Dashwood Releases Stereo3D CAT Alignment System

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Fri, 10/14/2011 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

By Valentina I. Valentini Whether you’re just starting out with stereoscopic 3D projects or you’re experienced in 3D technology Dashwood Cinema Solutions has introduced a technology to aid in on-set 3D calibrations and configurations. The system Stereo3D CAT addresses what is often one of the most difficult aspects of shooting in 3D: aligning the separate images. “They need to be aligned perfectly on the X Y and Z axis for each camera and the lens’ focal lengths need to match ” says DCS’s founder Tim Dashwood. “Stereo3D CAT helps speed up that process.” According to Dashwood it also helps monitor the setting of the cameras and records those settings showing everyone on set that they’re within whatever parallax budget has been calculated for whatever size screen they’re eventually showing the footage on. In more technical terms Stereo3D CAT implements unique patent-pending technology to power systems for accurately aligning the geometry and colorimetry of stereoscopic setups calculating proper interaxial separation for any given parallax depth budget monitoring parallax and convergence in the scene compensating for disparities in the image and logging all settings for future reference in production or post-production. The system – which was in beta testing over the last few months on Imax’s Flight of the Butterflies and Cobu 3D and was just recently released for commercial sales – has built into it a view of parallax in your image and aids you to keep you within those limits. “For a typical parallax budget for a 30-foot widescreen feature you wouldn’t want anymore positive parallax than .7 percent ” says Dashwood “and negative parallax of about 1 to 1.5 percent.” According to Dashwood Stereo3D CAT doesn’t require any proprietary hardware. It will run on any Mac system and with any capture device. He says “We’re at a good pricing level for entry-level 3D camera crews: $12 500.” DSC Labs has also produced the Dashwood 3D Chart priced at $2500 for manual rig alignment or heightened calibration when working with Stereo3D CAT. “You don’t need the chart ” Dashwood says “but without it you won’t get the precise alignment tool. We’re actually using markers on the chart instead of trying to analyze the image we’re taking the known value of these positional markers and we’re capturing them analyzing them all live and sending them to the iPad with our free app. It becomes so easy for a camera crews because they can make physical adjustments on the rig and see them right away and exactly what is happening on the chart.” As much as 200 minutes of demo time is available for download at www.dashwood3d.com. DCS will have hands-on workshops in New York Los Angeles and Toronto. Details are available on the company’s website.