What is Circlescan 4D?

Circlescan 4D is the studio services division of E.P. Industries. Headquartered in El Segundo, California, Circlescan 4D specializes in leading-edge technology that takes visual entertainment to the highest level yet. Founder and President Eddie Paul has worked behind the scenes to provide film and television audiences with wild stunts, spectacular special effects, and the most memorable vehicles to ever appear onscreen. Even though Eddie Paul has worked with some of the most famous people in the world, it's developing new technologies that keeps him motivated. Circlescan 4D is the result of his over 35 years' entertainment industry experience combined with in-depth optics research.


CIRCLESCAN 4D TAKES VIEWERS TO THE 4TH DIMENSION

After the researchers at E.P. Industries studied what 3-D is and why our brains perceive it as such, the revolutionary Circlescan 4D system was developed. Perspective is often confused with "three-dimensional." What we call 3-D does not really exist, because the third dimension " depth " is only simulated. Most of us have two eyes and each eye sees what the other sees in pretty much the same color, with the same density. But, these images are received into our brains differently because, although both eyes share a center point for everything we view, each eye sees just a bit off to the opposite side from the other eye. That is, the right eye will see a little more around the right side and the left eye will see a little more around the left side. The closer the object, the more roundness we perceive; and the farther back, the less roundness. The brain gathers this optical material and, by determination of the center point, images the two together to create the fully dimensional world in which we live.

Humans do not see in three dimensions; instead, we only see layered objects with perspective giving the illusion of depth to a scene. With only one object, we do not register depth; it takes at least two objects overlapping each other to convince the brain that one is in front of the other. We also learned that it takes time for our brains to begin simulating depth. With this knowledge, we were able to develop a technology that imparts a layered appearance and deepness to objects. Circlescan 4D delivers a picture that is closer to true vision than any other system available because it uses these discoveries to allow the viewer to see objects with infinitely variable degrees of dimension and movement.

 

Our new technology lends greater depth and realism to footage than traditional 3D processes. The trick with the older 3-D method is to make objects appear to jump out of a scene. Circlescan 4D takes the opposite approach. By adding depth to the images, the total visual experience is much closer to real life, like looking out of a window. With Circlescan 4D, it seems like you're part of the action, not part of a gag.

The most versatile stereoscopic imaging method available, Circlescan 4D allows spectacular, fully dimensional images to be created and presented in film, video, television, computer graphic, and animation formats. The patented Circlescan 4D process enables the creation of "normal" looking color images that can be appreciated as two dimensional images without viewing glasses, but which yield dramatic and realistic depth when viewed with glasses. Many people can see the effects without glasses. However, once the Circlescan 4D glasses are on, viewers experience a new level of video realism.

The special viewing glasses used with the Circlescan 4D system are based on the Pulfrich Effect. Named after Carl Pulfrich, who in the 1920s discovered that there is a different perception of light by the human visual system when the intensities of light are different, the Pulfrich effect is often used as a way to see stereo images on an ordinary television set. When a dark filter is placed over one eye, the brain takes a fraction of a second longer to recognize the darkened image than it takes to see the brighter image seen by the eye with no filter. When the brain integrates the two images that are being perceived to be at two different horizontal positions, the result is a stereoscopic effect.

The Circlescan 4D process is entirely new, but to understand how it works we first need to review 3-D's history. For over 150 years, photographers have worked toward creating a realistic, fully dimensional effect on a two dimensional surface. In June of 1833, the English scientist Charles Wheatstone lectured to the Royal Society in London on his device for creating images that appeared to be three-dimensional. His invention used mirrors to reflect two slightly different angles of a hand-drawn picture that resulted in a three-dimensional rendering of the drawing. In 1838, Wheatstone published his theories on stereopsis and, after the French photographer Louis Daguerre disclosed his method of generating permanent photographs one year later, it was possible not only to draw stereograms, but to photograph them as well. Many early photographers flooded into this new field. However, since only a few knew how to correctly photograph and position the pictures, much nonsense and many splitting headaches resulted.

