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The Golden Opportunity

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Check this article out.

According to Gabe Newel, President of Valve Software and makers of Half-life 2, releasing DirectX 10 as a Windows Vista ONLY product was ?a terrible mistake?. According to their findings, only one in fifty players has both Windows Vista and a DirectX 10 compatible graphics card installed.

According to the article, when developers release cross platform games that include the Xbox 360 and Sony Playstation, developers seek the lowest common technology denominator, and that leaves DirectX 10 being featured in a tiny number of games. In fact, in the case of Half-Life 2, even though it features DX10 support, it is for speed enhancement purposes only, and offers virtually no visual improvement over DX9.

Working on the premise that lowest common denominator technology always takes priority, in this case consoles, how does this impact S-3D in PC gaming?

I think this is good news because proper rendering technique is not specific to certain platforms, and S-3D gaming does not require special coding or expensive programming layers. Stereoscopic 3D is the game developers? golden opportunity to offer exciting game play far above modern game consoles, and unlike the Windows Vista/DX10 combination, this will avoid excluding their current audiences by continuing to benefit from the same standards between platforms.

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Interview with Chris Chinnock, President & CEO of Insight Media (3D Biz-Ex)

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Hello everyone!

As you know, MTBS is a media sponsor for the upcoming 3D Biz-Ex in San Francisco this coming September. Below is an interview we did with Chris Chinnock, President & CEO of Insight Media. All MTBS members qualify for a 20% discount on registration, and we are looking forward to seeing you there!

What is Insight Media?

Insight Media is a market research, publishing and consulting firm focused on the display industry. Instead of focusing on the numbers end of market research, we favor the analytical and strategic side of the business. Our products and services include daily and monthly news and analysis, in-depth annual report, conferences, education webinars and seminars, and private consulting services.

Is it true that nearly everyone working for you has an engineering background? Why?

Yes, true. In fact, our team is composed of world-class display experts, most with advanced engineering degrees and lots of technical, business and market experience. This team allows us to bring a very high level and seasoned perspective to all of our products and services – and is a key reason why clients like to tap our team for specific assignments.

Tell us about some of the newsletters and popular conferences you have done. Who do you tend to work with?

Our customers are mainly in the display industry, but we also help others in various vertical markets who need to tap experts in displays. We are particularly proud of our Display Daily news service as this offers a summary of very current news, but with some added analysis, perspective and commentary for this team of experts. Our goal is to inform and provide insight in two minutes a day – a great way to stay hooked into the display and related markets.

We also offer two monthly subscription newsletters that cover the entire display ecosystem each month. One focuses on larger sized displays and applications while the other focuses on mobile displays and products. These offer a valuable round up of the industry each month covering technology, products, market data, business news and more.

When did you start getting interested in stereoscopic 3D (S-3D)?

We have covered stereoscopic display in our newsletter for years. Our newsletters go back to 1998, and I was writing about this area before that.

S-3D has been around for awhile. Why are you interested in it now?

About a year ago, we decided to do a comprehensive report on 3D technology and markets as we sensed momentum was building up and excitement in the space accelerating. That proved to be a good decision as we have seen a lot of interest in the report from various industry participants.

What is it called and what were your key findings?

The report is called, “3D Technology and Markets: A Study of All Aspects of Electronic 3D Systems, Applications and Markets”.

The nearly 400-page report gave us new awareness of the breadth and depth of the 3D industry, but also awareness of its fragmented and immature nature.

We identified nearly 40 market segments where 3D is used, but each application is small with the products and culture of each market different from others. In fact, there is little awareness of this broad tapestry of applications and little cross fertilization between these groups. Key findings include forecasts in many of these market segments with various levels of acceptance and expansion. But the bottom line is 3D is hot right now and advancements are coming very quickly in many sectors. Even five months after completing the report, we are more bullish about the prospects for the industry.

If there is indeed a postiive industry-wide shift toward Stereoscopic 3D, what are the key markers that are demonstrating that?

