Disney Digital 3D with George Lucas/Dolby-CHICKEN LITTLE changes animation forever! at DVinfo.net

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Old June 29th, 2005, 10:37 AM   #1
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Disney Digital 3D with George Lucas/Dolby-CHICKEN LITTLE changes animation forever!

Probably the most import news in digital technology in a year or two just broke (June 27th). Disney announced that they are teaming up with George Lucas (Industrial Light & Magic) and Dolby Labs, to install the first 100
3D digitial projectors in 100 theaters for the November 4th opening of
CHICHEN LITTLE in Disney Digital 3D tm. George Lucas will convert the CGI
animation film to 3D, by rendering a second camera POV, in the same way that POLAR EXPRESS was processed, using slightly different approach. This
will be Disney's first CGI film, competing will old partner, PIXAR , and at least
100 theaters will show it in polarized 3D of some sort, or with active glasses.
The limited 3D theatrical release will NOT be in the color filter (anaglyph)
process used currently by Robert Rodriguez. What does this mean?
"3D CGI" animation will become TRUE STEREOSCOPIC 3D, when seen in large theaters. There is much cheaper alternative to exhibiting digital 3D, in
theaters, as the thousands of COSTLY digital projectors are phased in.
It is a mechanical retrofit, that allows instant change-over to a taller
35mm film frame. Each frame is 6 perfs high when running 3D, so that two widescreen (Left-Right) images can be placed on each frame. The system
has polarized lens, and certain heat reducuction features. The whole package
costs about 10% of the cost of the high output Dolby projectors. This
CINE 160 3D, process is being considered by theaters and major studios,
following the 15 times greater sales in 3D IMAX theaters vrs. flat 2D dates of POLAR EXPRESS. That film proved that 3D does improve the experience of
CGI animation. From this point on, it is likely that the term "3D" will again
mean STEREOSCOPIC FILM/VIDEO and "CGI" will cover the computer
use for "3D math based FLAT animation". "Geeks" has long tried to borrow the "3D" term from the historical legacy of true stereo image viewing. If you haven't seen POLAR EXPRESS in 3D, you can't fairly comment on 3D being a cheap gimmick only. Brilliant stuff is likely to surface as the truly big boys like Lucas,Cameron, Disney, and even Peter Jackson join the new 3D stereo revolution. The opening of their first CGI feature is a shot across the bow by
Disney. Allan Silliphant is editor of www.anachrome.com, a daily updated
news source for 3d stereo issues, and advocacy of these technologies.

Last edited by Allan Silliphant; June 29th, 2005 at 11:43 AM.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 10:54 AM   #2
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3D HD is future. Sony is pushing for 1080p50-60 HDTV. I hope will be 3D. If film becomes 3D, so will have to become HDTV.

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Old June 29th, 2005, 11:29 AM   #3
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3D didn't work out that well in the 50's, or again in the 80's...we'll have to see if it catches on now.

Not everyone loves watching 3D--the glasses are awkward, and the effect can sometimes be tiring or headache-producing, or gimmicky.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 11:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Radek Svoboda
3D HD is future. Sony is pushing for 1080p50-60 HDTV. I hope will be 3D. If film becomes 3D, so will have to become HDTV.

And if they make porno that way, watchout (just kidding folks).
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Old July 1st, 2005, 05:42 AM   #5
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Personally, I think this is nothing more than the studios having to come up with something new to compete with the incredible indie-films to come. They know it's inevitable that the HDX-200, (especially those armed with a mini-35 or MovieTube) and the cheapness and ease of FCP HD will give true theatrical creative power to the little man. They're scared off their butts and are grasping at straws. 3-D has a limited audience. I'm sure it's cooler than it used to be, but even as a kid, I hated wearing those stupid glasses. Most adults prefer simplicity with their entertainment. They want to be blown away while still being lazy. IMAX theaters are espensive to build and won't bring in the same revenue as typical theaters (IMHO).

But . . . Pooo wittle money gwubbing Wucus wid his toys dat are more important dan de quality of his films and Pooo wittle money gwubbing Disney (who fired Pixar over the fact that they simply asked for their just deserves-a slightly bigger piece of the pie since they almost single handedly brought Disney back to "Giant" status over the past ten years with material THEY created, not Disney) have to keep der empire somehow . . .

The likes of Lucas and Disney are both the best and the worst things that have ever happened to Hollywood and Disney. They introduce the greatest studio status and technical achievements in filmmaking and then cheapen their greatness to a point of cardboard dollar store entertainment. The last 3 star wars movies sucked and were merely toy sellers. Disney has the gaul to fire pixar over a few extra percentages. Lucas creates the the amazing Sony Video cameras capable of replacing film, and when Panasonic delivers the same deal to indie filmmakers, the studios sign pacts with theaters ensuring that anything going through the theaters goes first through the studios.

