Tag Archive: multimedia services

2D to 3D Conversion is often necessary in ‘Native’ Shoots?

Many directors are under the mistaken impression that shooting in 3D is inherently superior to converting post production. The hardware and software professionals are in a sort of constant race to prove who has the upper hand in 3D. As comparisons were made as to whether the computers could achieve what the 3D cameras do – the machines won, proving that they could do incredible work with anything that were shot with 3D cameras.

A hurried 3D upgrade got Clash of the Titans’ a bad name, however as more and more successful conversions popped up like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows : Part 2, Thor and Captain America : The First Avenger, this stigma slowly subsided. As 2D to stereo 3D conversion techniques are becoming more sophisticated and are getting incorporated into films shot in 3D, more directors are resorting to a “hybrid” approach.

While dual cameras and a stereoscopic rig might produce better images, even films shot in native 3D nearly always have to rely on some post-production conversion. Directors now know that it is not always feasible to shoot films the way they do – on rollerblades, hanging from a helicopter or off the sides of cliffs – using these giant 3D rigs! The Cameron Pace Group, Burbank, California, is currently working in camera rigs capable of shooting in 5D, in which both 3D and 2D can be filmed simultaneously.

2D to 3D stereoscopic conversion saves a lot of time and headache since it makes the filming process easier as directors do not need to worry about getting a perfect shot during filming and it also avoids wastage of the actors’ time while setting up complex 3D rigs. It frees filmmakers to shoot their movie as they want.

Issues that may otherwise be difficult or even impossible to fix can be rectified using 2D to 3D conversion. Factors such as camera misalignment and lens mismatches can compromise a finished product. Even the slightest misalignment between the two cameras, can cause each frame to be captured from different points in time. In addition to this, the filmmaker will also have to consider the size and weight of the camera rigs and whether these can be mounted properly on the rig system intended for its use.

Some of the most common 3D shot problems that usually works its way into post production are Geometric Alignment errors, Colorimetric Alignment errors and exposure mismatches. Another issue that usually crops up is stereo window violations that can be very distracting for the viewers. Such uncomfortable violations need to be removed from the film and this can be very easily achieved using 2D to 3D conversion.

As time goes by, a film’s visual quality will not be decided by the source of the 3D – native 3D, 2D to stereoscopic 3D conversion or hybrid – as long as the various elements blend beautifully to create a 3D experience that swathes the viewers and leave them completely dumbfounded.

Share on

Why not shoot movies with stereoscopic 3d cameras instead?

In today’s world, where the 3D bug seems to have bitten moviegoers, especially children and the youth, 3D filmmakers are often challenged with the inevitable debate: whether to shoot the film in ‘native 3D’, shoot in 2D and convert to 3D or use a hybrid approach. More often than not, filmmakers often commit the error of opting to filming in native 3D without conducting proper research or analysis regarding the relative costs and technical considerations while filming in native 3D versus the rapidly evolving 2D to stereoscopic 3D conversion, which is currently hailed as the future of 3D cinema. What stems from this, is usually an unsatisfying and exorbitantly expensive directorial experience.

Avatar, the highest grossing movies of all times, set the wheels going for a major change-over worldwide to digital projection. This movie very deftly used a combination of motion capture technology, live environments shot with Cameron-Pace proprietary rigs and a host of computer-generated characters and sequences. According to Cameron, the film is composed of 60% computer-generated elements and 40% live action, as well as traditional miniatures (Wikipedia).

Among other top movies that were masterfully captured using this combination of ‘native’ 3D and conversion were Hugo and Life of Pi. In fact, the converted shots in these movies were woven so seamlessly throughout each film that it was practically impossible to differentiate whether the scenes were shot using a stereo camera or converted.

It’s a general notion that stereo rigs are two cameras positioned side-by-side in a manner similar to the way the human eyes are positioned. However, in reality, this configuration is appropriate for filming wide-angle shots, scenic landscapes and shots that require a focal length of more than 25ft. For any other shots, a different type of camera rig would be required, which only incurs more procurement and setting up charges.

While this configuration is normally is effective, it is nevertheless plagued with technical issues. The lenses and mirrors require constant polishing, which causes color shift between the cameras, vibration, misalignment and distortions. This often results in focus mismatches, in-field production slowdowns and most importantly, a lack of depth continuity from shot to shot which, in turn, would require significant post production processing; add to this, maintenance and operation of the rigs and additional crew to operate the shoots and one may safely rest the case against native 3D film capture.

