Finally, a 3D screen that didn't make me shrug
February 10, 2009 by Dave Haynes
When the guys at Organix in Montreal started asking me to come over to their shop when I was in town, to see a new 3D screen, I will concede I was, at best, mildly enthusiastic.
I have seen 3D LCD screens now at several trade shows, and my reaction each time was pretty much a big yawn. I hadn’t really seen one that actually looked very good, and the most excitement I could muster was, “Well, that’s kinda interesting. Cool. Way to go!”
Generally, the whole 3D thing has seemed interesting for a few seconds, and that’s been pretty much it.
So after a few false starts I finally managed last night to have a look at what Anthony and the guys were all worked up about. They even came to my office to do show and tell on the Alioscopy screens.
In short, I’m now much more of a believer. The screens have some sort of lenticular magnifying glass overlay that actually creates legitimate 3D effects, both with the Woo-hoo!!! stuff that sees things flying at you, to the more subtle and intriguing depth of field media.
The best content was a piece that had coins spilling out of a slot machine toward viewers, and the throw of the image seemed to be several feet, maybe as much as six feet. Another piece had a Lego model being assenbled in crisp detail, seemingly a couple feet out front of the LCD.
The stuff that intrigued me the most was material shot with an eight camera array that then gets stitched together with software to create visuals that are meant far less for the Wow factor than they are to give depth – as though viewers are looking in a window.
The ridged film is a little disorienting and worked best, at least for my old eyes, if I was still and able to fix on the visuals. Then again, it’s real 3D visuals without the dorky glasses.
The Alioscopy autostereoscopic technology is French, and Montreal’s Organix is the reseller for Canada, shopping it around to some better heeled target accounts who might embrace the idea of geting beyond standard video screens.
There are premiums associated with the technology:
- the film adds maybe 20 per cent to the cost of a commercial grade monitor and NEC is so far the only panel certified
- production costs are higher
- and there is a learning curve on how to produce content and optimize the impact