DMS 212: 3-D Movies
Fall 2006

Course Info

When: Friday 1:00 - 3:50 pm
Where: CFA 266

Instructor: Dave Pape
e-mail: depape at
Office: CFA 250
Office hours: Tuesday/Thursday 1-2


Course Description

Human beings have two eyes, not to provide an emergency backup, but to give us more information. Binocular vision provides so-called stereoscopic depth cues about the world. This course explores the creation of stereoscopic ("3D") imagery.

Image-makers have experimented with creating stereoscopic photographs, films, videos, and computer displays since the early days of each technology. 3D movies are making another comeback, with several Hollywood releases and reports of plans for more. Stereoscopy is stereotypically associated with such fare as "Creature from the Black Lagoon", but it has also been employed by creators such as Norman McLaren, Robert Wilson, Zoe Beloff, and others. In this class we will look at a number of 3D films, but the focus will be on production. Students will learn about the technology behind stereoscopic imaging, and will make their own 3D photographs and movies.



The rough schedule of topics to be covered is:


Attendance: As we meet only once a week, you are only allowed one free absence; after that, each absence will cost you 2% of your overall grade. Once we start making stuff, we'll want to look at and discuss everyone's work regularly - this counts as participation.

Wiki: All course information will be maintained in a wiki at Students are required to contribute to the wiki. Specifically, you should add comments on the movies viewed in each class session, and you must provide one significant other page (it can be a technical page explaining how to do something that I haven't covered, an analytical or historical "paper", or some other reasonable detailed bit of writing that I approve). Other contributions, such as improvements to my lecture notes and links to useful web sites, are welcome and will add to your grade.

Regarding collaboration: The still image assignments are individual assignments - everyone must do them on their own. The moving image assignment & final project can be group projects, but you must talk to me in advance.

Other details


I will send any e-mail relating to this course to your official address. Be sure that you check this address. Do not ask me to send e-mail to another address instead - if you don't want to use the mail system, forward your mail from there to whatever system you do use.

Also, be warned that mail from free services like Hotmail or Yahoo has a strong chance of being caught by spam filters. Hence, I recommend not sending me e-mail from such an address, if you want to be certain that I'll receive it.

Lab Fee

For the Fall 2006 semester, all DMS production courses carry a lab fee of $100 per course.

Students with Disabilities

If you have a disability (physical, learning or psychological) which may make it difficult for you to carry out the course work as outlined, and/or requires accomodations such as recruiting note takers, readers, or extended time on exams and assignments, please contact the Office of Disability Services, 25 Capen Hall, 645-2608, and also your instructor during the first two weeks of class. ODS will provide you with information and will review appropriate arrangements for reasonable accomodations.


Plagiarism is literary theft and a betrayal of trust. The term is derived from the Latin word for kidnapper and refers to the act of signing one's own name to words, phrases, or ideas which are the literary property of another. Plagiarism comes in many forms, all to be avoided: outright copying, or paraphrase, or a mosaic or disguised use of words and phrases from an unacknowledged source. To avoid plagiarism, make it your habit to put quotation marks around words and phrases, or to isolate and indent longer passages, that you are using from someone else's writing. And be sure to cite the source, in a footnote or endnote, or within parentheses in your text. The penalties for plagiarism can be severe: from an F for the particular assignment, to an F for the course, to referral of the case to the Dean of Undergraduate Education for administrative judgment. If you are unsure about how to use and document sources, please consult with your instructor.


If you are planning a student production which involves using any prop which could be interpreted to be a weapon [toy gun, BB gun, knife, etc.] and you are planning to shoot on the UB campus or any other public place, you must obtain written permission from Campus Security or the equivalent authority before you shoot. If you do not, you will face serious problems including possible expulsion from the university.