Articles with the ‘stereo’ tag
Cmotion Cvolution wireless lens controller in-depth walk through – Pt.2 3D
The new Cmotion Cvolution wireless lens controller has so many awesome new features that set it apart from others like Preston, I figured it was time to do a in-depth walk through video explaining all the features and benefits of this incredible system when used in 3D applications.
In PART 2 I go into all the 3D functions you need to master and use on a 3D production. The Cvolution will work with almost ALL the 3D rigs and in the market. It can record METADATA and lots of advanced functions.
The 8-Motor “Camin” pictured here is very small and compact and much smaller than Preston3D or Element Technica3D lens controller transmitters.
There are additional “advanced” functions that I don’t cover in this video that ONLY apply when you use the system with a ScreenPlane rig. I will cover those in another final video Part 3.
I Do cover everything you need to know to setup and shoot in 3D with the Cmotion Cvolution system.
Watch the video on Vimeo in HD….in depth tutorial…
OR WATCH on YouTube.com
I hope you find it useful and educational!!
For Cvolution rentals for your production contact me –
For more manufacturer information
Thanks to our gracious hosts that allowed me to use thier location to shoot this video….use the amazing Screenplane rig and PANTHER TriStar Dolly
Last year I did some tests with a Focus Optics Ruby 14-24mm lens. I tested them on a 3D rig and underwater with a flat and dome port. So this is Part 2.
More info on the 3D lens testing here on my previous article where I tested a matched pair on a 3D Rig. (Part 1)
Using one of those lenses a RED One and a Element Technica REDONE underwater housing. Using a Dome port and a Flat port.
The purpose of this test is too determine how bad is a wider focal length underwater on a flat port.
When shooting underwater with a beam splitter you are forced to use a flat port. This is because of the (virtual) overlapping of the lenses. A dome port is simply impossible when using a beamsplitter.
At the same time we all know that wide lenses optically perform extremely poor with flat ports.
Flat ports exhibit a few main issues underwater, the flat port is unable to correct for the distortion produced by the differences between the indexes of light refraction in air and water. Using a flat port introduces a number of aberrations when used underwater. They are:
This is the bending of light waves as they pass through different mediums of optical density (the air inside the camera housing and the water outside the lens port). Light is refracted 25 percent, causing the lens to undergo the same magnification you would see through a facemask. The focal length of your lens also increases by approximately 25 percent.
Demonstrated here in this split level shot of my assistant. His body looks huge compared to his head. This is a clear demonstration of refraction and the magnification it produces.
If the subjects moves things get even worse! Needless to say split level shots with a flat port are not advised. Unless you want the effect!
Because flat ports do not distort light rays equally, they have a progressive radial distortion that becomes more obvious as wider lenses are used. The effect is a progressive blur, that increases with large apertures on wide lenses. Light rays passing through the center of the port are not affected because their direction of travel is at right angles to the water-air interface of the port.
White light, when refracted, is separated into the color spectrum. The component colors of white light do not travel at the same speed, and light rays passing from water to glass to air will be unequally bent. When light separates into its component colors, the different colors slightly overlap, causing a loss of sharpness and color saturation, which is more noticeable with wider lenses.
The dome port is a concentric lens that acts as an additional optical element to the camera lens. The dome port significantly reduces the problems of refraction, radial distortion and axial and chromatic aberrations when the curvature of the dome’s inside radius center is placed as close as possible to the nodal point of the lens. When a dome port is used, all the rays of light pass through un-refracted, which allows the “in-air” lens to retain its angle of view. Optically a “virtual image” is created inches in front of the lens. To photograph a subject underwater with a dome port you must focus the lens on the virtual image”, not the subject itself. The dome port makes the footage marks on the lens totally inaccurate for underwater focus. Therefore lenses should be calibrated underwater. The dome port offers no special optics above water and functions as a clear window.
It’s really too bad were are stuck with the Flat port for 3D but there is little we can do. Sure you can use a “side by side” configuration with dual dome ports but this would result in a large inter-axial which is really not ideal for feature film 3D production.
