Diet and filmmaking legend Peter Jackson’s given us another insight into the making of the Hobbit movies, and this time he’s talking about his envious collection of tech. Filming with no less than 48 Red Epic cameras at 48fps in full 5k resolution might sound fantastic, but it hasn’t all been a bed of cotton candy. Two 3D cameras need to be mounted at the same “interocular” (the inch-or-so distance between your eyes) which is impossible given the size of the Epic and its lenses. The team had to hire specialist firm 3ality to build a rig where one camera shoots the action and the other is pointed vertically at a mirror. Those who would love to shoot with an Epic should also beware that the cameras naturally desaturate the action to such an extent that the makeup, costume and set design teams have to over-color everything to look natural in post production. Full video is inside, try not to imagine how many years bad luck you’d get if you broke one of those mirrors during a key scene.


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With their tiny lenses and even tinier sensors, will cellphone cameras ever be able to take photos as good as those from SLRs and Micro Four Thirds cameras? The quality has all but been taken care of with the latest phone-cams, but there’s one problem common to all point-and-shoots: Their tremendous depth-of-field. A patent from Samsung shows how this could be fixed. For small sensors they propose to use two cameras in a phone, almost like a stereoscopic 3D camera. The main one takes the shot as usual whilst a lower resolution camera takes another shot. The offset between them lets the camera work out the depth of anything in the frame. This information is then processed and digital blur applied to wash out the background.


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A Revolution in True-Product Realism
Earlier this month, we had a 3D chocolate printer that produced remarkable 3D objects. But these products, although edible, were not very accurate nor complex. The Objet260 Connex is a compact, attractively priced edition of Objet’s pioneering line of multi-material 3D printers. It enables designers and engineers to rapidly build prototypes to match their intended end-product like no other technology currently available with unreal realism!

What’s Unique About Objet Connex?
The Objet260 Connex comes with a choice of over 60 different build materials. From these it can simultaneously build 14 different materials into a single model part, providing a highly accurate idea of how even complex or assembled end products will look and perform.

Freedom to Select the Right Materials
The Objet260 Connex enables users to select as many as up to 51 composite, Digital Materials™ simulating anything from rubber to transparency to rigid ABS-grade engineering plastics. It encourages designers and engineers to explore and innovate and helps them to come to the right choices based on the best representation of their intended end-product.

The Best. Now in a Smaller Package


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The amazing technology of 3D printing just found a fantastic way to appeal to our sweet teeth. Researchers at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) have employed their 3D printers to design custom printed chocolates. Funded by the Research Council UK Cross-Research Council Programme – Digital Economy (that sure if a mouthful), the experiments are taking place at the University of Exeter. The goal of the effort is to revolutionize the online retail business, where customers can upload designs of their own creation and order chocolates in any shape they wish!


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This is a big day in first-person shooter history as id Software marked the 15th anniversary of the release of Quake, one of the industry’s signature shooters. To help commemorate, id Software’s parent publisher, Bethesda Softworks, has posted some remarks from studio co-founder John Carmack on their official blog. As Bethesda notes, Quake was one of the pioneers of online multiplayer, a cornerstone feature for almost every first-person shooter available today.


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A Mountain View start-up is promising that its camera, due later this year, will bring the biggest change to photography since the transition from film to digital. The breakthrough is a different type of sensor that captures what are known as light fields — basically, all the light that is moving in all directions in the view of the camera. That offers several advantages over traditional photography, the most revolutionary of which is that photos no longer need to be focused before they are taken.

This means capturing that perfect shot of your fast-moving pet or squirming child could soon get a whole lot easier. Instead of having to manually focus or wait for autofocus to kick in and hopefully centre on the right thing, pictures can be taken immediately and in rapid succession. Once the picture is on a computer or phone, the focus can be adjusted to centre on any object in the image, also allowing for cool artsy shots where one shifts between a blurry foreground and sharp background and vice versa.


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‘flora’ a digital flower vase concept by Japanese designer Yoshiki Matsuyama, provides a way to share virtual flowers and greetings across the world. A flower placed in this vase can be sent to another ‘flora’ creating a virtual, self-updating representation of the gift via a 3D scanning camera and projector.


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Here is a compiled chart to see how exactly HTC’s latest Android superphone, the Sensation 4G, stacks up against its fellow dual-core competition. Included in this list are the finest and brightest Android handsets from each of the major manufacturers that have gone dual-core so far: the Galaxy S II, the Atrix 4G, the Optimus 2X / G2X, and HTC’s own EVO 3D. As it turns out, there are quite a few commonalities among these phones (besides the benchmark-crushing performance). They all boast screens of either 4 or 4.3 inches in size, the minimum amount of RAM among them is 512MB, the smallest battery is 1500mAh, and yes, they all have front-facing video cameras. Basically, it’s the future of smartphones, reduced to a stat sheet. As such, it must also come with the warning that specs aren’t everything, and user experience will most often depend on the software available on each device and on the preferences of the human holding it.


