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NAB 2012: 5D will move 3D backwards: Steve Schklair

18 April 2012
NAB 2012: 5D will move 3D backwards: Steve Schklair

3Ality Technica CEO Steve Schklair has hit back at the 3D production philosophy espoused by the Cameron Pace Group, arguing instead for a separate editorial for 2D and 3D, writes Adrian Pennington Meanwhile BSkyB is to place the first orders for a new suite of 3Ality software which is claimed to reduce 3D production costs. Commenting on the ‘5D’ approach to simultaneous 2D-3D production being aggressively pursued by CPG, Schklair said: “I am not in favour of 5D since it relies for its primary shot on a 2D operator with a long lens. The 3D is an afterthought and it doesn’t matter if it’s a good 3D shot or not. Nobody is operating a specific 3D shot and often it’s the wrong angle for 3D. When 3D is done as an afterthought then it is not good 3D. It won’t help gain audiences and it doesn’t make the content more compelling. I can see the argument from an economic perspective for 5D since it requires only one camera position, one operator – but it’s not going to move the needle on 3D. In fact, it’s going to move it backward.” Schklair hinted at new technology under development at the company which he says addresses this issue and will be “a game-changer.” To the present, and BSkyB is on the verge of placing an order for 3Ality’s IntelleSuite of enhanced control and automation software, which reduces the number of convergence operators and technical personnel required on multi-camera shoots. “We are about to give them [Sky] a new version to run and yes they will buy it because it does save money,” he said. “We are in negotiations with them as our first major customer.” Schklair said that pricing for the software had not been set. “We have spent millions on this technology to help reduce the costs of 3D production but we know there is not a big enough market yet. We are saying ‘let’s figure out what the cost savings are and just split it with you’ and that becomes the cost of the software – so you [the broadcaster] saves half, and we get half.” The software includes IntelleCam, which automatically controls the convergence and interaxial spacing of the cameras, eliminating the need for an extra operator to converge each camera; IntelleMatte, a live 3D compositing tool for inserting graphics between layers on the fly; and IntelleCal, for automatic alignment of two cameras at the push of a button. It does that by profiling and matching lenses and performing alignment on five axes through the entire zoom range. 3Ality has a number of new products including the Helix, a rig which combines technology from 3Ality’s TS-5 and Element Technica’s Atom to produce a more versatile unit including handheld applications and for rapid lens change and alignment. The Helix is optimised to work with the IntelleSuite tools. “We also have another new product – because not everybody shoots with our rigs – which enables you to input the 3D signal at one end and out of the back gain perfectly correct 3D,” said Schklair. “So now you can use anybody’s gear for television. Broadcasters will be buying those to run pre-recorded or live content through the system to correct issues such as misalignments, colour aberations or geometric aberations before going to air.”

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