The 3D Film Factory, which specializes in the production of 3D entertainment and high-quality 2D-to-3D conversions, has developed the first-ever line of production-ready, cost-effective, 3D camera systems designed to shoot superior 3D. Developed over the course of several years, with the guidance of veteran stereographers and award-winning filmmakers, these durable, dual camera rigs provide an alternative to the high-priced 3D systems costing ten times as much.
The 3D Film Factory has released for sale three select systems; the 3D-SB (split-beam), 3D-SS Indie (side-by-side), and the 3D-SS Pro (side-by-side) models. Each system is designed for a specific production purpose and to accommodate various prosumer and professional grade SD and HD cameras.
“Up until now, only a couple high-end facilities have offered 3D rigs for sale. They’re nice systems with more bells and whistles; they’re just very expensive and don’t shoot any better 3D than our rigs”, said company president Karl Kozak. “We found most 3D shooters where fabricating their own rigs, because they couldn’t afford to buy them, but making a split-beam set-up that really works is hard. There’s a lot of trial and error involved. So we’re filling a niche, offering great rigs, that shoot incredible 3D, for a fraction of the cost.”
The 3D-SB (split-beam) system is constructed using black anodized aluminum that’s virtually indestructible and light-absorbing, removable plastic. With a total weight of only 22 lbs., the rig is easy-to-use, allowing for quick set-ups and precise 3D alignment. It’s being introduced for a complete price of $1,995.
Split-beam rigs are mandatory for the smaller (6″ to 0″) inter-axial (camera-to-camera) distances needed for medium and close-up shots. Such inter-axial distances can only be achieved with adjustable camera positions and the use of scientifically engineered glass. During shooting, the image for the horizontal camera passes directly through the glass, while the vertical camera’s image is reflected off the front of glass. In effect, the two cameras are stacked sharing almost the exact same field of vision.
“Side-by-side camera configurations can’t be used for close-up shots for good reason, it hurts the eyes,” said Kozak. “You have to get the cameras closer than camera bodies and hoods will allow for. That’s why you need a split-beam rig.”
The company’s two side-by-side 3D rigs are less complex, but equally necessary in most 3D production situations. Side-by-side systems are specifically designed for filming master to panoramic shots in 3D. In this case, the simple side-by-side camera posture allows for fast, accurate 3D alignment and unobstructed shooting.
Both 3D-SS systems weigh less than 4 lbs., are priced at about $300, and boast inter-axial (camera to camera) distances from about 6″ to 24″. All of the company’s rigs are constructed using a virtually indestructible aluminum frame.