News / Science & Technology

3D Leaps From Movies to Real World

3D Leaps From Movies To Real Worldi
X
March 20, 2013 7:00 PM
From movies to computer gaming, audiences are delighting in the super-realism made possible by computer-generated video, including increasingly sophisticated three-dimensional, or 3D imagery. In Los Angeles, a team of developers is working to bring that 3D technology out of the realm of entertainment and into real-world applications for business and education. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Elizabeth Lee
— From movies to computer gaming, audiences are delighting in the super-realism of computer-generated video, including increasingly sophisticated three-dimensional, or 3D imagery. In Los Angeles, a team of developers is working to bring that 3D technology out of the realm of entertainment and into real world applications for business and education. 
 
In the movie Superman Returns, the audience knows that the superhero is not really flying, but there's also another illusion. The actor who looks like he's flying is also not real. He's a virtual actor. And the first step in creating the digital stand-in is to place a real actor in something called a light stage. It's a hollow sphere illuminated by lights.  Once an actor steps inside the sphere, a computer captures the contours of his face and records how they reflect light.
 
“We can light them with very specially computer-controlled illumination, and take photos of them from seven different view points with high resolution digital still cameras," explains Paul Debevec, who is with the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies.
 
Debevec is a part of a cross-disciplinary team working to create computerized images of people, objects and environments that look and act real. He says the light stage allows actors to be digitally created into animated versions of themselves, like the blue aliens in the movie Avatar.  The real world could soon be using a similar technology created at the Institute: a 3D video teleconferencing system that projects a video image of a participant into a meeting room. The video image can interact with other participants who can see the image in 3D without special glasses.

“The person who is being transmitted to a remote location can actually look around at the people in the room, and everybody in the room knows who they’re looking at.  And that's such a fundamental part of human communication," he said.

Debevec believes the business world will begin to use 3D video teleconferencing within the next five years.  But the public may see the next generation of this technology a bit sooner...

The Institute is using its light stage and Interactive 3D Display technology to record and display video testimonies of Holocaust survivors for the Shoah Foundation, also at the University of Southern California.

The 3D images will be shown on special screens in classrooms or museums, and will be programmed to play in response to specific questions about the Holocaust from students or visitors. 

Kim Simon, the managing director of the Shoah Foundation, says the Holocaust survivor can answer a wide range of topics.

“It could be about faith. It could be about love, it could be about beliefs, it could be about identity," she said.

Simon says having young people interact with a 3D Holocaust survivor will enrich their learning experience.

“It’s also a medium with which young people today are particularly comfortable," she said. "And the amount of information that comes though seeing a person’s face and hearing their voice at the same time is multiplied.”
   
A demonstration of an interaction between a Holocaust survivor and students may be possible in a year.  In 10 years...we might be able to play 3D video games without special glasses.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid