Universal Character Model Detailed in Latest ETC White Paper

ETC@USC teamed with Charisma.ai, Digital Domain, Fable Studio and Write Brothers, Inc. to publish a white paper on an innovative character definition tool that enables casting audience members within a story. The goal is to help construct new immersive experiences across different narrative formats using a variety of authoring systems. The proposal features a Universal Character Model (UCM) that houses all motivations, goals and methods of any specific character in order to create consistent behavior within the fluid context of interactive and dynamic stories. The white paper is now available to the creative community. Continue reading Universal Character Model Detailed in Latest ETC White Paper

Holoride, Ford, Universal Partner for In-Car VR Experience

Tech startup holoride has teamed with Ford Motor Company and Universal Pictures to create an immersive VR experience called “Universal Monsters Presents Bride of Frankenstein holoride.” The complimentary ride is being offered during select dates from October 14 to November 9 at Universal CityWalk Hollywood. “They are rolling it out at the theme park, but it could be featured anywhere because it is GPS-based,” explained ETC’s Phil Lelyveld, who recently previewed the ride with colleague George Gerba. “It adjusts to the location and the route. So it could be a touring experience, could be offered at store openings, etc.” Continue reading Holoride, Ford, Universal Partner for In-Car VR Experience

Interesting AR and VR Tech Found Around the Edges of CES

Among the sea of copycat and incrementally-improved AR and VR headsets being shown at CES, a few stood out because they either executed the potential of existing technology particularly well or they are developing a tech that could help advance the industry. We had the opportunity to check out a wide range of compelling products including MAD Gaze’s Vader AR glasses, the Pimax 8K Series HMD, the Vision optical engine by Lumus, ThirdEye’s hardened AR glasses for industrial and other uses, PinMR tech from LetinAR, the XTAL HMD from VRgineers, and Viewpointsystem’s lightweight tethered eyeglass frame. Continue reading Interesting AR and VR Tech Found Around the Edges of CES

CES 2019: 5G to Make Debut as a Multi-Faceted Technology

At CES 2019 next week, 5G is expected to make a strong showing, not simply as a means to improve mobile phones, but as a game changer for everything from robots and drones to video games, sports and shopping. Although Samsung has already shown prototype 5G phones for Verizon and AT&T, ETC consultant George Gerba noted that, “the need to upgrade phones will not occur till 2020 when most metropolitan areas should be closing in on the first wave of 5G.” “This is one of those evolutions that will happen in waves and with some bumps,” he said. Continue reading CES 2019: 5G to Make Debut as a Multi-Faceted Technology

Mike Nichols, Played Key Role in TV and Online Development

Digital creative pioneer Mike Nichols, a leader in the transition of television to digital, died suddenly on Friday, April 15 of complications from a health issue. He was 57. It is with great sorrow that we share the sad news of Mike’s passing. The former Disney exec had been a great friend to the ETC over the years and was a creative force behind the development and deployment of ETCentric. We will miss our generous friend and talented colleague. Our thoughts are with the Nichols family and the many industry members Mike worked with over the years. For more on Mike’s impressive contributions to entertainment media, read our full post on ETCentric. Continue reading Mike Nichols, Played Key Role in TV and Online Development

VLC Upgrade Adds In-App Extensions Store, Android TV Support

The VideoLAN Organization has released an upgraded VLC 2.2.0 open source video player with some notable new features. VLC for Linux, Mac and Windows now includes an in-app extensions store, in-app subtitle downloads, resume playback functionality, and support for interactive Blu-ray menus. Resume playback has been available on mobile versions, but is now offered on the desktop. VideoLAN has also added support for Android TV, Windows Phone and Windows RT. VLC 3.0.0 is scheduled for release later this year. Continue reading VLC Upgrade Adds In-App Extensions Store, Android TV Support

Google X Project: Building Large-Scale Modular Video Displays

Google X, Google’s secretive advanced projects lab, is currently developing large-scale video displays that are comprised of smaller modular screens intended to plug together like Legos to form a seamless image. According to people familiar with the previously undisclosed project, the displays can be configured in different shapes and sizes. The project is led by Mary Lou Jepsen, former MIT professor who co-founded the One Laptop Per Child project and three startups involving display technology. Continue reading Google X Project: Building Large-Scale Modular Video Displays

Apple iPhone 4S Battles Canon 5D Mark II in HD Video Shootout

  • Apple’s new iPhone 4S touts an 8-megapixel camera sensor capable of recording HD video at full 1080p resolution.
  • As an experiment, Robino Films recently posted a video comparing HD video shot with the new iPhone against video from the $2,400 Canon 5D Mark II. The two devices were mounted side-by-side on a camera rig, with similar exposure settings, shooting 1080p video at 30 frames per second.
  • “This test is really only to show that the 4S is coming close to the 5D but in NO WAY is it better,” comments Robino Films. “The iPhone is a great 1080p pocket camera and shows us where technology is heading. Give it two three years and we should see some interesting micro high performance cameras.”
  • ETCentric staffer George Gerba comments: “Add a professional connected app for news production and the white iPhone 4S might be more like a white news van than a phone…”