3D Post at NAB, Wimbledon, and more


Bob Pank#
You may recall that last time 3D Diaries tackled the subject of post production in August 2010, it warned that the ‘fix it in post’ habit was definitely to be avoided. This means shoot it correctly in the first place, as trying to fix errors, especially the 3D ones, in post can get very tricky and, may be expensive. This remains the case even though at NAB there are ever-more sophisticated tools to deal with difficult situations. 3D post is maturing with new releases and more intelligent tools aimed at making it easier to address the business of working seamlessly in all three dimensions.
 
Quite rightly the builders of 3D post kit are themselves moving ever closer to production to get it right ‘in the can’. For this a number of the post manufactures now offer a version that can be conveniently used on set. For example, SGO’s Miskia (NAB stand SL8220) now has an accomplice. Mistika Live is a stereoscopic 3D production tool to correct the geometry and colour of stereo 3D live on-set and ‘on the fly’ – extending a version of its big brother’s stereoscopic 3D post tools into the production arena. At the show look out for Mistika V6 that includes 3D tools for Matching Colour to correct polarisation and illumination with footage from mirror rigs, and Depth Map to solve practical issues such as colour differences. Among many recently reported sales are two additional Mistika post production systems two to BskyB as a part of the expansion of its stereo 3D capacity.
 
Sid is Quantel's (NAB stand SL2014) cost-effective, dedicated Stereo3D workstation. It is available in two configurations – as a full online system and in a simple viewing, conform and mastering version (Sid VCM). Although designed for the needs of the more cost-sensitive post houses it is also fulfilling a role as part of a new initiative to provide 'Slate to Screen' services on 3D productions for Pace HD. It will initially be employed on location in New Zealand as part of the OnSetLab workflow, providing interactive 3D control for the DP and director during dailies on the forthcoming Warner Brothers movie 'Yogi Bear'. The system duplicates the services being provided in Toronto for the production of 'Resident Evil; Afterlife'. New 3D tools at NAB include GeoFix that aims to boost productivity with its use of advanced image analysis to automatically fix camera geometry differences. Also Disparity Checker provides real time measurement of stereo disparity to help customers meet new 3D channel content specifications.
 
Significantly, Steve Owen, Quantel’s Director of Marketing, says, “3D is no longer just about the movies, it's relevant to the many broadcasters producing and delivering 3D content too. So, in recognition of the importance of Stereo3D to all our customers, our proven S3D toolset, including GeoFix and Disparity Checker, will be standard on all products including eQ in V5 software.” Quantel reports over 100 3D editing systems have been delivered.
 
Other companies that are moving their 3D post offerings forward include DVS (NAB stand SL3305) and Assimilate (just outside the halls). A 3D post newcomer is EVS with 3D support for its IPEdit live edit tool. EVS (NAB stand C9508) is introducing production and content management tools for fast-turnaround productions, new live sports production tools for graphic inserts and live 3D editing.
 
During NAB 2009, the US Open Golf was live on air. Since then many big sports events have been broadcast live in 3D including the World Cup soccer. Now ESPN 3D (espn.go.com/3d) is available around the clock. So it was, perhaps, inevitable that this year’s Wimbledon Tennis Championships would also be available in 3D. This is the result of an agreement between Sony and The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) for a multi-year partnership to bring Wimbledon in 3D to suitably equipped cinemas around the world. The plans for 2011 involve the Centre Court and working with SuperVision Media, its theatrical distribution partners. The AELTC/Sony/BBC production is planned to include the Men’s Singles Semi-Finals and the Ladies’ and Men’s Singles Finals. The footage will be offered to rights holders and interested global broadcasters. There is also a commitment to deliver 3D tennis to a much wider audience over time.
 
In a separate move, Sony has also purchased Hawk-Eye. Given that the famous ball-tracking system must be calculating the trajectory in 3D space, maybe there will be a 3D display of its results included in the Wimbledon 3D coverage.  
 
The equipment manufacturers, most notably those making 3DTV sets, are providing a good deal of support for 3D productions. This is needed as one of the main gripes about 3DTV is the dearth of programming and, as with HD, the industry has to make a big investment in both technology and programming before the public will buy 3D in quantity.
 
The sales of 3DTV sets are perhaps the most significant indicator of the penetration of 3D. The good news is that Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest supplier of flat-screen TVs, expects its sales to jump five-fold to 10 million 3D TVs this year. It is in intense competition with rivals including LG Electronics (the second largest supplier) – expecting 2011 sales of five million. Both manufacturers are rolling out new models and technologies aimed at enhancing the 3D experience. There is a significant technology difference between the two with Samsung offering active (heavier and with a battery) shutter glasses and LG rolling out its new ‘Cinema 3-D TV’ with lighter (passive) glasses with no batteries (like we usually get in the cinema) which, they claim, results in a smoother picture. Who will win? Yoon Boo-geun, president of Samsung's visual display business, commented, "The market will judge. We'll see at the end of this year." On paper I prefer the LG’s passive glasses but without seeing the products and whatever else influences buyers decisions, who can tell?

