Pusan market turns focus to 3-D with presentations

Exhibitors offer glimpse at future

Producers and exhibitors wrestling with the transition to digital 3-D were treated to practical demonstrations of new technology Monday as BIFCOM 2007 offered up the first in a series of 3-D cinema presentations.

BIFCOM's 3-D focus will continue today with a seminar on the opportunities and challenges posed by 3-D. Participants will include In-Three manager of operations Matthew DeJohn, Kwangwoon University professor Lee Seung-hyun, CJ CGV manager Kim Sung-woo, filmmaker-journalist Takayuki Oguchi and cinematographer Koo Jae-mo. The individual presentations will continue with Visual Communications and Stereopia.

U.S. firm In-Three offered up samples of its "Dimensionalization" process, which turns regular 2-D movies into 3-D films, complete with demonstration footage of the space battles in "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith" and still frames given the 3-D treatment from Bong Joon-ho's Korean horror hit "The Host."

Seoul-based Master Image demonstrated its new 3-D projection system, using trailers for Disney's 3-D version of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and its recent animated 3-D movie "Meet the Robinsons."

In-Three coined the term "dimensionalization" for its software, which scans 2-D images and transforms them into 3-D. DeJohn demonstrated how the process allows filmmakers to alter depth within the frame. The same scene can take on the appearance of an open window, allowing viewers to look into the scene, or objects within the scene can appear to extend out from the screen, reaching into the movie theater.

"The basic operating principal is to understand the director's original artistic intent," he said.

Because dimensionalization is a postproduction process, it allows directors to shoot a 2-D film without having to use 3-D cameras, and then convert a film to 3-D. It also can be used to increase the value of film libraries by converting movies and stock footage to 3-D.

Master Image CEO Lee Young Hoon described his company's efforts to develop a new 3-D display system for use in theaters as well as a separate system for such personal display devices as PC monitors, mobile phones and MP4 players.