Recently in the 3-D Movies & Imagery Category


A NASA-created application that brings some of the agency's robotic spacecraft to life in 3-D now is available for free on the iPhone and iPad. Called Spacecraft 3D, the app uses animation to show how spacecraft can maneuver and manipulate their outside components. Presently, the new app features two NASA missions, the Curiosity rover that will touch down on Mars on Aug. 5 at 10:31 p.m. PDT (Aug. 6 at 1:31 a.m. EDT), and the twin GRAIL spacecraft, Ebb and Flow, currently orbiting the moon.

"With Spacecraft 3D and a mobile device, you can put high definition, three-dimensional models literally into the hands of kids of all ages," said Stephen Kulczycki, deputy director for communications and education at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Spacecraft 3D is among the first of what are known as augmented-reality apps for Apple devices. Augmented reality provides users a view of a real-world environment where elements are improved by additional input. Spacecraft 3D uses the iPhone or iPad camera to overlay information on the device's main screen. The app instructs users to print an augmented-reality target on a standard sheet of paper. When the device's camera is pointed at the target, the spacecraft chosen by the user materializes on screen.

Someone Has Created a Holodeck

A Queen's University researcher has created a Star Trek-like human-scale 3D videoconferencing pod that allows people in different locations to video conference as if they are standing in front of each other. "Why Skype when you can talk to a life-size 3D holographic image of another person?" says professor Roel Vertegaal, director of the Human Media Lab.

Avatar Meets NASA on Mars

James Cameron and NASA team up to shoot Mars in 3D, DVICE

"James Cameron got plenty of experience creating an alien world in Avatar. Now the 3D pioneer is looking to test his might with the real deal, Mars, though still in three dimensions. Cameron met with NASA administrator Charles Bolden to pitch the idea of including a 3D camera on the space agency's next generation rover, Curiosity, set to launch toward the red planet next year. "He actually was really open to the idea," Cameron told the Pasadena Star News. "Our first meeting went very well." Beyond the scientific value the detailed images could possess, Cameron may also use the footage in a documentary on Mars in the future."

Avatar Director Helps NASA With Mars Cameras, Information Week

"NASA is getting help from Hollywood director James Cameron to build 3D cameras for the next Mars rover, Curiosity. The space agency abandoned plans to build cameras with the capability for the rover in 2007 due to budgetary concerns. That prompted the director " known for blockbuster films Avatar and Titanic-- to step in and personally petitioned the agency to build the cameras, according to NASA. The agency this month said it has delivered the last two of four science cameras -- called Mastcams -- for the rover without 3D capability."

James Cameron's 3D Vision For Mars

James Cameron lobbies NASA to include 3-D "eyes" on the next-generation Mars rover, Whittier Daily News

"If the next generation rover is able to take high-resolution color movies in 3-D on Mars, it will be thanks to the reigning king of 3-D cinema himself, "Avatar" director James Cameron. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory scaled back its plans in 2007 to mount such a camera atop the rover Curiosity, set to launch in 2011, after that next flagship mission to Mars came in consistently over budget and behind schedule. But Cameron lobbied hard for inclusion of a 3-D camera for the mission, taking his concerns directly to NASA administrator Charles Bolden in a one-on-one meeting in January."

Cameron's Camera, Air & Space

"The camera is looking down at the Mars rover," recalls Mike Ravine, who was in the meeting. "You can see the sample arm off to one side, and we pan up and see Mars in front of us. We're rolling slowly along the surface. We pan back slowly so we see Mars going by, then look back at the tracks of the rover going off to the horizon behind us--in 3-D." As Cameron talked, Ravine looked around at the faces of the gathered NASA officials, "and everybody in the room was nodding, clearly thinking, "Oh, yeah."