Is it time to hang up your glasses for field 3D monitoring?


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The rapid growth of 3D content being shot and produced has created many challenges to the camera operators, production teams and indeed manufacturing companies.

There has always been the problem of viewing 3D material as it is being shot and the ability to review it immediately afterwards, whether as a camera viewfinder or a portable 3D monitor.
At this point in the process it would be useful and cost effective to carry out a number of quality checks such as camera alignment, depth check on the left and right channels, channel difference and with edge violation etc.

Why is this important? An improper 3D camera set up may present 3D in a way that is uncomfortable and difficult to recognise, since the brain will attempt to correct errors. Field monitors should provide tools that are necessary to identify improper stereo 3D content without inducing eye strain. Typical issues faced are:

  • If the left and right connections are incorrect the brain will try to maintain stereoscopy. This error could be easily missed, particularly if both the left and right images are similar.
  • When there is an object on one stereo of the image, viewers may feel very uncomfortable and so it is important to be able to frame each image and view the result. Some of the effect can be removed in post production.
  • It is important to be able to easily set the convergence plane.
  • It is vital to match the colour and brightness of the left and right image.
  • Any difference in focus between the left and right image will provide a very uncomfortable viewing experience.
  • Vertical parallax is vital to maintain.
  • Too much disparity between the left and right image will cause eye strain and maybe double vision.
  • Field shooting is probably the last place anyone would want to find and put on a pair of glasses, just to enable them to have a quick look at what they are shooting or have just shot.

To address these needs, Marshall Electronics introduced OR-70-3D at IBC 2011, which is believed to be the world’s first portable 7-inch 3D production monitor with innovative “glasses-free” autostereoscopic technology. This 3D monitor is lightweight and does not require passive or active glasses; therefore it can be used as a camera viewfinder or portable 3D production display. Using parallax barrier and lenticular hybrid technology, the OR-70-3D provides high quality 3D images with 1600 x 600 screen resolution.

As a standard the unit provides dual waveform monitoring and a vectorscope for precision 3D calibration, along with various 3D analysis features such as checkbox, difference, blending, compare, and much more.

The unit can double as a convertor using its integrated multiplexor and independent loop-through. When working with mirror rigs the ddelay-compensated horizontal mirror flip supporting both channels will be very useful.

As a standard on all Marshall portable monitors the OR-70-3D supports large battery adapters, and can be used with either an attached V-Mount battery mount or an Anton/Bauer battery mount.

The unit supports a number of diagnostic aids such as:
  • Compare Box which is designed for 3D calibration. It compares a specific region of both channels with easy-to-read graphs for Y, R, G, and B with numeric display. Surely the Compare Box is a “must-have” feature for precision 3D camera alignment.
  • Checkbox (Checkerboard) which provides quilted layout of both left and right channels for depth check, channel difference, and more. The size of the box can be adjusted using the front panel rotary encoder.
  • Emboss (Alpha-Channel View) that allows a Full Frame Embossed or Luminance Difference View shows the difference between Left Eye and Right Eye.
  • H Marker is a new horizontal marker that provides a ruler for 3D depth control. The position and space between lines are adjustable using the front panel rotary encoder.



John Golding is the Director of Systems of Cache Media Limited and has many years of experience of product development and system design in the broadcast industry. Cache Media is the sole Marshall distributor for UK and Ireland, as well as Doremi Labs, 360 Systems, Cinnafilm and RadiantGrid.

Tags: iss060 | cache media | 3d calibration | 3d | autostereoscopic | marshall electronics | or-70 | N/A
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