Today Nintendo boosted its 3DS handheld with some fresh functionality. Nintendo said this feature was coming and now it’s finally here: after downloading the free software update, 3DS owners can now have fun with 3D video recording. You can record up to 10 minutes of glasses-free 3D video in continuous or stop-motion style. Another cool new feature is system transfer; if you’ve got a 3DS you can transfer photos, audio recordings and games, including save data, to other 3DS systems. Street Pass Mii Plaza and the Nintendo eShop have been updated as well. Buying and downloading content in the shop has been made easier; you can use your credit card to purchase content by adding only the needed funds, you can choose to Download Now or Download Later, and now there’s the ability to cue up downloadable content and let it install to your system in Sleep Mode. The update also includes something special for Mario Kart 7 players; any time you play online against another Nintendo 3DS owner in MK7, you can now automatically add them to your Friend List without a friend code. And last there’s Nintendo Zone. If you find yourself standing in one of Ninty’s 29,000 3DS hotspot locations you’ll be offered free and automatic access to game previews, 3D videos, trivia challenges, retailer promotions, coupons and more. Dig into the 3DS’ system settings to perform the software update right now.
Creative production houses Studio Output and Marshmallow Laser Feast collaborated on a series of videos for Sony Europe to help advertise the PlayStation Store. Three videos were made for the “Great Films Fill Rooms” campaign and you can watch them right here! Part 1 of the “Most Insane Immersive Movie Experience EVER” is embedded above, and the others are sitting after the break.
What’s so neat about these videos–besides their spectacular visuals–is that they were all shot in one take in real-time with no post-production alterations and edits. The producers explain how they accomplished this. They took advantage of “‘Immersive Imaging’ which takes 3D projection mapping as its starting point, but gives the viewer a supercharged experience with the help of the PlayStation Move controller. In the past, projection mapping worked only from a single, static view point, and thus was very limited. By attaching the PlayStation Move to the camera, we can track projections to screens in real time, enhancing the effect of spatial deformation and false perspective on the projections and allowing viewers to look round (virtual) corners, bend walls, create a hole in the wall, or remove the walls altogether to reveal vast expanses of virtual worlds.”
Using a Steadicam, PlayStation Move controllers, EyeToy cameras, tangible props, and agile actors in spandex they were able to make the magic happen. Too bad this is all a marketing stint; hopefully it won’t be long before we see something like this promoting the next video game console.
Martin Scorsese’s Hugo lands in theatres today, and if you needed an extra little nudge to go see it, watch this quick clip. In it James Cameron, the 3D guru behind Avatar, highlights the use of 3D in Hugo and the powerful effects it has on the storytelling.
Peter Jackson is at the very top of my list of people who are awesome. The behind the scenes video diaries he’s been churning out from the set of the upcoming two-part prequel The Hobbit are simply fascinating. The theme of the fourth vlog is 3D filmmaking. Jackson and his crew are shooting The Hobbit in 3D using RED EPIC cameras and 3ality lenses. The camera department is home to a grand total of 48 RED EPIC cameras on 17 3D rigs. Interestingly, all of the different camera rigs are named after Jackon’s family members and inspirations. All of the scenes from the film are being shot at 48 frames per second at 5K resolution for a more realistic and immersive picture. The diary explains how everything from the set design to makeup is affected by the way in which the high-res 3D camera rigs pick up colors and tones. Oh and get this–even the concept art is drawn in 3D with red and blue colored pencils! Go behind the scenes with Jackson in the video above. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey releases December 14, and part two subtitled There and Back Again comes out one year later.
The PlayStation branded 3D Display that was announced and detailed at Sony’s E3 press conference earlier this year now has an official release date. The PlayStation Blog reveals that the $499.99 set, which comes bundled with one pair of 3D Glasses, MotorStorm Apocalypse 3D-capable game, and an HDMI cable, will go on sale November 13. Early preorders offered a copy of Resistance 3 and Sony clarifies that if you put in an order on or before September 30, 2011 you will still be receiving that game. To refresh your memory, the 24-inch LCD display outputs 1080p HD picture and features 2D/3D support, high contrast (5000:1), a wide viewing angle (176 degree) and high response time (4ms GTG average) with a slim design, high quality sound with an integrated subwoofer, and two HDMI ports. And it’s got one really cool trick up its sleeve. Sony describes the SimulView feature like so: “This special two-player feature is unique to the 3D Display in that it significantly enhances two-player mode in select games. Ordinarily, two-player mode is played in split-screen format. With this unique two-player feature, each player gets their own full (2D) HD screen while wearing the 3D Glasses for the 3D Display.” The active 3D glasses contain the special sauce to perform the trick. Be aware that Sony will sell compatable 3D glasses separately at $69.99 a pop. If you want to learn more about the technologies powering the 3D Display head on over to the PS Blog where you’ll find an informative FAQ that should answer most, if not all, of the questions you might still have. Product images sit in the gallery below and an introductory video sits after the break.
