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First Newsletter! Coverage of Dimension-3 Expo, Hollywood & Games Summit, Moving the S-3D Industry Forward!

By July 4, 2007Editorial

  1. Dimension-3 Expo
  2. The Show (Continuation of Dimension-3 Expo)
  3. Hollywood & Games Summit
  4. – What Now?

Hello Everyone!

It’s time for the first newsletter! I’m sorry it has taken so long. It’s not an easy decision to figure out what should go in it and what style to go with. I decided to start with an informal editorial approach, and as it progresses, we will adjust it according to what our members like and what they would like more.

Special thanks go to iZ3D and our growing MTBS membership for making this all possible.

Dimension-3 Expo

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of being a keynote speaker for Dimension-3 Expo that took place in Chalon Sur Saone, France. I look forward to sharing videos of the event in the near future.

The Trip

Half the fun was getting there. I don’t know if you are aware, but I am based in Toronto, Canada.

In addition to the excitement of speaking at an event focused on stereoscopic 3D technologies, it was a wonderful opportunity to visit Europe for the first time. Of course, I would not be alive today had I not invited my wife to come with me!

The first challenge was the luggage. Between us, we had two giant HEAVY bags of luggage, a carry-on, a notebook computer, and a whopping 22″ iZ3D monitor. Our airline had very stringent weight limitations, so imagine our relief when the maximum allowed baggage weight was 60KG, and the scale peaked at 59.8KG!

Not everything went as planned though. Our flight was delayed because of a computer problem, and when Dimension-3 arranged for a driver, the poor man had to wait an extra two hours for us to arrive!

After landing in Paris, I was greeted with this model of the Air France Concord

We were immediately driven to the train station in Paris, and from there we needed to take two trains to Chalon Sur Saone in southern France. The biggest challenge we had was our train wasn’t due to arrive for two hours. So, we took the opportunity to buy some coffee and pastries and sit it out.

Here’s a tidbit about me. I was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec and moved to Toronto in ’96. The reason I moved is because I thought there would be more media opportunity for me in Toronto and because my French was too weak for me to hold my own in the province of Quebec.

I can’t begin to express how proud I was to order coffee and pastries in French in front of my wife! In fact, we didn’t need to use a French/English dictionary through the whole trip. My French is so bad, I was probably ordering broiled leg hair in restaurants for all I know, but I think people understood me 70% of the time. I guess what’s key is people like to see that you are trying.

We got on the first train which was an experience in itself. Maybe it was the time of the day or that everyone was tired, but I couldn’t believe how quiet it was. For two hours, you could hear a pin drop on the tracks. It was a library moving at 100MPH!

The second train was a little more difficult because we had a lot working against us. First, it was a super hot day – I’d say a humid 30 degrees Celsius. Second, there are a lot of people getting on and off the trains – not a convenient position to be in if you have five cumbersome pieces of luggage! And, last but not least, we had less than ten minutes between when our train was arriving, and the train we were going to was expected to leave!

One more piece of information for you – escalators are not very popular in French train stations. Don’t ask me why – they just aren’t. How we got all our luggage from one train to another through all those flights of cement stairs in such a short time, I have no idea.

By the time we arrived at Chalon Sur Saone, we had been travelling for 22 hours straight, and neither of us had enough sleep the night before. If you ever take an evening flight overseas, you are going to hear a lot of people telling you to sleep on the plane. It’s good advice, but it only works on the second flight. With all the excitement, we couldn’t sleep even if we tried.

Do I look exhausted? YES! I was!

After dragging our luggage up and down a few more staircases, we decided to get a drink from a vending machine. We figured we’d leave the train station, call a cab, and find our way to the hotel. Weak and weary, we got out of the station, and to my surprise, a man stopped us and said “Monsieur Schneider”?

Frederick Mossard, a Dimension-3 Expo partner was picking us up in person! In our tired state, we were extremely grateful that he was there to drive us to our hotel.

Meeting Oleg

After checking in to our hotel, we got together with Oleg Tishutin for a late dinner. Oleg is the Chief Scientist for iZ3D and is considered one of the key inventors of the iZ3D monitor. Oleg flew in from Moscow, and his trip was less direct than ours. He had to fly from Moscow to Spain to France.

My lovely wife Pam, and Oleg Tishutin, Chief Scientist for iZ3D.

My wife, Oleg, and I walked the streets for a bit, and enjoyed our first meal on French soil. It’s true what they say about French food in that it doesn’t matter what kind of restaurant you are in or how expensive or inexpensive the food is – it’s all good. The exception to the rule may have been McDonalds – but we didn’t try it, so I don’t know.

The Show

Aside from the Dimension-3 Expo website and having spoken with their general manager on the phone, I really had no idea what to expect. It was a brand new conference and this was one of the first events of this kind.

It was a Wednesday, and while it was only supposed to be a half day, we decided to go early because we wanted to see how things were set up and begin making image preparations for the driver announcement.

On our way to the conference…

On our way to the conference…

Yes, we got lost. Here is Oleg getting directions…

Woohoo! We made it!

Looking good!


The conference surroundings.

The conference surroundings.

