PassmoreLab Converts Iconic Photos by World-renowned Rock Photographer Bob Gruen

Share Article

PassmoreLab collaborates with world-renowned rock photographer Bob Gruen to convert iconic photos to 3D, giving full-dimensional life to such music legends as the Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, the Ramones, Tina Turner, Sid Vicious, and Green Day, among many others.

seeing 3D TV compared to normal TV is like color TV was when compared to black and white! When you see it, you'll want it in your living room!

Extending the boundaries of 3D imaging technology yet again, PassmoreLab has delved into the rock-and-roll archives of famed photographer Bob Gruen to produce the first-ever 3D conversions of images from the Rock, Punk, and New Wave eras. Working together with Gruen, whose vast collection of photographs comprises a veritable Who's Who of music legends both past and present, the PassmoreLab team developed an innovative new process to convert many of Gruen's well-known images to a format that can be viewed on stereoscopic displays.

The techniques used for the Gruen project are an extension of PassmoreLab's system designed to convert legacy motion picture content, which the company has utilized in 2D-to-3D conversions of award-winning animations and short format theatrical titles. This groundbreaking process will ultimately open the doors for the conversion of any 2D image to 3D, making it possible for the art of still photography to take a significant step into the future.

"One of the really great things about the 3D conversion we're doing," said company founder and president, Greg Passmore, "is that a lot of content that otherwise may be seldom seen is now getting a new and fresh look. It also creates a more immersive experience for the viewer. Even though we're converting primarily theatrical material, we have a strong interest in the music industry and we're very excited to be working with Bob Gruen, who is THE rock photographer of the ages. He's done incredible photography of almost all of the major talent during his career."

Bob Gruen has indeed aimed his lens at virtually every notable musician who has walked on the stage, backstage, tour bus, private plane, or just about any other location you can imagine for over four decades. Personal photographer and friend to John Lennon and Yoko Ono, tour photographer with The Clash and Kiss, chief photographer for the respected Rock Scene magazine in the '70s, and witness to the birth of Punk and New Wave with the New York Dolls, the Ramones, Talking
Heads, Patti Smith Group, Blondie, the Sex Pistols and many more, as well as their style-warping fans -- Gruen put himself in the middle of the action and succeeded in capturing the very soul and essence of the scene. He is recognized the world over for his definitive images of such icons as Elvis, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Bob Marley, and many others. The largest-ever installation of his work was presented last year in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where the exhibition, entitled 'Rockers,' drew over 40,000 visitors. The exhibition is currently showing to rave reviews at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York City,located in the Bowery space that was once part of former celebrated punk club CBGB's.

Michael Page, who doubles as PassmoreLab's in-house music composer while assisting in the company's creative development, oversaw the Gruen 3D project. Page has intimate experience with the rock-and-roll world, having formerly played with such luminaries as Iggy Pop, the New York Doll's Sylvain Sylvain, Chubby Checker, Jerry Lee Lewis, and many of the subjects of Gruen's photographs. He had this to say about the photographer and the significance of bringing his work into the 3D realm: "It would be incriminating to say how far back I go with Bob, so let's just say that we've both seen a lot and are both blessed to be alive to tell about it," he jokes. "It's been very difficult to contain my excitement about the new 3D technology that PassmoreLab has developed and the many different creative possibilities it has to offer, until we had the recent opportunity to bring Bob from New York to the lab in San Diego to see what we were cooking. I knew he would flip, and boy did he ever! As I recall, after his initial shock reaction at seeing our work, his first whispered words were, 'I've seen the future.' So now Bob shares my contagious excitement. It definitely enforces our opinion that we possess a futuristic artist's tool that has endless potential in the creation of works that can now be developed in an entirely new and exciting light."

But beyond all the technology, this project and others like it bridge the two seemingly opposing worlds of cold, digital information and warm-blooded human experience, according to Passmore. "A wonderful thing about the Gruen 3D conversions -- he's given us both still photographs and video that he produced -- is when you consider that we're taking bands, where members have passed on, the group may no longer be performing or is no longer together, and we're allowing the audience to re-experience such peak moments in the careers of these remarkable musicians. We're bringing back icons who have changed the world and set history on its current path." And according to Gruen "seeing 3D TV compared to normal TV is like color TV was when compared to black and white! When you see it, you'll want it in your living room!"

"That's why we're excited about conversion," continued Passmore. "We certainly shoot 3D, we have our own production crews and we love capturing 3D material. When we do it we prefer to shoot things that are nearly impossible to shoot -- PassmoreLab works in war zones, with extreme sports, and in crazy places -- but there's something very exciting and rewarding about working with Bob Gruen, in being able to bring back a time and a place that has passed but nevertheless has been monumental in all of our lives. We have teams located across the planet, and it takes all of us working in concert to be able to transform 2D imagery into immersive 3D, and although we've developed a lot of sophisticated tools and technology to do this, it still takes the care and attention of a stereographer who can produce imagery that makes you feel like you were there."

About PassmoreLab:
PassmoreLab was established in San Diego, California, in 2003. The company's staff is comprised of programmers and scientific engineers, and also includes graphic artists, videographers, stereographers, a musical composer, and even a biologist. PassmoreLab facilities include a full studio, video/film post-production, an optical development lab, and a software development environment. PassmoreLab is a firm with staff located around the world, with offices in San Diego, South Africa, Russia, and the Philippines.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jen Hilbert
Visit website