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Group Reviews New 3D Camera Rig’s School Safety Uses

The rig was developed at MIT under NASA contracts, and is being consider by the School Safety Summit for use in the production of crisis simulations.

A new 3D motion picture camera rig that is capable of producing stereoscopic 3D that completely surrounds the audience, will be tested by Colorado education leaders and community partners to visualize the schools of tomorrow.

The 3D camera rig was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under NASA contracts, and it is being consider by the School Safety Summit—a community initiative focused on advancing readiness and emergency management for schools—for use in the production of crisis simulations.

To further the production of such simulations, the Safety Summit’s 3D Task Force invites filmmakers and 3DTV producers to develop scriptwriting and directing approaches that take full advantage of the 360-degree stereo 3D experience made possible by the new system. The stereoscopic imaging system—developed by Eric Prechtl, Ray Sedwick and Eric Jonas—synchronizes a large number of cameras to generate a high resolution, wide field of view image database from which images can be combined in real time.

The new image blending techniques take image data that is transmitted wirelessly and provides an extended panoramic view in which the combined images form a full circle, or movie cyclorama, the organization says. The images can also be combined so that the cycloramic view extends upwardly or downwardly to create a continuous, unobstructed, omnidirectional image.

That technique allows a user to be embedded into a scene to achieve a feeling of actually being on site, the organization says. The user can scan around the scene or zoom in and out. Multiple users can access the data simultaneously and can independently look in different directions if desired.

The system can be used to create intense crisis simulations to train school safety teams. The system can also be used to control firefighting drones, or allow the ability to quickly and realistically monitor a school building or campus. Other applications include event filming, and dramas that place the audience at the center of a story, which are content areas to be formally explored by the 3D Task Force, according to the group.