Whatever their relative advantages and disadvantages, explorers of 3-D imaging systems in film, television, and holography, share certain universal principles and pervasive problems of perception. The three authors of this paper are organizing a conference on three-dimensional media technology (3DMT) in Montreal next May. We have invited the major explorers in each of those domains to meet on this common foundation. This convergence of the creators of three-dimensional images should help towards an understanding of the principles and a solving of the problems. We are tempted to open the conference by saying: Since this is a conference on the third dimension, we have decided to invite only three-dimensional speakers, hold it (as you can see) in a three-dimensional room, serve drinks in three-dimensional glasses and food on three-dimensional plates. The point is that the real world, the world we live in, is three dimensional. Once again, look around you - check for yourself - don't take our world for it! We are also tempted to make cheap puns. This conference is an in-depth study of 3-D to put it in perspective. See - we succumbed to the temptation. That's the best way to deal with it.

      Since we live in a 3-D world, then we all have to deal with 3-D objects. It is not surprizing then that there are many practical applications of 3-D imaging techniques. People have 3-D bodies (some more so than others). Thus doctors who have to operate on them, fashion designers who have to clothe them can benefit from those techniques which permit 3-D representations of the body. Dentists have to fit 3-D teeth into their 3-D mouths, and plastic surgeons have to create 3-D noses to fit their 3-D faces. Those 3-D people live in 3-D houses in 3-D cities. Thus city planners have to design 3-D cities, architects have to build 3-D buildings, interior designers have to arrange 3-D furnishings, and landscape gardeners 3-D landscapes.

      The wide variety of sources in which we have found articles about 3-D imaging techniques - National Geographic, MediaScene, American Journal of Physics, Psychology Today, Discover, Channels, Video Systems, and so on and on - reflects this diversity of practical applications of the techniques of 3-D imaging systems. Whoever first imitates nature by creating an economically viable and psychologically sound 3-D imaging system will reap rewards in many fields within media and beyond.

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