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Sky to test 3Ality software

13 April 2011

NAB News: BSkyB is to test 3Ality Digital’s new automated 3D software suite ahead of launch, writes Adrian Pennington. 3Ality has also received new investment, part of which will be tapped to acquire another company.

At NAB, 3Ality Digital was previewing the 3space line of automated camera convergence and alignment technologies, which are intended to reduce the complexity and the cost of live 3D production.

BSkyB will put the products through its paces beginning next month. “Two years ago Sky asked us for this software – and now we’re showing it working,” said its CEO/founder, Steve Schklair. “It’s taken a heck of a lot of research and development. The question is how much testing do we need to ensure the software is safe to release. Sky is going to battle test it in game conditions and we’ll release the products gradually over the course of a year.”

He added: “When Sky integrate the software to the 3Ality systems they own they will see a quick reduction in operating costs for 3D.

“Part of our partnership with Sky is that they always have our latest technology – well almost – it makes sense that we are one step ahead of them.”

Among the products are: 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. A further product, IntelleMotion, provides real time motion stabilization to enable the use of long lenses.

“Using this software on a 12 camera 3D show now there is no need to hire 12 additional crew and all the expense of wages, food, transport and hotel costs,” said Schklair.

The company has just received a “substantial“ but undisclosed investment from Clearlake Capital Group, which Schklair said would allow the company to grow its research and development, expand service, and cover planned acquisitions.

“We have 40 projects on our R&D list and we could only do one at a time so now we can ramp up our R&D efforts,” he said. “We are suddenly a worldwide manufacturer so we need to step up our customer service side and build more inventory and we have had discussions with a company about acquiring them."

Of the target Schklair added: “I want them. It’s good for our business if we get them and it’s good for their business, frankly.”

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