S-3D has been in wide use in many professional markets for years and will continue to be used here at increasing rates.

The really exciting part is what is happening on the consumer side. Here, the big dog in 3D right now is digital cinema. 2D digital cinemas are being converted as fast as the hardware can be made – rolling out to 700-800 theaters by the end of this year. This is creating awareness in the public of 3D and is creating a very favorable impression about the image quality.

The next big wave is going to be 3D TV. A year ago we thought this would take years to develop, but now, we see it taking off much faster. This year, Samsung and Mitsubishi will offer a wide line of stereoscopically-enable DLP-based rear projection TVs to consumers. This will create an impressive installed base.

The next piece is content and here we are also seeing big strides from companies like DDD and Sensio to convert 2D content to 3D. And what happens when Hollywood wants to take its 3D movies and offer them on HD DVD or Blue-ray? You will see this happen soon too, I suspect.

3D gaming in the home is already happening, but new monitors and the DLP TVs will make it easier for gamers to go 3D. And that?s not all! Cell phones, electronic picture frames,and digital cameras are all eyeing adding 3D capabilities. We plan to offer a new special reprt on 3D in the home soon as this is really starting to move and we want to help make people aware of this opportunity.

3D Biz-Ex is your first conference of this kind. Why are you doing it?

Our goal is to create THE 3D event that brings together the whole ecosystem in 3D. This means hardware, software and component suppliers in 3D acquisition, conversion and display, plus system integrators and buyers of 3D equipment in all of the vertical markets. Today, 3D is sold in each vertical market, but there is no place to see the full spectrum of 3D. This is the event we want to create to grow the industry. The event is also geared to focus not only on technology, but on the business of 3D. We need to know how to grow the industry and what better way than to get all the participants talking and learning from each other. We have organized the event with a symposium part and an exhibition/networking part. Next year, we plan to greatly expand the exhibition part. This year?s symposium will feature sessions on 3D Public Displays, 3D Gaming, 3D Cinema, Novel 3D Technology, 3D TV and 3D Visualization.

Do you think your conference is more relevent now than it would have been five years ago? Why?

Yes, much more so today. The real expansion of cinema and all the potential consumer applications takes the industry to a whole new level.

Why do you think this conference and conferences like it are important?

There is little opportunity for cross fertilization among all levels of the broad 3D industry and there are no conferences devoted to discussing the business issues. Business leaders will make the investments that will grow the industry, so it is vitally important that they understand the opportunities and make the investments.

Can you name some of the speakers and what they are going to be talking about?

The best place to learn about this is at the 3D Biz-Ex website, which has a full agenda with speakers and abstracts. We will be adding a few more too, so stay tuned. And there will be a special event you won?t want to miss too. More on that very soon.

Who should make a point to attend this conference?

Technologists, sales and marketing personnel, senior executives, investors, and just as importantly, anyone interested in learning about and purchasing a 3D system or product. Clearly, seeing 3D is what it is all about, so we will open up the exhibition area to all interested parties to attend for free on Wednesday, September 19th. We want to make it easy to see 3D.

S-3D has been around for some time, and despite being an exciting technology, it?s had its share of pitfalls. What do you think of the industry?s future today, and what makes you think that way?

We are growing more bullish each month as we hear about new technology, new commitments, new products, trials, etc. There are still many hurdles and this is an early stage industry, but things are on the move, which makes it very exciting too!

If there is a theme or a message that attendees should walk away with once your conference is done, what should it be?

We want you to leave with a solid understanding of the breadth of the 3D industry, the status of development, the rate of change in the industry, the issues which confront it and the opportunities it is creating. If attendees get that, we have accomplished our mission.

You can learn more about this conference by visiting the 3D Biz-Ex website, and claim your registration discount in the Member Benefits section of

Post your comments HERE.

Things Are Getting Serious!

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Check this article out:

Mitsubishi Evolves 3D DLP Technology

I’m starting to get really excited by all this because within the next year, we are going to have both viable and proven S-3D solutions for the computer desk, the living room, and the movie theatre.

Not just solutions, but a healthy competition of solutions! Just last week, our forums have been discussing Samsung’s 3D HDTV solution, and now Mitsubishi is officially in the game. For the desktop game player, iZ3D will be releasing their solution soon, and there are other products in the market expected to pop up very shortly.

The message I get from this article is companies are taking the complexity of S-3D, and turning it into something everyone can understand. With the industry’s earlier, less successful attempt, S-3D required an education of what S-3D is, an above average understanding of computer hardware, and a lot of patience for finding the right settings.

What is happening here is the 3D HDTV companies appear to be going after the more mature markets with content that is easy to display like S-3D rendered movies and sporting events. I like the sporting event idea! A movie has only one to three viewers at the TV, but if you get the Super Bowl in S-3D, you could have ten people at your house seeing S-3D for the first time!

This is great news for the industry, because once everyone is talking about their favorite S-3D movie or sporting event that they saw at home, it’s going to put even MORE pressure on the game developers to release MTBS certified, S-3D compatible video games.

Post your coments HERE!

What Does S-3D Have In Common With Galileo?

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We credit Christopher Columbus for proving that the world is round, but the real action happened when Galileo looked through his telescope.

Nicolaus Copernicus first postulated that the sun is the center of the universe, but he didn’t have the tools to prove it. It was only when Galileo Galilei made a technical innovation of grinding better telescope lenses that he was able to prove without a doubt that the earth revolves around the sun, and not the other way around.

Unfortunately, in the early to mid 1600’s, knowledge was a dangerous thing. I will never forget the play I read about Galileo (“Galileo Galilei”), where the senior Catholic Church clergymen would refuse to look in the telescope because to do so would forever change their beliefs and smash the political fabric that society was based on. At the end of the book, as right and as factual that Galileo was, he had no choice but to recant when he was threatened by a brief introduction to his awaiting torture chamber. He agreed to rewrite his theories, and to have his manuscripts approved by the church before being released.

What the church didn’t know was he had secretly written a second version of his manuscripts, and had arranged to smuggle them out for the world to see. I can’t help but wonder if the Catholic Church would have continued to maintain an equally strong influence on society had it embraced and prepared for this information.

I think we are beginning to see a parallel movement in the stereoscopic 3D gaming industry. Like Galileo’s telescope, the industry is releasing S-3D technologies that work well, and let gamers see the awing details that have been missed out on all these years. In a matter of weeks, multiple suppliers are going to have competitive at home products on the market that are going to show us the eye blowing 3D the industry has been waiting for.

How will game developers respond to this new insight? Will they adopt the technology and improve their influence in the gaming industry, or will they introduce S-3D gamers to their torture chambers in hopes that the next era will magically disappear?

While a minority of forum moderators have been quick to draw out their modern day torture tools of deletions and bannings, I know firsthand that at a senior level, game developers are gradually looking through the telescope and are becoming receptive. They see what we see, and unlike the clergymen who felt threatened by this new knowledge, game developers are beginning to see that this new era will enhance their influence on gaming society, and not threaten it.

The illusion that 2D is the end all and be all of gaming is beginning to shatter, and thanks to your efforts, a new S-3D gaming era is beginning. Keep up the good work!

Post your comments HERE!

This is a New Mythbusters’ Special

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Hello everyone!

Sorry it’s taken so long to get a new blog out. I was in California for the past week on business, and as usual, there’s always something new cooking at MTBS.

I’d like to share with you an experience that made me feel a bit surprised because I take MTBS’ public image very seriously.

I’m not going to name names, but a leader in the S-3D industry met with me at Siggraph 2007. While he was happy to learn about MTBS, he purposely did not sign up or participate with our site because he thought MTBS was a subsidiary of iZ3D. He was stunned when I explained to him that I don’t work for iZ3D. His next question was “then, who do you work for?”

When I said “myself, MTBS is my business”, the whole conversation took on a more relaxed, positive tone.

Just today, I got an email from a valued member who was talking about opportunities in the S-3D industry, and how “your monitor” can be used in other markets. It’s not MY monitor!

Let me go on record and say that MTBS is not a subsidiary of iZ3D. iZ3D is a valued sponsor, and MTBS is owned and operated by Neil Schneider Productions Inc. – my company. All content, business relationships, and business decisions are finalized by MTBS – and only MTBS.

While I won’t name names, prior to launching MTBS, I went through company A, B, C, and iZ3D was “D” before a sponsorship deal was formed. From the day of launch, the site has stated in the FAQ section that we are non-proprietary, and all S-3D manufacturers and providers are welcome to participate. Our current certification standards are completely based on NVIDIA drivers, and do not yet take iZ3D drivers into account.

The reason this impression has been circulating in the industry is because other S-3D solutions need to go to bat for their products and their industry, and help their customers along by participating with MTBS. Even though MTBS represents the industry by backing a standard that serves everyone, everyone needs to equally back the industry.

If you don’t yet see your favorite provider participating with MTBS, it’s not because we have turned them away. They have as much right to participate with MTBS as everyone else. Actually, it’s not a right, it’s a customer service obligation.

Post your comments here!

Is the 2D Glass About to Break?

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Dare I say I told you so? Ok, I’ll dare, I told you so! Check this article out on the lackluster adoption of DirectX 10.

I have an analogy to share with you. Moore’s Law, in its simplest form, refers to the doubling of processing power every 18 months in the computer industry. Over the past few years, there has been a lot of talk about silicon quickly reaching its processing limits, and CPU manufacturers are looking for viable alternatives to keep pace.

From the point of view of visual pixel counts, the mindset of Moore’s Law has not directly impacted the display industry just yet – but that doesn’t matter. This isn’t about pixel counts and shaders and color gamuts. This is about the relationship between visual processing power and the likelihood of earning an excited response from the gamer.

I would venture, as demonstrated by this article, that the ability for traditional 2D media to thrill its video game players is closer to the ceiling than most are willing to admit. On a scale from one to ten, “one” being 160 X 160 pixel screens, to “eight” being the more standard 1600 X 1200 pixel screens with the 3D shaders and colorful graphics of today, the industry has nearly peaked the excitement curve that 2D media stands to offer.

Figuratively speaking, onscreen video game images have gotten better and better, and we are quickly getting to the point when the monitor glass will break, and a true 3D image will be born for the masses. It’s inevitable.

I would go so far as to say that traditional 2D content is the most inefficient way to thrill an audience. Let me explain through example. Video games are at-home amusement parks without the lineups. Nothing more, nothing less. However, while a video game requires hours of play before the consumer thinks they got their money’s worth, an amusement park gets away with several short four minute rides with long uncomfortable lineups in between!

How can this be?

Amusement parks are all based on 3D technologies. Universal Studios and Disneyland both feature 3D rides which have stood the test of time. Even a traditional rollercoaster is a 3D technology, after all! This is the type of content our eyes want, and our customers crave.

Fortunately for the video game industry, we have the advantage of already rendering our content in 3D, a wide range of stereoscopic 3D (S-3D) hardware solutions are already available on the market, and very little – if any – effort is needed to make video games S-3D friendly.

2D gaming is clearly showing the signs of outliving its usefulness, and we are now blessed with the opportunity to start a new gaming chapter, and resetting the thrill progress to efficiency scale back to level one.

Post your comments here!

PC vs Console – Has the Mark Been Missed?

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I?d like to point you all to this article I read online today that has me feeling very conflicted. It is an interview summary with Mr. Roy Taylor, NVIDIA?s VP of Content Relations:

There are three things happening here that don?t make a lot of sense to me:

1. He is claiming that players have switched to consoles over PCs for gaming.
2. He strongly believes that the PC innovation that will drive the PC gaming market share are high resolution screens.
3. He thinks that it is acceptable for a good game to require a $20,000 (yes, twenty THOUSAND) dollar PC.

I found this article troubling for a number of reasons. First, and most importantly, it doesn?t make any business sense to me.

Yes, console games are very successful, and they will continue to be very successful. Back in my day, computers and consoles lived happily ever after with Coleco Vision, Atari, Commodore, Apple, Amiga, and so on. In fact, it wasn?t the console?s catching up to computers, it was computers catching up to ? and surpassing ? the consoles!

So, like a fine wine connoisseur, there will always be a market for those who like to buy their white in a box, and their red in a bottle. The PC market is the bottle market, and Mr. Taylor is at least correct in recognizing that.

Now, he is very much correct that to continue to reap the benefits of superior game developer attention, the PC market has to differentiate itself from the console market. Unfortunately, his mindset is based on a myth that believes a console can only plug in to the living room HDTV. I?m sorry, Roy, but monitors are not PC ONLY equipment, and if NVIDIA?s marketing strategy is to say ?Hey, we are after games that display on LCD panels?, they are in for a shock!

In fact, I think this is a very dangerous strategy because it gambles the PC market?s success on a relatively boring piece of equipment ? the flat 2D monitor. It amazes me that the biggest idea the industry can think of is a higher resolution. It just doesn?t strike me as a major breakthrough worth paying top dollar for now that HDTV is commonplace.

The article hints at having PC games with extra levels and more artistic quality, but where is the innovation? Who cares?!??

Here?s the real problem – since when is $20,000 for a PC acceptable? Sure, if you want an Octo-SLI set-up with a CPU farm rendering your video game in your garage while your wife is threatening to run you over as you chant ?serenity now, serenity now?, I guess that?s an option.

Suppose the hardware manufacturers do manage to sell a modest number of these $20K machines. Can you think of a single game developer who would think to develop and market to such a small, boring market place?

Let?s face facts, the PC gaming market is the industry?s dirty little secret. While the average consumer may be impressed by the words ?Dual Core? or ?Intel Inside?, it?s the video games that give customers the annual excuse to upgrade their computer and feed the industry?s families. The PC dollar value has to be something that every day consumers can swallow, and still offer a competitive advantage over their console counterpart.

The good news is the solution is right under NVIDIA?s noses. I know I?m preaching to the choir on this website, but for those of you unfamiliar, stereoscopic 3D (S-3D) is the thrilling technology used in 3D movie theaters like IMAX 3D, RealD, and Dolby Labs. Everyone is jumping on board, including Dreamworks Animation, James Cameron, George Lucas, and more. When millions of moviegoers see Star Wars in re-mastered S-3D, they won?t need to be educated on what TRUE 3D gaming is in video games.

With the exception of speed, NVIDIA?s only competitive advantage right now is their stereoscopic 3D support for video games. While we are very excited to see that NVIDIA is continuing to develop these drivers, it?s time for NVIDIA to put more public focus and private money into it. Their stereoscopic 3D development team is going to be the life blood of that company much sooner than later, and they should have every resource needed to be successful.

It?s not just about NVIDIA! iZ3D has developed proprietary drivers that work on both NVIDIA and AMD/ATI graphics cards, and they further support post processing effects in 3D like never before seen.

If you spent $5,000 on a computer (which is HIGH), and your neighbor spent $400 on his console, how are you going to wow him to your house? Give him a pair of 3D glasses, and he won?t be mowing the lawn for months. THAT?S what the PC industry needs right now, and THAT?S what game developers want to hear. None of this rubbish about high resolution monitors that no one cares about.

Like oil riches being drained from the ground, the PC market understands that time is ticking for the next defendable business breakthrough in gaming, but unlike the world?s energy crisis, the solution is right in front of our eyes and in movie theaters across the country.

Post all your comments HERE.

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

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  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.

  • MTBS Newsletter in the Works!

    By Editorial No Comments

    Hello everyone!

    We are working hard to continually enhance the “Meant to be Seen” offering, and we are adding a newsletter component to the site. We will post abbreviated previews here, and have full versions distributed via email to our members.

    If you have a story to share, please send it to us via the contact web-form.