Talk on 3D Production by Chris Eller

by theaudioprof on February 26, 2011

Close Up of 3D glassesOne of the things I’ve been doing this semester is helping to arrange the T600 seminar series for the Department of Telecommunications while my colleague who is usually in charge of it is on sabbatical.

And on Friday we had Chris Eller–a Master’s student in the department and a Sr. Systems Analyst at the Advanced Visualization Lab–talk about a course that he, Senior Lecturer Susan Kelly, and another graduate student named Sean Connolly created called T452 3D Storytelling.

It turned out to be a very interesting presentation.  Initially, Chris had volunteered for a “half-shift,” a 30-minute presentation.  But, since no one else signed up for the second half, he was allowed to talk for the entire period.  He’s posted the slides from his talk to his own blog.  Check them out here.  This allowed him to give a brief history of stereoscopy.  For example, I had no idea that the former Justice of the Supreme Court Oliver Wendell Holmes was into stereoscopy and even invented one in the 1860s!

I must admit (like I did in the seminar) that I often view 3D as gimmicky.  I am not fully convinced what Chris believes…that “[3D] is going to be the future of media production.”  It’s hard for me to think that movies like The King’s Speech will be done in 3D in the future.  In fact, this whole year the buzz is on the power of dialog in the Best Picture category

But Chris makes a strong case.  For example, he states that the gargantuan sales of Avatar point to the sea change in the technology of 3D in the same way that Jazz Singer did for “talkies” and Wizard of Oz did for color.


Here’s two things I do know about 3D production, though:

That there is a tremendous demand for content. According to Chris, despite the “buzz” surrounding 3D there are only two major networks (ESPN 3D and 3Net) that have the content to go 24-hours a day.  Are there others who would like to?  You bet!

And, the other thing I know is that it means we have an opportunity to train students to not only do 3D content but to do it right.  But THAT means that we must have people like Chris, Susan, and Sean who are willing to take on the huge pedagogical challenges that doing it right entails.  Here’s a picture of Chris in front of a slide highlighting all those challenges.

Oh, you can listen to the entire talk on the IU Grad Student blog.

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