Monday, November 22, 2010

This 3D Thing. Is it all hot air?

I can't tell you how many times I get asked this question.
Come on, 3D is not new, it comes to the forefront every 10-15 years. It is a fad and then it vanishes. Why is this time any different?
Ok, here are the reasons why I feel that this is finally the time for wide acceptance of 3D.
1. See it Anywhere

For the first time in history, as 3D storytellers, we do not have to ask our audience to go to a theatre. Home 3D is a reality and getting cheaper by the day and you can even watch 3D on your computer.
2. Hello, Infrastructure
And now, the infrastructure to create really good 3D exists. We have cameras, we can edit, we can distribute and we can display. To quote Bob, "The times they are a changin'"
3. Shooting 3D
Really? How do we shoot 3D? There are side by side, and mirror rigs and the new Panasonic 3DA1, integrated 3D camera system. Basically you need two cameras absolutely seeing the same thing. Just like our eyes. If your rig, or camcorder can do that, shooting 3D just got way easier.
4. Editing.
OK, what NLE do you use? It doesn't matter, there are a number of plug ins for any NLE including: Dashwood, Cineform, and Quantel.
Editing 3D has never been easier.
5. Display
Take your choice: Anaglyph (ugly, but works on all displays, including computer), passive polarized glasses, or active shutter glasses. They all work.
Oh, and watch price of 3D plasmas, they are falling faster than you can image.

6. Distribution

OK, you shot it, you edited it, now how do you deliver it?
How about You Tube?
Or, side by side, easy to create in any NLE. Just burn to Blu-Ray Image, output on Standard Blu-ray player to consumer 3D plasma and presto chango, you have 3D. Stunning
7. The 10 foot blue people in the room
Avatar changed everything for a theatrical 3D experience. Wait until you see the 3D Blu-ray of Avatar in your home. It will once again change everything.

I have been shooting 3D with the Panasonic 3DA1 since March 2010. Would love to talk to you about it. Just reply below.

It changed the way I capture the world. I am training cinematographers every day how to shoot 3D with this camera.
We can now create images that mirror what we see.
Way cool!
More to come,
The Road Warrior
FTC Disclosure
In compliance with the FTC rulings, I state that I am the Panasonic AVCHD and 3D Professional Evangelist. As such, I am a paid consultant to Panasonic, and I get free use of the AVCCAM products. However, the opinions on this blog are purely my own.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

3D Everywhere, All The Time

Wow, the hits just keep on comin'. I am having a blast shooting 3D with the Panasonic 3DA1 camera and training other shooters how to shoot 3D with it.

Let's pick up from my last post which had me in San Diego closing out the When It Counts Post NAB Road Show, (that's me in action) For the record, I presented 3D at each of these events (think there were 27 different cities). And the crowds cheered!

Ok, right after San Diego, I am off to Orlando for WEVA. (Wedding and Event Videographer's Association).
We had worked with a couple of Wedding Videographers and showed, for the first time, weddings shot in 3D with the 3DA1 camera. It was simply amazing. We had this big plasma in the booth, and lines of people standing watching weddings of people that they didn't even know. It sure opened many of the WEVA attendees eyes to the real possibility of shooting and delivering 3D weddings!

September starts with me doing demos at NYU. This is always a great venue. The faculty is very cool and the students are so IN TO IT! I love being there.
From NYC to Atlanta to train the Weather Channel on shooting 3D. Now they want to shoot a tornado in 3D. Not me. That same week I presented at SMPTE meetings in Atlanta and Nashville. Just continuing the different day, different city 3D tour.

The next week I am off to Hawaii.
See why I love this job. In paradise, shooting 3D and training shooters. It doesn't get much better than this. Oh, wait, yes it does, read on...

Straight from Hawaii to LA for DV Expo. This was an amazing show.

For the first time we showed a working sample of the new AF100 camera. We had it right next to the 3DA1 and I have to tell you, Panasonic has two new rock stars. We had people lined up in the booth, 5 or 6 deep. It was like the early days of P2. It was fun! These are both incredible cameras.

But wait, from LA to Albuquerque, NM to shoot 3D at the International Balloon Fiesta.

See, I told you it got better.

WOW what an event! Over 800 hot air balloons ascending. It is said that this is the most photographed event in the world. I can easy believe it.
Everywhere you look is an incredible image, and the 3DA1 captured it all in breathtaking 3D. We even got the camera into a balloon.

Kudos to my son, Mike, I drafted him to be second unit 3D cameraman, and he took the camera up in a balloon. Good stuff. Thanks, Mike.

We shot tons of footage, and it is in a process of being edited now. Hope to have it on a Blu-ray soon and be able to show it at various events.

From balloons to Texas for 3D training at University and then on to Chicago for 3D event with Createasphere.
Then back to NYC for 3D presentation at NYU.....
Off to Seattle for 3D presentation at VMI show and then to Denver for 3D presentations at Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival Tech Symposium.
As you can see, I have been busy. I know I should try to post more while I am on the road, and I will try to do better.

Some Bernie Tips on shooting with the 3DA1.
* It is not really a hand held camera. Yes, you can hand hold it and Mike had to in the balloon, but I don't recommend it. Use a tripod, or monopod, shaky 3D looks really bad.
* Use the 3D guide in the camera. It gives you a distance guide to let you know where your 3D safe space is. It really helps you to avoid parallax issues and bad 3D.
* Remember to stay at least 8 feet away from your subject. Yes, you can zoom in, but stay 8 feet away. This was really hard to do at the Balloon Fiesta as people kept walking in front of the lens causing framing or window violations.
* Try to use the positive space (behind the screen) and avoid much coming into the negative space (in front of the screen). It is cheesy and tiring to watch.
* Dashwood has a great iPhone app which allows you to check your parallax settings. And they have even converted the C number to feet. Thanks, Tim. Great tool, it really helps. I recommend it.

More to Come,
The Road Warrior

FTC Disclosure
In compliance with the FTC rulings, I state that I am the Panasonic AVCHD and 3D Professional Evangelist. As such, I am a paid consultant to Panasonic, and I get free use of the AVCCAM products. However, the opinions on this blog are purely my own.