Light weight 3D side-by-side production


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Whenever you see a typical publicity picture of a 3D production shoot, it invariably includes a very bulky and expensive-looking mirror rig. This can look daunting for the new initiate coming into 3D production and is not the sort of kit you might not want to risk using outdoors.
The mirror rig arrangement allows two (usually large) cameras to be positioned in an arrangement one above the other to so that the interaxial distance between them can be optimised for each shot. Side-by-rigs can be inconvenient if used with bulky cameras because it is not always possible to get them close enough together to produce the right depth budget.
A popular alternative is to use a pair of miniature cameras such as the Toshiba IK-HD1 which has three 1/3 inch format CCD image sensors, fitted with prime lenses. Cameras of this size allow tight interaxial distances to be achieved yet the image quality is full broadcast HD standard. Not having a mirror to contend with means consistent image matching without requiring compensation for the mirror-reflected channel. Side-by-side operation also eliminates the need to keep the mirror clean.
Polecam offers a specially designed lightweight pan and tilt unit with split-head cameras that allow 3D shooting without needing a bulky mirror rig set-up. The Polecam pan and tilt 3D head comes in two sizes to allow for close-ups and long shots. These meet the needs of working cameramen, particularly in tight spots. Both sizes of head use levelling plates which allow the tilt, roll and relative height of the each head to be accurately adjusted. This is best done by checking the live left and right outputs with aid of a Cel-Scope3D analyser. This can be run on a laptop for convenience when out in the field.
Since Sky launched its 3D channel in October 2010, Polecam 3D operators have found themselves in demand at sporting events around the UK. These have included the 2010 golfing tournament in Newport, Wales, and the Champions League Manchester United versus Barcelona final in 2011. The crane’s lightweight, user-friendly qualities and the sweeping shots it can produce, means that Polecam 3D rigs are now increasingly being used in many productions and shoots.
Robin Palmer is Managing Director of Cel-Soft and is currently involved with software solutions for 3D & TV quality control and measurement technology.

Tags: iss063 | cel-soft | 3d | toshiba ik-hd1 | cel-scope3d | N/A
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