CGTalk > Main > General Discussion
Login register
reply share thread « Previous Thread | Next Thread »
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-23-2012, 08:18 PM   #1
michael vorberg
digital compositor
stuttgart, Germany
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 634
Digital Domain Master thread(losses continue. In the first 6 months lost $23M)

whats going on with DD these days? after the "pay for work" discussion John Textor made some new statements which would shock the CG world.

okay, Digital Domain Media Group (DDMG) is a public company with shareholders. these shareholders dont want to loose money. how to make a company in vfx profitable? change the work you do.

DDMG started lawsuits against Samsung and PrimeFocus on patents for 2d to 3d conversion process. the settled off court licenses agrements with both.
step one achieved, making money.

step two:
lets make more money
In a significant development, DD today said that its position is that any movie, television project, or videogame that involves 3D conversion dips into the company's patented technology, and indicated that it would "very quickly" begin pursuing licensing deals across the industry.
studiodaily article

step 3:
now lets get rid of the parts that loosing money. stop making these stupid hollywood movies!

"We need to talk seriously about the reallocation of resources [and] prioritizing virtual performances over some of the film work we've been doing," Textor said. "We might be a whole lot less likely to take a project in VFX just to post revenues if we need to build five performances for Evlis and [another] one of our stars is in the Super Bowl half-time show. The priority needs to be the high-margin, massively expanding business."
Old 07-23-2012, 08:40 PM   #2
frontier psychiatrist
hypercube's Avatar
Daryl Bartley
vfx goon / gfx ho
Los Angeles, USA
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,050
Exploited labor, industry-wide lawsuits..they're just taking the Apple approach.
Old 07-23-2012, 08:48 PM   #3
Eric Marodon
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,263
"Who is infringing? Everybody that has an interest in a 3D film,"[...]those patents cover "any modern conversion process that involves rotoscoping … and relate to any conversion process that includes horizontal image displacement/transform.

It's almost funny. They patented rotoscoping and horizontal image transformation? Gosh... I thought I had that in After Effects for years... Can I still do it vertically if I rotate my image 90° ?

Last edited by EricM : 07-23-2012 at 08:52 PM.
Old 07-23-2012, 09:02 PM   #4
darthviper107's Avatar
Zachary Brackin
3D Artist
Precocity LLC
Dallas, USA
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,978
What did they actually patent? If it's where people do it by hand I don't think it counts. If that's the case then someone should challenge it.
The Z-Axis
Old 07-23-2012, 09:09 PM   #5
Daddy x 4
WyattHarris's Avatar
CGSociety Member
Wyatt Harris
Baton Rouge, USA
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 5,758
This does seem like it falls into the "patenting something obvious" category but looks like it holds up enough for other companies to pay for it.
HMC: Model Collection
WIP: Harris Nut House
WIP: WarCraft Troll Dig it!
Old 07-23-2012, 09:21 PM   #6
DePaint's Avatar
Emre M.
Istanbul, Turkey
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,156
An automated 2D-to-3D conversion algorithm typically creates different left/right eye viewpoints by cleverly shifting, stretching and otherwise transforming the 2D image at the (sub)pixel level.

There is no good way around doing that shifting, stretching & transforming while converting to 3D, so if DD have a broad & early patent on the process, they are in a legal position to sue a lot of different users of 2D-to-3D conversion, including many 3D TV manufacturers.

This is a prime example of "Patent Trolling" of course. You patent something so elemental that nobody can really get around doing it. Then you wait for people to put their process/product on the market, and sue them over patent infringement when it becomes financially attractive.

There is a danger in this for DD too, of course. They can get sued back for having a patent that is "way too broad", and thus allows nobody else to compete with them in any way, handing them an instant monopoly on 2D-to-3D conversion worldwide.

In the worst case, DD could loose one or more of their patents, if a court rules that it leaves no alternative method or workaround that can be used to perform 2D-to-3D conversion.

DD will either make a lot of money from this (there are tens of millions of 2D-to-3D capable hardware devices like 3D TVs on the market that potentially infringe on DD's patents), or actually loose some of its patents in the process.
Old 07-23-2012, 09:23 PM   #7
Lord of the posts
Lomax's Avatar
Jared Lindquist
Technical Animator
Limited Slip Studio
Orlando, United%2BStates
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 707
One potential silver lining - between the hassle of potential lawsuits and licensing the conversion technique from DD, maybe it'll be cheaper for studios to shoot in 3D instead?

Old 07-23-2012, 09:43 PM   #8
3D Trickster
japetus's Avatar
Mike Hanson
3D Artist
[:|] Straightface Studios
Seattle, USA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,451
Out of curiosity are there any other 3D effects houses that are now publicly traded or is DD the first? It seems like the way almost all places are run (ie: not much profit) that stockholders would always be angry and it seems like it could potentially be detrimental to finding and keeping clients and to effects work in general to have your effects house be a publicly traded company.
Work:Straightface Studios

Old 07-23-2012, 10:06 PM   #9
michael vorberg
digital compositor
stuttgart, Germany
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 634
a quick search for In-Three (the company DD bought and gained the patents from) on the USPTO database gave these results:

Old 07-23-2012, 11:25 PM   #10
Part-Time Blenderite
CGIPadawan's Avatar
Giancarlo Ng
Quezon City, Philippines
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 6,937
Send a message via Yahoo to CGIPadawan
Just another reason why I don't want to go into live action... In 3D animation I can just make sure it was "Shot directly in 3D" without the need for some fancy battle-armor sized dual-lens camera and I'd never have to do any 2D-3D conversion that DD can sue over.
"Your most creative work is pre-production, once the film is in production, demands on time force you to produce rather than create."
Old 07-24-2012, 12:32 AM   #11
Panupat's Avatar
Panupat Chong
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,942
If my company starts suing people like that I'm surely gonna lose a lot of work enthusiasm . . . I wonder how the guys at DD are doing.
Old 07-24-2012, 01:00 AM   #12
gjpetch's Avatar
Greg Petchkovsky
3d Artist/Concept Artist
Sydney, Australia
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 868

Oh Textor... *shakes head*
Old 07-24-2012, 02:18 AM   #13
[Forum Leader]
RobertoOrtiz's Avatar
CGTalk Forum Leader
Roberto Ortiz
Illustrator/ Modeler
Washington DC, USA
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 32,065
Send a message via MSN to RobertoOrtiz
Digital Domain Media Group (DDMG) and Prime Focus World NV have signed an agreement whereby Digital Domain Media Group (DDMG) will license its 3D conversion technology to Prime Focus World. The agreement settles and terminates the patent infringement litigation action filed by DDMG against Prime Focus World in 2011. Under the agreement DDMG and Prime Focus World will collaborate on visual effects and 2D-to-3D conversion services work for feature films.
“Ultimately this was a lawsuit between two companies that enjoy working together, so we’re happy to put it behind us and resume our prior relationship with Prime Focus - one of performing high-quality VFX work collaboratively,” said John Textor, CEO and Chairman of DDMG. “We understand that Prime Focus has its own significant 3D technology and we are pleased to report, as this license suggests, that they respect ours as we respect theirs.”
:Daily Sketch Forum:HCR Modeling
This message does not reflect the opinions of the US Government

Old 07-24-2012, 03:04 AM   #14
High fiddlety
New Zealand
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,115
Originally Posted by pingking
step 3: now lets get rid of the parts that loosing money. stop making these stupid hollywood movies!

But isn't this the very part that they were using to entice students to pay them to do their work?
I don't know
Old 07-24-2012, 03:10 AM   #15
Skeleton Man
teruchan's Avatar
Terrence Walker
The Last King
of Scotland
Shanghai, China
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 893
I am guessing none of the people I knew from back in the day are still there. Still, I wonder, too, how this affects the everyday workers there. Can they continue to feel good about going to the office every morning?
Terrence Walker
Studio ArtFX
Learn How to Make Your Own Animated Projects!
You don't need millions of dollars or major studio backing!!
reply share thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Society of Digital Artists

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 10:32 AM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.