News Production & Post

Stereolabs’ 3D multi-camera control system

19 December 2011
Stereolabs’ 3D multi-camera control system

French vendor Stereolabs has developed a 3D multi-camera management system that provides the ability to monitor and control up to eight 3D camera positions from a single central location.
 Its new Pure Commander video processor gathers geometric, colour and depth data from a network of stereo image processors and offers the information on a single screen for stereographers to take quick decisions on controlling and balancing the depth across multiple camera positions. Stereolabs previously released a stereo image processor, Pure.
 “Pure Commander communicates with other stereo image processors (SIPs) rather than directly with the rigs,” explained product manager Cecile Schmollgruber. “Using it, stereographers have an early warning system about camera convergence or lens discrepencies. The next step is to make the process of adjustment automatic.”
 Schmollgruber said that the system would work with SIPs including those from Microfilms, Swiss Rigs, Stereotec and 3Ality Technica but not those of Cameron Pace Group.
 It has been tested with broadcasters, but those names are not announced. Neither is the price, which will be unveiled when the product is released at the end of January. Use at both the Euro football championships and the Olympics in London is being targeted.
 “Multi-camera live production is still a technical and economic challenge,” said Edwin Azzam, CEO of Stereolabs. “Production companies have been asking for new technologies that would help them reduce the complexity associated with multi-camera 3D shooting. With Pure, we have provided automated solutions to align rigs and correct geometry, colour and depth issues for every 3D system in the field. With Pure Commander, we introduce the first system in the industry that improves the overall quality of 3D productions.”
 Pure Commander monitors geometry, colour and depth status of all 3D cameras in real-time. The stereographer is alerted immediately if one system generates uncomfortable 3D images. Depth transitions can be handled smoothly, as the depth structure shot by up to eight cameras is displayed at the same time on a single monitor. HIT, interaxial and convergence values for each camera pair are also transmitted, so the stereographer can make sure depth balance across cameras is achieved when a cut is called.
 “Not only is Pure Commander the first multichannel 3D quality control system, it is also the only system to enable smooth depth transitions between different camera angles,” claims Azzam. “Production companies can now streamline their operations, simplify a stereographer’s work and expect large improvements in depth management during live events.”
 Stereolabs claims that its SIP, Pure, can detect large misalignments: up to 5° for rotation, 40 lines for y-shift and convergence, and 5% zoom mismatch. This means that you don’t need to prealign your rig before getting SIP assistance. Pure is further said to be the only open system that can setup and control remotely up to 12 rig motors: 2 x zoom; focus; iris and IO; convergence; tilt; height; and roll. For live production environments, the system can detect and correct any type of optical or mechanical mismatch with subpixel precision. It is claimed as the sole system capable of correcting lens distortion, enabling the use of wide angle lenses in 3D.

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