Having the possibility of something great is not the same as being able to profitably market it, however, and such is the case with home 3D technology, which will require a dramatic shift in quality and increased consumer demand before the required mass-market commitments will be made by major manufacturers, enabling cost effective 3D devices and distribution channels. While experts agree that it's only a matter of time before next generation home 3D entertainment systems are widespread, that time could still be a decade away.
This leaves producers seeking to optimize current technologies as an interim solution and looking at Hollywood's cutting edge for inspiration.
One company pushing (or at least refining) the envelope is TrioScopics, which offers a "3D distribution solution for 3D entertainment." Founded by tech guru John Lowry and Ian Cavén, TrioScopics has developed advanced technology that uses proprietary image processing with inexpensive glasses "to make high-quality, stereoscopic viewing possible on any of today's standard playback displays and devices."
According to the company's website, its stereoscopic solution delivers a wide range of colors, excellent depth and full HD resolution for an immersive, visual experience and is compatible with current digital cinema and home entertainment systems, with no new equipment, accessories or upgrades needed. And best of all, it is available today.
Lowry recently talked to Studio Daily about his company's improvements on the traditional anaglyphic 3D format that is familiar to many consumers, so that the viewer experience is enhanced; with a brighter, more colorful appearance and fewer headaches than are associated with old-school 3D glasses.
"We're doing a movie that you can put on DVD or BD or broadcast or VOD. You can do it today — not next year, or the year after, or the year after that," Lowry said. "Everybody's talking about something that will revolutionize 3D in the home, and I believe, over time, that system will be in place in a lot of homes. But it's going to take something like three years for it to become a commercially viable market — for you to have enough homes with that equipment to ship a Blu-ray Disc and make money at it."
"There's no point in selling into a market where only studio executives can watch the discs," he added.
Market considerations for 3D at the end of the day will be profoundly influenced by the quality and maturity of the technology — which is where TrioScopics provides some advantages over other anaglyphic systems. Approaching the problem of 3D from a color-science perspective, the company looked at what was needed to get the viewer's two eyes working together properly, finding that it is vital to match the brightness of the left and right eyes to achieve the best effect.
"With red and cyan, what people call standard anaglyph, the red eye gets about half the light that's going to the cyan eye. That's where your headaches start," Lowry stated. "The ColorCode system is blue in one eye and a yellow kind of color in one eye, and there is something like three or four stops difference between the eyes. You are, in fact, legally blind looking through your right eye with those glasses. Look at an eye chart. You can't read the thing. So the first thing you've got to do is something dumb simple: match the brightness."
Rather than the red and cyan lens of traditional 3D systems, TrioScopics lenses are green and magenta, offering a full range of colors and accurate flesh tones.
"On critical viewing, our system gives full 3D depth as good as any theatrical system today," Lowry said. "The resolution in the left and right eye is approximately equivalent to what you get in 1080p on a Blu-ray Disc. We've made some good pictures."
American Paper Optics offers custom printable 3D glasses for TrioScopics 3D videos, which it claims far surpasses the effect achieved with the standard anaglyph systems.
"The TrioScopics system with its proprietary magenta and green lens combination has quickly become the top choice for DVD and Blu Ray delivery of 3D movies," states the company's website. "The special color combination … coupled with the expertly matched TrioScopics stereo encoding, allow the maximum depth and 3D perception with minimal color reduction. That is depth defying 3D effects and eye popping clarity with minimal ghosting."
Adult content producers looking to go 3D may want to check them out.