San Diego, CA, January 21, 2009
â€“ 3D Film Factory, an innovative company specializing in the production of original 3D entertainment content and 2D-to-3D conversion, recently completed production on a pair of inventive new 3D pilots â€“
, the first Adrenaline 3D show with attitude; and
â€“ the world’s first 3D extreme sports show.
The pilots were developed and produced by 3D Film Factory, in association with technology partner PassmoreLab, as part of a campaign to develop ground-breaking 3D entertainment content for a range of applications including home theatre, public exhibition, network broadcast and more. Techniques for shooting in 3D continue to evolve and 3D Film Factory pioneered a variety of proprietary production and post production tools and techniques that facilitated the completion of these programs.
A3D TV is hosted by Craig Slike, of ABCâ€™s hit series The Mole. â€œEach half-hour episode of A3D TV features three segments, each depicting a particular adrenaline-driven activity in a way that showcases its uniqueness while adding depth and realism, taking the viewer to a variety of fast-paced events,â€? explains Karl Kozak, President of 3D Film Factory and the programâ€™s Producer. â€œFor the pilot we shot a variety of activities including the National Paintball Championships, hosted by the National Professional Paintball Association. We also shot drag racing at the Qualcomm arena in San Diego and a truly captivating example of parkour, a fast-growing new urban sport uses city terrain as a metropolitan obstacle course, performed by a troupe of 10 â€˜traceursâ€™, or parkour athletes, at the historic Balboa Park.â€?
Rip-It 3D showcases an array of sports popular in Southern California like surfing, wakeboarding, skateboarding and BMX racing. The program takes full advantage of 3Dâ€™s ability to transport viewers into a variety of locales and envelop them in fast-paced action and excitement. â€œSports are ideally-suited to a 3D format because of the constant action and sheer variety of activities we can film. When presented in 3D these images literally jump off the screen bringing the excitement of these riveting extreme games into the home.â€?
Significant technological and market advances have generated increasing interest in developing 3D entertainment for broadcast and home theatre. An all-3D broadcaster called 3D Television Co. Ltd., based in Japan, debuted earlier this year and a variety of manufacturers including LG, Hyundai, and Mitsubishi have each developed 3D-capable DLP High Definition monitors while Samsung is set to introduce its first 3D plasma television in early 2009. Mitsubishi is further set to debut the first 3D-capable Blu-ray player in 2009 and will bring the 3D experience into the home with exciting results. Content is now key and 3D Film Factory looks to play a major role in developing original programs and license content.
Shooting Equipment And Techniques
Key to shooting A3D TV and Rip-It 3D was a custom-built split-beam camera rig. For shooting 3D, rigs support a pair of cameras angled to a specially designed mirrored glass. Cameras are angled at 90 degrees to shoot both in front of the glass as well as images reflected off the glass itself. Two separate but identical images are captured using lightweight HD cameras and this gives the basis for 3D, which blends two stereoscopic images to give the perception of depth.
Seasoned, award-winning filmmaker and 3D Film Factory President, Karl Kozak goes on to note how normal production issues are doubled when shooting in this medium. â€œThe cameras must align precisely and settings must be identical. So when zooming out for a wide shot we must make sure the filters and alignment are the same. Any potential problems are doubled with the addition of a second camera so preparation before each shot is essential. And these are in addition to normal production concerns such as framing a shot, lighting, audio, and color.â€?
â€œThe benefit of the camera rig is itâ€™s significantly lighter,â€? Kozak goes on to explain, â€œAnd being as lightweight and mobile as possible is critical to capturing the excitement and action of extreme sports. Our lightweight rig supports the horizontal and vertical Canon HD cameras we favor. The Canon is a good gen-locked camera ideal for medium range shooting which we favor. Combined with an aluminum carry-all, the rig and camerasâ€™ total weight is around 20 pounds â€“ about half of any alternative. Flexibility is essential when shooting in 3D, especially in a live environment, and all of our close and medium distance shooting was achieved with this set-up.â€?
Camera control is easily maintained with a special interface that locks and syncs commonly used functions like pan and zoom. The operator can monitor the shot on a pair of stereoscopic video monitors but LCD monitors and each cameraâ€™s viewfinder are still used to monitor color because renditions are truer. â€œThe cameraman must really understand the mechanics of 3D when lining up a shot,â€? Kozak says. â€œItâ€™s critical to have an eye for stereography. No matter how much technology is available, itâ€™s no good without skilled talent and thereâ€™s a very intuitive part to the shooting process.â€?
3D Post Production
A range of challenges continue during the post production phase. Footage must be meticulously reviewed to check the parallax and interocular to ensure an image is comfortable to the eye. Color correction is done and the two images are married to make a 3D presentation. The non-linear editing process for A3D-TV was fairly traditional and done using Final Cut Pro, but was greatly facilitated by a variety of custom proprietary plug-ins that help align picture, adjust the parallax and diminish pixilation.
The Future Of 3D â€“ Flexibility Is Key
Kozak emphasizes the tremendous flexibility of 3D content saying, â€œWe can of course convert this content to any flavor of 2D, but many new TVs have 3D capabilities and as manufacturers, studios and broadcasters discover the possibilities we see a real opportunity for 3D in multiple areas of the domestic market. But in addition to television or cable broadcast, A3D-TV could be easily readied for digital cinema output for theatrical presentation. The content is extremely adaptable.â€?
About 3D Film Factory
3D Film Factory is a San Diego-based company specializing in the production and licensing of original 3D entertainment content. Staffed by award-winning filmmakers the company is perfecting the art of 3D moviemaking by producing some of the world’s most unique 3D video programming. Visit the companyâ€™s web site at:
PassmoreLab started in San Diego, California in 2003. The company’s staff is composed of programmers and scientific engineers, and also includes graphic artists, stereographers, videographers, 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 around the world, with offices in San Diego, Russia, and the Philippines. Visit the companyâ€™s web site at:
â€œ3D adds a very compelling component to visual entertainment.â€? Kozak concludes. â€œThis offers numerous opportunities for innovation and 3D Film Factory looks to play an important role in the continued evolution of this dynamic format.â€?