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Civil War and WWII 3D archive

27 May 2011
Civil War and WWII 3D archive

Stereo film reels from Nazi Germany have been restored by Deluxe 142 for Sky documentary WWII in 3D. Stepping even further back into history, a new Discovery production for 3net is using stereographic stills of the American Civil War.

WWII in 3D features the only known existing 3D film and photography of Nazi soldiers, Allied troops and civilians from recently discovered footage recorded during the Second World War. A 40 minute black and white film, made as an instruction film to illustrate the firing procedure of a large 88mm flak gun, was unearthed by co-producer, the US company Flight 33 Productions, at London’s Imperial War Museum.“We’d begun the project on the back of finding colour stereo stills from a French photographer of occupied Paris and we weren’t expecting to find any 3D motion picture footage,” explains Exec producer Doug Cohen. “We searched every archive using every search pattern we could think of that would get a hit for stereoscopic. When I read the entry from the IWM it was one of those moments that you only get once or twice in your career. “The film had been in archive for 60 years or so. It was logged as never being transferred to tape so we chipped in with the IWM to cover the cost of transfer and restoration.” The film itself had been shot on the Zeiss Ikon system which used two 35mm film cameras with a mechanical link and a prism for recording as well as for projection. These turned the stereo film strip pairs by 90-degrees to the running direction of the film. In this way, a horizontal format image was obtained. The film was scanned at the IWM and delivered as 2K DPX files to Deluxe142 which then created a stereo 3D HD master in Avid DS Nitris, adjusting the images to sit side by side in the process and therefore suitable for Sky’s delivery specs.Flight 33 previously produced the 3D documentary The Universe: Seven Wonders of The Solar System for History, Sky, and DIRECTV’s n3D and has a sequel to this in the works.

It is currently producing the 3D series Forgotten Planet for 3net. “We travelled the world going to abandoned sites like Chernobyl, nitrate mines in Chile, diamond mines in Namibia, and car towns like Detroit. Old industrial landscapes are perfect for 3D,” says Cohen.

There’s an interesting counterpoint to this in that British forces during the war also used stereoscopic techniques to trace the locations of German missile silos during WWII. Detailed photography of the landscape of occupied Europe was analysed using a stereoscope which enabled British officers to measure height, especially of unidentified new structures – such as rockets and their launch sites. The full story is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13359064.

Going back another 80 years to the 1860s is a 3Net commission for Towers Productions to deliver The Civil War 3D, a four hour series making extensive use of digitized stereo still photographs from the period.
 Tom Cosgrove, President & CEO of 3net told The Hollywood Reporter: “There are thousands of (3D) stills from the time of the Civil War all the way through the end of the century and into the next. There is a big archive that we’ll tap into to tell these stories, and the rest will probably be re-enactments."

The archival imagery will be mixed with natively stereo shot scripted reenactments and character narrative and, says Discovery “promises to bring audiences a closest to real experience that only native 3D can deliver.”
 Also of note is new Pogo Films’ documentary Victorian Stereographs: A 3D Tour of Victorian London does what it says on the tin – uses re-mastered original stereographs from the 1880’s to provide an unconventional guide of Dickens’ London.

www.flight33.tvStereo film reels from Nazi Germany have been restored by Deluxe 142 for Sky documentary WWII in 3D. Stepping even further back into history, a new Discovery production for 3net is using stereographic stills of the American Civil War.

WWII in 3D features the only known existing 3D film and photography of Nazi soldiers, Allied troops and civilians from recently discovered footage recorded during the Second World War. A 40 minute black and white film, made as an instruction film to illustrate the firing procedure of a large 88mm flak gun, was unearthed by co-producer, the US company Flight 33 Productions, at London’s Imperial War Museum.“We’d begun the project on the back of finding colour stereo stills from a French photographer of occupied Paris and we weren’t expecting to find any 3D motion picture footage,” explains Exec producer Doug Cohen. “We searched every archive using every search pattern we could think of that would get a hit for stereoscopic. When I read the entry from the IWM it was one of those moments that you only get once or twice in your career. “The film had been in archive for 60 years or so. It was logged as never being transferred to tape so we chipped in with the IWM to cover the cost of transfer and restoration.” The film itself had been shot on the Zeiss Ikon system which used two 35mm film cameras with a mechanical link and a prism for recording as well as for projection. These turned the stereo film strip pairs by 90-degrees to the running direction of the film. In this way, a horizontal format image was obtained. The film was scanned at the IWM and delivered as 2K DPX files to Deluxe142 which then created a stereo 3D HD master in Avid DS Nitris, adjusting the images to sit side by side in the process and therefore suitable for Sky’s delivery specs.Flight 33 previously produced the 3D documentary The Universe: Seven Wonders of The Solar System for History, Sky, and DIRECTV’s n3D and has a sequel to this in the works.

It is currently producing the 3D series Forgotten Planet for 3net. “We travelled the world going to abandoned sites like Chernobyl, nitrate mines in Chile, diamond mines in Namibia, and car towns like Detroit. Old industrial landscapes are perfect for 3D,” says Cohen.

There’s an interesting counterpoint to this in that British forces during the war also used stereoscopic techniques to trace the locations of German missile silos during WWII. Detailed photography of the landscape of occupied Europe was analysed using a stereoscope which enabled British officers to measure height, especially of unidentified new structures – such as rockets and their launch sites. The full story is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13359064.

Going back another 80 years to the 1860s is a 3Net commission for Towers Productions to deliver The Civil War 3D, a four hour series making extensive use of digitized stereo still photographs from the period.
 Tom Cosgrove, President & CEO of 3net told The Hollywood Reporter: “There are thousands of (3D) stills from the time of the Civil War all the way through the end of the century and into the next. There is a big archive that we’ll tap into to tell these stories, and the rest will probably be re-enactments."

The archival imagery will be mixed with natively stereo shot scripted reenactments and character narrative and, says Discovery “promises to bring audiences a closest to real experience that only native 3D can deliver.”
 Also of note is new Pogo Films’ documentary Victorian Stereographs: A 3D Tour of Victorian London does what it says on the tin – uses re-mastered original stereographs from the 1880s to provide an unconventional guide of Dickens’ London.

www.flight33.tv

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