TV-BAY December 2012
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Super 3D! by Simon Tillyer W hilst trawling the many halls of IBC I received a text inviting me to the pick up a Golden Ticket from the Christie stand. At first Wonker bars came to mind – until it was explained that The World’s first ever 3D laser projection screening was taking place in the IBC auditorium. After walking many miles at IBC, the thought of sitting in a dark room in a comfy seat for a few hours was very appealing. I am so glad I took up the offer, not for the rest but for the sheer immersive experience that I haven’t stopped talking about since! At a technology event, such as IBC, this wasn’t going to be a normal cinema experience. To set the scene, the presentation started with Corey Turner, 3D Visual Effects Supervisor on Men In Black 3 - 3D. We were going to witness a World first, and to truly appreciate what we were about to see, we needed to see some “normal” 3D. So Corey introduced a clip from Transformers, shown with the level of brightness you’d expect at your local cinema – around *3 ft-L. During the clip, areas of the screen were highlighted to “watch out for” in a few minutes. A few minutes later the same clip was shown but now with the Christie laser projection illuminating the screen at *14ft-L. With over three times the brightness, areas of the screen that were previously in the dark were then alive with robots working, moving and, in this movie, transforming! The difference was remarkable. I can only really compare it to the first time I saw NHK’s 8K Super Hi-Vision demo a few years ago at IBC which, when compared to HD, was truly breath-taking. Next up on stage was Demetri Portelli who worked as the stereographer on the critically-acclaimed Martin Scorsese film ‘Hugo’. He is also working on the upcoming Universal film “47 Ronin” due in 2013. On ‘Hugo’ Demetri checked every frame for correct 3D capture, depth creation and the maintenance of the depth space on each of the camera rigs. Again we saw a few minutes of ‘Hugo’ in “normal” brightness, with a few hints of what to watch out for, before launching into the full-length movie with the full 14 ft-L brightness. Whether it was the picture quality, the sound, the stereographic skills, the direction, the sit down after a day at IBC, or a combination of all four, I was totally immersed in the experience. It was nothing short of stunning. The film itself was a very moving and often amusing tale of an orphan set in 1930s Paris with the ambience of the main set, a train station, coming alive with content that would simply not have been so dynamic, or maybe even visible, with “normal” brightness levels. Of the many interesting comments made by the presenters at the event, one particlularly sticks in my mind. It was that directors and stereographers now need to examine even more deeply the way they work. Now, previously unseen content could be clearly seen by the audience – thanks to the increased brightness of the projection. Even after a day at IBC there was no chance of dropping off to sleep with such bright stunning images! *ft-L (foot-lamberts): Being the unit of luminance equal to 1 lumen per square foot, a traditional unlaced cinema projector will give 16 foot- lamberts (ft-L) of brightness on the screen reducing to around 14 ft-L when projecting a typical 2D film. With 3D this is seen in most cinemas at just 3 ft-L... 48 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE TV-BAY072DEC12.indd 48 07/12/2012 15:14