I have become professionally intersested in 3D cinematography since seeing my first 3D movie in a theme park. This must have been around 1995. Since then I started studying stereography and the ways the human visual system deals with the two different images. About three years later, a director I worked with for theme park movies managed to get our first S3D assignment: An interactive theme park movie combining live action, CGI and virtual reality. We started looking for a camera but could not find anything that could fit our needs and we wound up designing and building a 3D camera from scratch in collaboration with the virtual reality company on the show. The virtual reality company was also instrumental in helping us with learning 3D setups as they had a real-time rendering system in S3D coupled to a Barco projector and shutter glasses. This allowed us to try many settings of interaxials and convergence and see immediate results in movement as we could fly around with the virtual camera with joy-sticks in a choice of virtual sets. This gained us a base of stereo experience allowing us to pull of the first project succesfully :-). During our shoot, a stereoscopic virtual studio was set up, which allowed us to check the position of our live actress against the virtual set. With coders on the camera head we could see a real time provisional composit and check the position of the actress in 3D space against the set and against her CGI counterplayers. The images were recorded clean as final compositing was done in post. A separate SGI computer recorded all camera moves. Pictures of this shooting are here.
Following this first experience I was contacted soon after because other productions also bumped on the lack of 3D cameras and 3D knowledge and found me through my web site. I then shot several 3D projects, with a wide palette of equipment, and a wide palette of destinations as well. I learned about the parameters and how they can be very different depending the screen it must be seen on, and also the circumstances it will be seen in (Theme park, Giant Screen, Cinema, TV).
Because of my early 3D experiences in comparison to the actual S3D development, I am regularly asked to speak in conferences and workshop about 3D for numerous years now. These have a stimulating effect in that explaining about 3D to others and answering the many questions also stimulates ones own thinking and research. The conferences also gave me the opportunity to meet vision scientists who study human visual perception and exchange views with them. This often has been very enriching for both parties. I learned enourmously from their findings and they were also often interested to have some feedback "from the field" from me about their findings. Throurough knowledge of how the human visual system perceives and deals with stereo has become instrumental in the decisions I make while working on movies. For example the ruleset of what works or not is quite different whether you are mainly talking to the foveal stereo perception of the viewer or to his peripheral stereo perception.
Another suprising aspect of S3D is that it is not perceived the same way by all persons. Viewers actually can be arranged into groups, and there are things that can work for a group and not for others, and the different groups require different parameters to obtain comfortable viewing. This makes that some persons can be discomforted or even offended by a piece while others feel fine with this same piece. It also has the consequence that if you test your material by looking at it yourself or with only a few persons you may not have a person of each group present and you risk making material that is hard to look at for some, and without becoming aware of that. To provide comfortable viewing for all viewers you need to take into account all limitations of all groups. This makes the list of "don'ts" a bit longer than one might think. I feel evaluation is best done by measuring and evaluating disparities on a monitor on set, most often without glasses, as projecting for a large group is not really a practical solution during production either. I now also often use conferences and workshops to test and evaluate these groupings. Asking an audience "can you please raise your hand if you were incomforted by what I just showed" is quite interesting indeed :-).
Since having become aware of these perceptual particularity a few years ago, my evaluation of stereoscopic setups has become far more considerate and precise. My goal being to make 3DS material for cinema and TV that is pleasurable to look at for all viewers, and not only for a percentage of them.
Lead Stereographer on "Above Us All", a full length feature in 3D by Eugenie Jansen, Dutch/Belgian co-production, DoP Adri Schrover NSC, Prod René Goosens, shooting lacations in Australia and Belgium, july, aug, sept 2011. Dual SI2K on Pulsar Rig. Transvideo 3D RF wireless monitor. Shooting 50 fps per eye HFR. Stereography on live capture of "MTV World Stage ASIA 2011", featuring "Neon Trees" and "30 Seconds to Mars", Kuala Lumpur, Malysia july 2011. 