For those of you who couldn’t make the Glee Live! In Concert! tour, you won’t want to miss the upcoming 3D Concert Movie that’s packed with the tour’s musical numbers and behind-the-scenes action. The Kevin Tancharoen-directed 3D flick hits theatres August 12.
Scorsese’s fully embracing 3D with his upcoming flick Hugo. The family-friendly adventure film stars Asa Butterfield (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas), the phenomenal Chloë Moretz (Kick-Ass, Let Me In), Ben Kingsley, Jude Law, and Sacha Baron Cohen. ComingSoon.net provides a synopsis:
Hugo tells the story of an orphan boy living a secret life in the walls of a Paris train station. With the help of an eccentric girl, he searches for the answer to a mystery linking the father he recently lost, the ill-tempered toy shop owner living below him and a heart shaped lock, seemingly without a key. Based on Brian Selznick’s award winning and imaginative New York Times bestseller, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” this magical tale is Academy Award-winner Martin Scorsese’s first film shot in 3D.
Dig the trailer above. Hugo hits theatres November 23, 2011.
i3D is now available in the App Store! But what is it? It’s a simple app that takes advantage of the Head-Coupled Perspective, or HCP, to track the face of a user in real time. The app makes your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch’s front-facing camera lock into your face and updates the perspective of a 3D scene accordingly. The app relies solely on head-tracking; the built-in accelerometer and gyroscope are not utilized. The developers note that HCP “does not create a stereoscopic display. It provides a kind of monocular 3D display: the same picture is seen by both eyes. In the future, it might be combined with a stereoscopic display for a better 3D effect.” The app comes preloaded with several 3D scenes for you to experiment with. It’s free, so there’s no reason not to try it out. Sure, i3D is a glorified demo of sorts but hopefully such experimentation will one day lead to full-fledged games that take advantage of the 3D illusion.
The Glee kids are kicking off their second nationwide Glee Live! In Concert! tour later this month. If you missed out on purchasing tickets, Twentieth Century Fox and Glee creator Ryan Murphy have plans to make things right. This summer a feature film based on the concert will hit theatres and they’re going to call it GLEE LIVE! 3D! (so many exclamation points!). The film will comprise of the tour’s musical numbers, including the memorable “Don’t Stop Believin'” cover, and some behind-the-scenes action. It’ll all be captured in three dimensions, with director Kevin Tancharoen (Fame, Mortal Kombat: Legacy) and producer Ryan Murphy calling the shots.
Says Murphy: “This tour was all about going out and performing for our amazing fans who have supported our show from the beginning, but due to the limited time we had to travel during our hiatus, there were only so many cities we could get to before we had to resume work on the television series. We knew that not every fan who wanted to attend a concert would get that opportunity. Now, thanks to our friends at Twentieth Century Fox Film, we’ll be able to bring the concert experience to movie theaters across the country in full three dimensional glory. We promise every passionate ‘Gleek’ a cinematic experience that will have them singing and dancing in the aisles.”
The concert film releases August 12 and will remain in theatres for a limited two-week run…that will likely be extended due to the hit FOX show’s rabid fanbase.
This week Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox announced when the Star Wars re-release in 3D is going to begin. Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace will be the first in the franchise to receive the 3D conversion treatment, landing in theatres February 10, 2012. The remaining five films will follow suit over the course of consecutive years. Reads the press release:
Set against the thrilling and exotic backdrop of a “galaxy far, far away,” Star Wars is perfectly suited to the immersive 3D theatrical experience, and Episode I delivers some of the Saga’s most stunning and spectacular sequences – from the Naboo invasion to the Tatooine Podraces to the climactic lightsaber battle between Darth Maul and the Jedi. Supervised by Industrial Light & Magic, the meticulous conversion is being done with utmost respect for the source material, and with a keen eye for both technological considerations and artistic intentions.
Do we really have to experience Jar Jar Binks in three dimensions? I might skip out on this one and wait for the original trilogy to come back; I advise you to do the same. And for all you couch potatoes out there, don’t forget that the franchise is coming to Blu-ray in September.
Remember that bizarre demonstration that featured Frenchman Francois Vogel simulating the 3D active shutter process by attaching two modules to the temples on either side of his head? Yep, it was fake. Doubts, confirmed. The culprit: 3D projection in post-production. It was an admittedly intriguing experiment wrapped in suspicion. Now here’s to hoping that someone will actually come up with a glasses-free 3D solution that isn’t so wildly disturbing to witness.