twofour54 opens 3D service hub for Middle East1 August 2011
Abu Dhabi media group twofour54 intaj has launched the first stereoscopic 3D lab serving Middle East and North Africa featuring camera and rig hire, post production and support services plus training facilities and an R+D test centre. The intention is to kick-start 3D production in a region where stereo output is currently next to zero.
“The lab is a continuation of our overall proposition as a centre of excellence for Arabic content in the region,” explained twofour54 Deputy CEO and COO Wayne Borg. “It’s important that we have a visibility to new technology while we are at the starting line with the rest of market internationally with 3D. It is part of our remit to be a catalyst to evolving the industry here so were equipping ourselves with the ability to offer local talent the ability to participate in and access this new technology. We need to be in a place where content creators in the region can take advantage of this and to offer them a starting point.”
The lab will have a focus on 3D stereo in its widest sense catering for architecture and engineering as much as entertainment.
“The reality is that 3D is the future – not just in film but in corporate work, serious gaming, the real estate business, hydro-carbon industries and seismic mapping,” said Borg.
It has been equipped with a range of kit including Element Technica Quasar rigs; Sony HD cameras and Panasonic’s AG-3DA1E twin-lens camcorder; GoPro Hero 3D; a Fuji 3D W3 camera and SI-2Ks. For post, it has Avid edit suites and Baselight for grading with JVC and TVlogic 3D monitors and a RealD 2k projection system. Hasan Sayed Hasan, head of twofour54 intaj, said: “In developing our new 3D lab, we selected a core set of hardware and software that are considered to be the industry standard tools for stereoscopic 3D production. We also ensured that the facilities brought in provide flexibility to the 3D content producer; for example, the Quasar rig can be used with a wide range of cameras and in different configurations. The editing and finishing tools from Avid, Filmlight, and the 3D plug-ins offer a wide range of tools for various types of productions.” The lab offers training run by subsidiary twofour54 tadreeb for students and production professionals. The R&D centre will test beta versions of editing systems and offer QC (quality control) to 3D productions, plus feedback to 3D camera manufacturers. Some edit software is already being tested under NDA. The facility is also setting itself up as a global archive of 3D library footage which it believes will soon become highly sought after and increasingly valuable. “The introduction of this facility will help support the opportunities that stereoscopic 3D is opening up to content producers across a wide range of media and entertainment platforms,” added Borg. “It is clear that 3D has had a massive impact on the entertainment industry. However, there are significant other media business opportunities that our new 3D lab can support, such as advertising, CGI, animation, corporate videos, events and even industrial and medical applications.”