Tag Archives: Debate

Guest Post: How will 3D Entertainment evolve next?

Today’s post is brought to you by Anna from Online Degree; she contacted me a week or so ago with some topic ideas, I loved this one so much that I asked her to go ahead and take it wherever she wanted.  Over to Anna!

The Ongoing Evolution of 3D Entertainment

When it comes to 3D entertainment, you could certainly say we’ve come a long way, baby. The
first big wave of 3D films arrived in theatres back in the 1950s accompanied by flimsy paper
glasses with blue and red plastic lenses. It was a gimmick that actually caught on, unlike other
hare-brained ideas like the ill-advised Smell-o-Vision. Today, ideas are already in development
that would allow people to access 3D entertainment with no glasses whatsoever!

Blue & Red Paper Glasses

The original 3D experience with the paper glasses was achieved by filming using two slightly
separated cameras, one camera using a red filter and the other using a blue filter. When layered
on top of one another, the two shots created an anaglyph image, capable of tricking the brain into
seeing a 2D film in 3D. The 3D effect from such images could only be seen when a filmgoer
wore the red-blue paper glasses. The idea is to recreate how you see in real life. One of your eyes
sees one angle and your other eye sees another angle and when their powers combine (try not to
think of Captain Planet), you have everyday human depth perception. The red-blue glasses are
designed to allow the blue shot to enter one eye and the red shot to enter the other eye while the
brain takes it upon itself to see what’s in front of it in 3D, according to American Paper Optics.

Polarized Glasses

Next came the slightly cooler polarized 3D glasses that looked a lot less like a cereal box toy and
a lot more like Wayfarers. The polarized glasses work by limiting the type of light that enter the
viewers’ eyes. The movie is filmed using two synchronized projectors that place two different
images on a movie screen with two different polarizations. Like the red-blue paper glasses, the
polarized glasses only allow one of your eyes to see one view and the other to see the other view.
This produced a much better image than was seen using the paper glasses.

Avatar and 3D TVs Bring 3D Back to the Spotlight

From its humble beginnings, 3D entertainment has advanced to a whole new level along with
modern technology. The next notable step forward was the advent of IMAX in the 1970s, and its
expansion into entertainment in the late 1990s. More recently, 3D entertainment has made a big
splash again with the wildly popular Avatar experience where James Cameron used stereoscopic
filmmaking, reviving interest in all things 3D.

This January marked the onset of sophisticated flat screen 3D televisions. Naysayers have said
that 3D televisions aren’t practical enough to catch on. After all, if you’re hosting a Super Bowl
party, are you also going to shell out the cash to buy expensive 3D glasses for all of your guests?
Keep in mind that some of the best 3D glasses easily cost more than $100. Forget the Super
Bowl party, even. What about having to buy enough glasses for all of your family to enjoy their
favorite sitcoms? The average family won’t be able to afford all the glasses it would take to make
the idea of the 3D television really pick up speed.

The Future: Glasses-Free 3D

But what if we could have a 3D experience without using glasses? The development,
improvement and expansion of this type of technology could really get 3D TVs flying off the
shelves. Toshiba is expected to start selling a glasses-free 3D TV this month in Japan. Toshiba

uses “auto-stereoscopy 3D technology,” according to the Christian Science Monitor. An article in
PC World discussed how glasses-free 3D TVs are cost-prohibitive, have too small of screens and
will also require you to sit in a certain spot to watch in optimal 3D, but none of this is the point.
The point is that the technology is available and improving. Now even tech giant Apple, Inc. has
secured a patent for a glasses-free 3D display system. The possibilities are endless. Now, if only
more people would focus on getting the ball rolling for holographic TVs.

This guest post is contributed by Anna Miller, who writes on the topics of online degree. She
welcomes your comments at her email Id: anna22.miller@gmail.com.

A Question of Manga; Whose side are you on?

Why do Art Colleges and Universities hate it so much?  Why does everyone else like it?

Here’s a quick description of what Manga is before we go any further:

manga (plural manga)

  1. (manga) A comic; a non-animated cartoon, especially one done in a Japanese style.

(Wikipedia Entry on Manga)

While we’re here, lets also define Cartoons

cartoon (plural cartoons)

  1. (comics) A humorous drawing, often with a caption, or a strip of such drawings.
  2. (comics) A drawing satirising current public figures.
  3. (art) An artist’s preliminary sketch.
  4. (animation) An animated piece of film which is often but not exclusively humourous.
  5. A diagram in a scientific concept.