In 1844, the physicist David Brewster introduced his stereoscope, which used prismatic lenses. This invention allowed the viewer to see one image from two points of view, imitating what the human eyes do. Two photos were positioned side-by-side on a card and viewed through a stereoscope with lenses that directed each eye to its corresponding photo. This caused the brain to perceive the two photos as a single image with depth. By 1849, inventive photographers had devised dual-lens cameras and within 20 years, stereoscopes were in every middle-class family's parlor.

The stereo craze lasted for 50 years. After World War I began, photographers abandoned the 3D concept to focus on new technology that allowed them to print regular pictures of breaking war stories in a more timely fashion. There was a short-lived revival in the 1950s as movie studios began to produce 3-D movies in an attempt to get Americans away from their new television sets and back into movie theaters. Most of the productions were gimmicky and poorly presented. The fad lasted for a few years, and 3-D movies have been relegated to the novelty bin since.

Until Circlescan 4D, it had been over 65 years since new approaches for the economical production of stereoscopic features were discovered. The film industry had been limited to only three different ways to produce pictures that appeared fully dimensional: lenticular, anaglyph, and Pulfrich 3-D.

The lenticular method is based on conventional photography and uses a specially designed camera that has multiple lenses. The special camera assembles multiple images of objects from different perspectives through multiple lenses. This creates the left eye and right eye views necessary to simulate what's called parallax -- the apparent difference of an object when it is seen from two viewpoints, like our eyes. An average adult's eyes are set 2.5 inches apart; so most 3-D movie systems use this measurement as the basis for the setup of their stereo pairs. When the shutter is clicked, each of the camera lenses exposes a section of standard 35mm color print film. During processing, the 3D illusion is created by printing the left and right eye views on lenticular print material. If the lenticular method is used to create a movie, a special screen composed of thousands of silver wires is used. The lenticular screen is often called the silver screen. The projected image hits these flattened wires which reflect the stereo pairs back to the audience so that the left eye sees only left eye views, and the right eye sees only right eye views. The brain then merges these two views into a single image.

Although the lenticular method has enjoyed a measure of commercial success, there are big drawbacks. First, the lenticular process requires the use of silver screens because the projection surface cannot change the polarization of light. These screens are usually sprayed with aluminum paint and the improper application of this coating often inhibits the desired effect. Second, special filters are needed when projecting the film, and there is a compromise between the quality of the polarization and the amount of light the filters allow to pass. The result is often a murky picture. An improperly adjusted projection lens can cause a ghost effect, where the viewers see two separate, flat images instead of one stereo image. Also, with the lenticular method, optimum presentation can be obtained only under studio-controlled situations. All of these reasons, combined with the expense associated with the special cameras and projection equipment keep the lenticular method from being an economical and easy-to-use system for filming and delivering images in full dimensionality.

Anaglyphic is a term that's applied to the process in which pictures are printed one on top of the other in duo-color tint to separate the right and left eye views during projection. Because the color tint is used, this process can be used correctly only on black and white pictures even though it is often used on color presentations " resulting in a fuzzy, monochrome look that destroys the detail in many scenes. Complementary colors are used, most often red and blue-green. Complementary colors lie exactly opposite of each other in Oswald's Circle of Color and appear black when viewed subtractively. That means that if you hold the two colored filters back-to-back against the light, they together must appear black. The word "anaglyph" is Greek for "prominent relief." In actuality, all 3-D films are anaglyphic in nature, but current terminology applies "anaglyphic" specifically to film that is processed on a single strip.

Pulfrich 3-D is the method on which Circlescan 4D is modeled. The Pulfrich method offers a way to use an ordinary camera to produce a series of sequential stereo pairs that mimic true stereoscopic vision. Pulfrich videos are recorded while the camera moves past its subject horizontally, at a regulated speed. The video is viewed with Pulfrich glasses that have one dark and one light lens. Since the video is constantly moving past the subject, there is enough delay introduced in the eye covered by the dark filter for the brain to recognize two different frames of the video at the same time for a split second. This is just long enough for the brain to perceive depth.

