New 3D Rig From PACE Ties 3D/2D Camera Operations

PACE’s new 3D camera rig, being demonstrated at the Fujinon booth at NAB, will cut 3D-production costs while improving the quality of the production, PACE CEO Vince Pace believes. The rig, known as Shadow D, stacks the 3D camera atop or below the longer 2D camera lens and allows one camera operator to control both with one set of controls while also solving the issue of how to co-locate both 3D and 2D camera rigs in the best camera positions.

“The 2D and 3D production are both working together towards the same goal,” he says, “and my feeling is, this gives a solution that doesn’t compromise the 2D director.”

The system allows the camera operator to set up key frames for both field of view and headroom for the 2D and 3D cameras and then link those two key frames together via the Sportvision data port in the camera. Then, as the camera operator follows the action for the 2D production, the 3D camera rig (a small monitor is also on board to allow the camera operator to see 3D framing) follows along.

“The camera operator drives focus, convergence, and tilt via regular camera controls and servo focus,” says Deena Sheldon,  VP of sports and entertainment for PACE. “It also only requires one location and one operator, making it wonderful for situations like a boxing ring, where there is room for only one corner camera.”

Pace adds that an important benefit is, it improves the quality of the production because 2D operators who feel comfortable working in 2D can capture 3D shots without having to learn new production techniques.

“Invisibly, the 2D operators create the 3D images, and they can still compose for 2D,” Pace explains. There is also a control to disengage the link so that the operator can recompose a shot for the 3D production.

The rig on display at Fujinon’s booth has two 23x lenses mounted for 3D purposes, but larger lenses, such as 42x, can be added via longer sleds.

The benefits from a production standpoint are equaled by the cost-saving benefits, Pace adds: “It’s all about one operator, one per diem, and one hotel room.”

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