Good user story here: a detailed look at Polecam’s work and the subsequent stereo 3D workflow deployed during Sky 3D’s Ryder Cup coverage a couple of weeks ago.
“The 2010 Ryder Cup held at Celtic Manor was covered by BSkyB in 3D using 21 stereoscopic camera rigs,” commented Robin Broomfield, 3D Development Manager, BSkyB. “One of these rigs was a 3D Polecam supplied by Chris Taber of Pedestal TV. The Polecam was located on the first tee and gave spectacular 3D shots of the crowd in the stands and the players teeing off. This was the first time a 3D Polecam has been used by BSkyB on one of the 3D sport events but has given a new dimension to the otherwise low angles that look so good in 3D.”
“Two Toshiba IK-HD1 cameras were attached to the new Polecam 3D mounting plate,” added Chris Taber. “This allowed easy adjustments of convergence and roll to be made at the head while final adjustments were handled in a Telegenic truck via a Sony 3D convergence unit. Left and right HD-SDI signals were converted to fibre for a run of nearly 2 kilometres back to the outside broadcast compound. Data from and to the Polecam remote control panel was also sent via fibre and allowed the engineers full control of the cameras: a vital requirement for 3D.
“The quality of the two Toshibas allowed the pictures to cut in seamlessly with the main cameras, thrilling producers and audiences alike. The simplicity of the 3D set-up allows the Polecam to retain all the benefits it offers 2D users. The only crane currently available to carry a full 3D rig is costly and requires several people to operate. Polecam stays head and shoulders above the rest as a single-operator system that can offer shots other cameras can’t get.
“In short: wet, windy and enormous fun!”
“Sky 3D went live on October 1 after six months of test transmissions,” adds Polecam founder and Managing Director Steffan Hewitt. “We are delighted that Chris Taber’s rig was chosen to play a part on such a historical day and for the duration of the Ryder Cup. We have been developing 3D additions to our product range since mid 2007 following initial overtures from customers. Working with Chris and other 3D specialists such as Keith Harding (TX-2) in Britain, Matthias Gollmer (Polevision) and Mathias Loew (Kamtek) in Germany, and John Gillan in the US, we have refined the system to the point where we can genuinely say Polecam is fully 3D ready.”