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 Ben Sherriff Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
State of the Nation - part 1
Dick Hobbs - new Imagine you are the director of the Champions League Final, knowing that 200 million people will be watching your every decision. Or you're directing the Eurovision Song Contest. Or even, to be honest, the Tunbridge Wells local news opt out. And at live minus 30 seconds, all the screens in the monitor wall suddenly go black then show a demand, in broken English, for 300 Bitcoin.
Tags: iss126 | iabm | british airways | ransom | bitcoin | cybersecurity | cots | Dick Hobbs - new
Submitted by Dick Hobbs - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
TV Futures
Jane Lawrence When I was younger my dad used to encourage me to be a Jack of all trades and a master of none. One of those clich© things parents hand down to their children. However, as I have grown and gone through different stages of education I have found this little piece of wisdom has followed me. Don't get me wrong, being amazing at one thing is a great skill to have, but for me having a good understanding of everything is also vital.
Tags: iss126 | tvfutures | ccitv | portsmouth | preditors | Jane Lawrence
Submitted by Jane Lawrence Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The Dressing Room - shooting steamy scenes
Josh Portwine W's latest factual entertainment series relies completely on the ability of fixed rig filming setups to make cast members forget their inhibitions. Described as a fly-on-the-wall documentary, "The Dressing Room" gives TV audiences unprecedented access to team-sport dynamics off the field of play by inviting them into the hidden world of dressing rooms at venues across the country.
Tags: iss126 | aw-eu70 | aw-rp120 | stv | motion content group | shooting partners | Josh Portwine
Submitted by Josh Portwine Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The 7 Steps to Saving Film
KitPlus We live in a world where - thanks to everything from smartphones to cheaper professional gear - more and more footage is being shot today than ever before. It's a little known fact, however, that as more movies are made, archived physical film works all over the world are in danger of being lost to the damage of time. The Library of Congress alone has documented that only 20% of U.S. feature films from the 1910 and 1920s survive in complete form, and according to European Parliamentary Research, as of 2014, 21% of European film works were held in archives, yet only 1.5% was digitized.
Tags: iss126 | bmd | film scanner | cintel | blackmagic | goldcrest | davinci | grade | KitPlus
Submitted by KitPlus Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
360 degree video storage requirements
Dave Frederick Swim with bears, run with the bulls, get a pads-eye view of a rocket launch: 360 degree video production, also known as cinematic VR, makes these and many other bucket list-worthy events more accessible than ever. The format has evolved into a powerful storytelling tool, and one that changes not only the way in which visual experiences are shaped, but also the way in which media consumers perceive and interact with video content.
Tags: iss126 | 360 degree | vr | storage | vfx | ssd | san | nas | quantum | Dave Frederick
Submitted by Dave Frederick Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Remote Production - Speed, Control, Infrastructure
Ian Cookson - new Remote production gives broadcasters the ability to capture a wider range of live events, such as regional sports, news or music festivals, and mix them in a remote facility hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Tags: iss125 | calrec | live production | pac-12 | artemis | Ian Cookson - new
Submitted by Ian Cookson - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine