- Category: Patty Fantasia
- Published on 24 March 2010
- Written by Patty Fantasia
Photos by Patty Fantasia
Inventor Lenny Lipton hopes to bring new magic to 3D with the OculR
Oculus3D, a company focused on film-based 3D projection technology, arrived at ShoWest with its’ first project, the OculR System, a low-cost 3D lens and print format for the installed base of 35mm movie projectors. The company’s president and chief science officer, Lenny Lipton is recognized as the father of the electronic stereoscopic display industry and he’s credited with inventing the current state-of-the-art technologies today’s filmmakers are currently using.
The consummate expert in the field, Lenny is supported by a team of equally well known experts including Al Meyer, Jr, who was the major camera designer at Panavision for 26 years, and master projectionist Clyde McKinney. “In order for a system like this to succeed it has to be a practical product,” Lipton explained. In order to ensure that the OculR lives up to its hype, Lipton spent three days a week for four months in a projection booth tweeking the system and observing how projectionists work and handle the equipment. “Everything that we’ve done has been aimed at success in the projection booth because honestly we’re talking about people who are not highly compensated,” he explained.
Continuing on, Lipton said “The worst thing today about stereoscopic projection coming out of digital projectors is that they’re too damn dark and we’ve got a fix for that.” Aside from the brightness of the image his invention provides, there is also a financial consideration. This “real world product” not only offers high screening quality, but is also a less expensive alternative, which would help people who are reluctant to jump into the 3D world or simply don’t have the funds to do so. The OculR also helps solve the problem facing exhibitors of not having enough theatre screens to accommodate the growing demand for 3D films. It would assist theatres in being able to keep movies in rotation that are still generating business, but have passed their peak allowing for more return on their investments. Instead of having to modify more of the 130,000 film projectors in the world, all exhibitors would have to do is buy or lease one of the firm’s lenses. Of course, the studios would also have to make prints that are compatible with their formats. Lenny pointed out that his company is already working with a couple of labs in Hollywood to assist them with this process.
One of Lipton’s most successful inventions is the XScreen, which is at the heart of the stereoscopic system and he remarked proudly that “in fact all the DLP stereoscopic systems whether they are RealD or Dolby use something I invented.” In fact, being an inventor is probably what Lenny Lipton does best and the OculR seems to include a lot of earlier discoveries he’s made throughout the years. “It’s what I do. I suppose I have a choice, but I like inventing,” he explained.
Another creation of Lipton’s which is known and celebrated the world over is the song Puff the Magic Dragon. Lipton wrote the song years ago and claims that “Puff is a great guy.” It seems like Lenny Lipton was born to create magic in this world – whether it’s in the form of a dragon or a new device that will help bring more 3D projects to the screen. Hopefully, the introduction of the OculR and his new company will be the start of a long relationship, just like the one we have with Puff is..