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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old June 13th, 2010, 07:31 PM   #1
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Our first 3D wedding video

Last Saturday we shot our first 3D wedding video using the Fuji 3D camera. The 15 minute segment (the maximum available on the camera) was displayed to the daytime and evening guests on a Fuji screen mounted on an explanatory frame.

The results - ie the comments were very, very encouraging - which will be a disappointment to one of our competitors who quite blatantly "dissed" us in another forum, describing our demo which they'd seen at a wedding fair, as "mediocre". Most guests' reactions were closer to blowing their socks off.

Of course, the technology is in its infancy - a point we make clear in our display but if the response from the viewers (whose previous experience was mostly Avatar or antique anaglyph technology) was anything to go by, there is a future for 3D.

We were prepared to sell the lot had it not been a success and of course one swallow doesn't make a summer, but it's looking good. Mind, we only offer it as a free add-on - it's nowhere near the point at which you could charge for the service.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 07:57 PM   #2
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Here's to the future! Great to hear you are experimenting with 3D.
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Old June 14th, 2010, 07:19 AM   #3
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Hey Phillip,

I would love to see it! Can you make it available for us in DVinfo in anaglyph?

I'm thinking of going the same route, to see how the market reacts here, before spending big money. I haven't found any Fujis in stores here, so I would have to order it on-line and I would love to see the final output of that camera in a wedding beforehand.

Thanks
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Old June 14th, 2010, 07:44 AM   #4
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Jose, sorry to sound so uncompromising and unhelpful but absolutely not! Anaglyph is as relevant to this as VHS was to HD.

The drawback of the system is that the only way to see it is on the Fuji screen, but because it's novel, innovative, topical and, most important of all, doesn't mean wearing daft glasses* it's got its own WOW factor. It appeals to the clients because it shares the immediacy of a SDE and above all because it's free.

In my view the last aspect is vital because I can't see any merit in offering it as a paid service.

* please note I refer to the glasses as daft because, unlike films, TV is watched in a non-exclusive environment. We all wear the glasses in the cinema and we're all watching the same programme so the glasses are perfectly acceptable. But TV isn't like that. TV is a social medium, mainly home-based. It's watched in a fluid, multi-purpose environment in which other things are taking place. It's that environment in which I think the glasses are unacceptable.

But be clear, equally unacceptable is the Fuji system which offers only three angles in which to view the 3D TV properly so there's no easy or perfect solution. Perhaps the best analogy is the early days of stereo radio when we used to have an FM receiver on one side of the room and a TV on the other and marvel at the sounds of a table tennis match! BTW I've not seen the gear in stores here either so it's online here as well I guess.

Finally, our commitment to the service will last as long as its novelty and WOW factor enhances our real product, HD wedding videos. If that ever stops being the case then the Fuji camera and its screen will be on eBay. And don't forget there are people here like Steve Shovlar taking a very different approach to 3DTV weddings and I'm following and noting his progress with great interest.
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Old June 14th, 2010, 01:47 PM   #5
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HI Philip. I just picked up the new 50 inch Panasonic 3D TV. Got 300 off as it was a display TV ( Only been displayed for two weeks) So it was basically 1995. Not bad but the TV is terrific.

I have been filing parts of weddings in 3D all summer. Tweaking this and that. Results at first were poor to mediocre. Now I have learnt a lot and they are mediocre to good. Stil not there to actually film a wedding in 3D if asked to next week. This is using a parrellel setup. I will need a beamsplitter for when filming the ceremony from only a few feet from the B&G. A parallel is no good if you are on top of what you are filming.

By the way I was lucky and picked up 3dWeddings.co.uk and 3d-Weddings.co.uk in the last few weeks. The domains are in place, but nothing on them just yet. This winter is the time for the launch if all goes according to plan.

Cheers
Steve Shovlar
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Old June 14th, 2010, 05:00 PM   #6
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Congratulations Steve. I bought 3Dweddingvideo.co.uk and the plural a few months back and simply point them at our main site for now.

Have you any idea yet how much premium 3D will add to your existing wedding production cost?

I realise this will a ball park for now because presumably you're not contemplating buying any of the $21000 Panasonic cameras yet.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 02:53 AM   #7
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HI Phil, no I am not contemplating $21,000 on a 3D camera! I also can't see, even with the two lenses alongside each other, that you could get close enough to the subject for the 3D to be any good. Beamsplitters overlap the lenses and you can get as close as you like to the subject. Guess time wil tell on whether it does what it is meant to but way too expensive.

Onto pricing of a 3D wedding. Two videogaphers all day. Certainly need to cover everything. Editing will take a lot longer. Every shot will have to be manipulated in post. My thoughts are three times longer to edit than a normal wedding video, but even that might not be enough.

Twice the ingest of footage, very long render times.

As a ball park figure I would think 3950-4950 for a 3D wedding. They would get SD DVD, Blu-ray DVD and a 3D Blu-ray DVD. Now at the moment I don't have a clue how to make a 3D blu-ray DVD. The next year will see software brought out and hopefully it will not be a huge learning curve ( or be too expensive!)

Very exciting times to be a wedding videographer.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 12:47 PM   #8
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I would love to see your 3D wedding edit in cross-eye version. I love how YouTube has the 3D formats so you can select different 3D outputs... I agree, though, that anaglyph is really horrible.

Also, is the camera you used the Fuji W1? I believe it is only a VGA camera from the specs. There is a 720p 3D camera coming out by Aiptek that is only $200 or so. Sounds interesting!
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Old June 23rd, 2010, 10:16 PM   #9
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Peter, I'm flattered that people should want to see it, but I won't post in any 3D format for two reasons, the "programme" (if a 15 minute clip counts as that) was designed for the Fuji system and I really don't have time to spend converting it to any other. Secondly, it's a static camera so the production values are simply nil.

You're right about the format, the cameras (for there are technically two) are 640x480.

This was one of those occasions when being first (and risking being the worst in the sense that the resolution is only VGA and other manufacturers will bring out better resolution cameras in a few months) was more important. If others copy our lead and in 12 months time a 3D clip is standard at every wedding I shall be entirely happy. What was important was being amongst the first.
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Old June 24th, 2010, 11:49 AM   #10
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As far as workflow goes then, you just set the camera up in position and when the ceremony gets to the vows, you just hit record, stop recording after the vows and ring exchange and then display on the Fuji monitor at the reception?

If you were to edit the files or just playback the files on your computer, how does it show up? The cross eyed format is really simple. The two images are shown side by side; the left image is for the right eye and the right image is for the left eye; you then cross your eyes until the images merge and then pop into focus. What makes the cross eye view great is that you don't need glasses and you have full color reproduction. The downside is the high learning curve to train your eyes so most people won't be able to do it quickly and easily.
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Old June 24th, 2010, 12:09 PM   #11
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Workflow is pretty much as you describe except that we simply let the camera run to its limit - 15 minutes.

Only editing option is to extract each stream as .avi files. I would have thought that watching anything but a short snippet with your eyes crossed would have been very tiring. Anyway my mother said if I crossed my eyes they'd stay that way!
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Old June 24th, 2010, 08:21 PM   #12
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Hi Philip (and Peter)

I have tried (seriously) with the two images side by side and to me they still appear as two images and certainly not 3D !! Then again with those annoying 3D prints that you had to hold up to your nose, concentrate hard and slowly move away until they popped, were just hard work!!

What happens if the bride and groom are like me and say, "I can only see 2 pictures side by side"...your 3D "demo" then is ineffective to say the least. Hmmm maybe you NEED to be cross-eyed?????

I have done a couple of ceremonies in Anaglyph 3D just for fun and they work well but the colour saturation is really poor. Guess it's OK if you like washed out colour but the effect is good even with the cardboard glasses!!!

