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Today, many American kids spend their Saturday mornings in oneof two ways – watching cartoons or playing video games. A recentannouncement by major television companies could revolutionize bothactivities.

At the last Consumer Electronics Show, manufacturers likeSamsung, Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic announced that they’replanning to introduce 3D televisions in 2010. While 3D TV may notbe very useful for adults who watch “Law and Order” followed by theevening news every night, it could be a game-changer for theanimation industry.

Like the 3D movies in theaters now, 3D TV would create theillusion of three dimensions through a technology called”stereoscopic imaging.” To create a 3D stereoscopic image,professionals in film productioncareers must shoot a scene using two cameras positioned next toeach other, filming simultaneously. When both images are projectedonto the screen, special glasses force the right eye to only seeimages shot by the camera on the right, and the left eye to onlysee images shot by the camera on the left. The brain then combinesboth of these images into a single 3D picture.

The problem with creating live-action films like “Avatar” in 3Dis that the elaborate two-camera setup can be difficult andexpensive to correctly pull off. Live-action 3D cameras must useNASA-grade stabilization motors to stay together, otherwise, theimages start to get jumbled, and the 3D effect is completelydisorienting. Many more hours of post-production are required tofinesse the 3D effect.

Animators, on the other hand, have always used “virtualcameras.” To create 3D animation, they simply have to set upanother camera in the computer animation program they’re using.While there is some extra cost and animationtraining involved, the whole process works much better in thevirtual world than it does in real life.

The way video games are programmed makes the process of creating3D games even simpler. In fact, about 400 computer games developedafter 2002 were programmed using a “second camera” and already have3D information inside of them. To play these games in 3D, a personsimply needs the right graphics card, a monitor capable ofdisplaying 3D and electronic 3D glasses.

So while 3D TVs will probably take many years to integrate intoyour home, the first generation will be able to shine throughcartoons and video games. As these TVs gain popularity, animatorswith 3D training will be in higher demand, and video gamemanufacturers will race to make their hardware 3D-compatible. Thiswill result in stunning animation that has finally been moved fromthe big screen to the living room and a completely immersivegeneration of video games.

All of this, of course, is very good news for Saturdaymornings.

Information in this article was provided by Collins College in Arizona.Contact Collins College today if you’re interested in developingmarketable knowledge and career-relevant skills with anindustry-current degree program. (Collins College does notguarantee employment or salary.)

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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