Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"HARDWARE: Philips shuts down 3D TV division"

Philips glasses-free 3D display technology had been praised by industry analysts who had seen prototypes. Unfortunately, the display could only be used for showing 3-D images due to the permanently attached lenticular lens and its 2D-plus-Depth format had little content available. Furthermore the $13,000 price tag for the new displays was too high for consumers. Philips autostereoscopic display eliminated the need for special 3-D glasses by attaching a lenticular lens to the front of a 42-inch high-definition (1,920- by 1,080-pixel) LCD panel. Philips said its Consumer Lifestyle TV business will not be affected. That unit will continue to evaluate 3-D TV technology should Philips decide to reenter the market.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"MEDIA: Monsters vs. Aliens enabled by Intel's InTru3D"

Monsters versus Aliens, the 3D animation movie, showcases Intel's InTru3D technology for the first time, and is just the first of a continuing series of 3D movies from DreamWorks Animation LLC enabled by Intel.

"InTrue3D is a major effort and alliance we have with DreamWorks--Monsters versus Aliens is just the first InTru3D movie," said Hitendra Naik, Visual Computing Marketing Manager at Intel. "InTrue3D is our trademark that consumers can see for themselves in movies that were created from the ground up using state-of-the-art technology from Intel, with DreamWorks providing the creative talent to bring 3D to theaters."

Intel's extensive involvement with 3D technologies included printing 150 million pairs of ColorCoded glasses for the recent Superbowl halftime 3D show. Intel also already had a lasting relationship with Pixar Animation Studios, to which it supplies the server farms that render Pixar animations in 3D. So when DreamWorks got started with 3D animations, they naturally came to Intel for its already proven track record in 3D.

"The key thing is that 3D adds another level of complexity to the whole process of animation, which was already demanding more and more hardware support to do accurate rendering. With 3D the work is more than doubled, since you have to process the images for the left and right eye separately," said Naik. "DreamWorks approached us at Intel in terms of their needs for hardware and technology, telling us that they knew that otherwise they were going to hit a roadblock soon."

As a result, Intel now supports DreamWorks with its server farms that performed the 3D rendering, with Monsters versus Aliens being the debut of that collaborative effort with Intel. However, Intel's InTrue3D effort is not confined to supplying the rendering engine hardware, but the company also supplied the software expertise to optimize 3D rendering on Intel's servers in the most efficient manner possible.

"The other thing that we are adding, besides the rendering hardware comes from our software services group," said Naik. "We have a team of software architects, which are working with Dreamworks on their animation and rendering pipeline to take maximum advantage of our multi-core architecture. InTrue3D is a combination of the processing power of our servers, plus the software engineering that we provide, ultimately giving the creative forces at DreamWorks the freedom to create these 3D movies."

Monters versus Aliens opens worldwide today, but is just the first of DreamWorks' 3D movies to showcase Intel's InTru3D technology. Both Pixar and DreamWorks have pledged to not only release all their future movies in both 2D and 3D formats, but to go back and re-render their animation catalog in 3D, with most existing titles to be available in 3D by 2010.