(Wikipedia Entry on Cartoons)

Manga, as you can see from the description above, is a style of Japanese drawing used in comics.  Comics/Cartoons are often humorous in nature (though not exclusively) with simplified characters so that they can be repeated accurately many times.

Art, especially as far as universities and colleges are concerned, focuses on form, shadow, shape, texture, and (to some extent) detail.  Manga is, in essence, perceived as being too simple and form-less to really showcase artistic talent.

Before everyone gets up in arms and rises to defend manga as a whole I have two examples of what it could mean.

Basic Manga

Basic Manga Example - Very simple and 2D

This is manga as the art schools see it; simple, formless, no real shading, and questionable lines at best.  It’s a very flat image, and while pleasing to look at, children as young as five are able to create these things following step by step instructions.

Advanced Manga

Advanced Manga - Full of form and shading

At the opposite end of the spectrum, this is manga as the fans see it.  Beautifully detailed, complex, shaded, coloured, has form and is every bit as beautiful as more traditional art pieces/styles.  It’s instantly obvious that the person creating it had to have a high level of artistic merit, and it’s far more pleasing to the eye.  It’s still technically manga but at a much higher level of skill and complexity.

Don’t know about you, but I’m seeing a breakdown in communication here.  Personally I think the art schools are well within their rights to discourage ‘manga’ based on examples like that first image.  On the other hand, I also think we need a better name for advanced manga, like that second image.

What are your thoughts?

Youtube vs Vimeo; What do you use?

I can virtually guarantee you’ve heard of at least one of these video services. They’re both fairly well known (Youtube more so than Vimeo) and useful websites. We use them to watch videos, follow people, learn new things, be inspired, or just have a laugh.. In short, they’ve grown to be pretty important to our culture.

So for today, after my recent foray into the land of video, I’ll be looking at the pros and cons of each site in an effort to understand where each succeeds. I don’t claim to have all the answers here, so you’re more than welcome to chime in with your own opinions and preferences.

Vimeo's LogoVimeo

Pros

• Beautiful interface for watching videos
• Use of menus at the top of the page is extremely useful
• Easy and quick to upload, even if your internet connection is slightly patchy.

Cons

• Less awareness / general audience
• Selection of videos on home page is less compact

Youtube's Logo

Youtube

Pros

• Most well-known video platform online
• Large volume of videos on all different topics
• Easier to share videos with other platforms

Cons

• Recent upsurge in ‘censoring’ the music/sound of videos
• Quality of videos is diluted because of the large amount of content

Conclusion

Personally I’m a fan of both sites for different reasons. In terms of design and idea/quality I prefer Vimeo since that gives me access to a lot more of the artists and animators that I’m aware of. For reaching a wider audience, keeping up with people, and a sense of community I prefer Youtube.

Therefore I’m not going to say that one is better than the other; I want to start using both. However what I will say is think of the reason you want to post videos, there may be times you need more than only a vast audience or a beautiful interface.

So here’s this week’s question:

What video platform (if any) do you use and why?

Effort and Reward; No longer linked

It’s true, they’re not linked – you can bust your ass and put in as much effort as you can, and see no reward and vice versa.  Here’s a quick disclaimer for today’s post;

This post is very much a gripe I’ve been having for a while, and the people it is aimed at fall into two broad categories.  First off the people that don’t put in the effort and still expect the reward, or put another way the people that sail through life without really trying yet still manage to be good at things.  Second, people like me that are fed up of working hard all the time only to turn round and help one of the first category of people.  If you’re new to 3D (or whatever) and your work isn’t that good yet but you’re trying to learn; this isn’t aimed at you.  If you’re constantly learning and growing this post isn’t for you.  If you teach others for a living then this post most definitely isn’t for you as the issues within would drive you insane.  I’m under no illusions here, you’ll probably still read it if your interest is peaked, but you’ve been warned.

What is Effort?

Effort is working to make something/do something/be something.  It’s not easy by it’s nature.  Effort is that thing we’re all told from a young age that if we put in enough of it, we’ll be rewarded.  Money, good things, happiness – it’s all meant to come from effort.

‘Hard work’ means much the same thing; if you work hard you’re meant to be rewarded.  But what does it actually mean to work hard and really put the effort in?

It means heartache, it means pain, it means blood and guts.  It means feeling scared, it means being uncertain, it means being alienated from the people that like to work less hard.  It means being exhausted both mentally and physically every day in some form, or at the least on most days.  It means keeping going even when you want to give up, turn tail and run.  It means hardship.

