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Understanding 3D Production - What's your experience?

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Gary Lieberman
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Joined: 16 Jun 2005

"It's like going from radio to TV “, that's what Glenn Hill at Sony tells me about learning 3D television production.  At the same time, the switcher manufacturers are trying to make it seamless for technical directors.  Still, it seems to me that the Technical Director is the person you ask to explain engineering concepts in "plain English".  So I'm thinking that we might want to have a discussion on 3D live production from a TD's point of view and see what we can learn from each other.

I went to a SMPTE meeting in Atlanta last month and heard a technical talk on the subject of 3D TV.  What I learned is that they can squeeze the two images (left eye and right eye images) into one HD frame (side-by-side) and transmit the two images using existing the HD infrastructure.  The two images are then separated, un-squeezed and delivered to the viewer's two eyes by the 3D TV Set.

What’s more relevant to TDs? How about adding 2D graphics over a 3D shot?  That would make the viewer confused and cause eyestrain.  The challenge is to offset the graphics and make them appear in front of the shot.  Does this start to give you an idea that there might be a lot to learn?
Here are some other questions you could ask.  How do you know if the shot you are taking has both left and right video channels when you only see one eye on the monitor?  How far can you push the 3D experience before you make the viewer sick?  How is 3D production for home viewing different than 3D production for the theatre?