The conference surroundings.

The conference surroundings.

Enjoying a brief tour of the city.

When we arrived, we received a very warm welcome. The moment we walked in, it was clear that they spared no expense. There were framed lenticular photos showing 3D images from multiple angles, exotic French meals were being served in the cafeteria for delegates, there was a big screen dual projector S-3D setup for presentations, and an even bigger theater reserved for public viewings of S-3D motion pictures designed for the general public.

Indeed, the stage was set for an exciting conference – but would people go? Would the centre be empty like Jurassic Park, or would it fill up like Disneyland? Years ago, I worked in the tradeshow business, and there is no greater stress than the first day of a new conference – the day you wonder if people will show up. My hopes were very high for the Dimension-3 Team because this type of conference is rare, and it was a big gamble to take on a challenge of this magnitude.

Fortunately, the gamble worked! Crowds of people shuffled in and registered, and theaters were quickly filled with professional filmmakers and S-3D enthusiasts.

I’d say there were two markets at work here. The first were the S-3D professionals. When I say professionals, I mean PROFESSIONALS! Physicists, cinematographers, and digital artists – all with a focus on S-3D. Then there were events targeted to the general public – everybody loves 3D, right?

At times it seemed like a medical conference with the level of discussion and debate on the floor. Should stereoscopic cameras be facing straight ahead, or angled inward? Is a James Cameron movie with high pop-out convergence a thrill? Or is it more appropriate to focus on depth and keep things in proper perspective?

My favorite part of the show was the S-3D movie features. I really liked “The Haunted House” by nWave Pictures. It’s an animated feature from the perspective of a cat walking and running through a haunted house. Digitally rendered in S-3D, it was a house filled with scary imagination. This poor cat escapes from ghosts, spears, animated toys – you get the idea. By the end of the movie, you really felt for that cat.

Other memorable features included “Fly Me to the Moon” and James Cameron’s “Ghost of the Abyss” – the S-3D feature film that explored the Titanic in mini-subs.

On the exhibit floor, I got to try out some cool auto-stereoscopic technology from LG and KTH Newsight (formerly X3D Technologies). The biggest thrill came from the 4D chair by CL Corporation.

The 4D chair was a moving simulation experience. Once you put on the VR goggles and select a movie, it quickly becomes a wild ride. I would almost call it a manic experience. Combined with the 3D experience, the chair blasts hot and cold air, splashes water, and moves with the movie. It was a compact version of Shrek 4D at Universal Studios.

I did have the privilege of meeting some interesting people and tuning in to some industry conversation and trends. For example, while MTBS is focused on traditional stereoscopic technology in video games, the professional stereoscopic 3D industry is increasingly focused on lenticular technology. The idea is that a picture can project as many as nine camera angles from a single image, and by viewing it from different views, walking by it for example, the picture dynamically changes accordingly.

Our presentation went really well, and I’m told we will be able to share it with you in a matter of days.

The presentation! Neil Schneider, President & CEO of Meant to be Seen

Neil Schneider, President & CEO of Meant to Be Seen, and Oleg Tishutin, Chief Scientist for iZ3D

Neil Schneider, President & CEO of Meant to Be Seen, and Oleg Tishutin, Chief Scientist for iZ3D

Here are some facts that I shared with the Dimension-3 Expo audience:

  • S-3D Gamers are nearly expert PC users which in my opinion equals lower customer service expenses for video game and computer hardware manufacturers.
  • S-3D technologies required 20% to 30% more processing power when compared to traditional gaming setups.
  • MTBS research accumulated from our members demonstrated that S-3D gamers can spend as much as $40,000 US per hundred gamers when compared to traditional hardcore gamers – $400 more per year on computer hardware!

    Of course, you know about the innovative iZ3D drivers that were revealed at the end of the presentation, but this was a very small part of the 45 minutes prior to question and answer time. I think we did a good job at getting our points across and I’m looking forward to showing you the video when it is available.

    You can see most of the conference through pictures by clicking on the link below. Our presentation is listed on June 7th.

    Pictures from Dimension-3 Expo

    Hollywood & Games Summit

    I was very excited by this conference because it focused on strengthening the inroads between the filmmaking community and the video game industry. There has been a link between movies and video games for some time now where a movie is jointly released with a video game (e.g. Spiderman, Superman, Star Trek, Fantastic 4, etc.), and I think the importance of this is potentially stronger for the stereoscopic 3D industry.

    RealD has already announced that they would be releasing 800 S-3D movie theaters by the end of 2007, and Dolby Labs is giving RealD a run for their money with a novel solution that lets movie theaters keep their existing screens. Dreamworks Animation has already rendered “Shrek the Third” in stereoscopic 3D and has announced that all of their future titles from 2009 onward will be rendered in S-3D as well.

    With the large movie studios taking on S-3D whole heartedly, and a little help from MTBS, the video game industry is starting to feel the pressuring demands to keep up with their sister film industry by implementing S-3D technology and selling their customers the products they want.

    The Hollywood & Games Summit was a golden opportunity for MTBS and the industry we represent, because while it had an attendance of about three to four hundred people, the audience was composed of senior management, marketing professionals, and sharp eyed game developers.

