3D at DV Expo
by the DV staff
There was a definite sense of the old meeting the new at DV Expo this year at the Long Beach Convention Center. Sharing the exposition building with a coin and collectibles show revealed that even though technology, and the world, has grown, there will always be the trade show. And although DV Expo is a conference and trade show devoted to all things digital video, 3D did not go unnoticed. Two back-to-back sessions, held the afternoon of the first full day of the conference, were focused specifically on 3D, not to mention a session highlighting final 3D compositing held on the final afternoon.
The first of these sessions, Choosing 3D Applications for Video, was a panel discussion that targeted video professionals who want to add 3D to their tool sets. The session, moderated by CMP DV Media Group Editorial Director Dominic Milano, included panelists from the worlds of motion graphics (Chris Meyer), realtime 3D graphics (Doug Barnard), and 3D for motion pictures (Dave Campbell). Together they covered everything from an overview of what to look for in an application to how well various programs handle video-specific issues such as interlacing/deinterlacing video footage, the utility of RLA and RPF files, and various business considerations.
The second 3D session was a Birds of a Feather meeting, in which most of the folks in attendance were 3D professionals gathering to share ideas and answer each other's questions. The discussion was facilitated by Milano, Meyer, Barnard, and 3D animator Lachlan Westfall. A couple of directors attended who were seeking advice on how best to achieve various special effects. During the class, professionals were encouraged to discuss the tools they used, why they chose each product, and how they evolved basic tricks into amazing productions. Newer 3D professionals had a chance to bounce technical questions off participants and glean product hints from power users who had been through similar situations before.
3Dgate's own business guru, Douglas Filter, headed the Mastering Your Business seminar. Filter gave an overview of topics he's already covered on 3Dgate, and developed his ideas further with discussions on some of the preparations a business owner should make such as IRS forms and business contacts to make.
No expo would be complete without an awards show, and DV Expo filled that need with the Media Masters video, motion graphics, and 3D competition. 3D work dominated the animation category with entries from Phil "Captain 3D" McNally (the winner with his homage to Quentin Tarantino, Pump-Action), Big Kahuna winners Tim Coleman and O.D. Wolfson, and multiple Media Masters nominee Reality Check Studios.
If the standing ovation was any indication, then John Waters's keynote speech at the DV Expoקracy and blue as it was at pointsmet with a strong response from the convention attendees. Apparently video professionals have more tolerant senses of humor than the casual observer might expect.
Waters's speech covered the whole span of his career, from the early film he shot on his parents' roof to his first forays into agit-prop shock cinema (The Diane Linkletter Story) to his next film, which will be a character study of a group of sex addicts in Baltimore. He answered a question about his guest-star role on The Simpsons ("I said to them, 'If I look like Richard Simmons, you're dead'), explained how he earned a religious credential so that he could wed Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder (he also talked them out of it), and discussed the most talked-about film of his career, his 1972 midnight movie classic Pink Flamingoes.
"[Pink Flamingoes] is the only thing I have to compete against," said Waters, "but I'm not in the filth business anymore. Only Hollywood is still making filth. The independent film community gave up when I earned the Imperial Margarine Crown of Filth years ago."
The DV Expo exhibit floor opened on with a wide variety of vendors filling the convention center hall. Software manufacturers displayed their newest solutions as well, with Adobe, Boris FX, Discreet, Sonic Foundry, and Avid all showing their wares on the show floor.
The 2000 DV Expo saw a larger and fuller show floor than in years past, and a widening range of products. DVD authoring was huge this year, as represented by codec makers such as MedioStream; tool creators such as Pioneer New Media; and several VARs working in the DVD production sphere. Media management services also grew significantly this year, with databasing-software companies such as Informix making strong showings.
Next year, DV Expo will be held in early December at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Plans are underway to hold an entire 3D track. Stay tuned.
The DV staff really needs a vacation after that conference. You can reach them at [email protected].