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Sunday, September 24, 2023


VisVid Film Festival to highlight 3-D theater

The Texas Learning and Computation Center (TLC2) is calling all filmmakers to partake in its May 4 VisVid Film Festival.

Students will get the rare chance to present their films of up to five minutes in length on a state-of-the-art 3-D stereo projection screen at the TLC2’s Visualization Theater.

‘There are a lot of students who have done interesting work who would probably like to have the chance to see their things on a big screen,’ said chemistry research assistant professor John Perkyns. ‘We decided the best idea for this was a festival open to not just traditional festival films, though all of that is still welcome. It’s also open to all sorts of science visualization, 3-D models, 3-D worlds and graphical animations.’

The Visualization Theater’s active stereo 3-D projection screen can project an image four times the resolution of a 1080p high-definition screen. Images are produced by the simultaneous use of two high-definition Sony projectors.

The lenses of both the projectors and the 3-D glasses are equipped with strobing LCD screens that create a 3-D effect that makes IMAX look like Beta-max.

‘Most people know about the passive 3-D because it’s what you experience when you go to the IMAX theater, which is basically putting polarization lenses in front of the two projectors, and you put polarized lenses on your eyes,’ Perkyns said. ‘Now there’s another system, which is called an active system. What that does is, instead of putting lenses in front of the cameras, it uses LCD screens.’ ‘hellip; You get no picture leak across from one side to the other; you get this beautiful bright image and if you’ve seen the difference, it’s so much more of a compelling of a 3-D picture.

The Visualization Theater has sensors on the ceiling that correspond with a special headset and ‘wand’ that employ haptic technology to the 3-D image.

‘You can stand here and these bars measure in 3-D space where the wand is, which allows you to interact with the image. You can grab the picture and twist it and turn it, that is, objects that are on the screen, he said.’

The theater was originally built as a tool for researchers to visualize complicated data in 3-D. The technology lends itself to stock market data analysis and mapping of geological subterranean layers of earth to fly-through models of buildings for architects and 3-D imaging of a heart suffering an aneurism.

‘It turned out that most of our use of it was demos, and people coming in to see presentations, rather than use it to do their work,’ Perkyns said. ‘We have nice raised theater-style seating so you can see what you’re doing. We’ve ordered four large theater seats with embroidered UH logos on them for dignitaries that come to visit.

‘We get a lot of VIPs coming through from different places, but we never get a dignitary from another university coming through that doesn’t say ‘why don’t we have one of these at our university?”

The TLC2 wants to share its resource with the campus community. The VisVid Film Festival is an opportunity to let students know that the theater is on campus and available for use, Perkyns said.

‘We (TLC2) are an umbrella institute for the scientific and engineering research institutes on campus. It was primarily for them that this was created, but then we realized visualization doesn’t just happen in the sciences, it’s much more naturally fit with many of the arts and humanities,’ Perkyns said.

Submissions to the festival are due by April 20 and students may submit any kind of film, research presentation or graphic animation project.

‘There are lots of people who have work already created and all they have to do is burn it onto a DVD and bring it and submit it. There’s an application form on the Web. We are accepting as many file formats and codex as we can possible do,’ Perkyns said. ‘Prizes are yet to be finalized, but we’re looking at some really decent stuff.

‘Some nice big high-resolution screens that people who make films would really like to use, maybe some video-editing software, video cameras – the things that people who make movies are interested in.’

Students can apply for submission into the festival at, http://www.tlc2.uh.edu/visvidfest.

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