3-D enhances image at IBC

Confab touts future in films, TV

AMSTERDAM -- Stereoscopic 3-D content has come into focus at the 2007 International Broadcasting Convention.

"We are bullish on putting 3-D out there if Hollywood supplies the content," said conference speaker Drew Kaza, executive vp digital development at Odeon and UCI Cinemas in London. "I think it's an encouraging sign that people like Jeffrey Katzenberg and Jim Cameron are producing 3-D."

At sessions covering techniques for 3-D production and post -- in the eyes of many observers, postproduction has lagged behind production -- several manufacturers offered demonstrations. Quantel unveiled 3-D post technology that already has been ordered by 3-D company Pace; Assimilate showed a post system in use on "U2 3D," a 3-D concert film of the band U2; and Iridas said it is working on 3-D capabilities for its toolset.

Subtitling 3-D features has emerged as a growing concern. Hollywood studio executives reported that they have been experimenting in this area, testing placement of the titling near the bottom and top of the image as well as outside it.

"Subtitling is going to be a problem," Kaza said. "(The release of) 'Beowulf' is going to be a big test."

The packed demonstrations included previews of "U2 3D," which featured three songs: "Sunday Bloody Sunday," "Miss Sarajevo" and "Vertigo." Quantel hosted a demo of 3-D material from Pace, which included clips from Cameron's "Ghosts of the Abyss" and the 2007 NBA All Star Game in 3-D.

Joshua Greer, president of 3-D provider Real D, warned that filmmakers have to pay attention to making 3-D a comfortable experience for the viewer so that they don't get headaches or become physically sick. "The top of the list is misalignment," he said.

The 3-D dialogue also extended to home entertainment. Texas Instruments demonstrated a DLP HDTV 3-D set with glasses that caught the attention of passers-by in the hall.

"(3-D) will make its way into the home thanks to the new displays that will be available very soon," said Neil Feldman, president of 3-D conversion company In-Three, which supplied content for the 3-D TV demo.