So the purpose of this test is just to get an idea how poor and what the loss is and if that will be acceptable to potential cinematographer for use on feature productions.
Here you see the lens in the housing before I put the final port on.
As you will see below I first shot the camera on the surface with no port, dome and flat. Then Underwater dome and flat at various focal lengths.
I setup a c-stand with my homemade geometrical chart i use for 3D aligment but I added 2 putora sharpness charts at each edge.
Now, naturally the results are predictable. The dome port performed well (not great, a bigger dome would of done even better) and the flat port performed poorly and got worse as we got wider. So we expected this. The questions really was how bad was it and is it acceptable?
My point is, the level of acceptable image quality is very subjective and is one that needs to be evaluated by the FX supervisor(post house), DP and Director. Ultimately in 3D feature productions we just don’t have a choice….we HAVE to use a flat port and in certain situations we might HAVE to use a 16mm lens.
I think that what might make it easier for Directors and Dp’s to “swallow” and image which is less than perfect so to speak is the fact that underwater and in 3D you tend not to put anything on the edges of frame to avoid “window violations” of the 3D space and in the center of the frame things are sharp. and the edges well they can tend to be the very “homogenous” blue ocean…. even when things are filling the frame if you also add motion blur into the mix a lot of shots can then get a “passing grade”. Just take the image of the anchor or the fish in my ocean shots below, you eyes are drawn towards the center and you tend to ignore the edges. I can guarantee that if those images were 3D that would be even more true.
To illustrate my point….
I was the stereographer on a $40 million feature called shark night 3D
This was our underwater camera rig…..a now aging but capable PACE|FUSION side by side rig/housing. Also used in James Cameron’s underwater documentaries “Aliens of the Deep” and “Ghost of the Abyss” and others blockbusters like “Sanctum” and Resident evil 3D.
Sony F950 cameras and poor quality Fujinon zooms (I forget the focal range but they were very wide on the wide end maybe 16mm equivalent) on a FLAT GLASS PORT.
Open rear view of the housing
Coming out of the water on set.
It has a massive 2.75″ IO poor quality Fujinon lenses(when compared to cinema lenses) and flat port.
Most of the shots were done on the wide end.
We shot many charts underwater for VFX/post to correct the images. Post then takes the chart and corrects the distortion and applies the corrections to all the underwater footage. This way it gets rid of one of the flat port side effects. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done to correct the soft edges….so not everything can be fixed in post!
The Fujinon lenses even above water displayed CA and significant barrel distortion on the wide end. Underwater it just got worse.
********PACE now has a new underwater rig…..they used it on “Life of Pi”. I have first hand confirmation(from the camera crew) that they did have to use 16mm on a flat port at times.*********
Point is…..all these features saw theatrical release. All these features were able to correct the distortion and other issues with the images this rig created. To what degree? Well pop in the DVD and watch for yourself.
Furthermore…..here is the “Panavision 3D splash box” we used on some above water scenes………..the “box” had just come back from shooting “Pirates of the Carribean 4″ 3D on RED one cameras.
The “box/fishtank” features a large FLAT glass port”. Lens most used in this setup was…..you guess it a 16mm. I have friends that worked with the box on pirates and can verify that.
We used the Box/fishtank with a 18mm cooke zoom (18-40)
Here it is in all it’s glory.
Did you watch Pirates of Caribbean 4? Then you saw images created using this box/fishtank and a flat port with a wide lens.
Here is a side shot.
I’m not doubting the laws of physics that we are fighting. My job is test stuff and present it to people above my pay grade regardless how ridiculous it might seam.
It’s up to them (mostly VFX guys/post) to evaluate it work their million dollar post tools on it and tell us if it’s an image they can work with and make better.
That’s is the main purpose behind this test…..
Based of my past experiences (posted above) coupled with this test, I think that with a 5k epic (more pixels and data for post) great lenses (ruby) instead of Fujinons that 16mm will can be usable in a flat port.
I would generally advise going below 20mm but it’s up to them to decide.
Filmmakers “might” be willing to live with “good enough”. Certainly has been the case in the recent past as I pointed out.