Pulfrich videos are not a popular alternative. Although the concept is simple enough " keep the camera moving to the left or right and view the resulting video while wearing a dark filter over one eye " the quality of depth remains elusive to most Pulfrich productions. This occurs for a number of reasons. First, movement is required to achieve the depth perception. The moment the camera stops moving, the picture goes flat and the illusion of depth goes away. Second, the entire video needs to be shot with the camera moving in only one direction. If the camera changes direction, viewers have to flip their viewing glasses or else lose the Pulfrich effect. Third, it is important that the camera operator regulates the speed at which the camera moves; otherwise, the stereo effect is lost. Movement that is too fast is annoying to the viewers, and movement that is too slow does not allow the brain to differentiate the separate views. Last, and perhaps most disadvantageous, the Pulfrich method requires that the subject matter be relatively still. Large movements result in a poor quality Pulfrich production. The reason is that because the brain is actually seeing two different frames of the video from two different vantage pints due to the movement of the camera, if the subject also moving between frames, the resulting composite picture in the brain can be confusing. This greatly limits Pulfrich application in full-length movies, sports features, music videos, and live-action transmissions. The controlled conditions that are required for Pulfrich 3-D can be nearly impossible to arrange when dealing with real life subjects.

Circlescan 4D overcomes all of these limitations. The product of focused research, testing, and development, Circlescan 4D sets a new standard for stereoscopic film and video. Not only does our system provide a picture superior to those delivered by traditional methods, it accomplishes it all with a single camera. Circlescan 4D uses a patented camera attachment that allows us to capture the elusive quality of depth on any celluloid, magnetic, or digital medium. No special cameras or projectors are needed and there is no reduction of the stereo effect with duplication. Also, there is no increased post-production expense as is the case with traditional 3-D methods. Not until Circlescan 4D has there been a cost-effective technology that brings such realistic dimension to film, video, and animation.

 

Our system scans the scene being filmed and shoots it in individual frames with each frame shot from different points of a partial circle. In effect, the camera lens is always rotating. For example, if the camera is mounted on a tripod and the subject is taped from a distance of ten feet away, a standard video camera would shoot the subject in 30 individual frames from the same single lens point each second. Our approach is different. We have invented a system for capturing the same shot in 30 individual frames shot from 30 different points in a partial circle each second. In one minute, we have shot one complete circle. This allows the scene to be relayed in different views very quickly. The points are shot in such a close proximity to each other that the normal eye cannot pick up the difference, but the brain can. Unlike the traditional Pulfrich method, a camera with the Circlescan 4D lens attachment can remain stationary as the subject moves. Or, both the subject and camera can move at the same time. Even the direction of the movement is not important. Because the Circlescan 4D attachment is continually rotating, the dark filter can be worn over either eye and the stereoscopic effect remains constant. In fact, the stereo images can be perceived even without the Pulfrich glasses! Circlescan 4D applications are limitless. The easiest to use and most commercially feasible of all stereoscopic systems, Circlescan 4D builds on the useful potential of the Pulfrich effect while avoiding the inherent limitations of the method.

Our company and its products are called Circlescan 4D because our system scans the scene and shoots it from different points in a circle and time, the fourth dimension, is required for the effect to be perceived by the brain.

A film shot in Circlescan 4D can be appreciated without special viewing glasses. Unlike traditional 3-D productions, viewers do not have to wear the special dark / light glasses to see a clear, high-resolution picture with depth. Optical technicians at Universal Studios and Eastman Kodak have analyzed the quality of the images delivered by film shot in Circlescan 4D and compared them to the images delivered by standard filming methods. Independently, the technicians estimated that the picture filmed in Circlescan 4D was 20% clearer than the standard picture with a greater depth of field. It also gives the look of film to video. The tests were performed using normal cameras with the Circlescan 4D lens attachment. The test footage was viewed on an ordinary television using an average VCR. What's notable here is that these results were achieved without the special viewing glasses. But once the Circlescan 4D glasses are on, viewers experience a new level of video realism.

Although an audience can enjoy a noticeably clearer picture without special glasses, we still recommend that viewers wear the glasses to get the full effect. The image is just as clear without the glasses, but the real difference is that the glasses offer substantial depth-enhancement from any angle. Most of our test audiences prefer to experience a Circlescan 4D production with the aid of the viewing glasses. However, many people claim that after a few minutes they do not need the glasses to enjoy the depth and realism that Circlescan yields to film.

