Posted on May 5, 2010

3D FLIC launches into orbit at Cinespace

From the works of James Cameron to Werner Herzog, 3D films have become a cinematic trend of epic proportions. On the crest of this wave of stereoscopy, York officially launched the 3D Film Innovation Consortium (3D FLIC), a $1.4-million academic-industry partnership to build capacity for stereoscopic 3D (S3D) film production in the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario.

At the April 23 launch at Toronto’s Cinespace Film Studios, 3D FLIC researchers Professor Ali Kazimi from York’s Future Cinema Lab and Professor Laurie Wilcox from the Centre for Vision Research spoke about the critical importance of collaboration to their respective 3D research in film and psychology.

“Because the perception of S3D is personal, opinions are strongly held,” Wilcox said. “People assume that how they see is how everyone sees. This is simply false, and testing is the only way to determine the average human’s perception of 3D. Our goal is not only to study the issues with rigour, but also to disseminate our research results widely. 3D FLIC’s mandate is to make our results public, and in doing so highlight the central role that the Ontario film industry is playing in advancing S3D.”

Several 3D FLIC industry partners were on site to give previews and demonstrations of their work. The showcase included the 3D Camera Company’s new Hawkeye S3D camera with a live 3D footage feed; a demo of 2D to 3D conversion by Communications Research Centre Canada in association with Cinespace Film Studios and Creative Post Inc.; a demo reel from Starz Animation Toronto; and a presentation of Side Effects Software Inc.’s procedural 3D animation software Houdini, which was used for special effects in blockbusters like Avatar and Up.

Visual arts Professor Nell Tenhaaf, associate dean of research in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts and 3D FLIC’s principal investigator, welcomed representatives from government and granting agencies, including Laura Albanese, parliamentary assistant to the minister of culture and MPP for York South-Weston; Karen Thorne-Stone, president and CEO of the Ontario Media Development Corporation; and David Choat, vice-president of human resources for the Ontario Centres of Excellence. Over 100 industry delegates were on hand to learn about 3D FLIC’s unique convergence of academia, industry, art and science. Attendees included longtime S3D industry leaders such as IMAX and RealD, stereographers and filmmakers.

The 3D FLIC research team includes:

  • York University’s Future Cinema Lab in the Faculty of Fine Arts and the interdisciplinary Centre for Vision Research
  • Canadian Film Centre Media Lab
  • Ontario Centres of Excellence
  • Computer Animation Studios of Ontario
  • Cinespace Film Studios
  • 3D Camera Company
  • Creative post Inc.
  • Starz Animation Toronto
  • PS Production Services Ltd.
  • Side Effects Software Inc.
  • Saw VII Productions Canada Inc.