Thursday, September 17, 2009

FINALLY - USC Embraces Stereoscopic 3D

Jim here. It has been a long time coming - I went public about it after there was no movement a year ago - but there is finally a top flight educational institution planning on offering a very much needed Stereoscopic 3D program - USC.

From Variety (emphasis is mine): Hoberman and Scott Fisher, chair of USC's interactive media division, are setting up an interdisciplinary program at the School of Cinematic Arts that will address how the technology can be used in narrative-based production such as movies and scripted television, as well as in gaming and immersive media. According to Fisher, the program should commence next fall.

The program will have a strong research component to complement its classes, Fisher said. USC already collaborates with such industry partners as Sony, HP and EA on S3D and boasts many alums who are its boosters, including George Lucas, Randall Kleiser and faculty member Michael Peyser, who exec-produced last year's "U2 3D" film.

Fisher said while the technology itself is undeniably important, the program will focus on developing its pictorial language.

"We have a good sense of the differences (between 2D and S3D), simple things like not making quick cuts between, say, a nearfield scene and a landscape because it hurts your eyes," Fisher said. However, filmmakers are just beginning to test out such techniques as upping the perception of depth to heighten emotional impact, he said.

"We're getting so many requests from industry to provide them with this kind of background in stereoscopic imaging because they're making more and more films and need that kind of talent to move things forward," he said.

About time. I have been pushing folks for some time now to get this done and it is so gratifying to see a formal program being set up to build that foundation for this generation's filmmakers. Late or not, hats off to USC for ramping this up.

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