A whopping 5,786 participants attended the inaugural Toronto International Stereoscopic 3D conference last week, including 3D directors Wim Wenders, Catherine Owens and IMAX co-inventor Graeme Ferguson.

The latter presented with his newest visual exploration, Hubble 3D [pictured] and its breathtaking footage inside stars that are 10 billion light years away.

Crowds were also awed by some of the first footage from SK Films’ Jonathan Barkers’ upcoming 3D epic, Return of the Butterflies, charting the monarch butterflies migration to Mexico, which is still in production.

“To date this has been the only gathering of 3D experts that brought together filmmakers, industry professionals, artists, scientists and theorists,” its executive director/programmer, Juana Awad, told Screen. “It led to some of the first international conversations about the 3D film language rather than just focus on the consumer experience or business cases which are the general norm for these meetings,” she added, noting that mix of experts was this conference’s unique draw.

Philippe Mora, known for his recent anti-Nazi documentary German Sons, also raved to Screen: “As each day went by one could feel the energy increase exponentially as all participants realized this was something very special indeed. When veterans, indeed icons of 3D, like Graeme Ferguson started telling me they were learning things every day at the conference I could only humbly agree. The creative and intellectual content, interaction, stimulation and honesty made us all aware we were involved on the cutting edge. This conference turned into a think tank. “

Owens, best know for directing U2 3D, told Screen: “I loved the mix of topics on the same subject and the bonus for me was being able to sit in on the other lectures given by so many talented and clever people working in 3D.”

Wenders showed clips from his 3D dance film, Pina, and got a good laugh when he told a packed house: “3D stands for three times more difficult. It also means triple lucky.”