Impressive underwater stereo 3D footage from depth of 80m
Thousands of caves are spread over the Yucantan peninsula in Mexico. In earlier times the living rooms of prehistoric people, they were holy sites for the Mayans. German archaeologists and divers are part of scientific exploration and capture of these underwater labyrinths since 2009. In 2012 a 3D documentary production set out to produce impressive stereoscopic images of this as much fascinating as dangerous caves.
The caves are filled with water, some more than 100 meter deep and have often very narrow entrances. All equipment had to be transported far through the jungle towards the cave. So the equipment to capture this beautiful underwater world had to be as small and lightweight as possible!
Previous stereo 3D underwater cameras systems were huge and heavy setups or smaller, the ones were fixed setups which cut short on stereo adjustment possibilities. Both were no options for exploring the caves.
This was a challenging requirement for the team of stereo 3D film specialists from Chroma Media, since ready-to-shoot setups were not available. As an experienced production partner for stereo 3D film Chroma Media owns several P+S Technik Stereo 3D rigs, between those the PS-Micro Rig – a very small and lightweight, but professional and fully adjustable mirror rig. So it was quickly decided that the PS-Micro Rig will be the base to their underwater solution.
Chroma Media explains the necessity of such a development in the fields of film, documentary and advertising productions:”Working with previous systems with a fixed stereo base, we had to keep a distance of at least 2m from the object to get good shots in 3D. With the mirror rig, the stereo base can now be flexibly adjusted to the motive. Thus, the new unit provides brilliant spatial close-ups, which are of vital importance, especially in underwater productions. And all that in 2K resolution!”
The resulting DeepSee-X underwater housing made it possible, for the first time ever, to submerge a complete Stereo 3D camera system composed of various modules – to depths of 80 meters!
The system is completely independent of the land; all of the equipment fits in one compact aluminum housing. “DeepSee-X” can also be operated with an underwater scooter. This paves the way for beautifully long and smooth underwater tracking shots.
The system, developed in cooperation with the specialist for underwater photography, UK-Germany, consists of a P+S Technik PS-Micro 3D rig, as well as two SinCams cameras. The built-in camera equipment is interchangeable with various current models (up to a 2K resolution). A recorder, a monitor and batteries perfectly round up the system.
This underwater system had its premiere at the shooting of a documentary for Blue Note Productions, Düsseldorf, Germany. The film about an underwater cave system in Mexico was a huge challenge for man and machine. Chroma Media did not only provide their newly developed innovative recording technology, but also cameramen, stereographers and workflow specialists. With their many years of experience in the field of 3D, they will support the production above and below the water.
Measurements (length, width, height): 66cm x 49cm x 45cm
Empty weight: 54kg, tared with equipment: 80kg
Diving depth: 80m
Landing control: focus, aperture, stereo base, recording
Handle bars and ports for light units
Port for underwater scooter
Housing interior: completely laid out with black textile flocking
Modular assembly (system completely bolted, convertible according to technical innovations)
P+S TECHNIK PS-Micro Rig mobile base of 0-70mm
Interchangeable mini camera systems (e.g. SinaCAM, Indiecam, Cunima, HD1200)
Automatic accumulator switching
Weight (rig only): 8 kg
Interaxial adjustment range: 0-70mm
Convergence adjustment range: +3° / 1°
Roll +/-1,5°, Tilt +/-1,5° and Height+/-2,5mm
All adjustment are motorized