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Still searching for today’s internet time sink? Then look no further than Nokia’s just launched beta version of Ovi Maps 3D. Thanks to some software wizardry and mysterious mapping know-how, it’s now able to display cities in a new 3D view that you’re able to zoom in and around to your heart’s content. You can also do the same thing in Google Earth’s 3D view, of course, but Nokia just might have a leg up in some respects. Unfortunately, it’s still staying mum on exactly how it all works, but you can dive right in and start exploring for yourself at the link below.


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Evo 3D

We’ve been hearing about HTC’s 3D-capable phone for quite a while now. Expected to be announced at CTIA by Sprint, we were able to procure some early shots of the specification listing of the EVO 3D. It’s going to be rocking a muscular 1.2GHz dual core CPU with a large 4.3″ qHD 960×540 3D display. The front camera will be 1.3MP, and the rear will take 1080p 2D video and 720p 3D video. It’ll weigh about 6 ounces, making it a bit heavier than the Thunderbolt.


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It’s happened to all of us. You’re in the middle of an intense conversation, and your cell phone cuts out. Even today, in the era of 4G and smartphones, it’s still difficult to completely avoid the most basic failure of a cell phone – a dropped call. Enterprising researchers at the University of Illinois have devised an antenna that uses a revolutionary 100 µm micro-nozzle silver nanoink printing process to print an antenna on a 3D substrate to try to remedy that problem [press release].


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Lamborghini supercars have traditionally never been known as sophisticated beasts, bullish logo proof positive of that, but that’s all changed since the company fell in under the Volkswagen Group banner. The company’s newly unveiled Aventador LP700-4 supercar has more tech than any Lambo before, much of it scattered about the decidedly fighter-inspired interior layout that borrows a few elements from the Audi stable. Most interesting is the MMI infotainment system, which has been given some tweaks but clearly hasn’t fallen far from its parent’s Tegra-powered tree. All the dials and visuals on the car are rendered on LCDs, as can be seen in the video below, along with 3D maps for navigation and a suite of customization menus controlled either by the familiar MMI jog dial in the middle or by a stalk on the steering wheel. Of course, with a brand new, 691HP V-12 tucked in the back we’re thinking owners will have things more important than render quality on their minds, but those of us who can’t afford the expected $350,000+ price tag will have to simply entertain ourselves by saying “Aventador” over and over again.


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OpenGL ES 2.0 Benchmark - Egypt

Even though some of the models are not yet available to the general public, AnandTech have done a preliminary benchmark testing as well as have done a short (pre)view of LG Optimus 3D.

The Optimus 3D features (surprise surprise) 3D autostereoscopic display from LG. Both the IPS panel underneath, and the parallax barrier on top are LG’s own. Most of the Android UI is of course 2D – the parallax barrier can be switched on and off or varied in intensity depending on the context. Depth isn’t too overwhelming at most settings, and can be changed in most 3D contexts by dragging a slider. When viewing the display, it’s obvious that there are a set of optimal viewing angles for the parallax barrier. It’s difficult to describe how the 3D effect looks from different angles – as you change your viewing angle across the display, the 3D effect comes and goes accordingly. It definitely requires some thought to position oneself appropriately.


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Graphics giant Nvidia, which recently celebrated a billionth GeForce chip sold, is adamant to become the key silicon provider for portable gear. It’s no secret that Tegra 2 has “failed to launch” in 2010 and displace chips from Qualcomm, Samsung and Texas Instruments in world’s most popular ARM smartphones and tablets. Learning from its Windows Mobile disaster, Nvidia has plotted an ambitious plan to put its silicon inside more gadgets by focusing on Android and improving its Tegra architecture. At CES 2011 Nvidia showed  that existing Tegra 2 chips will power flagship Android devices like the LG Optimus 2X and Motorola Atrix 4G smartphones, as well as Motorola’s Xoom tablet.

While the upcoming Tegra 2 3D is the enhanced version of Tegra 2 (performance 5520 MIPS versus 4600 MIPS), the upcoming chips T30 and AP30 are truly new generation of company’s mobile processors. Tablet’s Tegra 3 T30 (performance up to 13,800 MIPS) will be equipped with quad code ARM architecture Cortex-A9 and 1.5GHz frequencies as well as enhanced GPU as opposed to Tegra 2. It can be seen from one of the presentation slides below that this chip will have a special ULP energy saving mode, will be able to play Blu-ray video and can output resolution of up to 1920×1200.


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