Why this is relevant to me and others,
Because for feature film production we are forced to used “Beamsplitter” rig because this allows us the smaller IA needed for large screen 3D production. The only way to get parallax into reasonable parameters for large screen production is to use a beamsplitter and therefore we are also forced to live with Flat ports.
Here is the GATES “DEEP EPIC” underwater housing for the 3ality Technica “ATOM” rig.
The other feature quality (Red Epic 5k) underwater beamsplitter housing I will be using and that is currently available is the “Mocean Armor Magicine GV4″ Red Epic beamplitter housing. (full review article coming soon)
Used by underwater cinematographer Ken Corben recently in the Artic.
In the end I just point my camera at what the DP tell me to!
So I leave the final evaluation and decision to you the reader, DP, director…..etc….
Here some “real world” image grabs from video shot with a Red One with a Flat port in Catalina Island, CA (Casino Point) on a very sunny day…..
Bouey Anchor 30ft depth…
another chart shot…you can see the chromatic aberrations towards the edges and the distortion and the soft edges…..hehehe it’s all in this picture! Naturally notice the center is tack sharp.
Last image from my dive…I saw a shadow on the sea floor then looked up to see this….I was around 60ft unfortunately so most of my light was gone….it did give this a eerie feel to it.
1stAC E.Gunnar Mortensen for his help on this day.
Element Technica for use of their housing.
I’ll leave you with a gallery of the test,
Handheld and 3D….Oxymoron?
The 3D rigs used to be too big for handheld to even be a consideration! Today that has changed….so now it is possible but just because you can….does it mean you should?
“Handheld” is kinda of a taboo subject in 3D land.
Why? The general consensus amongst some experts and some test audiences is that it is too shaky for 3D. 3D is very imersive especially on a large cinema screen and 3D involves many physiological considerations that comes into play as well.
When you watch 3D your eyes and your brain are doing lots of work already and adding the erratic movement of handheld can add to strain that may already be building inside your brain.
The stereographer is constantly managing parallax values with the 3D rig controls throughout the movie to avoid unnecessary eye strain and manage the workload your brain and eyes are doing. Adding a handheld camera to this equation complicate things a bit as we have to compensate to this added brain processing by maybe reducing or altering the 3D settings to alleviate things a bit. If we don’t…….ouch!! Viewers rip their 3D glasses off!
So….can it be done? ….yes
more important question, Should it be done?
Like any choice when telling a story it’s still vital to ask “Is it crucial to the story?” “is it the right tool”.
Once that is clear and the decision is made then it’s important to start talking with your stereographer so he can start planing for this both on the 3D side of things and also so the 3D rig tech and camera dept can start to work out the “handheld mode”.
Which brings us to the next challenge….dealing with the rig in handheld mode….It’s heavy and awkward.
But it doesn’t have to be!
If you have the luxury to have a separate “handheld” rig then you have some options…
You might have to compromise on using a smaller camera like the Si-2k……but it does deliver the best handheld 3D camera….
let look some hand held setups I have used and other have used.
Element Technica – Dark Country rig
By far….the smallest and lightest 3D beamsplitter rig out there is Element Technica’s “Dark Country” rig. While an apparent 1st choice for handheld you do have limitations.
-Tiny overall size
-Lens selection; Only 2 or maybe 3 lenses will fit in the Dark country. Schneider 8mm is the most common.
-Will only work with Si-2k cameras.
-3D aliment is a tool only affair that can be tricky to adjust.
-No focus motors…..fixed focus only. Set and forget.
The Freestyle is much improved over it’s first iteration. It was designed primarily as a steadicam rig but has been used extensively as a handheld rig. The rig has rosette’s on each side where you can mount arms for handheld operation.
The rig works well for handheld work…..being lighter than most at 15lbs (empty)
-Fits wide variety of cameras
-larger mirror widens your lens selection.
-Internal motors for IO and Conv.
-In certain situations with long lenses or larger cameras the rig can flex when tilting.
-sometimes some adjustments are a bit of a pain.
-made of carbon fiber there are very little options where to mount things….no 1/4-20 or 3/8-16 holes anywhere!!
