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My first 3D shoot

November 14, 2010

On Thursday 4th November we set up a 3D camera shoot for the Mayor of London at Ravensbourne. This was a very enlightening experience and in my naivety, I thought it would just be a camera with 2 lenses or 2 small cameras next to each other like those I have seen at televised football matches.

We used 2 professional broadcast HD cameras, which we had to mount on a beamsplitter rig, using this rig allows the cameras to get very close together, just a few millimeters apart emulating the space between the eyes. One of the cameras faces down vertically and the other horizontally. In the rig there is a mirror that allows the horizontal camera to shoot through the glass where as the vertical camera is reflected by the mirror at a 45 degree angle (must be 45 degrees). The mirror inside the beamsplitter rig is extremely delicate which makes mounting the cameras risky.

The lining up process is slow and takes a long time to get the cameras in the correct position/angle and is extremely fiddly. Luckily we had Martin to assist us, he had done this before. To line up the camera the plates are adjusted, a little change can affect the mounted camera dramatically. I can see why shooting of 3D movies takes a long time.

We took the output of the video cameras and then put the in to a DV record machine which then fed into a computer video card. Then we used a special piece of software that had been written by James to monitor and line up the 3D broadcast. We connected time code to both cameras and gen locked them to each other so they were synced up. We used ‘anaglyph’ (red and cyan) glasses to monitor our 3D broadcast.

We experimented changing the inter-ocular distance, thus changing the depth of field and making objects come out the screen. Also when objects are placed to close to the camera the object becomes disorientating and hard to focus on.

Both the cameras had to have the same set up for example, auto focus must be off, lens zoom must be the same etc.

Because one of the cameras uses a mirror, it means that the colours from the cameras are different so each shot has to be graded to make each camera clip the same.

Later we connected the output of the cameras into a 3D box and then into a 3D TV like domestic consumers would own. This TV used the polarised glasses in order to view the 3D image correctly. We had problems initially due to our HDMI cable not being compliant to the latest standards.

One of the big things that I learned was how each shot needs to be set up and planned and how time consuming 3D filming can be.

In the pictures below you can see the 3D rig and also me on a 3D TV.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 17, 2010 5:28 pm

    Not had time to read it but I thought you 3D people would understand it.

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