Tags: iss052 | wimbledon | 3d diaries | nab | 3d post | sid | geofix | onsetlab workflow | quantel | dvs | Bob Pank#
Submitted by Bob Pank# Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
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Submitted by John Smith Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Why you might regret automating QC workflows
Bruce Devlin In todays electronic media environment, broadcasters and content owners live and die according to the quality and versatility of their media assets. Not only do consumers expect the best quality viewing experience, but they also expect that viewing experience to be possible on the widest range of devices, at any time and in any situation.
Tags: iss107 | dalet academy | qc workflows | automation | media assets | multi platform | device | Bruce Devlin
Submitted by Bruce Devlin Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Test & Measurement: Ask the expert
Alan Wheable There are basically two different approaches to capturing the Eye Diagram from an SDI signal. These are real-time capture (employed by Real Time oscilloscopes) and signal subsampling (employed by Sampling oscilloscopes such as the Omnitek Ultra 4k Tool Box). All broadcast T&M equipment will use one of these approaches to create the Eye Diagram using a variety of proprietary techniques.
Tags: iss107 | test and measurement | sdi | data | potholes | monitoring | anchillary data | uhd | 4k | test pattern | jitter meters | eye diagram | Alan Wheable
Submitted by Alan Wheable Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Setting out your terms of business
Den Lennie Its one thing to win a client and work, but it can be a whole different thing getting paid. Setting out a simple one-page terms of agreement can protect you. Im not qualified to give legal advice so I encourage you to seek professional advice when setting up your own terms of business. In simple terms, you just need to write down clearly and concisely what you will and wont be responsible for when youre engaged with the client project.
Tags: iss107 | terms of business | terms of agreement | project | production | contract | Den Lennie
Submitted by Den Lennie Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Sorry for any disruption caused: Netflix strikes again
Peter Savage Netflix helped to change the TV landscape with its OTT subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service and its Originals. Could it be about to change things again by making programmes in-house?
Tags: iss107 | netflix | tv | ott | svod | device | originals | hulu | amazon prime | television | Peter Savage
Submitted by Peter Savage Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The beat goes on... 4k, 8k and the continual need for T&M
Adam Schadle Just a few short years ago, 4k was the future, but now that 4k televisions and other screens are becoming more widely available, the format is careening toward the present. 4k is still an emerging delivery format, to be sure. After all, there are still places in the world that have yet to transition from SD to HD. But progress marches on. Even as were in the process of adopting and perfecting 4k production equipment, methods, and content delivery, were looking toward doing the same with 8k video, with certain large-audience events and special venue applications as a starting point.
Tags: iss107 | 4k | 8k | test and measurement | sd | hd | video | delivery networks | vod content | tv | voice | data | Adam Schadle
Submitted by Adam Schadle Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
In media monitoring, as in medicine, a quick fix is not a cure
Simen Frostad A man is rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack. The priorities of the medical team that treats him are clear: keep the patient alive, contain the damage to the heart as far as possible, stabilise the situation until the patient is out of danger. They work under the pressure of these immediate priorities, and with little or no information about the patients medical history to date.
Tags: iss107 | playback and analysis | digital media monitoring | data recording | archive server | engineers | medicine | technology | Simen Frostad
Submitted by Simen Frostad Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Creating native looks in alien worlds: the making of The Martian
Richard Baker Prime Focus Worlds Richard Baker explains how Mars was brought into stereo 3D with the help of Fusion Studio for Ridley Scotts new SciFi survival epic, The Martian
Tags: iss107 | the martian | matt damon | behind the scenes | ridley scott | prime focus world | stereo 3d | Richard Baker
Submitted by Richard Baker Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Monitoring Q & A
KitPlus Some of the industry's best answer some burning Monitoring questions
Tags: iss107 | monitoring | sound engineer | supervisor | head of audio | sky | freelance | industry | questions | q&a | KitPlus
Submitted by KitPlus Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Taming the 12Gbs beast and how to T&M it with the Qx
Phillip Adams The one thing you can say about working in the broadcast industry is that there isnt time to get bored! Hesitant, perhaps even frightened these days might be more accurate but bored, certainly not. Such is the case with the planned UHDTV roll out and the need for customers to invest in technology which will adapt as the technologies, proposals and standards evolve. For a company like PHABRIX the hiatus created by customers deciding where to place their investment money has produced a significant opportunity but also a problem: How to meet the evolving requirements of an industry with a suitably forward looking adaptable product available now!
Tags: iss107 | t&m | vidoe payloads | uhdtv | eye | phabrix | qx | agilent | tektronix | Phillip Adams
Submitted by Phillip Adams Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
AERO.soft - Bringing audio monitoring and processing into AoIP
Martin Dyster In the past, audio processing and monitoring required the purchasing of multiple, specialized hardware to support each function in the air chain. But now, thanks to the increase in the speed of Ethernet connectivity, and IT-based processing power, many of these same processes can be condensed and supported over IP. Audio in particular is making a move to the IP realm with the recent AES67 standard bringing interoperability between manufacturers. Even with this standardization, Audio over IP (AoIP) is still not being used to its maximum potential in the broadcast space.
Tags: iss107 | audio processing | monitoring | hardware | solutions | processing | aeromax | upmax | aero.soft | Martin Dyster
Submitted by Martin Dyster Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Still looking good
Dick Hobbs. The television industry is in crisis, as we all know. Experts everywhere are telling us that consumers want content on demand, wherever they are. Online and mobile platforms will mean the end of the broadcaster and the channel as a brand.
Tags: iss107 | television industry | content | on demand | stats | figures | audience | advertiser | Dick Hobbs.
Submitted by Dick Hobbs. Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Authoring and Monitoring for the emerging 3D immersive Broadcast Audio formats
Anthony Wilkins The world of broadcast audio is on the verge of a major revolution. Numerous 3D Immersive formats are under development and will find their way into the mainstream of broadcast production and distribution in the near future. Unlike the world of relatively constrained channel based coding as we are accustomed to (most commonly Left / Right for Stereo and Left / Centre / Right / Surround Left / Surround Right + LFE or Low Frequency Effects for surround), these new codecs will support more channels and/or object based audio coding. For the end consumer, there will be two major benefits from this new approach, a greater sense of involvement or immersion, and a degree of personalisation.
Tags: iss107 | broadcast audio | 3d immersive formats | facilities | equipment | authoring | monitoring | Anthony Wilkins
Submitted by Anthony Wilkins Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine