Getting Perspective

With 3D productions on the rise, advances in stereoscopic motion picture technology are enabling filmmakers to reach audiences in ways that may be more immediate and visceral than ever before. “Getting Perspective II: The Art and Science of 3D Motion Pictures” built on the foundation of 2007's “primer” program by offering an in-depth analysis of 3D techniques.

Hosted by Science and Technology Council member Rob Hummel, “Getting Perspective II” revisited basic mechanics including interocular distance, active vs. passive glasses, and circular vs. linear polarization, then delve into such issues as before-screen vs. behind-screen 3D convergence, audience eye fatigue, adapting big-screen 3D effects for video, and the challenges of subtitling.

These concepts were further explored through clips from a new digital version of the short film “Muppet*Vision 3D” (1991), which was originally produced as a theme park attraction.  The last film directed by Jim Henson, “Muppet*Vision 3D” exemplifies the successful application of stereoscopic techniques and provides an excellent opportunity to examine the full range of visual effects that can be created in a 3D environment. An onstage panel discussed the making of the film and the dramatic development in 3D technology since its release.

Augmenting the evening, contemporary 3D filmmakers including Eric Brevig (“Journey to the Center of the Earth”) and Bruce Hendricks (“Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour”) discussed the challenges of working in 3D, and where stereoscopic 3D film production may be heading in the future.

Rob Hummel

Rob Hummel began his career as the director of production services for the professional film division of Technicolor Laboratories, moving on to Douglas Trumbull’s visual effects company during the making of the OscarĀ®-nominated “Blade Runner” (1982) and to post-production work on the Oscar-nominated “Tron” (1982). Before his most recent position as president of digital cinema at DALSA corporation, Hummel served as the senior vice president of production technology at Warner Bros., where he oversaw digital post-production (mastering films for digital cinema, HDTV, DVD, etc.), and digital restoration work on such classics as “Gone with the Wind” (1939) and “The Wizard of Oz” (1939). He previously worked in post-production, animation and Imagineering at Walt Disney Studios; headed animation technology at DreamWorks; and helped launch digital cinema units at Technicolor and Sony. Hummel is a member of the Academy’s Science and Technology Council and has served on the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee. He is also an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers and was the editor of the 8th edition of the American Cinematographer Manual.

Rob Hummel

Host and Science and Technology Council member Rob Hummel with a dual-camera rig.

Rob Hummel

Rob Hummel speaking about the souvenir viewers from the Chrysler Motors Exhibit at the New York World's Fair.