High Speed Stereo 3D Cinematography

In my current situation, I find myself with the opportunity to play with some very interesting equipment. For example: late last year we did a 16 RED One MX camera 4K shoot of an Alice In Chains concert. This was 2 hours, and they don’t stop the concert so you can swap media. Many thanks to Red, whose help was instrumental in pulling this off.  The Red cameras are a very interesting topic in and of themselves; you will probably see a lot in this blog about the Red EPIC as I get a chance to shoot with it.

Most recently, we had the opportunity to play around with a high-speed digital cinema camera, thanks to Rufus and Chad and the other good folks at The Camera House in Los Angeles. Shooting stereoscopically at ultra high speed (say, 2000 fps) presents some real challenges, none the least of which is ensuring sync between two cameras.  There’s no such thing as HD-SDI genlock at 2000 Progressive!  We avoided that issue entirely; it’s related to my previous Kinect post, but only tangentially.  No Kinect was used nor harmed in the making of this.

I can’t say much about HOW this was done except that we did not use two Weisscam H2s, only one. I’m happy to show you the final results, though. Youtube steps on the video a bit so you can’t really see every little microdroplet of water flying at you in glorious 2K, but it’s enough to get the general idea.

Here is the RGB capture plus it’s depthmap:

The YouTube 3D version (you have to select your 3D display type):

The Red/Cyan Anaglyph version:


~ by opticalflow on March 14, 2011.

3 Responses to “High Speed Stereo 3D Cinematography”

  1. Last summer, I had a one day stereo shooting with two Sprintcam Vvs from I-Movix. These are basically phantom 640 embedded into realtime playback system. They were perfectly synced (one on the other if I remember), and we shot up to 2500fps.
    We had a lot of trouble because of camera disparities, but sync was frame accurate whatever the rate.
    I’ll drop you a line when I publish some stuff…

    David Coiffier,
    Pixel’s Revenge

  2. Well, syncing up two phantom 640’s is serious business. Out of curiousity — What sort of disparities gave you trouble? Interaxial? Optical? Or shutter phase issues?

  3. Man, I guess I overlooked this discussion… Sorry for this.
    Disparities were mainly sensor/electronic ones. There were supposedly 2 identical camera models, but they didn’t act at all the same way. One was a lot noisier than the other, and channels gain/gamma were completely different with same settings… But finally what really killed me was liquid nitrogen we played with at first, and that splashed onto the rig mirror without no one (including me firstly) to notice it. I’ve spent days in post erasing all dust and spots that were lying on the mirror. Because inter axis was never twice the same, I had to do this tedious task shot by shot, one camera after the other… quite a nightmare.
    That said, I didn’t notice the slightest shutter phase issue, which is quite incredible. Optical disparities has been managed at shooting time, with 3D analysis system telling 3D operator how to correct this or this. I have no detail about this system, but looked like a home cooked system made by the S3D company I hired for this shooting (http://www.binocle.com)
    Results were still quite amazing, once all dust busted, once right camera denoised, and once color matched with the left one. Of course, when seen side by side, both sources looked quite unequal in terms of sharpness, due to denoise, but brain is a marvelous system that rectify that kind of disparities, without even making you notice it.
    I plan to work on these pictures again soon, so there should be an edit online in a few weeks/months…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: