Synthonics Wins Patent for Technique to Convert Movies to 3-D

Westlake Village-based Synthonics Inc. has been issued another patent--this one for techniques used to change a standard motion picture into an undistorted, stereoscopic 3-D film.

The U.S. Patent Office assigned the award for a process developed by Synthonics founder Charles Palm to automate the conversion of sequential movie frames into accurately synchronized 3-D images.

According to Synthonics executives, the award means that any movie, no matter how old or new, can become more lifelike.

"Filmmakers can use this process to breathe new life into classics and make the characters in any live-action blockbuster already 'in the can' leap off the screen and into the viewer's lap," said Mike Budd, Synthonics president and chief executive officer.

As with the previous three patents related to 3-D imaging, Synthonics' parent company, Synthonics Technologies, plans to license the technology, this time to filmmakers and production companies for use in converting their movies into new entertainment properties.

"Sound and color revolutionized the movie industry in the first half of this century," Budd said. "Now, studios are trying to make films even more realistic by adding depth--the third dimension."

Synthonics also expects the process to be used to extend the impact of educational films, documentaries and business presentations.

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