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Old March 8th, 2010, 02:55 PM   #1
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3D video response at Wedding Fair

Hawk-eyed readers will know that we recently purchased a Fujifilm 3D camera (which records both stills and video in 3D) and plan to use it to record the key moments of our clients’ weddings for replay during their receptions. We shall also archive the two streams so that when the industry has decided what the standard will be we’ll offer them those key moments in 3D.

However, before our first 3D wedding can be recorded, we displayed the system on our stand at a wedding fair last Sunday and I think it might interest readers to know the result.

Stated simply, it stopped traffic dead. Even the girl who declined our demonstration DVD pack because her fiancé didn’t want a video, stopped and looked. I’d recorded 15 minutes of a catwalk (wedding dress) fashion show at another fair last weekend and played that in a loop. The effect was dramatic.

As you probably know, the system doesn’t require viewers to wear silly glasses but in consequence does mean that the position people stand at in front of the screen is fairly critical. After a few moments, and guided by the display around the screen, almost everyone had “got it” and exclaimed so.

In fairness, not everyone. Some didn’t persevere, or said that it gave them a headache though those migraines came on faster than Neurofen Ultra eases them if the TV ads are to be believed. One detects a bit of “don’t bother me with gimmicks”.

Technically the images are SD and 4:3 ratio neither of which features makes them look exactly up to date.

But all this aside. The display gave us the opportunity to speak to many more people than we do usually, and the number of conversions till 6pm this evening is 300% up on our previous best fair. On that basis alone, my view is that the kit is worth the relatively small price they ask. I’ll report after our first 3D wedding what the response is like at the reception. Unfortunately that won’t be soon because my wife and I don’t do Easter weddings but visit my son and his family in Korea. It’s called prioritising!
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Old March 8th, 2010, 03:37 PM   #2
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wow, very interesting.

I check out the camera online it only have photo demo, no videos. I just wonder how the video works. Do you displayed the video in the Real 3D V1? or a just a normal TV?
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Old March 8th, 2010, 04:45 PM   #3
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Philip, I did a search of google for 3d weddings UK last night and PHP came up. And here you are discribing it. We are both coming off the same hymn sheet here.

I did a wedding fayre in Bournmouth yesterday ( Sunday) and mentioned to several brides that I was going to be offering 3D weddings in the Autum and more so in 2011. The interest was amazing with one couple more than keen to have their wedding filmed in 3D. They booked me to film their wedding in Guildford, and said if I had finished my testing and were ready to go, they were happy to be the first and guinea pigs.

Unlike your setup, I am going with a side by side camera set up, and yes, there's going to be a serious amount of work and the price of the package is going to reflect that. I did warn the couple it would be expensive ( rather than telling them it wouldn't be cheap)

Now I have just ordered an Alienware 23 inch 3D ready monitor, have the active glasses ( need a second pair so couples can view together) upgraded my graphics card and will be ready to show real 3D footage at a two day Wedding Show at the Bath and West Showground at Shepton Mallett at the end of this month. It won't be of a wedding, but it will releate to the wedding business.

I have a wedding on the 3rd April and the bride is more than happy for me to film parts of the wedding in 3D, so after that I will have a short showreel in 3D.

It's so new I thnk we could get a good piece in the local paper and even local TV. " Move over Avatar", the 3D bride is coming through...."

At BVE a couple of weeks ago experienced cameramen stood there gawping at the 3D. What's it going to do to a bride? Blow them away IMO.

Now it will be expensive and I expect only a few brides will actually go for it. It's going to be well over £5000, and probably closer to £7000. Of course they get two pairs of active shutter glasses thrown in, as well as the usual SD and HD Blu-ray versions. Delivery of the 3D version is still to be deliberated. And of course they will have to go out and buy a HD3D TV.

And by being so expensive, your straight forward Blu-ray wedding package is going to look decidedly cheap in comparison! ( so hopefully picking up this work) It's a show stopper and will have people queing at the stand to take a look. What better way to generate sales?

A seriously think those first to the scene in 3D weddings are going to do extremely well.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 04:48 PM   #4
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I also saw this yesterday.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 04:54 PM   #5
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forgive my ignorance but how can you set up two regular Video Cameras for 3d in production and post
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Old March 8th, 2010, 08:01 PM   #6
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May I do the easy answers first?

