Sony 3D Technology Center at Sony Pictures Studios

Posted By Barry Goch on February 11, 2010 12:00 am | Permalink
Sony has launched a new technology center to share their experience and knowledge in creating 3D entertainment. According to Chris Cookson, president of Sony Pictures Technologies and chief officer of the 3D Technology Center, their 3D experience can be shared across the industry more broadly and elevate the overall knowledge in the business. This initiative is not limited just to 3D theatrical exhibition, but also to 3D in the home via Blu-ray, 3D television broadcasts, and 3D gaming.

Buzz Hayes, formerly of Sony Pictures Imageworks, is senior vice president of the Technology Center. Buzz gave an excellent overview of 3D terms visually with CGI figures in the Tech Center's 3D theater. He also demonstrated some of the pitfalls of 3D production. For example, he showed via these CGI scenes, some effects of bad 3D, the worst being divergence where the 3D image is created such that ones eyes are forced to look in opposite directions outward to see the 3D imagery.

To help avoid these issues, the center has begun 4-day training sessions with cinematographers and directors for film and television, live events, and games. They have many educational resources, such as sets, virtual cameras, 3D previs programs by FrameForge3D, and 3D test shoots. Participants will learn how 3D storytelling techniques are different from traditional filmmaking methods.

Steven Poster, president of the International Cinematographer's Guild, said this training center follows in the footsteps of a previous Sony training initiative with the first high-end Sony HD cameras. He said this is a real boon for the industry

Harry Friedman, executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, treated us all to 3D footage from Wheel. He stated, to keep the shows fresh and exciting, they have always added new elements to their productions, like when they were one of the first syndicated shows to switch to HD.

We then moved to the Tech Center's living room demo where Chris Fawcett, VP of Television for Sony Electronics, spoke about home entertainment in front of a prototype 3D Sony Bravia TV. He said that Sony choose active glasses for 3D in the home due to the fact that it is the only system at this time capable of the "gold standard" for the home theater experience, true 1080p. We were treated to 3D game footage playing back on the Sony 3D monitor and it looked awesome. I'll definitely be an early adopter for this one.

3ality is Sony's partner in providing 3D stereo camera rigs to the Tech center. DP Dave Drzewiecki led the attendees through the demonstration of the 3ality camera system. You can find a video of Dave speaking about the 3ality system on the Post Magazine's Website under Featured Videos.

In my opinion, this is a fantastic development for the future of 3D entertainment and good for the industry as a whole. This initiative to bring the highest level of 3D talent in the industry together and share that experience is a winner.