Archive for May, 2010

3D Stereoscopic Production Examined – Pt.2

Tashi Trieu in Pt. 2 details a 3D commercial shot recently Southern California:

The Camera Rigs

We used two proprietary camera rigs built by the director of photography, who was also the stereographer. These rigs are not too dissimilar from other rigs out there. The main difference between this rig and more common rigs that are publicly available is that the vertically oriented camera points upwards towards the beam-splitter, not downwards.

Because the entire commercial was shot handheld, it was much easier on the camera operators to use the rig in this orientation. ….Top-heavy rigs make it much harder to maintain correctly aligned horizons during fast camera moves. However, this presented a disadvantage when trying to get low-angle shots or a shot on level with the ground, as the minimum camera height in this orientation was about three feet. To accommodate for this, the camera operators inverted the rigs. However, this resulted in camera misalignment, which took a good deal of time to correct for. The rigs were not built to be inverted and the mechanics of the camera alignment suffer from the reverse pull of gravity.

3D Playback on set

Because of the fast-paced and low-budget nature of this shoot, it was not possible to have a 3D client monitor setup for preview during a take. Instead, clients would view the footage with me in a screening room on set after I had downloaded the media to the DIT workstation.

The workstation ran on Windows 7, dual quad-core Intel i7 processors, several gigabytes of RAM, and an internal SATA RAID (Striped, Raid-0) of five or six drives. I used a SATA dock to connect the 2.5” SSD SATA drives from the Cinedecks. Three G-Tech G-RAID 4TB drives connected over ESATA were used for redundant backup and immediate delivery to the editor following the shoot.

After downloading the media, I used Firstlight, an application in Cineform’s Neo3D software package to review the footage. This allowed me to have instant control over active metadata – color correction, reframing, resizing, convergence, and keystone correction during playback.

I used a 46” JVC XPOL® Passive 3D TV as the 3D playback monitor, attached over a DVI-to-HDMI cable as a secondary computer monitor. The JVC is capable of interpreting multiple types of 3D signal. In this case, I chose to use side-by-side mode for fullscreen playback out of Firstlight. This TV was great. Because it uses alternating-line circular polarization, there is no need for active shutter glasses, and no need for external sync. This means that any side-by-side image I generated, whether it was from Firstlight or from Photoshop, could be played in 3D for everyone to view. We had a set of 10-15 RealD circular polarized passive glasses so clients, director, producers, camera team, PA’s, anybody could watch the footage and get excited about it.

In Part 3, Tashi will discuss post workflow

Google TV – Faster, Cheaper, Easier and loaded with advertising

“Google’s interactive TV platform might lower costs and improve targeting of ad spots” says Bloomberg Businessweek

“Google is going to revolutionize the way we use media,” says Shattuck Groome, president of New York ad agency Gotham Direct Interactive”

While “free” is meant to be a very good price, you could argue that the clutter and intrusiveness of hidden pop-ups and links to advertisers makes for a very annoying experience on the web and soon-to-be on your TV set, as users are “re-directed” towards a product or brand.  On the plus side, it does level the playing field by lowering advertising costs and targeting customers and matching them with viewer interest and brands.  The hegemony that companies like Proctor and Gamble and Pepsico have enjoyed on the regular nets may be ending soon.

The Numbers are on the Wall – 3D drives openings

The International 3D Society issued a survey that reveals 3D screens outgrossed 2D screens by a margin of 2  to 1.

The International 3D Society provides a community along with education and recognition for stereoscopic 3D professionals and is producing the 3D Technology Awards October 5.

Studios show us how they really feel about Exhibitors

UPDATE 5.24.10

The Wall Street Journal reports that studios intend to squeeze the exhibition window to 30 days !

“While the plan could be a boon for consumers, it stands to be highly disruptive for the movie business, particularly theater owners.”

This is a huge sea change when you think about it.  I would assume however that tentpole movies will still enjoy the longer runs otherwise exhibitors might be screaming bloody murder.

FCC Will Allow Studios To Send First-Run Films Directly To Consumers Over Secure TV.

In defense of public exhibition, teenagers will still want to get out of the house and find a cool dark place to make out. If what Nikki Finke says comes true then I think they ought to look at ticket and concession pricing and adjust them accordingly. However 3D and Imax venues will continue to draw customers

We knew it would come to this…video editing on your iPhone!

A First Look at video editing for the iPhone

I can barely manage an editing session on my laptop.  Imagine my chagrin when   the client hands me the phone and asks to trim a few frames and add a new background and titles to the timeline.

3D Stereoscopic Production Examined – Pt.1

Here’s the latest from Tashi Trieu:

This overview will provide a technical breakdown of the production and post-production processes used for a low-budget stereoscopic 3D commercial. The details of the commercial itself are still confidential. This will be a discussion of the technical side only.

I served as the Digital Imaging Technician and 3D Stereo Playback engineer during production and will be serving as the Digital Colorist during on-line finishing.  As the DIT, I was responsible for media management and technical support and operation of the camera’s digital systems.  I also ran 3D playback for clients, producers, and the director of photography in addition to serving as quality control. If there was an issue in quality of the 3D image, it would be my job to report that and advise the director of photography on the situation.

SI 2K Mini  vs. SI 2K Camera Body


PRODUCTION

Cameras: Hardware and Software

The production company sought to provide a low-cost method of producing this commercial. The commercial is targeted to premiere before 3D films in theaters internationally. Content is to be delivered for 3D television broadcast, Blu-ray, and 3D for web. 2D versions will also be mastered.

MORE…

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Terrestrial 3D Coming… Aussie’s first to the table!

…………………Over-The-Air 3D Closer Than You Think

UPDATE 5.19.10

Australia is first to the table offering over-the-air broadcasts this summer.


Comcast CEO unveils jumbo remote using Apple iPad

It is fully expected that the other cable operators will follow suit.

UK News Rag To Publish In 3D, Playboy to follow

UPDATE: 5.13.10

The June issue of Playboy  will offer its own eye-popping spread featuring 3D centerfold Hope Dworaczyk.  This according to UK’s Hardware blog. Like the news publications, Playboy has seen a dwindling subscription base. HBO will be footing the bill to promote their show “True Blood” with logos emblazoned on the glasses.

Meanwhile:

One of Rupert Murdoch’s crown jewel daily publications announced that they will be putting out a special 3D edition on June 5th. This ties in nicely with News Corp’s other major outlet BSkyB Sports broadcasting and thus we shall see a major push for the FIFA World Cup Soccer transmissions in 3D.

Ad rates are expected to be through the roof on this one and there has been no mention of the production costs.

There is much anticipation regarding the “Page 3″ girls as they intend to poke your eye out.

Internet Convergence reaches critical mass

According to a recent survey of over 1,000 U.S. households, nearly a third (31% and growing) of all T.V. content is viewed on-line with over half  (52%) watching on exclusively their PC’s.  The remainder are watching on a combination of PC and television display with the bulk (73%) using a video game console (Xbox360, PS3 and Wii, in that order) .

Hulu is the most popular on demand video site with over half the households watching long-form content at least once a month and exceeds the time they spend watching You Tube.  Netflix continues to be the leader in subscription viewing.  It is expected that shortly Hulu will be rolling out a paid service for its inventory of past shows and premium content.

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