Siu Chung (I hope that's a first name - apologies if not) the Fuji system (actually Philips I'm told) uses a lenticular filter over the screen thus playback can only be on the Fuji V1 screen (3 viewing positions) or the camera screen (1 viewing position).

Jawad, Fuji has done the engineering and effectively put the two cameras (and a clever chip that does the convergence) inside a box not much bigger than a normal compact camera. In comparison to Steve's set up - or anyone using the new $21,000 Panasonic camera, some compromise is required!

The difference is that I'm including the 3D wedding video in our normal package - ie for free.

Steve, pleased your Google turned up that result - I bought the co.uk domains a couple of weeks ago as a small investment for my later old age!

I share your view that the first in this field will have an advantage and your work is interesting. Incidentally the announcement does get some PR locally but as usual the press doesn't understand the difference between 3D film and 3D television/video. We're going to have to do some evangelising!

The reason I'm not taking any other plunges is simply because the market has some serious decisions to make about 3D television and at the moment I don't see them making them. At BVE recently it was the general view that 2010 would be the "tipping" year for 3D television. I'm not so sure.

There are two big stumbling blocks that we minnows can only watch others climb over.

The first is the standard - there isn't one and the view at BVE is that we're not even close - in fact we're still at the get a product into the market ahead of the competition. The Sony active glasses won't work with a Panasonic TV and vv - that's how far we are away.

And we're still talking active glasses at £100 a throw, not the 40c (sorry to mix the currencies but that was figure) a kick for Real 3D specs with their circular polarisation.

As you'll gather from my reference to "silly" glasses, I think the viewing experience of TV as opposed to film is fundamentally different. This is the second consideration.

Film, like radio, is a one-to-one experience - which is why remarks about "all you out there" always grate with pedants like me. Although we may make the occasional remark to our neighbour it's essentially an uninterrupted experience. It's also in the dark and everybody is doing it. Those are powerful reasons why wearing glasses is acceptable.

But the TV experience is different. In the same room I may be watching the TV with my full concentration; my wife might be reading the newspaper or knitting whilst she pays occasional attention to the TV. My daughter might walk into the well lit room and ask my wife her opinion of a drawing she's working on. My grandson might be playing with his train set barely noticing the TV but glancing occasionally. In such a variety of relationships glasses are simply a major problem.

Add to that the fact that TV is a multi-level relationship which only goes to further make the wearing of glasses to watch TV hugely unacceptable. And sitting in one of three places to watch the Philips system is equally unmarketable.

There is yet another factor working against 3D TV. Evidently the eyes can only take so much 3D viewing. 3D TV and film are both only illusions, ways of feeding spatially different points of view to the human brain. Hold your finger a foot or so from your eye and look at it. The background - in our peripheral vision - is doubled. That happens with the Fuji/Philips system, but not the Real 3D or Sony/Panasonic systems which are still essentially viewed in a single plane. Either way it takes some getting used to and in fact the Fuji V1 has caution notices programmed into it which pause playback after a certain time and put up a warning about extended 3D viewing not being good for you. The fact that the scientists have forced the sales people at Fuji to include that decidely anti-sales feature shows how serious the problem is. It's one which Mr Cameron's people addressed in the making of Avatar.

So serious in fact that (I am told although I can't say I noticed - perhaps my attention was deflected by the appalling story) large sections of Avatar are in fact in 2D solely to give the eyes and brain a rest.

The considered view at BVE was that 3D TV will be limited to certain subjects (which incidentally is what they said about HD and look where that prediction went). So sport, some drama, natural history and predictably films might be in 3D whilst the news, current affairs, quizzes and VHS police tapes will be in 2D (or 0D in the case of the latter!). No prizes either for guessing which system Mr Cowell's dreadful shows will be in - anything to distract from the abyssmal content.

So where does that leave weddings? Although I hope there will be enough market excitement to pay for the investment and additional work in post that people like you will have to make, I'd not be placing any bets as yet. And at my age I don't expect to be making any investment either.

You haven't mentioned how you're planning to handle convergence in your system - and perhaps you're keeping it secret, but clearly from the BVE conferences that's where the big spend is going to be - happily for now the Fuji system does it for you but it's not a precise science.