These days, most studios and directors are steering clear from native 3D camera rigs, especially in VFX heavy films. Those who have chosen the path of conversion understand that post-fixes for conversion are quite minimal or non-existent when compared to the higher budgets, longer shooting schedules and subsequent post productive costs while using 3D camera rigs.

Though both processes have their pros and cons, constantly emerging advances in conversion technology are shifting the emphasis away from using camera rigs exclusively. 2D to 3D stereo conversion, whether full or partial, has now become an integral tool in any feature filmmaker’s arsenal to offer top quality, enhanced story telling in stereo 3D.

Share on

NATIVE 3D VERSUS 2D TO 3D CONVERSION: PROS AND CONS

There isn’t a child who isn’t fascinated by Pixar’s Toy Story series. Though mere toys, Woody and Buzz Lightyear, even today, do not fail to capture the imagination of every tiny tot. 2D to 3D stereo conversion gave a whole new dimension to Disney’s first entirely computer animated feature, Toy Story (1995) and its sequel (1999).

2D to 3D video conversion (also called 2D to stereo 3D conversion and stereo conversion) is the process of transforming 2D (“flat”) film to 3D form, which in almost all cases is stereo, so it is the process of creating imagery for each eye from one 2D image. (Wikipedia)

The realm of 3D incorporates the third dimension of depth, which can be perceived by the human vision in the form of binocular disparity. The positioning of the human eyes affects the way in which they perceive different views of the real world. A native 3D production takes advantage of this phenomenon, by which two cameras are used, positioned next to each other, shooting at the same time to mimic each human eye. Those movies not shot in this manner cannot be made into a 3D film, which is where 2D to 3D stereo conversion emerges as savior.

The extreme advances in the field of computer animation enable a second camera view to be added, thereby giving depth and volume to each and every 2D frame. The position of the “second (virtual) camera” with respect to the first determines the degree of 3D, namely in front of screen (when an object seems to be in with the viewer), at screen (regular 2D image) and behind screen (when the objects seems to be at a distance away from the screen).

Filming in native 3D involves a large number of variables and taking into account the various parameters, this could involve incredibly expensive, bulky and complicated equipment and hardware. With hardware come human errors, which includes disparity and distortion of imagery shot by the left and right cameras, complex action sequences which can only be shot with 2D monocular cameras, color shift, etc., among others. Stereo post production is another major hiatus when compared to stereo conversion, in addition to being more expensive and time consuming.

On the other hand, in a stereo conversion, stereographers can perform as many digital “retakes” as required to perfect every angle and depth in order to maximize the quality of each sequence in a movie. “I get to set the parameters on a shot-by-shot basis”, says Bob Whitehill, stereoscopic supervisor at Pixar Animation Studios, “With cameras that are computer code and not physical objects, the 3D effect can be absolutely perfect, with no visual incongruity between what the left and right eyes see.” (www.tested.com)

With the growing need for high quality stereoscopic images, the future of 2D to 3D stereo conversion looms large.

Share on

Offshore Services Provider SBL Opens North American Headquarters in South Florida

SBL is proud to announce our expansion into North America with our operations center in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. As we service our current clients and build new relationships in the US and Canada, we understand the need to provide an immediate line-of-sight view of our capabilities through a local presence. This U.S. operations center will execute all SBL business development, marketing communications, customer service and PR activities in North America.

The SBL USA office is managed by Paul Dudley, VP of North American Business Development and a Florida native with a comprehensive background in global sales, marcom, PR and customer service. With a combined 50 years’ experience in fulfilling sales and marketing requirements for international enterprises, the SBL USA team is working to effectively acquire and deliver business in North America. SBL US(1)

Share on

IMPORTANCE/SIGNIFICANCE OF DATA SECURITY CERTIFICATION FOR THE VIDEO POST PRODUCTION BUSINESS

One of the main challenges facing the entertainment industry is data security. This is evident from the recent American television series Game of Thrones episodes leak. HBO had mailed out DVD copies of screeners to the press for upcoming episodes and the first four episodes of season five of Game of Thrones leaked online before the first’s broadcast. Researches have shown that pre- release privacy significantly reduces a movie’s market potential and thereby revenue.

Sony Pictures Entertainment hack was another such incident where confidential data such as personal information about their employees and their families, e-mails between employees, copies of (previously) unreleased films and other information were released by hackers on November 14, 2014.