-with no top support and no threaded hole makes it difficult to use an “Easy rig”.
Here is a Freestyle with Sony F3′s and Cooke lenses.
Another handheld setup I used on a 3D music video with Si-2k cameras, C-Motion lens control, Zeiss Digi-zooms and a Cinedeck recorder on the back
On my shoulder,
Monitor is a TVlogic 6″
Element Technica “ATOM”/”Pulsar rig.
So these rigs are designed to handle larger cameras like the EPICS or a Sony P1. I have used this rig for handheld work during 3D broadcast events for DirectTV’s N4d channel. I have also used the rig with Epic cameras in handheld mode for a feature recently.
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the rigs performed great…..holding thier aligment and not falling apart with all the jostling and bumping that happens in handheld operation.
I recently did a feature that was all handheld 3D. During prep for the movie we devised many “handheld” rigs or method of achieving handheld look in many situations. The other challenge is that even a magnesium Atom rig with angeniuex zooms, motors and all the accoutrements that you need to shoot 3D end up being rather heavy! Around 65lbs is my best guess.
So a great deal of time was spent trying to figure out way to distribute the weight around the operators body for longer takes. We came up with a few ideas and some worked better than others. In the end we settled with an “Easy-rig” with a heavy CINEMA spring on it. The 55lbs spring was not enough and the rig would sink a abit. I have heard that they have release a 65lbs spring now….I think that would work much better.
While it was a challenge for the operator physically it was possible and we got thru the movie.
-Solid alignment thru bumping
-Many threaded holes on the rig to mount eye-hooks, monitors and other devices
-Great mirror optics.
-Motorized IO and Conv.
-”cage” offers yet another place to mount and grab.
-Many rossete’s to mount handles and access.
-Mirror with the Epic cameras will only cover a 18mm lens maximum.
Here some pictures,
For directTV….show here on the tripod but later this went on a ez-rig. Sony P1 cameras. You can see the operator handles with broadcast focus and zoom controls. Rig pictured is a Pulsar.
Shoulder mount….RED Epics, Angeniuex zoom, Full lens control motors….ready to shoot.
Another view….biggest problem is that as you can see the lens height is very high…..this is why ultimately we ended up using the ez-rig.
On location…..this time with Angeniuex V3′s !! even more weight!
Here are some pictures of the Atom on my ez-rig. In this configuration we used the “cage”. We later operated on the ez-rig without this cage and used eye hooks and some rigging. This took some weight off.
Much better lens height….you can see how great the rossett’s and “mantis handles” where. I could configure them and move them into many positions around the rig to aid in the shot.
Here is a picture of how we “slung” the rig once we lost the “cage”. This lowered the overall weight. The Ez-rig would attach on the carabiner. Pictured here during testing hanging off some speedrail.
This was very hard work for the operator!! The “cinema” configuration is much heavier than a broadcast config. The operator is very restricted on his control of the camera at times and shots can suffer. Careful planning and REHEARSALS !!! are needed to optimize each setup.
Take a read thru my previous article on 3D steadicam I go into some of the details of “3D operating” that naturally also apply to handheld.
Read it here! Click here.
Handheld 3D is a dangerous game……not just for the operator’s back either! Once again the decision to go with a “handheld” aesthetic to tell your story takes on even a greater importance in 3D.
Everything is exaggerated.
Every movement….every shot off-horizon every bump is felt even greater while watching 3D. Especially on a big cinema screen!! This is why on most of all the big budget live action 3D features released to date you have seen little to no handheld. It is a risk by the filmmaker. A greater one than in 2D. Different considerations…
There were some shots in the feature that I think worked well……not sure I agree with the whole movie being handheld…..but I think I will be more open as a stereographer to handheld. My biggest advice to any 3D filmmaker….is test. Test some shots, screen them on a big screen. learn and evaluate exactly what impact on the audience your choices will have. Choose carefully as the impact on the viewer is of greater consequence than ever before.
James Cameron operated handheld himself a bit in Avatar on a bungee rig(helicopter scenes) and here is a few other pictures of him hand holding some of the PACE/Cameron Fusion rigs.