I applaud you for daring to make the complete leap right now, but adding the cost of a unique, non-standard TV to your bill of £5-7k is certainly the top end of the market. I may have done the first 3D wedding display at a UK wedding fair (or perhaps not - I'm sure we can't be the only people thinking about it) but it's a big step to recording an entire wedding. The minimum distance the Fuji convergence requirements impose would be serious impediments to my preferred creativity - and I daren't think how people like Chris Harding would hand hold a pair of cameras. Never mind steadicams, I think there'll need to be some serious re-engineering of the human lower back and knees before the steadicam boys strap a 3D rig to themselves.

This is an exciting business to be in isn't it? - At which point someone far wiser than me will remind us that it's the content that matters not the technology.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 06:21 AM   #7
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Some good points Richard. Convergence is an issue to be addressed and also maneouvrability at a wedding. A heavy tripod is required to hold the two EX3's and that won't be light. A second 3D unit will be a lot lighter as we will be using two small Sony camcorders, both of which combine weigh less than a single EX3. This will be used on a good monopod to get shots of guests etc.

Certainly there will be a ton of testing before we even consider shooting a wedding where someone has paid top dollar. We have a ton to learn, and reading books about it is OK but as others have said we need to get out and shoot shoot shoot!

This week we are working on our side by side rig, which if it goes as well as we hope, will be available to purchase before the summer.

Fun times are ahead for wedding videographers. I can't wait.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 01:49 PM   #8
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Excellent decision Philip. I like this new technology and it's nice to see that weddings are into the game. We are preparing to do a christening in May by using 3D. Not a 3D camera, but an aligned rig with two FX1s. Of course this will work in parallel with the normal shooting, but I think it will be fun (and hard)!
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Old March 10th, 2010, 06:43 PM   #9
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Hi Philip

I could probably rig two shoulder-mount cams side by side on a tripod but then you have a very static field of view.
Probably the Fuji is the way to go as I think unless an event is perfectly planned (not like a wedding) and predictable, a dual cam setup would be pretty hard to manage!!!

Just for interest you said you are offering a short 3D movie for the couple for free?? Is that written to a standard DVD??? Ok, the couple get the movie for nothing but how much roughly are they in for when they have to buy the 3D TV ?????

I have already "played with" taking a standard ceremony (shot normally) and duplicated and shifted a duplicate track in the NLE...did some quick colour shifts and it look pretty cool on a standard TV but, of course you lose heaps of colour saturation and you have to wear silly glasses (the 40c ones). This is rather a gimmick than a serious 3D movie but it does work.

Do you think that brides will be quite happy to buy a 3D TV at $XXXX just to watch their wedding???

Chris
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Old March 10th, 2010, 07:03 PM   #10
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Chris, I may have confused you with the offer - or maybe I've not made it clear on the website.

What I'm offering is a 15 minute 3D video recording (using the Fuji camera) with looped replay on the Fuji 3D video screen at their reception. I'd like to remove the warning about excessive 3D viewing which blocks the playback after a while but at present can't find a way. It's an interesting and unpublished device designed to kill future 3D sales.

After the wedding we'll archive the two streams (.avi files because they're only SD) and when the TV business has decided what the standard will be (assuming I'm still alive) we'll offer the bride the original material authored for whatever the standard is.

Since no-one knows what that standard will be I can't quote for the authoring but it won't be free.

I should have added to my view of the future development the codicil that until the long term effect of 3D viewing has been unequivocally established as harmless, 3D film or television can't be regarded as a serious medium. How many people realise (I didn't and learned it as a conference) that Avatar has large chunks of 2D material included apparently to make the 3D experience bearable? The Fuji replay stops after about 30-40 minutes to my recollection.

The most important fact about all 3D film and video is that it is an illusion.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 10:20 PM   #11
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Hi Philip

Many Thanks...I see what you are doing now!! They get a free showing at the reception!!

I was a little taken aback after watching Steve's link ...the bride starts guessing the 3D cost at $3000 and goes upwards progressively ... I must admit that I certainly didn't expect the final cost to the bride to be $55,000!!! and you still have to wear glasses!!!

With our local median wedding event price here at $25,000 I doubt whether we would have any takers at the moment...now in Hollywood it might be a different story!!!

With your Fuji system what sort of base price would the bride be looking at just for hardware that she would need to install in her home??? Obviously your filming costs would be on top of equipment costs.

Thanks for the really interesting update...gosh offering a take home 3D package would be a marketing coup here if it were in a bride's budget.

Keep the updates coming..fascinating subject!!

