Woods Hole 3D System Rises Out of the Depths for NAB Appearance

The Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory (AIVL) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the world’s largest private, nonprofit ocean research, engineering and education organizations, expanding its 3D HD production services unit called Woods Hole Imaging Systems. NAB 2010 marks the unit’s official 3D debut as footage created by the Woods Hole Imaging Systems group can be seen within the NAB 2010 booths of Sony, JVC and other 3D-related equipment manufacturers.

The unit operates as a vertically integrated 3D production and postproduction service, and now, its industry-leading 3D camera rigs will be available to outside groups. The custom 3D rigs have been specially designed from the ground-up for natural history, science, documentary and sports remote applications, where image quality; reliability and overall equipment size are critical.

“Our smallest 3D camera rigs weigh in at approximately four pounds and can be operated by a single individual,” explains William N. Lange, AIVL research specialist. “A comparable 3D camera is about 50 pounds. We’ve seen considerable interest from sports producers in our ultra-small 3D cameras systems.” Woods Hole recently placed one of its 3D camera rigs in a single position above the net at a New York Rangers game. “The director stayed with the above the net shot longer than is typically done with a 2D camera,” says Lange. “And by staying longer with this one shot, people were physically reacting, following the puck around. They were connecting to the action in a way that was different from the constant cuts to other cameras and other positions. That’s where our cameras can really add value.”

The new 3D rigs from Woods Hole Imaging Systems lead the industry in their durability and reliability. “When we put a camera system in a submarine, once that sub goes down, the system just has to work,” adds Lange. “That mentality is in everything we do. All of us at Woods Hole design and build systems from the ground up. We’re extremely optimistic about our new 3D unit. We’ve got something special and proven to offer the producers of 3D programming.”

In the past five years alone, AIVL has developed more than 30 ultra-small, high resolution 3D systems that have been used to great success throughout the world, providing unparalleled imagery. While they are mainly used for underwater applications, AIVL recently developed a new line of terrestrial 3D rigs, including ones that support high-end Sony, Red and Phantom cameras.

AIVL has been involved in the development of 3D technology for scientific and entertainment imaging for decades, providing developmental, production and engineering support to groups such as 3ality, NASA, NAVY, SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation), Telecast, ESPN, SkySkan, Sony, Paradise FX, and many others. Footage from AIVL systems has been used in hundreds of television programs and documentaries, as well as IMAX films. Some of the high-profile productions include: “Blue Planet,” “Deep Blue,” “Volcanoes of the Abyss,” numerous Titanic documentaries, as well as a recent theatrical 3D films with NHK.

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