Anyone remember the old Viewmasters (Philip will!!) basically a disc with two images per picture and you looked thru two eyepieces..Now, why can't you have two little LCD screens using that configuration??? I know that works for me in 3D .. Let's see two 3.5" "Photoframes" and a housing to keep the eyes of strange people like me, apart and you would have a LCD based "Viewmaster"


Chris
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Old June 24th, 2010, 08:46 PM   #13
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Not only do I remember Viewmasters but I once owned a Viewmaster camera - well engineered, ingenious film path running diagonally across the back producing seemingly hundreds of frames per 36exp roll, very economical - the only drawback was that it was so fiddly. You always had to wear cotton gloves (which is true for all decent transparency work actually) but the frames were so small it really was a trial getting them inserted into the blank disks. I sold it back to the company from which I'd bought it, complete with the absolutely essential film cutter - it simply wasn't possible to work without the cutter which were rarer than hen's teeth, and lost 40 on the experience. It was after that I bought my first Stereo Realist.

So, having confirmed Chris' allusion that I am next in line to Methuselah, could I mention that his ideal of small LCD frames already exist and have for some while. They were aimed at 3D gamers I believe and rather than carrying two discrete images derived the left and right images from the same source. It was a matter of field splitting, the upper field carried one eye, the lower field the other. The downside is that each frame had half the resolution - but then that's exactly the drawback with the system, that Sky in the UK uses to transmit 3D TV. In their case the 16:9 images are squeezed anamorphically to fit side by side in the transmitted frame. As I understand it the Sky box unsqueezes the images and reveals them in a format ready for shuttered glasses. There are other transmission systems which don't lose resolution.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 10:41 AM   #14
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It does take some determination and persistence to learn to view in cross-eye. I could always do the parallel viewing (like in the Magic Eye books, and Viewmasters) but could never do the cross eye method until about 2 weeks ago when I determined to learn how to do it.

The main benefits of cross-eye is that you aren't limited to a small image like with parallel viewing. Whereas with parallel viewing, I had to shrink the two images so that they could merge, with cross-eye viewing, I can view the images side by side full screen.

The site that walked me through how to view 3D images in cross-eye is: How to see 3D photos

After learning cross-eye, there has been no reason to try to view things in anaglyph. IMO, anaglyphs are have less margin for parallax errors and ghosting is a common occurrence which makes anaglyph images even less appealing.

There are viewers for setting up an LCD or digital picture frame using some sort of magnifying loupes. I've even seen a setup using a front surface mirror to show 3D images. They help make it easier for the masses to view and enjoy 3D images.

Learning to free-view 3D images in cross eye enables you to be able to view 3D images anywhere without any extra equipment. It is hard to learn, though, and requires a lot of patience. I was getting frustrated and was ready to give up... I could get the images to merge but my eyes couldn't focus and I could see the depth in the images but everything was blurry. Eventually, the focus just popped in and I could see everything in 3D and clearly. After viewing more images throughout the week, my eyes adjust more quickly when viewing the images and I can even "look around" the photo and focus on different objects at different depths. I would argue that exercising your eyes like this actually strengthens eyes and will not make you permanently cross-eyed... Just like I believe that video games help improve hand eye coordination ;)
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Old June 25th, 2010, 06:50 PM   #15
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Peter

Thanks for the link BUT I still can't get it..it's pretty hard to do and not really practical to show a wedding video clip to a couple who might also not get it..guess it works for some and not for idiots like me!!!

IMaybe the images need to be full screen?? Then I wouldn't be distracted by other stuff on the page..but it obviously does work for others!!

Philip...I thought you may have had a camera!! I remember seeing one but never owned one..must have been VERY fiddling cutting out those tiny transparencies!! Just for interest what do cinemas use for 3D??? It's not anaglyph and I'm sure that the glasses wouldn't have shutters for such a large audience!!

Chris
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