3ality Digital at NAB 2011

3ality Digital intoduced new technologies at NAB that will dramatically change the landscape for S3D live production. These innovative new solutions will bring S3D production crews an unparalleled level of automation and flexibility, ultimately providing broadcasters better, faster, and less expensive solutions for successful S3D production.

IntelleCal automatically aligns the two cameras on a rig at the push of a button, which enables a super fast and precise set up without the intervention of a technician. It does this by profiling and matching lenses and performing alignment on five axes through the entire zoom range.

IntelleCam automatically controls the convergence and the interaxial spacing of the cameras, without the need for a separate convergence puller at each rig, cutting the number of personnel needed by half or more – dramatically reducing costs.

IntelleScene promises automated management of transitions and scenes for S3D comfort. By managing realtime depth-specific metadata, IntelleScene prevents painful-to-the-eye transitions between shots, increasing viewer comfort and helping broadcasters avoid potential safety issues that arise with poorly managed S3D geometry

IntelleMatte provides S3D production crews the ability to insert a graphic between objects in the foreground and background for true S3D compositing via automated composite scene depth management.

IntelleMotion provides real time S3D motion stabilization which enables broadcasters to use powerful long lenses to capture motion from great distances without causing unnecessary viewer discomfort. Since IntelleMotion can compensate for IS/VR tracking, special lenses are no longer required, which opens up the “standard” long lenses that outside broadcasting (OB) clients demand.

IntelleMatte and IntelleMotion are standalone systems that can be used with any S3D Left Eye/Right Eye program feed, and are not dependent on a 3ality Digital acquisition system for usage.

NAB 2011: 3-D Cameras for Broadcast

The industry as a whole is clamoring for operator-friendly, light and single-body production equipment that can replicate the 2-D HD production experience, and there was clear evidence this year that vendors understand the requirements and are working to make cost-effective production a reality. Here are a few notable cameras that were presented at this year’s show.

Panasonic’s current handheld camcorder, the AG-3DA1, will be joined in the fall with a second integrated 3-D camcorder, the AG-3DP1. Featuring a larger imager and using the P2 memory format, the new shoulder-mount model is intended for use in live productions, sports, independent films and documentaries. The AG-3DP1 can record 80 minutes of stereo in 10-bit AVC-Intra to dual 64 GB P2 cards. It contains two 1in, 2.23-megapixel CMOS sensors. By contrast, its predecessor contained 2.7-megapixel chips and records to SD cards.

Panasonic AG-3DP1

Sony introduced a new shoulder-mount 3-D model that will be available this fall. The PMW-TD300 3-D camcorder features a twin optical lens equipped with three half-inch CMOS Exmor sensors for each eye view. It was developed in cooperation with Discovery for its new 3-D channel.

Sony PMW-TD300

This summer, Sony will also ship a compact 3-D DAM camcorder intended for videographers and corporate videos. The HXR-NX3D1 incorporates two quarter-inch CMOS sensors, twin 10x zoom lenses and an internal flash memory of 96GB for about 7.5 hours of 3-D recording.

Sony HXR-NX3D1

JVC unveiled the new GY-HMZ1U ProHD 3-D camcorder at the show. With an integrated 3-D twin lens design powered by JVC’s large-scale integration (LSI) chip for high-speed processing of HD video, the GY-HMZ1U can simultaneously record each left and right image in 1920 x 1080 resolution. The handheld camcorder features dual 3.32-megapixel CMOS sensors, one for each lens, and delivers 34Mb/s AVCHD recording in 3-D or 24Mb/s in 2-D. Video can be recorded with time code at 60i to provide smooth motion, for sports and other fast action, or 24p for a film-like effect. The GY-HMZ1U can also capture 3-D time lapse and 3-D digital stills.


Meduza introduced a “beyond 4K” camera that will be available in September. Content for the camera is acquired at 3072 x 4096 pixels and covers everything from 15/70mm giant screens to general theatrical screens, as well as 3-D TV.


By Michael Grotticelli, Broadcast Engineering

Stergen 2D-3D ‘Even Better than the Real Thing’

Chairman and founder of Stergen Hi-Tech, Miky Tamir, has invented a new 2D to 3D software conversion tool which he believes boasts superior technology to that of live 3D captured natively with rigs.

Tamir is confident that his patent-pending software will be used by European sportscasters for the 2011-12 football season. The software is optimized for soccer, but versions for American Football, rugby, tennis and baseball are being developed; and it has been trialed by four broadcasters, with Stergen set to announce first sales at NAB.

“There are many 2D – 3D conversion systems and software codes based on general purpose algorithms which, when applied to a sports feed, give an impression of 3D but very far from real 3D because the depth perception is very weak,” says Tamir, who previously co-founded virtual sets specialist Orad Hi-Tech and sports data and tracking systems vendor Sportvu.

Stergen’s concept, specific to sports, takes cognizance of the geometry of the pitch and stadia: “If you could convert the video to a 3D model you could render the other eye very accurately,” says Tamir. “With sports we know about the environment such as the playing field, goalposts and stands, so we are able to separate every frame into its component objects - ball, players, stands, posts; and to each component, we apply appropriate geometry to generate a true and accurate 3D conversion.”

The geometry is classified as players and goal poles are vertical, the pitch is horizontal, and stands have a known slope. The bulk of soccer editorial is captured using the high and wide shot position which in 3D is widely regarded as looking flat.

“The virtual cameras in Stergen’s process have the versatility to be placed one or two metres apart from each other thus enhancing the 3D effect,” says Tamir. “We can play with convergence and converge as a function of a zoom which cannot be done in reality,” he says. “We have proved it to customers – our virtual cameras generate better 3D than real ones.”

The software, which runs from standard HP Z800 workstations, can be placed anywhere on the video path and will automatically detect a cut between camera and select the right algorithm for that camera angle.

“Broadcasters can operate it from the stadia or in a studio, saving greatly on the costs of a 3D outside broadcast,” says Tamir.

Input to the system is 2D SDI and output is either two SDI signals or side by side, line by line or whatever 3D format is required. Tamir says there’s a two second delay on the process, being brought down to one second; and that the technology is even applicable to horse racing or golf where there is undulating ground and less of a pre-defined area. Interestingly, archive clips of legendary soccer players Maradona and Pele have been post converted using Stergen’s software.

In addition, Tamir claims the technology is uniquely positioned to contribute 3D content to autostereoscopic displays: “To produce autostereo content you need not just two views, but eight to nine views; and to produce that, you need eight to nine cameras beside each other, which is simply not possible. So in that case you are left with generating the views in software – this is a byproduct of our system.”

Stergen High-Tech is an Israeli company founded 18 months ago and 20% owned by graphics developer VizRT.

Source: TVB Europe