Production has just wrapped on Australia’s forthcoming 3D action-thriller movie Bait. Inition’s Asia Pacific office provided consultancy on the production pipeline, camera and monitoring setup, storyboard and production aspects and headed up the 3D department during principal photography.
Markus Stone, Inition’s Asia Pacific Head of Production, and lead Stereographer on the shoot said: “Intensive pre-production planning and choosing the right gear for the job ensured shooting ran smoothly. All the live 3D encoding on set was handled by Inition’s Stereobrain Processor and we were able to shoot up to 40 setups per day, on a wet and logistically challenging set.”
Bait is about a freak tsunami which hits a small town on the Gold Coast, trapping people in a flooded underground supermarket with a pack of man-eating sharks.
The film was shot using two Element Technica Quasar rigs with RED MX Cameras and one Element Technica Neutron with SI-2K cameras for the underwater scenes. The standard configuration was to have one Quasar on the crane, one at water level in a splash box and the Neutron as a separate unit in the studio next door.
Ground-breaking Underwater 3D Filming
One of the more groundbreaking aspects of the production was the use of the world’s first underwater beamsplitter rig. Side-by-side rigs are the typical configuration for underwater shooting because of their compact size which minimises reflection issues.
The use of a beamsplitter rig underwater provided more close-up and dynamic shots. Compressed air was fed into the rigs that were enclosed to provide thermal exchange for the REDS.
Directed by Kimble Rendall (Matrix Reloaded), the film stars some of Australia’s top talent, including Julian Mcmahon (Nip Tuck, Fantastic Four) and Xavier Samuel (Twilight; Eclipse).
Bait will be distributed in Australia by Paramount and is scheduled for an early 2012 release.
To watch a behind-the-scenes video about Bait 3D click here.
Extreme sports production specialist Boomerang Productions, asked Inition to supplied stereoscopic equipment, crew, consultancy and 3D post services for a half hour 3D programme following Tony Hawk on his European tour in Berlin and Brighton.
Due to a combination of low weight, compact size and high quality image output, Inition chose to shoot everything with Toshiba IK-HD1(1920x1080i) minicams to capture the essence and drama of the competitor's daring skate tricks.
Inition’s crew established three camera positions during the Berlin shoot in order to captuire the action from all angles.
A Fig Rig gave the cameraman incredible flexibility to capture fast motion shots. A Polecam lightweight jib was positioned at the top of a ramp side which captured stunning sweeping overhead shots including those classic 3D shots when the skater appears to be jumping out the screen. The third stereoscopic rig was mounted on a regular tripod which was used to capture ground level footage and close ups.
To monitor the action, each rig was connected to a StereoBrain Processor. Battery powered and highly lightweight, the StereoBrain processor can process a left and right signal and output a variety of 3D modes which can be viewed on a 2D or 3D monitor. During the Tony Hawk shoot, Inition’s crew used StereoBrain processors to output an anaglyph feed to 7” HD-SDI monitors. Media was recorded to Nanoflash solid state recorders.
Using the three camera set up, Inition was able to deliver motion rich, immersive 3D footage for Boomerang Productions. Boomerang Productions delivered a 2D edit to Inition where it was geometrically corrected and mastered into 3D for 3D Blu-ray authoring.
The 3D footage was used to create a half hour TV programme which aired on French TV channel Canal+ in October.
Leading extreme sports television producer Boomerang Film approached Inition to produce a high octane 3D promotional video to support Nissan’s sponsorship of the 2011 FreeRide World Tour after a successful collaboration shooting Tony Hawk on his European skateboard tour in Berlin and Brighton for Canal +
Inition provided stereoscopic consultancy, two portable 3D camera systems, a stereographer and camera assistant for two shooting days as well as 3D post production services including 3D fixing, depth grading and mastering.
Inition were commissioned with the ambitious task of delivering a 3D online post, short promo film and 30 second trailer on a Blu-ray disc within 48 hours of the final shoot. Inition’s team edited approximately 4 – 5 hours of footage into a 2.5 minute compelling promo film in time for the opening of the Nissan FreeRide World Tour.
The offline edit was undertaken by the client in Avid and the final post stages were completed at Inition. We were provided with a graded DPX sequence (Digital Picture Exchange) for the left and right channels which were ingested into our Speedgrade XR suite, where 3D geometry correction and a depth grade were performed. The final piece was then mastered in the side-by-side format for Blu-ray.
The Right Tool for the Job- The client required a stereoscopic video capture system which was as lightweight as possible, able to take POV shots and portable enough to be taken to challenging locations such as mountain faces. Always keen to embrace a challenge, Inition developed a custom built helmet with a mounted 3D rig based around two Toshiba Minicams recording to Nano Flash recorders on Compact Flash cards.
Small enough to achieve an interaxial separation of just 4mm, the custom built rig was highly versatile and could be controlled and genlocked with a camera control unit up to 30 metres away. The recorders were synced (in terms of being triggered for recording) via a breakout cable joined to a single trigger.
Alignment of the cameras was performed before mounting to the helmet with wedges to fix roll and vertical offset. Being a fixed interaxial, calculations were made to allow for the best 3D in the given environment with locked off cameras. The professional athletes were prepped before shooting, so that they were aware of the 3D limits i.e. how close to get to objects.
With its production partner Boomerang Films, Inition delivered an attention holding 3D promotional film to Nissan on schedule, which was taken on tour around major European ski destinations in a Nissan branded truck complete with 4D alpine mountain breeze effects.
As part of LG’s multi million pound 3DTV advertising campaign, Inition worked with Framestore to shoot a 3D cinema advert which aims to show film-lovers how the 3D experience can be recreated in their living rooms. The campaign for media agency Mindshare was directed by The IT Crowd star Richard Ayoade. It features comedy duo Tim Key and his sidekick Lloyd Woolf who take viewers on a brief history of 3D through to the latest developments and what the future holds.
Framestore required a versatile, mobile and high-quality stereoscopic 3D filming solution and the expertise to operate it on crane for their one-shot-wonder treatment.
Inition specified the SI-2K mini system which offers a great compromise between size and quality. Combined with our matched UltraPrime lenses this offered a cost-effective and highly maneuverable solution on this technically demanding shoot. 3 Inition crew were on hand to build and run the rig (3D rig tech and assistant and stereographer).
The advert is a tongue-in-cheek take on current formulaic 3D showreels and starts with Woolf dressed up as Godzilla destroying a cardboard city below him. The sequence then pans through other popular 3D viewing genres such as football and nature, before ending in a stage set front room with Key and Woolf on the sofa and the strap line "Bringing the magic of 3D home with LG".
Inition's Andy Millns was the stereographer on-set. Post-production at Framestore included adding VFX to the live action sequence which was on-lined by respected VFX artist and post-production consultant David Cox.
"I was very happy with the material from the shoot, the optical line up between the cameras was very good and the colour matching was as close as I've seen." David Cox, VFX/Mistika consultant.
The cinema advert marks LG's first foray onto the silver screen and will be shown alongside screenings of 3D movies Tron: Legacy and the new Chronicles of Narnia film, starting on December 10th.
**UPDATE** LG were so happy with FrameStore's ad that they commissioned a second-part. Framestore came back to Inition who provided the same team and kit for the second shoot which went as flawlessy as the first.
You can watch the advert here (in 2D only) or pay us a visit to see in 3D!
World-renowned filmmakers Deeble & Stone partnered with Inition to co-produce a 3D wildlife pilot in Africa called Distant Thunder 3D.
The shoot took place in Kenya and was produced in association with equipment manufacturer P+S TECHNIK. During the production process the team identified and perfected the 3D rigs necessary to shoot wildlife in the field of Africa. Being an environment of widely varying scales, Inition used equally a large variety of interaxial lens distances to capture the extremities of the landscape, from extreme close ups of chameleons eating lunch to the final dramatic time-lapse sequence of the Kenyan night sky where two still cameras were positioned 30 metres apart.
Over the space of a month Inition used a variety of 3D rigs - both commercial models and custom built. These included mirror rigs, 3D time-lapse set ups, side-by-side configurations and gyro stabilized, using SI-2K Minicams and shooting uncompressed RAW, recording to solid state drives so full creativity could be achieved in the post production process.
Every evening, the team reviewed the daily rushes on a large 3D screen to develop what was working and what was not. Over a two week period and in challenging stormy condiitons, we obtained enough spectacular footage to edit together a stunning 10 minute pilot.
The promo premiered at the Dimension 3 S3D expo in Paris in 2010 and was later shown to audiences at the Berlin Film Festival 2010 and the Cannes Film Festival where it received a highly postive response.
Victoria Stone, producer and director of the pilot, in an interview with creativeplanetnetwork.com said, "Digital 3D is so immersive and experiential that it is perfectly suited to natural history storytelling. We were delighted that it was possible to achieve so much in such a short time. It was an extraordinary and very successful collaboration."
The live 3D transmission of a performance by Keane at Abbey Road Studios to a domestic 3D television marked a major milestone in the history of 3D broadcasting and pioneered many of the 3D transmission techniques to follow.
Inition conceived the idea in 2008 and was the primary technical partner behind the project which was backed by BSkyB, Island Records and Nineteen Fifteen Productions.
Keane 3D was broadcast simultaneously to three very different mediums – The Vue’s flagship Leicester Square RealD cinema; a dedicated website where Keane fans could watch the performance in anaglyph (red/cyan) mode and over the BSkyB transmission infrastructure becoming the first ever live 3D transmission on their network.
Sky Transmission- The Keane broadcast was the first ever 3D transmission to be broadcast over the BSkyB transmission infrastructure to a domestic display. The 3D feed was transmitted as a side-by-side frame compatible signal over a high definition satellite transponder using SENSIO encoding which was linked to two Hyundai 46 inch high definition 3D TV screens. A VIP audience in Abbey Road's world-famous Studio 2 were able to watch the full live Sky transmission nearby.
3D Webcast- A separate 3D webcast was streamed over the Internet in anaglyph (red/cyan) mode. This was the world’s first ever live webcast in 3D which Keane fans around the globe could watch in 3D by wearing a pair of anaglyph glasses. The webcast later went on to become nominated for The Innovation Award at the UK Music Video Awards 2009.
Vue Cinema Showing- A live broadcast via a satellite uplink to the 3D-enabled Vue cinema in Leicester Square, using SENSIO's 3D Cinema Encoder.
The Set Up- Inition supplied five 3D rigs for the historic event – three mirror/beamsplitter rigs, and two side-by-side rigs and one MiniCam rig. Each left and right camera recorded the Keane 3D broadcast in full HD for archiving purposes.
On set was a Jib cam, PoleCam, a dolly, a 45 degree angle shot and a wide angle shot. The Inition crew monitored the live and preview feeds via several StereoBrain Processors which can output a left and right signal in a variety of 3D modes.
As access to Abbey Road Studios were very limited, Inition’s production team pre-planned every single shot using stereo pre-viz animations. This allowed the team to determine the best focal lengths, rig positions and stereoscopic effects weeks in advance.
All the planning paid off and each individual transmission was a technical and creative success which was later praised by the national media.