Element Technica, whose groundbreaking series of Technica 3D Rigs are designed to precisely position a pair of cameras to achieve realistic stereoscopic digital video for broadcast and cinema, is now delivering the first new Quasar™ 3D Rigs to owner/operators and camera rental houses.
The Quasar™ is designed to accommodate full-size digital cinema cameras like the Sony F23 and F35, Red One, Panavision Genesis, as well as full-body and box-type digital broadcast cameras like the Sony F950 and 1500, Philips LDK and others. Regardless of the cameras utilized, the Quasar’s precision and refinement make it an ideal platform for matching zoom or prime lenses to accommodate any shooting style or format.
Prior to introduction of the Technica 3D Rigs, 3D production typically used heavy and complicated equipment requiring specialized tools and a dedicated crew, which made it practical for only an elite few. The innovative Technica 3D Series overcomes these stumbling blocks by providing smartly engineered 3D systems that are lighter weight and less costly–bringing 3D acquisition down to the simplicity of traditional 2D production. Technica 3D Rigs require only a set of Allen wrenches and a mirror gauge for complete camera/lens installation and precise alignment, which can be completed in less than 15 minutes as opposed to the hours required with other professional 3D systems.
“We decided on the Technica rigs for a number of reasons,” said Robert Keslow, CEO of respected Los Angeles rental house Keslow Camera, “the most important being the outstanding quality of work that Element produces and their willingness to listen and adapt to what DPs, assistants and stereographers want or need. The decision to go with Element Technica was an easy one for me to make.”
On the east coast, Offhollywood has also placed Technica 3D Rigs in its rental inventory. “We tracked all the leading 3D rig manufacturers and Element Technica’s early prototypes caught our eye,” said Offhollywood co-founder and owner Mark Pederson. “We had forged a relationship with ET early on because they were making the very best accessories for the Red One cameras, and we let them know we were serious about 3D.”
Offhollywood is a rental house, production company and post production facility specializing in emerging technology. Almost as soon as the company received its first Quasar™ 3D Rig system, it was put to work on The Mortician, a dark thriller shooting in Louisiana starring Method Man.
The new Element Technica systems are also working in the 3D music feature arena. Wayne Miller, president of Action 3D Productions and a music video/commercials director, chose the Technica 3D Rigs to capture the Dave Matthews Band concert at the Austin City Limits Festival, as well as Ben Harper at the Mile High Music Festival and Gogo Bordello at the All Points West Music Festival.
“The functionality of the Technica 3D Rigs is such that when you’re out on location shooting, they are quick to set up and calibrate,” said Miller. He added, “Once aligned, they hold that alignment very well.” The first Action 3D release, “Larger Than Life in 3D”, featuring Dave Matthews Band is due out December 11.
Element Technica co-founder Stephen Pizzo said that the fact that Technica 3D Rigs are in traditional camera rental house inventories is a sign that ET’s equipment is normalizing 3D production. “Now for the first time the very best 3D acquisition equipment can be rented much like a traditional camera package. Combine that with the ability to choose your own crew as well as your favorite post facility, and you gain greater creative control over the entire 3D process.”
Both Keslow and Pederson see 3D production ramping up quickly. “In 12 short months we have seen many feature films, My Bloody Valentine, Bolt, Up, Coraline and the much-anticipated Avatar to name a few, all being released in 3D. Even an episode of the television show Chuck was shot in 3D,” said Keslow.
Pederson agreed. “The demand and interest in 3D is massive. We are fully committed to becoming a leader in providing 3D camera systems, support and post services.”
Technica 3D systems will soon be available in three different sizes to accommodate a variety of cameras. In addition to the largest system, Quasar™, the mid-sized Pulsar™ mounts box-style digital cinema cameras such as the Scarlet, Epic and the SI-2K. The ultra-small Neutron™ is designed for the tiny 2/3″ or 1/3″ imager cameras sporting C-mount lenses such as the SI-2K MINI and the Iconix. All three Technica 3D Rig systems can convert from parallel to beamsplitter configuration, and back, depending on the application.
Element Technica has also developed a series of intuitive hardware/software tools to automate stereo calculation. These tools will be available as add-in modules for the core 3D Rig systems to enable the director or DP to intuitively control how much or how little the subject comes off of the screen, without requiring complex IO+C (interocular and convergence) calculation techniques. IO+C and standard lens zoom, focus and iris control can be coordinated through Element Technica’s patented Stereo Assist feature. Alternatively, Technica 3D Rig users can choose to integrate Preston motors to the system via system ports and adapters.
Element Technica is coordinating one-day operator training classes geared toward camera assistants through both Keslow Camera and Offhollywood.
For more information or to learn about Element Technica’s one-day camera assistant training for the entire Technica 3D product line, please contact Joey Romero at Tel: 323.641.7327, [email protected], or www.technica3D.com