New 3D technology in IMAX theaters where you spend twice to 3 times as much per ticket? Just a way to keep control. I don't think it will work. Personally, I think it's kind of Juvenille, a bunch of bored richies getting a chance to build and play with new toys becasue they're bored, but then maybe I'm 36 and have got the "good old days" old man syndrome going on. One thing I'm certain about however. When there's a threat of little people gaining power, the rulers always panic to keep a stronghold. We'll see how long that lasts.
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Old July 1st, 2005, 09:10 PM   #6
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I hear this viewpoint quite a bit around the forum: "Hollywood is scared of the pending indie revolution". This is the not the biggest fear by any means--theater attendance is down, and the general wisdom is that this is due to audiences opting to stay home and watch the movies on DVD or satellite on their big screen TV's, at their leisure. If the audiences are making it out to the cinema, the tendency is towards blockbusters that have water-cooler buzz.

With this in mind, it's hard to imagine Middle America opting to go see low-budget indies with unknown actors on the big screen, when they can just rent the DVD (or soon enough, stream it at full rez).

Don't get me wrong, I think that under $10K HD acquistion is a great achievement and I'm all for it. But let's be realistic--all we are talking about is a sharper image, and that alone will not topple the system as we know it.
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Old July 1st, 2005, 10:03 PM   #7
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Indeed, cameras do not make good films; talented and imaginative people do. If Wal-Mart was handing out free $150,000 HD rigs (limit: 1 per customer) in their parking lots it would make absolutely no difference in the movie industry's composition or circumstances. We'd just have "sharper" glorified home movies...that only a minority of today's viewing public could see if they were so inclined.

Charles is certainly the in-the-know fellow in the film industry here. But from my relatively distant seat the business-B.S.-speak for what we're observing in the movie industry is that "the fundamental value proposition has shifted". That is, the theatrical release model for films is broken for a variety of self-evident reasons. Even "blockbuster" ultra-hyped movies with big-name stars and budgets larger than Rhode Island's state coffer have a tough time putting sufficient butts in theater seats to realize a healthy early profit.

Technology, gimmicks, and mountains of capital will not restore the movie business. Fundamentally it will take a wave of creativity in storytelling and producers and directors, and investors willing to give them wings --perhaps ultimately out of desperation. To a degree this is not a new predicament. We actually see approximately two generations of dead-heads (writers, directors) to every one generation of talent. We're in the trough of that cycle.

But what sets the current situation apart from previous predicaments is that "value proposition". Public theaters are simply no longer the most preferred venue for most people to see a film. Even a wave of the best talent won't reverse that circumstance. That's simply a change in society.
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Old July 1st, 2005, 11:47 PM   #8
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I've already expounded to the extent of my heart's desire (and probably everyone else's stomachs') on the ultimate pointlessness of 3D in this thread, but I find it strange that Chicken Little would be the film chosen to for a 2nd-eyeball treatment. Last October I attended an enlightening talk by Disney's Kevin Geiger which showed quite a bit of footage from the film (this movie has been in the works a loooong time--long enough that the song the animals "rock out" to in one scene is, embarassingly, the Spice Girls' "Wannabe"--but I digress). One of the major points made by Geiger was the extent to which, in the animation process, the models were being tweaked and contorted by the 2D-trained animators to achieve effects from the 2D realm. Put the camera at only a slightly different angle, and in many scenes, the animation effects are betrayed by the spatial impossibilities of models' body parts clipped into each other or twisted unnaturally. In other words, I would have expected that the lengths to which the animators were taking the models in this feature--unlike in previous CG animated features done by Pixar and PDI (Dreamworks)--would have made giving Chicken Little the 3D treatment an impossibility, or at the very least, a headache.
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 01:15 AM   #9
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3D is a different art form than 2D Cinema

I've done my share of documentaries, several small features, about 65
local and regional tv commercials, and lots of event coverage in 35,65mm
film, NTSC & HD in 2D and 3D. And let me tell you, there is plenty of room for true inovation when it comes to formulating a new cinematic language, making use of 3D stereoscopic vision. Just as color, and sound changed language of film
3D can do same, if given the chance. Cinema is in a rut. Having to come up with new ways of visualization for 3D can re-invigorate the look and feel of
movies and video. People don't realize how blind we so called "creative" types are to future changes. Who in Hollywood's Sci-Fi community ever forsaw the
real future, just around the corner, with real changes like the internet and the cell phone...NOBODY!!! Wise-ass negativists were knocking those ideas
as recently as 10 years ago! I'm old enough to remember a time when the
same "pinch minded" naysayers scoffed at dramatic films in color. They
could only imagine films in color to be splashy like an MGM musical. The
thread has drifting in the direction of cheap HD cameras.Somehow, getting cameras into the hands of poor artists will change the world! Bull----!
Film/lab/ & post have never been more than 7 percent of the cost of any
feature with speaking actors... Movies have become predictable because
technique is conventionalized...A new challage like 3D can stir up the pot!
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 05:15 AM   #10
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Why is that Hollywood won't publicly admit to some of the biggest reasons attendance is down. Ticket costs, over priced refreshments..and obnoxious people at the theater itself. I remember one time when my wife and I went to see A.I. and other peope in line were talking about how bad it was, then during the movie how bad it was...kind of stupid, but thats more and more what the movie experience is like.