We are continuing to refine Circlescan 4D, and the possibilities and applications that are opening up for the technology intrigue us. Circlescan 4D technology is bound to spread quickly throughout the entertainment industry. Additional information about Circlescan 4D can be obtained by contacting Circlescan 4D, LLC at 310-322-8035.


Company Background

Eddie Paul and his production staff have worked behind the scenes to provide film and television audiences with wild stunts, spectacular special effects, and the most memorable vehicles to ever appear onscreen. From the cutom hot rod John Travolta drove to stardom in Grease to the animatronic horses in The Mask of Zorro, our production team has been instrumental in creating visually sensational movies for years.

Even though we work with some of the most famous people in the world, it's developing new technologies that keeps us motivated. Our technicians developed new underwater housings for cameras, a new electronic format and movement for cameras, and Circlescan 4D - a stereoscopic technology that takes visual entertainment to its highest level yet. This is such an exciting advance in the world of film that our studio services division has evolved into the Circlescan 4D Company. Now our production staff focuses most of its attention on the refinement and marketing of the technology that launches Circlescan 4D productions far beyond traditional 3-D movies.

Our researchers at the Circlescan 4D Company developed the revolutionary Circlescan 4D optic system after they studied how the brain perceives depth. It was determined that humans do not see in three-dimensions; instead, we only see layered objects with perspective giving depth to a scene. We also learned that it takes time for our brains to begin simulating depth. With this knowledge, we were able to develop a technology that imparts a layered appearance and deepness to objects. Circlescan 4D delivers a picture that is closer to true vision than any other system available because it uses these discoveries to allow the viewer to see objects with infinitely variable degrees of dimension and movement.

Our system scans the scene being filmed and shoots it in individual frames with each frame shot from different points of a partial circle. This allows the scene to be relayed in different views very quickly. The points are shot in such a close proximity to each other that the normal eye cannot pick up the difference, but the brain can. The special viewing glasses are based on the Pulfrich Effect that allows the eyes to realize a delay between reception to the brain from the eyes. Our company and its products are called Circlescan 4D because time is the fourth dimension and our system shoots the scene from different points in a circle.

A film shot in Circlescan 4D can be appreciated without special viewing glasses. Unlike traditional 3-D productions, viewers do not have to wear the special dark / light glasses to see a clear, high-resolution picture. Optical technicians at Universal Studios and Eastman Kodak have analyzed the quality of the images delivered by film shot in Circlescan 4D and compared them to the images delivered by standard filming methods. Independently, the technicians estimated that the picture filmed in Circlescan 4D was 20% clearer than the standard picture. The tests were performed using normal cameras with the Circlescan 4D lens attachment. The test footage was viewed on an ordinary television using an average VCR. What's notable here is that these results were achieved without the special viewing glasses.

Although an audience can enjoy a noticeably clearer picture without special glasses, we still recommend that viewers wear the glasses to get the full effect. The image is just as clear without the glasses, but the real difference is that the glasses offer substantial depth-enhancement from any angle. Most of our test audiences prefer to experience a Circlescan 4D production with the aid of the viewing glasses. However, many people claim that after a few minutes they do not need the glasses to enjoy the depth and realism that Circlescan yields to film.

The product of years of research, testing, and development, Circlescan 4D sets a new standard for video realism with imagery so intense that the viewers feel like they're actually in the scene. Circlescan 4D technology provides a patented camera attachment that allows us to capture the elusive quality of depth on any celluloid, magnetic, or digital medium. No special cameras or projectors are needed. Not until Circlescan 4D has there been a cost-effective technology that brings such realistic dimension to film, video, and animation.

We are continuing to refine Circlescan 4D, and the possibilities and applications that are opening up for the technology intrigue us. The Circlescan 4D Company offers a full line of Circlescan systems and products. Like other E.P. Industries subsidiaries, our sister company, Proto-Tech Machine Engineering, produces, inspects, assembles, and tests all the components we use.

 

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