By Rich Cameron
Cerritos College Mass Communications chair
The Dec. 8 issue of the Cerritos College Talon Marks will stand out from other issues of the paper, in more ways than one if you are wearing 3D glasses. That’s because four pages in the paper sported color 3D photos. To aid the readers in seeing the photos pop out at them, each of the 4,000 copies of the paper had a free pair of 3D glasses affixed to it.
The 3D experiment is the brainchild of Talon Marks editor Joey Berumen. (firstname.lastname@example.org). In his front page column on the experiment he says, “With the recent revitalization of 3D movies, video games and even TVs, it seems the next logical step would be for newspapers and other forms of media to follow suit.”
Elsewhere he adds, “Other than running three dimensional photos, how else can newspapers utilize the technology? Perhaps the cornerstone of the print media –advertising– can hold some of the answers. After all, a 3D Victoria Secret advertisement wouldn’t be eye-catching at all, would it?”
Ironically, the paper includes a color ad that unintentionally sports 3D aspects because of its color scheme: an unexpected boon for the advertiser.
To accomplish the project the students first had to learn new PhotoShop skills to convert 2D photos into 3D.
Then they had to find a suitable subject. Originally, the students settled on a campus art show photo page. The show consists of a number of sculptures and mixed media that lent themselves to 3D photo presentations, but as the students found the conversion easier and easier to do, photos on all four planned color pages (thanks to advertisers wanting color) the project spread to other photos.
Then the students had to locate and talk their faculty adviser into authorizing purchase of 4,000 pairs of inexpensive CMYK compatible 3D glasses (they make RGB versions, too). When the paper returned from the printer, an assembly line of students was needed to affix the glasses to each copy of the paper before distribution could take place.
Why do it? Well, there are the editor’s words above. Clearly it was a gimmick designed to get campus attention; getting it for something good/interesting is far better than getting it for bad reasons. And who knows, it may attract future readers/staff members.
For the staff members it is something for pride, but they’ve also learned new PhotoShop skills. While they may never be called on to repeat them, the fact that they 1) thought outside the box, and 2) had to learn new skill sets to accomplish their idea clearly were good reasons to do it.
If they ever do it again, they will work harder to get an advertiser to pay for it. They only half-heartedly tried this time, for instance, to find an advertiser who would buy an ad on the glasses themselves and charge enough to buy the glasses.
In another innovation this semester, the Talon Marks started including QR scan codes in its print edition that help readers with smart phones connect to audio and video multimedia pieces on the newspaper’s website.