The Past Week in Review: for June 6, 2011
Above: Autodesk’s Project Photofly enables easy creation of 3D surfaces from standard 2D photos.
We search for the more interesting and provocative news and views of the past week…just so you don’t have to.
This week we ponder 3D: Bust or Not?, a flourishing TV pilot season in New York, and Easy 3D for You and Me.
3D, We Hardly Knew Ye
In an article in last week’s paper, New York Times’ writers Brooke Barnes and Michael Cieply pose the question Has the 3-D boom already gone bust?
Seems that the latest 3D offering in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise didn’t make as much money when screening in its 3D venues as expected. This fourth offering in the series cost some $400 million to make and market. Three-D has been key in pulling in more money from each patron since those screens, as you well know, charge more. Barnes and Cieply also point to less than hoped for profits from Paramount/DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda 2.
The website Deadline concurs. On it, Nikki Finke says that a Disney exec allowed that 3D had become “very soft” in the U.S. and Canada. Although in the end it didn’t seem to matter since the box office overseas continues to be strong for both franchise flix and 3D, according to Finke. Follow up on that by clicking here.
With a number of 3D films still slated for summer release–including a Harry Potter, Transformers, and Captain America–we’ll just have to wait a bit to see if the format’s initial steep rise has hit a wall.
Pilots of the City
We’ve reported on this before, but WNYC noted last Friday that 20 TV pilots were shot in the city over the past winter and spring, compared to three the previous year. Seven of this year’s pilots are on tap to make it to the small screen, so you might find New York as a locale turning up more often this fall.
The article also notes that this news was released prior to the annual Made in NY Awards, which are held tonight on the lawn of Gracie Mansion to honor individuals in film, TV, theater and digital media. We’ll be attending, and posting of video later this week.
More here from the article on WNYC’s site Record Number of TV Projects Shot in NYC This Year.
Counting Your Discounts
The Mayor’s office of film, theater, and broadcasting recently announced that the “Made in NY” Discount Card Program has added a number of businesses bring the total to nearly 1000 companies that offer discounts to productions shooting on location in the City.
Among the latest businesses to join the program are: Stuyvesant Investigative Group, Inc.; The Kitchen NYC; Apple Visual Graphics; JRD Pickup; Jay Suites; Gauthier Architect; GB & DP Security Inc.; and Shop Studios.
On that same page, you can also get a “Made in NY” mobile app to search for vendors using various filters and parameters. You can find all of that by clicking here.
More Screens to Watch
This coming weekend, June 10-12, we’ll be enjoying the debut of the new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at Lincoln Center. The events on tap include free screenings, lectures and film events including “discussions on film by top filmmakers, luminaries and academics.”
More info here.
Let the Cloud Do It
Autodesk Labs launched Project Photofly about nine months ago. This free service, which recently moved to a 2.o version, does a neat trick: users can easily create 3D models from a series of photographs.
How’s it work? Most image-based modeling techniques require you to manually calibrate photographs, a tedious job that still means you need to have a high level of expertise.
Project Photofly makes this easier since it employs Autodesk’s “Camera Factory” automatic calibration engine to simplify and automate the process. Using a Windows PC, you upload a series of standard digital photos to Autodesk’s cloud where Photofly automatically converts digital photographs of an object, building or room into a 3D mesh model called “Photo Scenes.”
That model–actually more a point cloud at this juncture–is then input to Autodesk’s free Photo Scene Editor (aka Photofly) where you can then add geometry, take measurements, or further clean up the model.
The resulting model, in Autodesk’s DWG format, can be imported by apps including AutoCAD and Autodesk 3ds Max.
Here’s an overview of Photofly.
Want to just jump in and begin? Here’s the Photofly getting started page.