3D is certainly alive! There were many interesting presentations on 3DTV, but none more so than Jim DeFilippis’ presentation on 3D at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Just nine months before the games were to begin, a decision was taken to go for extensive coverage in 3D – 18 different sports were slated, and a TV channel dedicated to 3DTV. The companies OBS, NBCU, BBC, Sky Italia, Foxtel, and Panasonic got together and made the impossible happen.
Jim’s visual 3D material from the Games is eye-popping, and a must see for broadcasters yet to be convinced about 3D. 3DTV is notorious in needing ultra care to match perfectly the left and right eye images, and for care between scene cuts. Imagine having to provide the 3D channel, live, with however many different cameras from different companies? They did it.
The games brought lots of experience about which type of sports events are ‘3D-friendly’ and which are less so. 3D works best when the main object in the scene is close to the camera – the natural 3d effect is most striking and natural when the principal object in the scene is within a few metres of us, and the same applies to 3D TV. When you see the material it is clear that some sports are an absolute gift for 3D, such as ‘diving’ and ‘gymnastics’. Others with teams and a larger canvas are less effective in 3D.
Some interesting rules about 3D programme making also emerged from the 3D content – maximum disparity tolerances of-1% and +4%, and captions at +0.5% looks best.
Overall, the title of this blog to get the camera ‘in close and personal’ is probably the number one macro rule for making effective 3DTV.