They are also dealing with a population that is finding others things to do with their lives, whether it's the internet, or travel or just staying at home and being with each other and trying to justify the 20K they spent on their home theater, hehehe.
I also think Kens take on the current system putting out the same stuff over and over is very astute. 3D could make a difference if combined with compelling stories though and not just used as a gimmic.

Paying 10 bucks for a huge well crafted block buster is one thing. 10 bucks for the latest formulaic comeday/tear jerker/put convienient label here... is another. Cold blooded attitude for sure, but we are talking about the Entertainment 'Business' as Hollywood itself likes to explain.

I've found that most people pay a lot of lip service to independent movies, they just don't watch them. It's sort of cool and hip to 'understand' the indie film scene to show how 'anti' Hollywood one is. Then go and watch Batman begins....

I'm referring to the general public, not the those wanting to make movies.

I have my own personal reasons for staying away from many movies, but politics are a nono here at dvinfo.
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 06:43 AM   #11
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Fifty years ago, the big fear in hollywood was that a new technology, TELEVISION would kill the industry. (And techincally, they were right. It's just not happening as fast as they thought)

In response, Hollywood brought out newer,better widescreen epics, and AIR CONDITIONING to put people in their seats.

Hollywood and the movies didn't die. BUT the audience has been declining ever since. (Speaking in terms of tickets sold, per capita, not box office gross)

When VHS hit the scene, Hollywood was afraid it would kill the industry. It didn't, and instead, the industry found a new revenue stream, and renewed life for old classics.... but the side effect was they continued to feed the monster that eats away at the box office numbers.

When the box office ticket sales slumped, they raised prices, and more importantly, raised their percentage of the nut on tickets, while simultaneously shortening runs... more money for them, but higher popcorn prices for us. (This is where the house makes it's money folks.)

SO, what has this to do with 3D? Sure, it's another element to boost box office sales, an effort no different than
wide- screen/color/air-conditiong/stadium seating/Dolby Sound etc.

Will the "industry" survive? Sure, it's not going to die or even be killed by indy artists. But the next big revolution has got to be more than technological. It's got to be economical. I'm not sure how that will play out, but robbing from Peter to pay Paul is not the way to go.
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Old July 5th, 2005, 03:01 AM   #12
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my five cents

Oh boy
nothing will really change.

Today any talented music lover can set up his live recording set
and needs only a small car and some good but not very expensive mices.

It does not work this way as musicians don't like to be produced by a "one man no name company", they are dreaming of big names, no matter how professional or talented the one man company will be.

Film is a book certainly a better one, light, scripting, actors a lot of time no sun where supposed to be etc some catering or restaurant it is a lot of work and even with only friends a lot of time really. Editing and post is time too.
Now it starts where to be projected.?

Certainly a top notch HDV cam will help to be on a standart that hopefully will last some time.

But a outdated DIGI Beta or SP cam with rails for filters follow focus, C mount changeable to any mount you dream off and any lens you can get is much more important for film.

Let's name first I would change on the 1800$ HDV cam is the lens mount to have my 25mm movie tube not longer with gaffer tape.
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Old July 5th, 2005, 03:06 PM   #13
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Rich I was under the impression that the air conditioning was a 20-30-40s thing pre TV. But other then that I completely agree with your post.

Personally I don't believe that "hollywood" is scared at all for indies. Because face it the big studio's for the msot part are just big mode's for distribution so if there is a great Indie movie out there and that movie want's to get theatrical release why wouldn't a studio purchase it for a crazy sum like 1 million bucks only to watch it gross 1000 million. I don't think hollywood is worried about indies at all.
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Old July 6th, 2005, 02:25 AM   #14
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Well done

Maybe even the don't know about indie at all they are totally on their own planet and that's ok
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Old July 6th, 2005, 10:15 AM   #15
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Don't fool yourself - they know about indie's, they just don't care because they don't really have to. They have most of the channels of distribution locked up, so any indie that wants to really 'make' it has to deal with them. The reality is, even bigger 'Hollywood' films are indie in that they aren't paid for by Hollywood, because the studios are all about limiting their risk and increasing their profits. The big studios themselves fund 4, maybe 5 films a year, and the rest are made by other people. They are made with the elements Hollywood likes - but those are the elements that Hollywood likes because they're the elements that the majority of the viewing public likes. Hollywood doesn't make the movies it makes because no one wants to see them. The only way an indie can make any dent in that is if it becomes the beast, if it makes the movies that Hollywood makes (and Hollywood can make great movies). Leaving aside for the moment that just as many indie films are crap as Hollywood films are, and most of which strive for a Hollywood sensibility even as they claim otherwise.

Indie isn't ever going to beat Hollywood. If it ever gets to the point where it is making a great deal of money, it will get absorbed by Hollywood, because that's the way the world works.
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