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Archive for the ‘3D Content’ Category

I just read this interesting article/interview with James Cameron, who is arguably the most important force in the 3D industry. His assessment of 3D in theatres and at home is refreshing. I have pasted the most important parts below. Unfortunately, there is no mention of VR, where 3D, of course, is currently achieving its ultimate potential.

 

After Avatar cracked open the potential for 3D in cinema, the Canadian filmmaker had further success with the format when the 2012 conversion of Titanic earned $US343 million around the world.

Six years ago, Cameron predicted 3D would be standard in cinemas by 2016. And while the widespread perception is that audiences have gone off the format – deterred by an often disappointing experience and more expensive ticket price – he challenges that view.

“At that time we probably had 1500 screens 3D globally and we’re now up to 45,000 screens,” he says. “Pretty much every major film that’s made is offered in both 3D and 2D. I’d call that pretty standard.

“Now that doesn’t mean that everybody chooses it. We’re running at, depending on the title, anywhere from 40 to 60 per cent of ticket-buyers choosing the stereo option.

“But the total number of people viewing movies in 3D is about a 10 x multiple of what it was when I released Avatar. And probably a 4 or 5 x multiple of where we were [in 2012] so I consider that a pretty resounding success story.

But surely no-one is buzzing about 3D the way they did when Avataropened.

“They shouldn’t be,” Cameron says. “In 1961, the expensive movies were in colour and the cheap ones were in black and white. They put a big sign on the poster or the marquee that said ‘In Colour” and people would go to a movie because it was in colour.

“Cut to five or 10 years later, people weren’t buzzing about colour. It was just a fact of life.

“Honestly, I can point to any number of interviews where I predicted in our best case scenario, we would measure success when it was no longer remarkable. And that’s exactly where we are now.”

But Cameron accepts 3D television has failed and the movie industry has let itself down by hastily converting new movies rather than shooting them in the format.

“The conversion of classic titles where you have the time and energy to do it properly is not a problem,” he says. “The problem is when you’re trying to jam it in in post-production on a new Avengers film or whatever …

“I also think the industry has done itself a disservice by not stepping up on the projection technology to get the light levels up. That’s now on the horizon … there’ll be a big incremental evolution over the next few years where the 3D experience gets much more vibrant and dynamic.”

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vcg-logo-bronze-variationFrench, German and Australian firms form new global VR group poised for expansion, win two more Lumière™ Awards

PARIS, BERLIN, MELBOURNE – Jan 12, 2016/Global Newswire – Virtual Content Group (VCG), a conglomerate of international Virtual Reality (VR) companies, formed recently from the merger of France’s Cow Prod, Germany’s INVR.SPACE and Australia’s 3D Content Hub, announced today its launch and winning of two Lumière awards from The VR Society. Utilizing the forming companies’ over 15 years’ experience in developing leading-edge content, VCG will offer production, post-production and licensing services.

VCG has operations spanning thirteen countries and a rights library of nearly eighty VR titles, positioning it to rival the scale of leading American VR companies on the international stage. To date, the company has produced and co-produced more than 150 VR projects. The three respective entities  have a long track record and clients in over 40 countries, including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Disney, Huawei, Unicef, Sky, Netflix, NBC Universal, Samsung, LG Electronics, Sony and Deutsche Telekom.

The merger allows VCG to scale faster and serve larger clients with a regional focus on Europe and Asia-Pacific. “VCG is as an international leader in VR,” said Torsten Hoffmann, VCG co-founder and CEO, who has licensed 3D content since 2011. “Building our own IP is core to our business model.” The business, already profitable, will seek Round-A investment in early 2017 and intends to add more partners later this year.

Just three weeks ago, the Lumière award for Best European VR Campaign was awarded for VCG’s BMWi and Samsung 360° Experience. “The project included both 3D 360 live-action camera capture and augmented reality (AR),” said Berlin-based Sönke Kirchhof, VCG co-founder and head of production. VCG’s French team worked on Les Poissons Volants’ 3D 360 CGI project, Temptation of St.Anthony, which picked up the second Lumière award. This short film immerses the viewer into a famous medieval painting by H. Bosch.

In addition to distributing premium VR titles including Titans of Space and Tomorrow VR, VCG is currently developing a wide breadth of high-level projects, including museum installations, co-productions in Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong and Germany and a room-scale VR experience. “We partner with governments, companies and creatives all over the world and are not limited to one camera system or distribution platform,” added Gallien Chanalet-Quercy, VCG co-founder and head of content.

The three founders are available for interviews via Info@VirtualContentGroup.com.

 

About Virtual Content Group (expanded)

Virtual Content Group (VCG) is a leading global VR content company offering end-to-end production, post-production and distribution services. With a background in stereoscopy and 3D, operations spanning thirteen countries and over 50 clients worldwide, VCG is an international powerhouse with a focus on high-end branded content and award-winning factual content. The company has delivered more than one hundred 360-degree videos and virtual reality projects and owns distribution rights to a growing library of over eighty 3rd-party productions. VCG was founded in 2016 as three established companies from Australia, Germany and France completed a merger:

Cow Prod, based in Paris, has been at the cutting-edge of the production and post-production industry in France since 2000. A 3D content creator since 2004, CEO Gallien Chanalet-Quercy is a member of the board of Advanced Imaging Society Europe as well as a founding member of the 3D Guild. Cow Prod’s VR spinoff was founded based on several client requests for 360 degree production and post-production services and is now integrated into VCG.

