February 11, 2011

3D stereoscopic workflow at BVE

Holdan, Panasonic's UK distributor, will demonstrate a complete stereoscopic content creation workflow from camera to edited programme at an affordable price, at BVE 2011 in London next week (15-17 February).

Its starting point is the AG-3DA1 3D camcorder, feeding a HP Z400 workstation running Grass Valley's Edius 6 - the full system costing less than £18,000.

The AG-3DA1 HD 3D camcorder has dual lenses and two sets of 1920x1080, 2.07 megapixel 3-MOS imagers. It also has dual 32GB SD cards and interfaces include dual HD-SDI outputs and HDMI (v1.4). It includes automatic correction for horizontal and vertical displacement allowing it to recalibrate without the need for external equipment, so that you can shoot 3D more easily. 

Taking the dual HD-SDI feed from the camcorder will be a Blackmagic Design HDLink Pro Display Port 3D that converts the signals to side-by-side, field by field, top and bottom or frame-packed 3D formats. The editing system, based on an Intel Xeon HP workstation and Edius 6 will demonstrate 3D cutting techniques. Edius works natively with professional formats without the need for rendering or transcoding. This philosophy has been extended to stereoscopic, with support for synchronized left and right field editing built into the latest version (which costs less than £600).

The demonstration will also include a Grass Valley T2 hard disk recorder, playing out 3D signals (manually or from a playlist) so that users can display or project high quality 3D.

Panasonic will also be showing all of its 3D products, in its own workflow demo on its stand, as well as the new AG-AF101 large sensor camcorder, which is in high demand thanks to the ability of its Micro Four Thirds sensor to produce shallow depth of field, as the sensor has about four times the area of a broadcast 2/3-inch sensor, although it can't go as shallow as a Super 35mm-size sensor (as used in Sony's new F3 and any APS-C DSLR) at the same lens settings.

The AF101 (AF100 in the US) can be fitted with a wide range of lenses, including Zeiss Compact Primes and stills lenses via adaptors. Unlike HD DSLR cameras it has no visible aliasing or moiré effects, thanks to an optical filter that reduces the resolution of the sensor (to HD resolutions) and smoothes out any possible defects. It also has lots of video features, such as peaking, waveform display, various gamma modes, internal optical ND filters, uncompressed audio with XLR inputs, and timecode input/output, which are not typically available on DSLRs. 

It records 24Mbps AVCHD onto SD cards, but has HD-SDI and HDMI outputs for 4:2:2 recording. There is also variable frame rate recording.

By David Fox

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