MTBS3D RT @tifcagroup: Client to Cloud portal site upgraded! More on the way.
MTBS3D RT @IFCSummit: Call for speakers is open! #IFCSummit2020 November 16 & 17 Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.
MTBS3D .@Robertsmania did a fantastic interview with Kevin Henderson, COO of @pimaxofficial at #CES2020, where he showcase…
MTBS3D .@ULdialogue is getting ready to launch a new stream of benchmarking products for the creative space. Check out ou…
MTBS3D Check out our interview with Chris Leigh, Regional Sales Director @powervisionme. He talks about their latest water…
MTBS3D Check out our interview with Zsolt Szigetlaki, Founder of the YAW Motion Simulator, a motion simulator chair for…
MTBS3D Check out this interview with Tony Zheng, Co-Founder of @matatalab. They have developed a new robotic toy for child…
MTBS3D Adshir makes ray tracing technology that works on countless platforms and device types. They’re are the first on r…
MTBS3D We interviewed Steve Venuti, VP of Marketing for @KeyssaTech. They've developed a solid state connector that is cha…
MTBS3D Jim Malcolm, Chief Marketing Officer for @HumanEyesTech demonstrated their latest combination 360 degree plus 180…
MTBS3D .@Dlink spoke to us last week at #CES2020 about their latest Wifi 6 mesh router and what it means for end users.…
MTBS3D RT @tifcagroup: Our Client-to-Cloud Revolution Portal is LIVE! Computing is heading towards a world of any place, any device user experienc…
MTBS3D RT @IFCSummit: .@thekhronosgroup President @neilt3d talks open standards and client-to-cloud at #IFCSummit. #CloudComputing
MTBS3D Please help @tifcagroup by completing their survey by December 16th!

GDC 2012 Part III

Welcom to the final part of Meant to be Seen's coverage of GDC 2012!  Special thanks to MTBS' Field Writer Kris Roberts.  Not only is Kris formerly a Senior Game Designer at Rockstar Games, he is an avid stereoscopic 3D gamer in his own right.

Alterface 5Di
Benoit Cornet - CEO
Benoit Cornet, CEO of Alterface 5Di at GDC 2012 The idea of location based entertainment is not new (e.g. amusement parks), and Alterface seems to have a pretty good model for going after this on the business side.   They build theaters and environments that combine stereoscopic displays with saddle like seats for players and interactive controllers that can be used for lots of different games that can go in locations like theme parks, shopping malls, theaters and museums.

Alterface 5Di SampleA few years before I started working in video games at Angel Studios, they did projects for Disney like a virtual jungle boat ride.  The projects were cool and the development was fun for the teams, but the end result was one or two physical installations.  Not the most rewarding return for the developer, and a risk for the customer who ends up with a very specific product that's not easily re-purposed down the road.

The approach Alterface is taking with their 5Di theaters can be heavily themed, but can also be left relatively neutral to let the games themselves provide the atmosphere and environment.  At GDC they had a model of a typical installation and lots of material on various venues which have been built.  The goal is to provide group gaming experiences and leverage the physical investment in the installation with a variety of game content.  For game developers it could be a win in terms of a new market where games could be re-purposed or developed specifically for these installations - especially as more of them are built around the world.

Colors! 3D
Jens Andersson - Founder

Jens Andersson, Founder , Colors! at GDC 2012
Colors! 3D is a drawing application for the 3DS, and its really pretty cool.  You create art with it on different layers with a set of brushes and tools that are fun and intuitive to work with.  The system saves the sequence of steps you took and can play them back, which is even more fun when you take a look at art created by other people.
Colors! 3D Sample from GDC 2012 Colors! 3D Sample from GDC 2012
Sharing what you produce is easy, and there is an interface on the 3Ds and a website that lets you browse what other people have done and view their work.

Virgile Delporte - VP Marketing and Business Development
Soft Kinetic Demo at GDC 2012 SoftKinetic makes a motion sensor and supporting software for a motion detection and gesture control system.  It's similar to MIcrosoft's Kinect but uses an alternative depth detection approach called Time of Flight as opposed to the Structured Light method used by Kinect.  One result is that the user can interact very close to the sensor and still get accurate detection.
Virgile Delporte - VP Marketing and Business Development, Soft Kinetic at GDC 2012
At GDC they had systems set up for demonstration, but it's important to keep in mind that their business is in the production of the technology and are not producing consumer products.  The devices they have on display are the developer kits, and are working with TVs, game device and set top box manufacturers for the products that will be in the marketplace.  For game developers, they are working on generating enthusiasm for gesture recognition and distributing their iisu (the interface is you) SDK.

Although they didn't have it as a part of their demo at the show, the combination of stereoscopic displays with an intuitive gesture based input system is something that makes a lot of sense.

Stereography: The Art of 3D
Ian Bickerstaff
Simon Benson
Buzz Hays
L-R: Buzz Hayes, Simon Benson, Ian Bickerstaff (Team Sony!) at GDC 2012 The day wrapped up with a presentation from the guys at Sony about Stereography - for the first time at GDC (I think) a stereoscopic session was presented in the Art track, not programming.  I believe this is significant, and a good indicator of getting stereoscopic game development moving into the creative space for artists and designers to work with rather than simply an exercise in technology.

Ian Bickerstaff and Simon Benson started the presentation with a series of interactive demonstrations of how the parameters for stereography work.  A key part of the presentation was the 3D projector and polarized glasses that were distributed to the audience.  Often in sessions about stereoscopic stuff, the presenters discuss the topics and show 2D slides to describe what it means but the audience has to imagine what that could possibly look like.  Having a large high quality 3D image for the presentation makes a huge difference.

The talk went through the basics of setting a scene that looked reasonably "correct" from a technical perspective and then moved into demonstrations of how the conventional camera properties like focal length and camera position worked when you were also adjusting stereo parameters like the interaxial distance and horizontal image translation.  Then they moved into multi-rig/multi-cam approaches that showed how you can compose foreground and background elements together so that each has the settings that make them look best.

The automatic calculation of parameters was also presented as a way to bend some of the rules, particularly when the player has control over the camera.  It's fine for the art director to tweak the camera to get the shot they want, but what happens when the player takes over and starts moving things around?  Setting up heuristics and adjusting things intelligently when proximity thresholds are crossed is essential to presenting the player with good 3D under all circumstances.

The second half of the presentation, "Telling Stories in Three Dimensions" was done by Buzz Hays who is the Senior Vice President and Executive Stereoscopic 3D Producer for Sony Pictures.  Buzz is deeply involved with master classes that Sony does with Hollywood luminaries and had tremendous information to share with game developers about what film has been learning about story telling and emotional connections in 3D.  Concepts like depth scripting and the impact of subjective vs. objective views produced by parallax decisions have significant impact on the viewers of movies, and games can benefit significantly from learning how to utilize them as well.


Looking back at the day it kind of feels like a blur book-ended by the Uncharted 3 camera talk in the morning and the Sony stereography session in the afternoon with some really cool stuff on the expo floor in between.  It's been great to have more sessions this year talking about stereoscopic 3D than ever before, and particularly to have them in the Game Design and Art tracks.  The potential for 3D to engage players and provide innovative gameplay experiences is something that a lot of the members at MTBS are already excited about, and I'm really encouraged to see the game developers embracing it as well.