James Cameron’s new smaller 3D Rig with the new ARRI Alexa “M” series cameras. (photos from IBC 2011)
I’ve been lugging around my gear long enough without a proper “steadicam cart”. Backstage carts makes a steadicam cart but it costs alot and well….I don’t like it.
We all know the “Yaeger cart” is the best in the biz…….made from aircraft alumn. and it folds up for easy transportation and air travel.
Did I mention it’s made from alumn.? Luckily for me I have a tig welder and am pretty good with it!
So I purchased a “junior” model and began making my steadicam modifications…
First off was a stop over at the infamous A&S Case company……after lots of measurements custom cases being designed to fit on the bottom shelf……but we’ll leave that for part 2.
I had 2 main modifications I needed to make….
First project up was a “Vest Hanger” Something for me to hang up my vest so It didn’t get damaged and also to help it air dry in between takes.
I came up with this detachable hanger I welded together with a neoprene cover (I purchased at a bike shop, cruiser grips). I added a 1/4-20 allen bolt to secure it to the rails.
Fabricating the hanger part….
Completed hanger mounted on rail….
Nice thing about this is I can move it around where ever I want on the rail.
last step was to add the cruiser bike neoprene cover to the tube to protect my vest.
Next project was to mount a steadicam stand onto the cart to hold my docking bracket and steadicam.
I purchase the collapsible tube section of a stand at American grip company.
Then I purchased 2 speed rail quick clamps to secure the post. Also this makes it so I can quickly remove it for travel.
Then I realized if I’m handing that much weight on the rails I should weld on a gusset.
Then drilled a hole thru it, and mounted the clamp.
repeat with top shelf….
Attach the post and docking bracket……and voila!
Last step was to make sure all the new and existing peices fit inside and would close and bolt together for transport and airtravel…………
Lucky for me ………it all FITS!!!!
here it is on it’s first job!
Element Technica Rigs were used to cover the event….
Dariusz Wolski talks 3D movie making with the ASC magazine….
I feel for Dave….
“Steadicam operator David Luckenbach was laboring beneath a heavy stereo rig, waiting for director Rob Marshall to call “action.”
Great interview and conversation with director Jon Favrau and Harrison Ford about 3D, it’s miss-use, conversion and thier new movie
Cowboys and aliens….
click below to watch…
Camadeus Film Technologies, Inc. provides rentals and sales of professional motion picture equipment from their North Hollywood, CA location.
They are the distributors and importers of:
C-Motion lens control – Screen Plane 3D rigs – Panther Dollies, cranes – V-Bag – Indicam cameras
They had an open house recently and I stopped by to check out the Screen plane rig.
I shot a quick walk thru with my iphone of the “production rig”
Recently I had the opportunity to work with a brand new tool to create stunning 3D aerial imagery.
Remote Controlled helicopters!
It’s a great option to having to deal with a full size helicopter setup (read my article on that Here)
The main limitations are line of sight flying, wind limits, camera limitation, lens selection and most of all total payload.
There are a few companies out there flying RC helicopters with 3D capabilities but basically they all break down into a few categories.
Electric and Gas powered
Stabilized and non stabilized.
Electric is not silent of course due to the wind noise generated by the blades on the rotor but it is much more quiet than it gas powered brother. naturally electric has a shorter range that gas and generally can carry less payload.
If you can, naturally we prefer gyro stabilized variant.
Here is another gas powered single epic configuration but non-stabilized mount.
Recently while shooting MEGARAMP 3D at camp woodward for production company World War Seven we used a non-stabilized electric helicopter with dual si-2k cameras and a cinedeck recorder.
The problem with this setup is lack of Iris or focus control the by far the biggest is the fact the you are restricted (weight wise) to small c-mount lenses
These are the guys I worked with….
Images…judge for yourself….watch below.
and better yet here is their DEMO reel on yourtube….you can see the 3D si-2k helicopter in a few shots.
I believe it costs around $5000 a day. Contact them, tell them I sent you…..Pedro from the “Megaramp” project.
Here some pics from our shoot.