Chris
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Old March 10th, 2010, 11:53 PM   #12
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Chris, thanks for your encouragement - I admit to a little concern that most people here think
people like Steve and me are a group of weirdo’s who shoot weddings with trailing bits of
wire and gaffered boxes!

I don’t see us ever shooting the whole wedding using Fuji cameras. The sound is limited to
built-in microphones, there’s no zoom (while using video) and the whole geography of the
camera doesn’t lend itself to my way of working - any more than DSLRs do by the way.
More than that not everything works in 3D and the whole convergence thing is a mountain to
climb - I admire Steve’s full blown project but I fear he has an unclimbed peak ahead of him.

My brides could shell out £400 for a Fuji V1 8inch screen or even £800 for the complete kit
and enjoy the camera herself - it takes good 10meg pictures, side by side instant telephoto and
wideangles and superwide panoramas as well as 3D. But, as far as I know there’s no full
scale TV with the lenticular surface nor any plans to make one.

As I think I reported from the Conference, we’re still at the stage when manufacturers feel
they have to have a product in the marketplace - the fact that it doesn’t work with any other
gear and that the broadcast people still haven’t any idea how they plan to transmit 3D into the
ether is irrelevant. So, Sony’s glasses (£100 a pair) don’t work with Panasonic screens; Sky
intends to broadcast the World Cup in side-by-side format which is easy (because it leaves a
2D option and doesn’t require super-high technology to stretch the images back) but is half
the resolution - so the choice is 1080 2D or 540 3D - the man on the Clapham omnibus must
be wondering if our industry is going forward or backwards.

Just as I was sure when the young driver of a Betacam-SP and One Inch edit suite told me I
was bananas for thinking we’d ever edit anything except home movies on computers (he now
rents gites in the South of France), I’m sure the present situation will be resolved.

What I’m less convinced about is that the effect of 3D on human eyes is a problem we can
feel more confident of solving.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 08:29 AM   #13
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Well the parts have been ordered and the prototype design done for our side by side rig. Its looking very good on paper and hopefully wll lok just as good "in the flesh".

Covergence is of course a serious issue to resolve but but cameras will be able to move closer and further part along the rails, and be able to swivel on their mount so that a videographer will be able to chose where the convergence point will be.

Convergence is going to be on guestimates and experimenting at first. Plenty of filming, measuring, writing it down on a look up table so we know what the results will be at any given distance from an object. Now we can't take a tape measure to a wedding so we will have to have in our heads what works where at a particular distance. No way we will take a paid gug until we are happy that we can deliver a product worthy of the expense.

Although I will have some footage to show at the end of the month ( not weddings, just some venues and churches in 3D) we won't be yet accepting bookings. But it will generate a lot of interest to our stand.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 09:34 AM   #14
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Interesting that you're planning to do the convergence manually at the time of shooting Steve. Ian Bird who spoke (unfortunately not well) at BVE gave the impression that everything so far was being done in post (for recorded things) or on a pre-planned basis (for live events).

By that I assumed he meant that cameras would generally work on fixed or limited focal lengths and have their convergence fixed beforehand to suit. Thus a camera with a wide-ish shot would have its convergence set for some distance away whilst as camera near the goalmouth would have a closer convergence.

I can imagine that the practical application of this aspect might well be one of the points at which it's decided to draw the line between 3D and 2D broadcast.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 04:49 PM   #15
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True enough I understand what you are saying. being brand new to 3D I am feeling my way at the moment and might decide in the very near future to go on one of Alistair Chapmans 3D workshops to pick up some hints and tips.

I can go out into the garden and there is plenty of opportunity to shoot some good 3D. Writing down the interocular distance of the camera, as well as making a note of the convergence point by measuring out the sdistance with a tape measure will give a look up table to carry with me. I can therefore work out what the image will look like with certain setups. Now obviously I can't take a tape measure on a wedding shoot but the more I shoot the more I will be able to estimate the distances, and therefore the interocular distance and the angle the cameras are at for the convergence. ON the linear slide, which the cameras are mounted, we are going to have angles engraved for quick and acurate positioning. ( I hope this makes sense)

Being unexperienced in 3D, I could be well off kilter, but I don't see why this couldn't work on the fly. I guess I will have a much more accurate assesment of this post after the testing we are currently about to start.

And if we are a little off on the convergence, Tim Dashwoods excellent plugin could still save the day.
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