3DOntario Launches, 3D a $227B Worldwide Industry by 2016

Major parties in Ontario’s entertainment industry have come together to form 3DOntario, which is a 3D and Stereoscopic Expertise (glasses-free 3D) and Solutions Portal.

There is far more to 3D than meets the average person’s perception of 3D—I explained the difference between typical 3D and augmented reality or experiences a couple weeks ago.

However, an emerging technology called high frame rate replaces the 100-year standard 24 frames per second video production technology with higher numbers. It will not only increase the quality of 3D, but utilize high resolution screens like your high-definition or 4K television to more of their potential. It will allow producers to shoot more compelling content for your increasingly cross-screen television watching.

James Stewart of Geneva Film Company said that 3D could be a $227-billion fad by 2016, growing at 15% a year. There are already over 81.3 million global searches a month for the keyword “3D,” almost double the 47 million global searches I recorded last year. 

3D television channels may be slow to come, but the technology is certainly showing no intentions of staying a fad. A Business Development Manager with the Ontario Centres of Excellence, Martin Lord says that 3DOntario intends to attract not just those in the entertainment and film industry, but artists, scientists, technologists, people passionate about the potential of 3D, the interactive media industry, the gaming hotbed of Toronto, and the broader creative cluster.

This is because it has become clear that industries need to work together in order to progress forward and further turn Toronto into an even more highly regarded entertainment capital of the world much like London, Tokyo and Los Angeles.  The entertainment industry and related creative clusters contributed $13.4B to Ontario’s GDP in 2011—one of the fastest growing industries in Ontario as it gained $1.2 billion year-over-year.

3DOntario is led by York University’s 3D Film Innovation Consortium (3DFLIC) and Sheridan College’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT). It was developed with assistance from the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and has the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport. 

There are already 70 companies in Ontario in 3D, technology, and film sector related to 3DOntario and the list keeps growing. 3DOntario is a celebration of industry that allows companies in the space to market themselves internationally.

Professionals and organizations can showcase their expertise on the 3DOntario website. There will also be articles on 3D, guest bloggers will come in from time to time, and there will be more networking and collaboration opportunities including a conference in June.

The cross-community initiative is specifically named 3DOntario because film and movie producers around the world have begun using high frame technology greater than 24 frames a second.  Paul Salvini, The Chief Technology Officer at Kitchener-based Christie Digital said that high resolution screens came before high frame technology when it should have been the other way around. 

Research has shown that high frame technology allows for a clearer picture on higher resolution screens. It also helps make 3D production much easier and will allow for a much enhanced theatre and television experience in the coming years. 

The first film to be shot with high frame technology is The Hobbit set to be released in Canadian theatres December 14th. It should be a really interesting experience for movie-goers and provide a large-scale sneak peek into the capabilities of high frame technology. 

Ontario was already called a global hub in 3D production by Michael Chan, The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. That has been shown through Demetri Portelli’s success as a 3D stereographer in Hugo winning the Lumiere Award from the International 3D Society—to go with the five Oscars the film won at this year’s Academy Awards.

3DOntario will perhaps make Ontario the entertainment capital of the world when it comes to 3D as the launch speakers noted Ontario’s magnitude of collaboration efforts are far greater than anything happening in Los Angeles, London or Tokyo. Further, there are very few cities unlike Toronto in the world that can do something of this sheer magnitude in the entertainment world.