame rate. In this case, doubling it! 

Fellow director James Cameron has been championing higher frame rates since well before Avatar was released, and I could not help imaging "what if?", while watching Avatar for myself. Of course his comment about "fighting battles one at a time" is well understood. The movie was truly something no one had ever seen before. Still, the first thing I noticed during this epic was how even though it often gave off that "you are there" feeling, when the action got heavy or I was forced to change depths, I had to blink my eyes repeatedly in order to get them to refocus. This took me out of that feeling multiple times, and eventually I had to learn to just let it go. I do believe that this is the #1 cause of eyestrain in 3D cinema. While the jury's out on making 3D movies that every single person can enjoy the same, I do have a feeling that this will be a breakthrough that turns more than a few 3D doubters into converts. Cameron shot an action scene at 24 fps, 48 fps, and 60 fps and showed it off at CinemaCon in March in order to show the media and get people in the industry on board for the higher frame rates. Those who were shown this demonstration seem to be generally impressed.

more after the jump

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Move Over Microsoft Avatars, Time For Surrogates?

Conceivably Tech published an article recently that exposes a patent from Microsoft filed on January 28, 2011. It seems as though the new software patent would bring object recognition and a real-time replica of the user via body scan, rather than the family-friendly Avatar to the table for gaming. What's not known is whether the patent is intended for the current version of Kinect or a future version. The abstract reads:
“A depth image of a scene may be received, observed, or captured by a device. The depth image may then be analyzed to determine whether the depth image includes a human target. For example, the depth image may include one or more targets including a human target and non-human targets. Each of the targets may be flood filled and compared to a pattern to determine whether the target may be a human target. If one or more of the targets in the depth image includes a human target, the human target may be scanned. A skeletal model of the human target may then be generated based on the scan.”
Article from Conceivably Tech and more petent images after the break

Microsoft Makes Exploring The Known Universe Easy With Kinect

This story from last month didn't seem to get much recognition so I thought I would mention it because I just can't stop thinking about its coolness. Engadget broke it last month HERE. "During their day two keynote at MIX11, Microsoft showed off its Worldwide Telescope project powered by Kinect. In collaboration with NASA, the Worldwide Telescope project allows you to explore high-resolution photos and 3D renders of space and beyond."

Sometimes Microsoft can really surprise me how far reaching they have become into technology and research well beyond Windows and even the Xbox brand. Video and quote from Engadget: