Element Technica (ET), maker of 3D rigs that precisely mount and control the position of digital camera pairs for 3D production, has delivered its 200th Technica 3D rig.
Number 200 is an Atom model, purchased by Evergreen Films, who coincidentally took delivery of the very first Technica 3D rig about two years ago. The Atom is purpose-built to mount RED Epic 5K cameras.
Evergreen Films president and co-founder Pierre de Lespinois puts a premium on durability, which comes as no surprise as Evergreen currently has projects underway in remote locations in Alaska and Africa. “An ET Rig is just bulletproof, it’s solid, and I don’t worry about it. If you’re in the field on a big movie and you have to worry about a piece of equipment and its durability, you’re not focused, you’re not your best.”
De Lespinois and his partner Mike Devlin worked with Element Technica co-founders Hector Ortega and Stephen Pizzo on the original Technica 3D rig design. “We could tell even from the prototypes that they were on to something pretty great,” said de Lespinois.
As owners of a total of 10 ET rigs in all the various sizes, Evergreen finds the assembly and alignment procedures, which are common throughout the entire rig family, to be particularly beneficial. “We train our guys on the rigs, and it’s nice to have the continuity and consistency,” said de Lespinois. “I can substitute one rig for another and there’s no problem.”
Evergreen Films has worked hand-in-glove with Element Technica on delivering rig positioning metadata from the ET rigs. For the Africa film, they will send 15 channels of metadata, multiplexed by the ET rig, 24,000 feet down a fiber optic cable. “When I bring an idea to them, no matter how hair brained, Hector and Steve give intelligent comments, find how it can be done, and how to incorporate it into the rigs,” said de Lespinois.
Evergreen Films has established vertically integrated, 3D-equipped studios in Los Angeles and Anchorage to produce projects from inception through post-production, dedicated to maintaining high production quality.
Since delivery of the first Technica 3D rig two years ago, ET has developed a family of rigs to mount cameras of all sizes. They have become the stereoscopic rig of choice for dozens of motion pictures. They have also been key 3D components for the highest profile sporting and entertainment events, including last summer’s FIFA World Cup soccer from South Africa, and the recently completed Wimbledon Tennis Tournament.
Element Technica’s rigs include the Quasar (large cameras), Pulsar (medium cameras), Neutron (small cameras) and the Atom (purpose-built for RED Epic 5K cameras). All provide side-by-side and beamsplitter (over/thru and under/thru) configuration, and are easily and quickly changed from one configuration to another.
The ET rigs each use a common set of controllers, such as the company’s THC hand controllers, the THC-S, which controls 3D rig parameters (interocular, convergence and virtual convergence HIT), and the THC-L, which controls lens functions (zoom, focus, iris).
The ET rigs are interoperable with stereoscopic optimization processors such as the Sony MPE-200 and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft HHS STAN, and provide metadata for the post production process. They are easily integrated into multi-camera productions, and can be mounted in the unobtrusive Broadcast Configuration, which minimizes the blockage of seats in a sports or entertainment venue.