Asia will drive 3D computer graphics, but 3D TV is not the future, says Jarratt

Steve Jarratt, editor of Future’s 3D World has told The Drum that Asia is likely to be a growth area for 3D computer graphics.

Speaking following the announcement of the magazine’s first 3D World CG Awards, Jarratt explained that Asia is a hot-bed of CG, with a number of large CG or VFX satellite facilities already operating there, with more to come. This is becoming a serious issue for home-grown facilities in the US and UK, where operating costs are higher.

He also stated that most of the major film studios now have either an in-house CG animation facility or are thinking of opening one, with Paramount being the latest to do so.

He also explained that the UK’s own 3D industry is an affordable market to work in, where smaller set-ups are able to compete with the larger facilities.

“The challenge for 3D World as a magazine is to be able to cover a broad and hugely varied range of skill levels and applications across the globe,” explained Jarratt.

“New hardware technologies and software algorithms have helped make nearly anything possible in tems of CG on the desktop. These advances, plus the prevalence of distribution platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo is helping to democratise and popularise CG."

Jarratt says that in his opinion, stereoscopic TV would be unlikely to catch-on.

“Personally, I don’t think that 3D stereoscopic TV is likely to catch-on in its current form, certainly not while it relies on the use of glasses,” he explained.

“It’s going to need a very sophisticated system, possibly incorporating some kind of facial-tracking system, to provide a good, all-purpose, living room experience for lots of people. Today, if you sit anywhere off-centre from the television then the experience is already not-great. But the advent of stereoscopic 3D in the digital relam is still in its infancy; no doubt it will gain traction at some point in the future, but I still think this is a long way off."

According to Jarratt, 3DCG has driven sales in most of the forty highest-grossing films of all time, with only a handful being driven by stars.

“If you look at the top forty grossing movies, there’s only arguably a couple that were star-driven, the others were all experiential visual effect movies – the Star Wars series, Harry Potter and Avatar are all examples of this,” he said

“Interestingly, the trailer for Rise of the Planet of the Apes didn’t say presented by director X, or producer Y, but instead named Weta, the visual effects company that creatde all the CG apes.”

“They are creating the visuals that are bringing people into the cinemas – it’s not just about movie stars any more.”

Computer graphics now dominate advertising. Jarratt highlights an interesting fact relating to the car industry: “CG applies to all industries now – for example, the chances are that there would not have been a real car in any of the last half-dozen car adverts that you would have seen.”

“This is because, very often they don't have a car available until after it has launched, so they use the CAD data from the manufacturer and simply render one instead.”

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