NAB focus on 3-D

Highlights were case studies, demonstrations

3-D stepped to the forefront at NAB on Monday.

The entire day at the Content Theater was devoted to 3-D case studies and demonstrations, and technology partners DreamWorks Animation and Hewlett-Packard got into the act in a separate presentation.

One Content Theater highlight was a live 3-D closed-circuit television transmission from Burbank with Howie Mandel and his “Deal or No Deal” exec producer Scott St. John applying the technology to a gameshow format they’re developing: “Would You Rather…,” based on the existing game title.

The transmission was shown on a projection screen and on specially modified flat-panel HD displays from Hyundai. Produced with technology from 3ality, the company best known for its work on “U2 3D,” the demo used the same “passive” Real D polarized glasses used in many movie theaters, unlike the “active” shuttered glasses needed for most 3-D capable TV sets now available.

Steve Schklair, topper at 3ality, said the satellite feed used the same bandwidth as a standard 2-D transmission.

DreamWorks Animation used the platform of a presentation with its technology partner Hewlett-Packard to tubthump its 3-D brand: DreamWorks Ultimate 3-D, in which the film is made in 3-D along the entire pipeline. DreamWorks Entertainment chairman Roger Enrico tubthumped the brand, saying, “The difference from what’s been done before is so great we needed a new name.”

Enrico showed a clip from the upcoming “Kung-Fu Panda” in Ultimate 3-D, with digital projection by Real D. Clip was notable for crisp images, especially for a temporary theater, and for the lack of the usual spears-flying-into-your-face gimmicks often used to tout 3-D.

More substantively, DreamWorks and HP also announced a new flat-panel monitor system, monikered DreamColor, aimed at providing ideal color fidelity for digital artists at one-quarter the cost of a high-end monitor.

DreamWorks Animation topper Jeffrey Katzenberg, in taped remarks, called color fidelity “a longstanding challenge throughout the film industry and especially the animation industry”; DWA, he added, had asked HP for “a solution that would do for video fidelity what THX did for audio fidelity.”

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