INVR.SPACE from Berlin became one of the most experienced German VR production companies by developing interactive VR campaigns for very large corporate clients. CEO Sönke Kirchhof first built 360 degree camera rigs in 2008 and is a board member of Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute’s prestigious German technology cluster “3IT”.

With clients in 40 countries, Australia’s 3D Content Hub is a niche content distributor that has helped filmmakers, independent studios and content producers generate revenues from 3D, UHD, and HDR content. Founder Torsten Hoffmann is considered an international expert in monetizing content in leading-edge formats, now including 360 video content.

The three companies have merged their businesses and re-branded as Virtual Content Group to scale faster and serve larger clients and investors. The firm has a growing base of clients in Europe, Asia and the Middle East and is currently expanding into other territories. Learn more at www.VirtualContentGroup.com and on Twitter @VirtualContentG.

 

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The founders of Virtual Content Group talk about the VR industry and why they merged  their three award-winning businesses.

SK: Soenke Kirchhof. Co-Founder. Berlin. http://invr.space/
TH: Torsten Hoffmann. Co-Founder/CEO. Melbourne. http://3dcontenthub.com/
GCQ: Gallien Chanalet-Quercy. Co-Founder. Paris. http://www.cow-prod.fr/en/ 

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  1. What is your background and how did you catch the “VR bug”?

GCQ: I come, like the three of us, from a strong 3D background and have always been interested in new ways to tell stories. When the first 360 photography gear was released, we immediately tried to use it for storytelling and built our first rigs.

SK: With my background as a producer/CEO, I always focused on new ways of storytelling and formats. For example, I started one of the first internet TV Stations in Germany back in 2005 – just to be able to distribute art projects that I was interested in. In 2006, I founded Real Life Film International, focusing on stereoscopic 3D, to tell stories in more immersive ways than in flat 2D. Shortly after that in early 2008, I was part in a research consortium on immersive storytelling; we also shot the first 180° degree project with the first prototype of Fraunhofer HHI´s Omnicam. Over time, there were more projects in 360° for Dome Projections – and since 2014, we have produced and collaborated on over two hundred projects in 360°.

TH: Licensing content is a competitive and crowded business. I stumbled into stereoscopic 3D ‘by accident’ and 3D Content Hub became one of the leading distributors in this niche – which quickly disappeared. What 3D promised back then, VR actually delivers now. This became clear to me as soon as I saw the first few 360 clips on GearVR. VR will take a few more technology iterations to really take off – yet the first few headsets and experiences are already quite impressive.

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  1. What is your proudest professional accomplishment to date?

SK: My favorite moment was when Disney decided that they will not shoot in Los Angeles or with the largest German studio, but with us a relatively small and unknown company. We had been involved in the development of the camera system (which was awarded by the International 3D Society shortly afterwards) and Disney was convinced that we understood the creative aspects of working with it as well as the technical details.

GCQ: a) the premiere of my first feature film as executive producer in London, b) accepting the Lumiere Award in LA alongside Jean-Pierre Jeunet for Best 3D Commercial of the Year for the World of Warcraft commercial, and c) the recent Lumiere award for Temptation of St. Anthony VR for Arte Creative.

TH: a) figured out many ways to monetise 3D content and paid out about $3 million in license revenues to independent filmmakers, small production firms and freelancers b) built a network of hundreds of content creators and clients all over the world and finally c) wrote, crowdfunded, directed and produced my first documentary about the controversial technology Bitcoin and won 4 international awards for it. 

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3D Gif of the Week

http://giphy.com/gifs/8B57GEFZyrFeg

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Just go here and be stunned: http://www.odeith.com/anamorphic/

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I was interviewed by SNL as MIPTV and SONY’s 4k presentation was winding down. Here is the post:

4K technology panels peppered the agenda at MIPTV 2015. Invariably at these discussions, someone always draws a comparison between 4K technology and 3-D, a feature widely deemed a failure in the consumer electronic space.

But a fairer comparison, speakers said, was the successful transition from standard definition to high definition.

SONY 4k Panel MIPTV 2015

“I feel like we’ve been through this before. I feel like the transition from SD to HD is most analogous,” XiveTV co-founder Greg Diefenbach, who spoke on a 4K panel at MIPTV, told SNL Kagan.

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This is the article I wrote two weeks ago for the official MIPTV blog. It was originally published on April 9th here.

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4k Content Hub’ CEO explores the pros and cons of ultra HD TV, pre-MIPTV

As distributor of 4k content we get frequently asked by producers whether upgrading their workflows to 3840 pixels makes financial sense. “It depends” is our reply. We have recently experienced the boom and bust cycle of stereoscopic 3D and many in our industry are left disappointed and disillusioned having lost considerable investments into a technology that ultimately failed to convince the consumer. Being cautious about the “next big thing” the TV manufacturers are throwing at the market seems to the prudent approach.

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