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.
    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

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora