By Sean Fairburn, MIO 3D
… The more I worked in 3D, the more I discovered the Achilles heel: that the interocular distance isn’t changeable later. Some math can be adjusted, some can’t. What can’t be adjusted forces you into a screen size appropriate for the scale. I had this problem repeatedly, often with producers or directors regularly asking how they can adapt their 3D material for a smaller screen. And the answer was always, no, it doesn’t work well. It’s really only meant for one screen size.
I’ve come up with a solution that gets around that problem. The genesis was in 2000, when I was working on a 3D project with Max Penner and Paradise VFX, and, in thinking about ways of solving this problem, came up with a “piggyback” extra camera. At the time, it was tough to get three cameras to work, but technology has changed and cameras have gotten smaller, better and more consistent. A couple of years ago, I revisited this concept and since then I’ve been working on MIO, or multiple interocular 3D. This allows the cinematographer to take a small, medium and wide interocular at the same time so, in post, you get to pick which pair is most appropriate for the shot.
Take for example a shot of someone walking up to the front door of a house. In the current way of shooting 3D, the first question you ask is where this is going to be shown and once you answer this question, you’re locked into the math. If your destination is the big screen, you shoot with a 1.75-inch interocular distance. As the actor walks closer, you’ll have to squeeze the interocular to .33-inch to make that shot work. But when it comes time to put scene on Blu-Ray, you have very, very weak 3D on anything smaller than the big screen. It’s practically not watchable. The converse is also true. If you shoot just for cell phones and laptops, you’ll start off with about a 3.5-inch interocular distance and move down to 2.0 inches. If I show that on home theatre or big screen, the 3D is so strong, it’s unwatchable. You’re really stuck.
With three cameras running, one at small IO, one at medium IO and the third at wide IO, I have choices. Most shots — like the example I gave of the actor walking to the front door — will be dynamic and start from a wide IO. I may cut to something else — but then I can jump to an intermediate IO and then a small IO as they knock on the door. Here’s the fun part: I didn’t have to move the cameras. The cameras were fixed. So the rig that would have been as big as half a Harley Davidson is something small and locked off so the cameras don’t have to move. Now I can easily move the rig around [more…]
Source: Creative COW