I am finally back from SIGGRAPH, and what a trip it was!
First, I am very excited to report that Epic Games is the first game developer to receive an MTBS Gold-A certification for Unreal Tournament 3 (UT3). Reviewed HERE, UT3 is a non-stop thrill ride of shoot’em up humor and casual gaming.
We awarded Epic Games Gold-A certification for UT3 because it can be played with all settings on full with very few visual anomalies in stereoscopic 3D mode using the iZ3D LLC drivers.
What made this certification special for us was Mark Rein, VP and Co-Founder of Epic Games, played the game in front of a packed audience of nearly 800 people on a professional Real D projection system. To our knowledge, this is the first time a video game has been played in S-3D on professional movie theater equipment. Special thanks go to SIGGRAPH, Real D, iZ3D LLC, NVIDIA, and Sony Imageworks for all playing a part in making this possible.
With 800 people watching, I think Mark was a touch nervous because when he started playing, the 3D wasn’t turned on. When Rob Engle from Sony Imageworks turned on the 3D effect, the entire audience had an instant positive reaction.
The second venue of the day was a clip show of leading stereoscopic 3D achievements including feature films, shorts, and upcoming titles like “Monsters Versus Aliens”. SIGGRAPH is a big show in itself, but the room was packed to the hilt with many forced to stand in the back. I had the privilege of concluding the ninety minute showing by playing through the introductory sequence of Bioshock by 2K Games in stereoscopic 3D using the iZ3D drivers. The audience was just amazed and I was repeatedly told that when the sequence was complete, they were left wanting to see more of this visually stunning gaming in 3D.
I’m not at liberty to mention names, but after our presentations were complete, I was approached by a leading game developer who confidently told me that console S-3D is indeed around the corner, and our efforts to grow into mass market appeal are indeed proving successful.
On the show floor, I sampled the 26″ iZ3D 3D monitor prototype. Vadim Asadov, iZ3D LLC’s Chief Technology Officer told me that the display is very similar to the 22″ workings, but they may make further specification adjustments as the monitor develops. The iZ3D exhibit was always crowded with gamers, and the S-3D technology was very popular. Vadim will be making a special appearance on MTBS in the next week or two.
LightSpeed Design was also on-hand with their new DepthQ 1280 X 720P DLP projector. Combined with the right stereoscopic 3D driver, I’m confident that their technology will be well received by gaming markets willing to spend the money. I didn’t see any game demonstrations, but the image quality was very sharp and well received.
TDVision Corp and Zalman were also on-hand, and I got to sample the new Hyundai 22″ monitor that features the same Zalman polarizer used in their own 3D monitors. Oh! The NVIDIA stereo drivers are expected to support OpenGL in S-3D by version 180 of the GeForce drivers along with several other compatibility enhancements – so let’s see!
Hans Westman, the Editor of SIGGRAPH’s quarterly newsletter, was impressed by everything he saw. Hans will be helping judge the CGArena stereoscopic 3D wacky video game character contest, and we expect to have results shortly. We are also very appreciative of SIGGRAPH because they featured some of our content HERE.
All in all, there was definitely a lot of S-3D excitement in the air at SIGGRAPH. However, don’t relax! We have barely scratched the surface of what we need to do to make S-3D a long term success rather than a flash in the pan media story.
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