I’ll say this now, anyone that says otherwise is a liar.  This may be intolerant of me, and if you can refute it after reading the rest of this post please do.  I’ll be happy to debate the matter with you.

What is Reward?

Reward is subjective.  One man’s reward is another man’s curse; how it manifests itself varies from person to person.  We’re taught again from a young age that we want rewarded, that it should be the main goal of our lives; to find what we desire and to work hard enough to get it.  We’re taught, knowingly or not, that so long as we get our reward then the quality of the work we produce doesn’t matter.

People can sail through life and still be rewarded.  We’ve all seen it; people that get up one day, decide they want to be an artist, or a musician, or whatever else, and turn into an overnight success with all the rewards they could ever ask for.  We’ve probably even seen people do this without putting in much or any work at all.

In short ladies and gentlemen our concept of work = reward is bullshit.  Pardon the strong language.

How the System Works

Right now, if you’ll pardon the expression, it’s the dumbest and the prettiest that get the most attention.  In college, or work, or life in general; if you do something stupid you hear about it, if you’re attractive you’re listened to.  I’d even add charisma into that mix.  People that put in the effort are rewarded far later, and in our schools the best and the brightest are left to their own devices while the rest of the class ‘catches up’

We reward people for the wrong reasons.  If you don’t put in the work at school, or don’t understand it, you’re rewarded with more attention, care and time.  If you happen to be a bit of a looker you’re more likely to be listened to than that person over there with the real information.  If you can network and learn to speak eloquently, fluidly, and in a way that engages people; lord help anyone trying to compete with you.  .  Since my beef is with people that don’t try, rather than any particular mental capacity or charisma I’ll be skipping past those other two points for the moment.  That’s an article in and of itself.

Lets recap that a little; Rewards are distributed based on how annoying/stupid we think the person is, how loud their complaints are, and how much attention they demand.  Of that category the people that bother me the most are the ones that whine and complain because they can’t do something, get the attention, have the answer handed to them on a plate, do part of that and then call their work good enough.  They are the people that demand our attention more often than not, and they’re the people that get it.  People that work hard don’t get a look in unless they also speak louder than anyone else in the room or have one of the other aforementioned traits.

How the System Should Work

Call me unrealistic, but is it too much to ask that we realign to support the people that work hard?

Too often these people, me included actually, are taken advantage of by the people that just don’t care enough.  Whether it is in a college class, a forum, a blog or your workplace – people care enough to want the end result, but not enough to put in the work required to get there.  Again, if you’re new to something, just learning the tricks of the trade and you ask for help you’re not going to be shot down; because you’re trying to learn.  However you can’t expect to come to the people that know what they’re doing, that work on getting better, and that (maybe) succeeded and expect to be given all the answers without a price.

Yet that’s exactly what we (or at least I) currently do.  Sure we’ll help the ones that care too, but for whatever reason we help those that don’t equally.  Sometimes even more.  Perhaps it strokes our ego, perhaps people that don’t care make us feel less threatened, or perhaps we’re just too busy trying to be liked to differentiate.  This tendency will be taken and raped for all it’s worth, until we could actually be instrumental in one of those people gaining the credit and reward for our effort.

I’m proposing we work hard, and gain our own reward.  While still spring-boarding the people that will work hard and continue to do so.  People with passion, people with drive, people with a better reason for doing what they do than ‘I need to pass this thing to get my qualification’.

My Plan

It’s up to you whether you follow this, but I’ve had enough of being taken for granted and wasting my time where it benefits no one.  Least of all me.  Call me selfish, but I’d like to start seeing my own rewards for my efforts; to that purpose I’ll be making a few changes.

  1. The people I help will be exclusively those that will use it, and learn from it.  People that settle for ‘good enough’ without a really good reason will be told to shove it.
  2. Unless they genuinely forget, there will be no repeat lessons when I’m asked something directly.
  3. I won’t count sub par work from myself or anyone else as acceptable.
  4. I’ll be more aggressive both on my own behalf, and on the behalf of the people that work for it with looking and asking for rewards.
  5. If anyone tries to blackmail me, or someone else, into helping them when they clearly don’t care enough to put the effort in to learn it themselves will be cut down.

Conclusion

This may seem harsh and out of character, but that’s my current standpoint.  This has been bothering me for a long while, as I mentioned, and enough is enough.  I certainly hope I’ve alienated a few people with this; if I didn’t my audience isn’t big enough and my post didn’t do its job.

It’s time for action people; what bothers you and why do you put up with it?