2 Quasars w 1500 on tracks, two pulsars w. P1, one on track and one on crane Stereography on capture of "l'Elisir d'Amore", an opera by "Opera-Zuid", Maastricht, The Netherlands, june 2011 Stereography on commercial "Nationale Bioscoopbon 3D", Zaandam, The Netherlands. dual SI2K on Genus rig. June 2011 Stereography on "Copa Italia", Italian final soccer cup, Olympic stadium Roma, one SbS v LDK8000, four SwissRig w. LDK8000, one steady w. dual iconix, mai 2011, direct transmission to 27 cinemas Stereography on 3D blu-ray capture of Marco Borsato "3 Dimensies" concert, Gelredome, Arnhem, the Netherlands, 2 Quasars on dolly, two Swiss-Rig on dolly, one Pulsar w.P1's on TechnoCrane 30, one Pulsar w.P1's on long jib, one Pulsar w.P1's on Towercam, one Freestyle on Steady, mai 2011 Instructor on 2 day Training Course by IFFMA in Munich Germany, mai 2011 Stereography on commercial "Dead or Alive" for Nintendo 3DS game, The Netherlands, dual RED on Egripment telescopic crane. April 2011. Stereography on capture of Nintendo 3DS launch London for Sky 3DTV UK, featuring "Plan B", march 2011 Stereography on Rugby Interland Final France-Wales, Stade de France Paris, 4 Quasars in sports under/trhough modus w 1500, one Pulsar w P1's on jib, steadycam with Presteigne radio wall-e cam, one SbS w 1500, one SbS w P1, march 2011, direct transmission to cinemas Consultant for Large Format and 3D on "Flying Monsters", Atlantic Productions UK, 2011 Instructor 3D Training Course at 3D stereo media Liege, Belgium, december 2010 Lead Stereographer on "Lord of the Dance 3D", muticamera 5 evening capture of Michael Flatleys' show. Many disfferent cameras and rigs, November 2010, premiered march 10, 2011 in cinemas world wide. Stereography on "Argentinia-Italy" First live 3D broadcast in Italy of a Rugby match. November 2010. 8 LDK8000 on 4 SwissRigs, Iconics SbS rig on steadycam, dual SbS rig with LDK8000 and canon digi 27 box lenses. Stereography on "Nordlys på Haldetoppen", a short fiction film on Nothern light explorers by Morten Skallerud, Alta, Norway, october 2010 Instructor IBC Production Village 3D workshops 2010 Amsterdam Stereography and DoP on "The 8th continent", Alterface 2D and 5Di attraction parc movie, dual HDCAM on SwissRig, Belgium, 2010, premiered april 2011 in Futuroscope, Poitier, France, and playing there all summer as the new 2011 attraction Stereography on "Vampire Weekend Live" (rock music), First MTV 3D multicam, 6 LDK8000 on SwissRigs, dual Iconix on Jimmy-Jib, Turin, Italy, 2010 Stereography on "Champions League Madrid Finale" (soccer), 3D multicam live transmission, 8 LDK8000 on SwissRigs, 2 LDK8000 on custom SbS rig, dual Toshiba on Polecam, Spain, 2010. Direct transmission to cinemas and to Sky TV in the UK Article in Live Production Instructor on 3D Campus, a one week 3D course in Paris, France, may 2010 Stereography on "Anderlecht - STVV", soccer game, first 3D live transmission in Belgium, 8 LDK8000 on SwissRigs, 2 LDK8000 on custom SbS rig, dual Iconix on Steadycam, Belgium, 2010. Article in Live Production Stereography on "Projecting the Magic", stinger for new generation of BARCO digital cinema projectors produced by Hoaxland, CGI, Belgium, 2010 Stereography on "De Muur", stereography test shoot for 3DTV capture of bicycle racing, VRT medialab, dual XDCAM-HD on swissrig, Belgium, 2010 Stereography on "Charleroi - Lokeren", experimental 3D multicam live transmission of a soccer game, first live 3D soccer capture in Belgium. 4 LDK8000 on SwissRigs, 2 LDK8000 on custom SbS rig, dual Cunima on StereoTec rig, dual Toshiba on Polecam, Belgium, 2010 Stereography on "Q-music" commercials, ColorCode 3D dual HDcam on Verduci rig, Belgium, 2010 (making of) Stereography on "VIY", Russian feature, 3D, dual REDone on Peschke Rig, Tjechie, Russia, 2009 Stereography on "The Big Ask Again"/"Dance for the Climate 3D", 3D dual SI2K on P+S rig, Belgium, 2009 Stereography on live shooting for "Le Voyage dans l'Arbre", 3D dual XDcamHD on Derobe rig, France, 2009, now playing at the "Terra Botanica" theme park in Angers, France and Awarded by Dimension3-expo 3D film festival 2010. Director of photography on "The House", Alterface attraction parc movie, 3D dual HDcam on Verduci rig, Belgium, 2009. Now playing in Branson, Missouri, USA (as "Castle of Chaos"), and Tusenfryd, Oslo, Norway (as "Nightmare"), Instructor on HDDC Skillset 3D Workshop London Pinewood, december 2008 3D blue screen shoot for nWave "Devils Mine Returns", 3D 70mm 5 perf, Belgium, USA, 2002 Director of photography and stereography on "Floriade 2002", 3D 35mm, The Netherlands, 2001 3D post production consultant on "Holland Experience", 3D video, The Netherlands, 2000 Director of photography and stereography on "De Westhoek Queeste", 3D video, Belgium, 2000 Director of photography and stereography on "La SIRW a 20 ans", 3D video, Belgium, 2000 VFX Director of photography and stereography for "Haunted Castle", 3D 70mm 15perf, Belgium, USA, 1999 Director of photography and stereography on "Road Masters", 3D 35 mm, Belgium, France, Japan, 1999 Director of photography and stereography on "Gas 3", 3D video, The Netherlands, 1998 Director of photography and stereography on "Alice in Digital Land", 3D video, Belgium, France, Japan, 1998 Development of a professional 6 CCD stereoscopic video camera, Belgium, 1998
(following is humor by Harry Arp)
This fake Newspaper article made by Harry Arp, (thanks Harry!) who is, besides 3D film director, also a very respectful photoshop artist. He can spend hours of his free time building visual fun. This example was inspired on my situation, when we were working on a 3D film together and I also was hoping to meet a new spouse. There is a lot of fun in the texts around the image. It is worth reading it and fun imagining the complete text (that never existed). Also the part on the left is worth checking. It explains that, in fact, all this is fake... :-)
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