There are a number of other high end players to watch now.
While the high-speed footage from Vision Research's
Phantom is still surprising any number
of shooters, how many of you noticed that
the Phantom 65 has a true 65mm digital imager?
That's over two inches across!
Silicon Imaging has been making inroads
with the SI 2K systems, especially in the 3D
space, because the physical design of their
cameras. The 2K mini is under four inches
long, including the PL-mount!
More important, by embedding the IRIDAS
Speedgrade Onset directly into their
camera systems, SI has taken the lead on the
workflow side of high-end production. Nondestructive
"looks" can be added while shooting,
with the full color management metadata
able to be passed through to post.
James Cameron on the set of AVATAR.
Photo courtesy of Mark Fellman, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
The time has come for all manufacturers to
embrace the capture and maintenance of
metadata from the camera through delivery.
As it is, except when using a transferring
function for the newest codecs like AVCI,
PhantomCine, ARRIRAW or R3D, the NLEs
and post apps we currently work with have
the nasty habit of stripping off all incoming
metadata. No matter how carefully we guard
metadata through production, it is too often
decimated in post.
Manufacturers, start with this rule for
metadata management: Do No Harm. If you
don't use it, don't mess it up.
This is not your parents' anaglyph. No red and
green lenses. No spears coming out of the
screen to shock you like some amusement
park attraction. With over $1billion in ticket
sales for James Cameron's "Avatar" worldwide
in 17 days, and with over 75% of viewers
choosing to pay higher ticket prices for the 3D
version, it is time for us all to see: 3D isn't going
away this time.
At 162 minutes, "Avatar" also proved to
me that a stereoscopic feature could run that
long without giving viewers the profoundly
pounding headache normally associated with
extended viewing of 3D content. Digital projection
has helped make it much easier, by
combining cross polarization and brighter
projectors with specialty screens created to
enhance the visual experience and reduce fatigue.
The Phantom® 65 Digital Cinema Camera.
3D isn't just for movies, either. Nearly
every manufacturer at the 2010 Consumer
Electronics Show was showing some flavor
of home 3D display. This was mirrored in announcements
from Discovery, Disney, HDNet
and DirecTV, all adding dedicated 3D channels
to their lineups by midyear, and with ESPN planning to
broadcast 85 live events in 3D in the first year.
Expect 3D technology to take leaps and bounds using
newly-created post and production tools specifically designed
for this workflow.
Companies like Element Technica and PACE --
whose Fusion 3D system, co-designed by Vince Pace
and James Cameron, was used on "Avatar" -- are at
the forefront, yet there are creative places for other
niche players. One huge leap in 3D came from IN-
2CORE, whose QTAKE HD was created to provide realtime
stereoscopic 3D video assist.
Funny as it may seem, this has been difficult, if
not impossible, until now. On "Avatar," the production
crew had to use secondary Codex captures to be
able to provide real-time playback of the stereo signal
on set. That meant requiring both SRW-1 and Codex
recorders on every camera -- a rather pricey way to
handle the issue, but at the time production on Avatar
began, it was the best way to handle the stereoscopic
playback process normally done by the video assist
person on set.
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