To prevent such security breaches, it is essential to manage confidential data so that it remains secure. Most organizations have a lot of information security controls. They are often implemented as solutions to some specific situations. But without an Information Security Management System these controls are disorganized.

SBL offers video post production services like Rotoscopy, Stereo Roto, Digital Paint and Rotomation and has been working with the production and corporate houses, international designers and creative directors for several years. Being an integral part of entertainment industry, SBL understands the importance of data security which is an important issue for filmmakers. So, at SBL, we have adopted ISO 27001 Information Security Management System (ISMS), which is the international best practice standard for information security.

An ISMS is a systematic approach to managing confidential or sensitive corporate information so that it remains secure and retains data integrity. ISO 27001 is a security management standard to guide the development and implementation of an ISMS. The standard was published jointly by International Security Office (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

By adopting this globally accepted control framework to underpin our approach to client projects, we deliver effective analysis of the key project risk areas, identify and document the controls needed and monitor and measure compliance. The benefit for our clients is that we can be proactive in managing and mitigating any risks from information systems and can ensure that professional standards are deployed across our design, development and testing processes.

Certification ensures that:

Valuable data and Information assets are identified.
Risk of these data and assets is analyzed in relation to threats and vulnerabilities.
Where the level of risk is identified as high, the controls are implemented to reduce the risk.
These controls are frequently audited to ensure security and best practice.
Action is taken to address any non conformances identified.
By adhering to ISO 27001 standard, we show to our global clients that we are highly committed to securing and maintaining the privacy of film makers and companies who are associated with the entertainment industry.

Share on

Why Select a Tier 3 city for Video Post Production?

video post production
Indian cities are fast catching up with the changing technology trends. The Global Entertainment industry is actively sourcing talent and is considering these small urban cities to tap the potential and avail services for the industry. Amongst the most prominent and sort-after service is video post-production. Advanced techniques of Rotoscopy, Stereo Roto, Digital Paint, keying & Rotomation have become widely used tools in Tier 3 cities. The Indian cities including Tier 3 cities are fast becoming centres for grooming professionals having exposure and expertise in video post-production services. 
 
Video post-production forms an important part of activities pursued by Production houses to make Commercials, TV Series and feature films. The intricacies, associated with post production activity, are well defined, structured and understood by specialist service providers that are blossoming in Indian cities. Professionals in Tier 3 cities, unlike earlier times, are well aware of different aspects of video post-production which includes Rotoscopy, knowledge of Stereo Roto, Digital Paint, and Rotomation technique.   
 
Tier 3 cities are fast becoming preferred choice of destination for international production houses who rely on superior quality, precision and accuracy of output and timely deliverable of services offered by providers in Indian cities. Service providers in Tier 3 cities are hiring well trained digital experts who are capable of creating better live action, CG composites and amazing visual effects with the help of rotoscoping. Service providers in Tier 3 cities are braced up with highly advanced tools and equipment that offers not just precision and accuracy to video post-production but also address specific needs and requirement of production houses across the world.
 
Indian cities especially Tier 3 cities have a distinct advantage of having economical talent pool, are well equipped with resources as well as offer a professional environment that promotes and propagate the essence of video post-production. People residing in cities, who are chasing their dreams for success, are actively taking up specialized academic courses to gear up for entertainment industry. Tier 3 cities in India offer great scope of professional growth and are becoming low cost centres for entertainment industry to avail video post-production. Besides low cost, tier 3 cities offer pool of talented people with VFX expertise and knowledge of subject that offer complete commitment and expertise of subject with deep insight and understanding of finer intricate detailing, which is a prerequisite for video post-production. Moreover, service providers related to video post-production are increasing their portfolio of services to offer an entire basket that encapsulate every specific need and requirement of entertainment sector. 
 
At a time, when metro and non-metro cities have highly paid video post-production providers, there is a greater shift in focus to Tier 3 cities that are emerging hub and hunting ground for video post production services. The development of video post-production in Tier 3 cities are ably supported by academic institutions that promote talent from Tier 3 cities to take up specialized training in video post-production. Having an eye on precision and accuracy, service providers in Tier 3 cities have enhanced quality output with timely submissions of deliverables that are matching international standards of delivering services. Production houses across the globe depending and relying for their video post-production should work with Tier 3 cities in India.

Share on