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Old November 28th, 2012, 05:40 PM   #1
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S3D Workflow Suggestions

I am very excited about a larger project which may be coming together. I'm looking for suggestions regarding a 3D pipeline. Essentially, camera package + data (i.e. 1Beyond Wrangler, codec) + edit (red rocket, aja, card) and editing platform.

Love to hear what people are using.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 11:53 AM   #2
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Re: S3D Workflow Suggestions

Hey Jesse, good questions.

Since I'm trying to put together a feature-length doc, myself, I'm also very interested in what's worked for others. I'm still largely in the R+D phase myself (particularly in regards to animation), so I haven't made my final decisions yet, but I do have a loose plan.

When I made my first stereoscopic short, last winter, as a warm up for the feature, I cut it on Vegas. But I can't really imagine doing that with the feature, because Vegas is so unstable, unreliable, and clunky in procedure. Besides which, I've been a professional Final Cut editor for many years, so that system made the most sense for me. I have not yet invested in Dashwood's suite, just because my editing thus far has only been of the interviews, and I haven't yet needed to see any of it in stereo. I'm still using Vegas for cobbling together montages of stereo stuff I've shot or animated; it's a decent tool for simple edits.

When I shot the interviews back in April, I used my recently bought NX3D1 and a borrowed 3DA1, mostly because twin-lens cameras were what I understood at that point. Now, after playing with my side-by-side rig for a couple months, I would rather have shot the interviews that way. My live-action and CG stereo backgrounds are much deeper than the greenscreen interviews that will be composited into them, so the researchers will be somewhat cardboarded. Thankfully, since I'm creating a mind-trip documentary instead of a drama, I think I can get away with depth that is compelling, even if it is not quite naturalistic.

My current side-by-side rig is just two cheap unsunc HD cameras on a bar; I just make sure I clap in front of them, and use that as sync. That's been fine for my experiments in wide-IA shooting, but I'm hoping to invest in a couple of Sony FS-700s, for their high frame rates and fabled eventual 4K firmware update. Even though my interview footage was shot in 1080p, I'd like as much of the backgrounds and b-roll to be shot in 4K, as possible.

I've invested in a Glidecam, because I think 3D wants to be in motion, to show off the changing perspective. However, I've realized that wide-IA shooting increases the side-to-side wobble, because each camera is offset on a long lever, so I have to improve my steadicam skills, or settle for just using the NX3D1 on the rig.

As you've probably noticed, I'm learning animation on 3DS Max, using David Shelton's 3DHippie Stereocam rig. This has been great for creating impossible virtual sets, particle effects and text treatments that still have all the thereness of stereo.

And finally, I've been compositing everything on After Effects. I do some pre-comping in 3DS Max, by inserting animated bitmap versions of my interviewees into the virtual environment, and then rendering out the different depth layers in various render passes, so that I can align everything in AE, with the minimal ghosting possible.

I'm looking forward to hearing what others' long-form workflows are like. :)
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Old December 1st, 2012, 08:04 AM   #3
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Re: S3D Workflow Suggestions

I'm putting a long stereo 3D documentary together at the moment.

It was shot using a 3DA1 (on tripod, a shoulder rig and a jib) and a Z10000 (on tripod, shoulder rig and a Glidecam 4000). For most of the shoot I've used the 3DA1 recording into two Hyperdeck Shuttles, which works a treat although the limited on board battery life is a bit of a pain on location outside. I'm looking at some solutions to this for future shoots.

I'm going to edit it all on Edius 6.5. I hardly ever use FCP now, in spite of Tim's excellent plug-in, because Edius is just so much faster and easier for stereo editing than FCP - unbelievably quick in fact. I had to go back and use FCP a couple of days ago on an old project and it took me about 2 hours to make some minor edits: I did something similar in Edius and it took about 15-20 minutes.