    I had the benefit of exhibiting alongside iZ3D’s 22″ monitor, and the exhibit drew a lot of traffic. Everyone who saw the monitor was immediately impressed, and I continually reminded them that while iZ3D’s product is innovative, there are additional solutions in the market. If a game is rendered properly for one solution, it will work equally well on all the other solutions too.

    From left to right:
    Aaron Rapp (iZ3D Marketing Manager), Neil Schneider (President & CEO MTBS, ME!), and
    David Chechelashvili (iZ3D VP Marketing)

    I had the privilege of meeting key people at Activision, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Lucas Arts. There is a false impression in the industry that implementing S-3D compatibility somehow requires special programming or a whole new game architecture – and this is completely false. It’s not the gaming industry that is holding the industry back, it’s the myths that are circulating in the gaming industry that are putting up false barriers.

    The good news is the more game developers see the monitor and solutions like it, the wider the doors are opening, and I think S-3D and its consumers have a very promising future.

    I met some celebrities too!

    Have you guys heard of an upcoming game called “Jericho”? I got to shake hands with Clive Barker.

    He seemed to be the perfect candidate to take on S-3D! His whole presentation was about breaking the rules and opening your mind to new ideas. He has a personal vendetta against Roger Ebert because the famous film critic made a remark about how video games aren’t art and Clive Barker sees games as being very much an artistic creative form.

    Clive Barker During His Keynote at the Hollywood & Games Summit

    For those Prince of Persia fans out there, guess who I met? The PRINCE! Below is a photograph of Yuri Lowenthal – the beloved voice actor who brought the game to life.

    Neil Schneider, President & CEO Meant to Be Seen and
    Yuri Lowenthal, THE PRINCE of Persia!

    Guess who else I met? Rod Maher from Beepa! Who is Beepa? Beepa are the makers of FRAPS, the most popular video game movie capture and benchmarking utility! Rod is one of their key developers, and I explained our hope for a stereoscopic-3D movie capture tool. He has some ideas on getting it to work, so I’ll let you know of any developments.

    Neil Schneider, President & CEO of Meant to be Seen and
    Rod Maher, FRAPS Developer from – What Now?

    Our Milestones

    Congratulations, everyone – our site has been live for just over four months, and here are some key milestones we have accomplished so far:

    1. A thriving discussion forum.
    2. An active advocacy community.
    3. Discount programs on iZ3D equipment, with further opportunities coming down the wire as additional sponsors get involved.
    4. Multiple game servers.
    5. A dynamic upload/download section for our members.
    6. A non-proprietary programming guide for game developers.
    7. A growing library of certified stereoscopic 3D games.
    8. A growing list of affiliates who are helping support our cause.
    9. A reputable MTBS presence at leading conferences around the world.
    10. Growing awareness of stereoscopic 3D in the video game industry.

    How You Can Help – Game Developers

    We have a growing library of video games that have earned stereoscopic 3D certification. Give us a call and we can confirm where your game stands. With your approval, we will promote all your certified games to our members at no cost to you, and if games have not met certification criteria, we will privately inform you of what changes are necessary to improve your standing. We only list success so game developers look their best. We would be appreciative if your communications and marketing team could send us copies of your games for testing purposes.

    How You Can Help – Stereoscopic 3D Industry

    Running this site and promoting our efforts carries with it significant expense. We have devised sponsorship packages for all budgets, and are hopeful you will contact us to help drive your industry forward.

    How You Can Help – Members

    MTBS’ success is very much dependent on you. While the website is a catalyst, it’s our members who will drive the industry forward. Your membership, your posts, and your advocacy efforts represent the justification needed for the gaming industry to further adopt stereoscopic 3D technologies.

    How You Can Help – Marketing and Communications Industry

    We want to cover your stories. Send all your press releases to We want to hear about everything to do with stereoscopic 3D, video games, and computer hardware and software. If you are in the process of releasing a new game, send us two copies (each game gets reviewed by two independent reviewers) so we can certify it for you at NO COST.

    We Have Accomplished a lot in a Very Short Time, and We Have Much More Work to Do!

    If you read through our MTBS ideas forum, you will see that we are looking at refreshing the website to give it a more polished feel with more services for our members. Please post your ideas because MTBS is both a place for the industry and for you, our valued members.

    We have had a great deal of success with our advocacy forums because the game developers instantly see our enthusiasm when they read our positive posts asking for MTBS certification in their forums. It’s a good story for journalists as demonstrated by our recent coverage, and I think it empowers the industry by giving them sincere customer input for the good of their games and business success.

    In addition to advocating on forums, I would like to see more advocacy through video game customer service submissions. You have a right to ask if a game will be MTBS certified, and when you ask their customer service department, the game developers will investigate your request. I strongly believe that you only get what you ask for – so ASK, ASK, ASK!

    Finally, I have one last request which is very, very, very important – have fun!

    Keep pushing S-3D forward, and we’ll all be dancing around like this guy in the motion capture
    demonstration. Look at the monitor to his left!

    Post all your comments HERE.

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