Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography

All 3D imaging originates from the stereoscope invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone. A stereoscope allows the viewer to look at a stereoscopic pair of images. Stereoscope imaging works by using a picture divided into two offset images perceived separately by both the left and right brain. The two dimensional image is then merged together in the brain forming the perception of three-dimensional depth. The Stereoscope, which allows people to view these divided pictures, was invented in 1838. Wheatstone’s stereoscope used two mirrors angled at forty-five degrees to the user’s eye. The mirrors reflected an image situated off to the side, positioned in such a way that each eye only sees the image intended for it, tricking the brain into perceiving the images as one concrete three-dimensional object. Wheatstone’s stereoscope was invented before the photographic process became available, so only drawings were viewed. Sir David Brewster immediately popularized the stereoscope through tweaking and modifying Wheatstone’s invention. In 1849, Sir David Brewster invented the lenticular stereoscope, which was the world’s first practical 3-D viewing device.  He came up with the idea of putting the two separate pictures onto one slide allowing for the stereoscope to become not only smaller but also portable. Between 1834 and 1895 the moving motion picture was being developed and perfected, this took place through a serious of inventors and different technologies that built off of one another.

In 1889 William Friese-Greene, an inventor from Britain, patented his process for producing the first ever 3D motion picture. He created a way to use perforated, celluloid film to record and reproduce moving objects. Two films were projected side by side on a screen, and the viewer watched through a stereoscope to fuse the two images. His invention was successful but not practical for wide spread theater use, causing the invention to be ignored for mass-market production. In 1915, American inventors Edwin S. Porter and William E. Waddelland invented the first 3D test reel for the cinema.

The Power of Love was the first confirmed 3D film shown to a paying audience, which was shown at the Ambassador Hotel Theater in Los Angeles September 27, 1922. Film producer Harry K. Fairall and cinematographer Robert F. Elder produced the camera rig and projected the dual-strip movie in the green and red anaglyphic format. This made it not only the first dual-strip projection but also the first film to use anaglyphic glasses.

The fusion camera system was developed by James Cameron and Vince Pace in 2009. Cameron, a highly regard Hollywood director, used the technology in his film Avatar. The fusion camera system works incorporating the three dimensional using two focusable digital cameras as well as other equipment like an LCD sensor that allows computers to create an image based from the camera’s location. There are also a number of perimeter cameras that are used to generate the images thus creating the fusion camera system.

There are currently a plethora of alternative three dimensional cameras available to producers in filmmaking. These systems however utilize a two lens system that work like the human eyes and are extremely bulky. There are many alternatives to the fusion camera system but the alternatives do not offer the precise technology or the quality of film that the fusion camera system does.

Avatar was the first American film to gross over 2 billion dollars which was a direct result of the use of new 3d technology. Americans were enthralled by the 3d film and the interest of the film was largely because of Cameron’s 3d fusion system. In the 2012 Summer Olympics, some of the events were televised using the fusion camera system. This use of the fusion camera system indicates that in the future, the system may be a constant in the movie and television industry. While no film since Avatar has used the technology, there is the looming question of if the technology will become a staple of the movie industry.  Americans are always looking for the next best invention and cutting edge technology which indicates the use of fusion camera system will soon become a staple in American culture and society.

We chose this invention because it is the future of filming not only in Hollywood but also for televised events as indicated by its use in recording the 2010 US Open Tennis Championships, the 2011 Masters Golf Tournament, as well as other sports events and also major motion pictures such as Avatar, Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

For our documentary we plan to use the digital media lab and iMovie as well as an HD camcorder. The concept for our documentary will be based on explaining how 3D films are produced, how the technology used to produce these films has evolved into Cameron’s fusion camera system and what American’s perceptions about 3D films are.

Annotated Bibliography

Cieply, Michael. “For All It’s Success, Will ‘Avatar’ Change the Industry?’’, New York Times, January 12, 2010. (accessed February 9, 2013).

-This source discusses how the technology used in Avatar was important but question what will happen next.  This source will help to determine what the impact of the fusion camera system could be in the future for American society and culture.


Press, Associated.‘Avatar’ raises the bar on 3d technology.” Today Movies, July 24, 2009. (accessed February 9, 2013).

-The Associated Press is a vital source in Hollywood and one that knows all the technology available in making moves. This source is a good secondary source and opinion on how James Cameron’s use of the fusion camera system transformed movies.


Bulkley, Kate.“James Cameron and the pursuit of 3d.” The Guardian, September 12, 2012. (accessed February 11, 2013).

-Bulkley’s article is a more recent search that is an interview James Cameron. In the interview, Cameron discusses his vision for 3d technology in the future. This source will provide good insight into Cameron’s thoughts about the technology and vision for upcoming 3d possibilities.


Hiscock, John. “James Cameron interview for Avatar.” The Telegraph, December 3, 2009. (accessed February 13, 2013).

-Hiscock’s interview is a good primary source that has direct quotes from Cameron. His interview explains how the fusion camera system works.


Cameron Pace Group. “Our Work”. Cameron Pace Group. (accessed February 13, 2013)

-This citation is relevant to the fusion camera system in that it is the website of the artifact’s developers and has a current list of productions made with the system and provides information about the systems functionality and development.


Lewinksi, John Scott. “Inside the Scene-Stealing 3-D Technology Behind James Cameron’s Avatar.” Popular Science. (accessed February 13, 2013)

-This citation is relevant to the project because it explains how the fusion camera system works and what is innovative about it.


Lang, Manuel., Hornung, Alexander., Wang, Oliver., Poulakos, Steven., Smolic Aljoscha., and Gross, Markus. Nonlinear disparity mapping for stereoscopic 3D.” New York, NY.  Association for Computing Machinery. 2010

-This citation is relevant to 3D movies in general in that it indicates some of the issues with 3D technology and possible solutions for these issues.

Zone, Ray. “Developed and 250,000 stereoscopes were produced and sold in a short time.” SPIE Digital Library. No. 8, Volume 2653. (accessed February 12, 2013).

– This citation is an overall view of what the stereograph was and how it was invented and popularized. This source gives good information on an antecedent to the fusion camera system.

Leeds, Vic. “Selected Dates in Cinema Art, Science and Technology.” Glimpse journal/ the art and science of seeing (2012): page 8.

-This source is a timeline of all the important antecedents to the movie industry. This source will provide background information.

Coe, Brian. “William Friese Greene and the Origins of Cinematography.” Screen10, no. 2 (1969): 25- 41.

  • Coe’s article discusses Greene’s importance to cinematography and the beginnings of the movie industry. We will use this source for background information.

Jastrow, Joseph. “An Overlooked Form of Stereoscope.” Science, New Series, Vol. 20, No. 516, (Nov. 18, 1904), pp. 683- 684.

– This article talks about how the stereoscope was invented and has diagrams about the useful of the invention. Like Coe’s article, this provides good background information.

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