I don't have any animation or CGI capability myself (I keep meaning to learn but haven't had time) but I have friends who are very capable in this area so if I need any fancy 3D titles or anything I will go to them. They usually work in After Effects for this stuff, which one day I will buy and learn how to use.

I've shot green screen with two other companies where they've put CGI and effects into the film, one was a short 4D cinema sci-fi film and we plan to make some more of these.

I have a bunch of other stereo 3D work in progress, mostly short films and educational videos all less than about 10 minutes in length and I am using the same workflow on all of them. I use a couple of Panasonic HPX250's on a Hurricane rig, either in parallel or mirror, for the more complex shots although for the current documentary I never felt any need to use it. There are some shots I have planned for upcoming work that will need it though, mainly wide IA for long shots outside.

I'm hoping to try out Ken Burgess' wide angle adapters and base extenders soon, very excited at the possibilities of extending the useable range of the compact 3D cameras.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 08:19 AM   #4
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Re: S3D Workflow Suggestions

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Originally Posted by Matt Faw View Post

... but I'm hoping to invest in a couple of Sony FS-700s, for their high frame rates and fabled eventual 4K firmware update. Even though my interview footage was shot in 1080p, I'd like as much of the backgrounds and b-roll to be shot in 4K, as possible...
Matt, the FS700 does not have genlock. How do you propose to sync two of them for stereo?
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 07:40 PM   #5
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Re: S3D Workflow Suggestions

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Matt, the FS700 does not have genlock. How do you propose to sync two of them for stereo?
Good point, Neil, thanks for pointing that out. I first noticed the FS700 cuz Sony was positioning it as useful for 3D rigs, and so I always assumed. Hard to imagine a $9G camera, with no genlock.

Do you know anything about JVC's low-end 4K camcorder, the GY-HMQ10U? I'm looking at its specs, but it doesn't mention genlock, one way or the other. Fixed lens, but only $4500, without the need for firmware upgrades or external recorders (records to 4 @ SD cards). Doesn't have the FS700s brilliant hi-speed bursts, but it does shoot 4K at 60fps. (Actually, technically, it's slightly less than 4K, but it's still 4X1080p). Because it breaks up the sensor image into 4@1080p streams, it's able to capture ~144MBpS.

I've also been following Cesar Rubio's home-made MVC (machine vision camera) stereo rig, utilizing 2 @ Falcon2 Color 12M heads, which record 4K at up to 58fps. His recorder captures up to 270fps in 2K. He seems very happy with the rig, but I don't know how well field-tested it is. It might be a very big investment into a tool with limited uses.

For the short term, my focus is on creating a promo for the documentary, so I'm fine with 1080, for now. But if the promo is able to net me any investors, I'd like to step up to 4K for the feature, keep it theater-friendly. Hopefully, by the time I'm ready to invest, the choices in 4K will have expanded, and the prices come down. Maybe, by then, Sony will introduce a version of the 700 with genlock!
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 08:16 PM   #6
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Re: S3D Workflow Suggestions

The NEX-FS700 has a LANC port, so maybe you could sync the two using it.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 02:58 AM   #7
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Re: S3D Workflow Suggestions

JVC's little 4K camcorder does NOT have genlock either, something I spoke to the JVC folks about at length at BVE in the UK.

I find this very frustrating - AF101, FS700, BMCC, HMQ10U, all great cameras and not one genlock port between them. Why not??

The JVC does have 4x HDMI outputs though, so you could hang 4x Hyperdeck Shuttle or 4x Ninjas off it and capture at 4:2:2. Just not in stereo.

I think Cesar has the right approach actually, instead of trying to squeeze two massive clunky cameras close together on a single rig, just put the heads on it and move all the recording and control electronics off-board. This should yield a much more flexible solution. To be honest, all I want is something that outputs the best quality video stream to a couple of Shuttles or Ninjas, you can remove all the other recording-related stuff from the camera itself. Won't do the frame rates that Cesars system will do though.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 11:33 AM   #8
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Re: S3D Workflow Suggestions

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Originally Posted by Pavel Houda View Post
The NEX-FS700 has a LANC port, so maybe you could sync the two using it.
Interesting point. I wonder if the LANC would make any difference, when it came to the high-speed bursts? The slo-mo is such a strong selling point for the FS700, and it would look so good in 3D, that it'd be a shame not to be able to use it.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 11:42 AM   #9
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Re: S3D Workflow Suggestions

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Originally Posted by Neil Richards View Post
JVC's little 4K camcorder does NOT have genlock either, something I spoke to the JVC folks about at length at BVE in the UK.

I find this very frustrating - AF101, FS700, BMCC, HMQ10U, all great cameras and not one genlock port between them. Why not??

The JVC does have 4x HDMI outputs though, so you could hang 4x Hyperdeck Shuttle or 4x Ninjas off it and capture at 4:2:2. Just not in stereo.

I think Cesar has the right approach actually, instead of trying to squeeze two massive clunky cameras close together on a single rig, just put the heads on it and move all the recording and control electronics off-board. This should yield a much more flexible solution. To be honest, all I want is something that outputs the best quality video stream to a couple of Shuttles or Ninjas, you can remove all the other recording-related stuff from the camera itself. Won't do the frame rates that Cesars system will do though.
What a shame that these cameras don't have genlock.

Yeah, I agree that Cesar's approach sure sounds good. The heads on the Falcon2 are really tiny, so applications like 3d macro, steadicam, etc. should be much easier to pull off. I'm just wary of investing so much money in a system that may not have the kind of support and service that a larger camera company would have.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 01:46 PM   #10
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Re: S3D Workflow Suggestions

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Interesting point. I wonder if the LANC would make any difference, when it came to the high-speed bursts? The slo-mo is such a strong selling point for the FS700, and it would look so good in 3D, that it'd be a shame not to be able to use it.
I don't know how you genlock non-standard frame rates on cameras - not saying it cannot be done, just don't know how it works.

I doubt LANC could help in this case at all. Generally the two cameras don't digest the LANC commands at exactly the same time anyway. The only way the LANC helps is by powering the two at the same time, which is a hardware function, and therefore nearly assuring that the vertical syncs start simultaneously. Of course there is time drift due to mismatch of crystal frequency. Once one would change the capture frame rate on one of the cameras, all would be gone.

Speaking of frame rates, did you see this? ‘Hobbit 3D film wizardry left us feeling sick’ | Mail Online 423 Digital, Inc.

Maybe has to do with triple flashing vs double flashing: http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/te...eady-1C7206887 .

What do you think?
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Old December 6th, 2012, 04:59 PM   #11
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Re: S3D Workflow Suggestions

When you use consumer camcorders based on AVCHD, the use of lanc controller like the ste-fra-lance will help you to sync the cameras. To be more correct, it helps you to start the cameras in sync. BUT there are still two issues:

- if the cameras have not been paired in a good way, they may shift out of sync very fast. There is no way to control syncronisation with lanc, as one can do it with genlock. But after pairing consumer cameras = selecting two cameras that show a similar sync behaviour, you can shoot up to 30 or 40 minutes before the run out of sync and need a restart of the cameras.

- the startpoint will be still different by 0 to maybe 3 or 4 frames, and the endpoint will be too. So the clips will have a different duration. One has to bring that in line in the timeline. That is something that can be done in a nice way in Vegas, since Vegas supports the editing in the timeline in a great way - and it supports the pairing ot L and R in the timeline too. It can also be done in Edius, BUT you cannot pair two tracks in the timeline, only in the bin structure of Edius 6.5.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 11:10 PM   #12
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Re: S3D Workflow Suggestions

Point 1 - I agree, that's what I said, however, if the camera doesn't provide genlock port, LANC is one way to get better skew than just free running the cameras, that doesn't require modifying them. I never do takes long enough that the cameras (quite randomly picked) wouldn't stay in sync for their duration. I never need 40 minutes. restart the cameras once a while is a pain though. For the more adventurous, one just needs to replace the crystal oscillators with better matched ones, but that requires reworking of the cameras. I still don't understand why he semipro cameras don't have genlocks on them. These are useful for other things than 3D, and aren't that difficult to implement.

Point 2 - I have seen as much as 12 frames of initial skew. It strictly depends on what the F/W is doing at the time on each camera, The AVC compression complicates it further. Just about any 3d editor that I tried allows aligning on the timeline. I have certainly aligned the clips in Edius 6.5 on the timeline, but I had to go back to the bin to pair them.

Last edited by Pavel Houda; December 7th, 2012 at 01:12 AM.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 08:34 AM   #13
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Re: S3D Workflow Suggestions

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I have certainly aligned the clips in Edius 6.5 on the timeline, but I had to go back to the bin to pair them.
Unfortunately, that is one of the major disadvantages of the Edius 6.5 workflow for s3D. Edius has a great quality and a great stability - but to allow the pairing in the bin only is a pitty.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 08:42 PM   #14
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Re: S3D Workflow Suggestions

I don't see it to be a big deal. It is no different than what I had to do with the older version of stereo3Dtoolbox, where I had to trim the start, generate subclip and pair the subclip with the respective pair member. This is only necessary with non-stereoscopic cameras. 3D cameras are of course aligned, so again, no big deal, to me anyway. I have to so lot more to the material during the edit session before I am done. At least I don't have to wait forever for rendering to get done, or loose ton of work after crash - which happens to me a lot using Vegas. Furthermore, Edius is compatible with just about anything I throw at it. I see no "major' problem with the Edius or with the S3D toolbox. Vegas crashing is very time wasting, however.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 05:18 AM   #15
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Re: S3D Workflow Suggestions

I do not see a lot of crashes with Vegas Pro 12 anymore. From time to time there are crashes, but that seems to be gone - at least on my system.

I see following drawbacks with Edius 6.52:
- the pairing issue as discussed here. In Vegas I adjust and pair the clips in the timeline - so for a full project.There is no need to bring back all the clips in the bin, make sure that you have them in the right sequence and that L and R is in the right sequence. And there is no need to delete the original clips after pairing from the timeline, and bring back the paired clips to the timeline again. I start in the timeline in Vegas, adjust all the clips in the timeline, pair them and I am fine.
- the issue that you cannot use the s3D plugin on the total timeline in Edius. You have to use that on the level of the clip, or on the level of the sequence. In Vegas I make my editing, and then use the s3D plugin at the track header - so for the full timeline. I set keyframes and adjust the whole project. With Edius that is not possible.
- the third issue I see is that there seems to be a small bug in the Edius s3D plugin, in the combination with rectify and the horizontal adjustment. When I adjust in Edius the horizontal adjustment, after doing that there is the need to autotrimm the movie. But when I autotrimm the movie, the horizontal adjustment is gone or changed at least. So I adjust again the horizontal adjustment.... that is an issue that I have seen in Edius 6.5, I am not sure if it is still there in Edius 6.52. In Vegas you do not see that issue.
- I miss an MVC-encoder in Edius
- I miss the authoring of 3D-MVC-based Blu-rays in Edius.as we have it now for Vegas with the DVDA6.

Beside that, Edius has some significant advantages:
- it is rock solide. A crash of Edius does not happen really
- it has a superior quality, the codecs are the best what I know
- Edius has added the capability to create AVCHD 2.0/3D structures. Means, that one can generate 1080 60p/50p for 2D, but also 1080 50i/60i for s3D structures that can brought to Blu-rays
- beside the bug in the s3D plugin, Edius is similar to Vegas with the capabilities of the s3D plugin.
- Edius is able to edit JVC TD1 files in s3D.

Both tools are superior for s3D I think. What one take is also a question of taste. I have here both, and like Vegas as my first system, and Edius as my second system.
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