Monday, February 28, 2011

YouTube updated their 3D support!

YouTube has updated their support for 3D videos and in the process simplified the tags needed to enable 3D viewing.

The new way is simply to add this tag if you have a Left|Right framepacked fileyt3d:enable=LR

Thanks to Sophie for sending this along to me.  Now I have to go and edit the tags on all of my 3D movies as the old tags are deprecated and won't work.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hire good, skilled crew for productions

Just a note for upcoming productions.  Make sure you hire good, skilled crew members.  Especially key crew such as the property master and head of construction.

That's something to get fired for.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Telecom T600 presentation

I gave a presentation today in the T600 lecture series about the development of the 3D class at IU.  The presentation was basically two parts:

  • What 3D in the movies means
  • What the 3D class is designed to do (get students jobs in 3D)

Here are the slides, they won't make much sense to folks not in attendance, but then again, they might.  The presentation was recorded and here is the recording for your enjoyment.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Some movie books I like

So I'm looking at my bookshelf and thinking about some discussions we've been having in 3D class about knowledge and where to find it.  Listed below are some books that I like and suggest if you're looking for something to read.

I've read and used all of these books and value them for creativity and developing knowledge.  I have several more books ont he bookshelf that will probably be added to this list as I read through them.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sintel 4K DCP is complete

HD frame from the production
The DCP version of the 4K Sintel at 8 bits per color is packed and checked.  This is an InterOp packed Digital Cinema Package and is playable in any DCI compliant digital cinema.  It is not keyed or encrypted and is re-released according the the CC 3.0 license of the original.

This is a directory containing six (6) files.  You'll need all six of them for the DCP to be valid. There is also a TAR archive available for ease of downloading.  If someone wishes to mirror the DCP, please do so and enjoy.

Most modern D-Cinema media blocks can read a USB hard drive or thumb drive formatted for: NTFS, HFS+, and EXT3 filesystems.  You can't use FAT32 for this as the largest file, the video essence, is far larger than the 4 GB file size limit under FAT32.

When the 16-bpc version is available, I'll pack that into a DCP as well.

Nice job everyone, it's a good story and very well done.


p.s. There are other 4K-mono and 2K-3D DCPs in there as well, enjoy.

Developing a 3D Advanced Production Class - What it's Like to Teach on the Bleeding Edge

I'm giving a presentation later this week about the development and teaching of the 3D advanced production class I teach here at IU.

  • Date:   Friday, February 25
  • Time:  12:30-1:45pm
  • Place:  RTV 226

Developing a 3D Advanced Production Class - What it's Like to Teach on the Bleeding Edge

3D movies have come, once again, into the public eye.  Modern 3D technology has overcome many of the shortcomings present in the last Golden Age of Hollywood 3D circa 1955.  We are now in a position to develop 3D movies that can stand on the merits of storytelling and cinematic craft without 3D problems hampering the success of the production.  The technology of stereoscopic production has come a long way since Sir Charles Wheatstone published his paper concerning stereopsis in 1838.

Now, 173 years later, Hollywood and Indie productions are finding fresh success at the box office while at the same time discovering that precious few people actually know HOW to make a good 3D movie or TV show.  T452 was conceived of and designed to address this knowledge gap and equip our students to successfully compete for jobs on 3D productions after graduation.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Creation of the Sintel DCP has begun

I'm part way through the packing of the Sintel DCP.  They did a good job of intermediate file preparation, but I had to take the extra step of splitting out the 5.1 audio score into discrete monaural WAV files for the DCP packing software.  Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 made short work of that.

After checking the 20,000+ frames for consistency the packing has begun.  This is actually the second attempt at a pack, the first run hit a snag around frame 8000 for some reason.  I've noticed that the DCP software can get a little persnickity if the host computer has been running for a week or more.  So, after a fresh reboot we're packing again and are somewhere around frame 4000 as of this blog post.

After completion I'll be able to test the DCP at 2K with our temporary media host as well as over at the IU Cinema at 2K via their Dolby DSS-200 screen server.  I'm expecting the Nvidia Quadro Plex 2200-D2 to come in in about 2 weeks, we'll then be able to run our 4K projector at full resolution and play back Sintel at full 4K resolution.

I hope to have good news to report in the morning.  After the DCP has packed and been tested, I'll post it to the AVL ftp server for interested parties to partake of.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

1/5th of the US box office comes from 3D

An interesting and validating article about what 3D movies contribute at the box office.

Creative Commons licensed 4K animated short available

Wow!  Sintel is making available a 4K intermediate version of the short animated movie.  The current version is stored as an 8 bits per pixel TIFF sequence that weighs in at 160 GB.  They are in the process of uploading a 16-bpp version that'll weigh in at 650 GB.  The frame dimensions are 4096x1744, which is 2.35:1, a little narrower than CinemaScope.

I'll be downloading these intermediate files and packing a 4K resolution DCP for use at IU pronto!

CineGrid demonstration at Disney a success

Very cool work by the CineGrid consortium showcasing advanced networking that allows for 4Kp60 and 2K stereo video content to be worked on at distributed sites.

Metropolis at the IU Cinema

I'm really looking forward to seeing Metropolis with my wife at the IU Cinema.  This is the restored version with an additional 25 minutes and a live salon orchestra from the Jacobs School of Music.  I believe this is a 2K DCP presentation, but I won't know fore sure until I deliver the special treat DCP later this afternoon.  This special treat is a 4K monoscopic DCP, but it will be projected at 2K for this screening.

We have tickets for Saturday night, hope to see a lot of you there.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Refitting and realigning the 3D video rig

Last week I ordered some more parts for the 3D video rig designed and built for the AVL.  These new parts will be a refit to help with tripod clearance when tilting down and overall stability improvements.

The rig is built from 80/20 aluminum profiles and designed around the underslung split-beam concept.  In this case the upper camera is the RIGHT camera and the LEFT camera is underslung on the front.  This is the preferred configuration for handheld shots for a few reasons:

  • lower center of gravity
  • much lower height clearance (doorways can be scary)
  • lower overall profile helps with sight lines when shooting at sporting events

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Kickstarter project is live!

My Kickstarter project for funding the production of "Project Z-6463" is up and live now!  Head on by to read up on what we're going to do if we're successful with the fundraising.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

DirecTV announced the launch of 3net 3D programming

Exciting announcement from DirecTV.

I had heard that Discovery was out searching for new 3D content, here's the reason why.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kickstarter project applied for!

We've applied to Kickstarter for a project to fund one of my upcoming 3D productions entitled Project Z-6463.  Let's hope Kickstarter approves and we can get to the raising of funds!

Article about the filming of "Sanctum" in 3D

Here's a neat article (well, an article that links to THE article) about the filming of Sanctum.  What I really find neat is the quote from the producer:
Producer Andrew Wight concludes the paper with : "If 3D is done well, it shouldn't draw attention to itself; it's just part of the story. We're not using 3D as a gimmick. But what it does do, in this kind of movie, is make the audience feel like they're closer to what's going on. They've really got that sense of being there, more so than if you're watching it in 2D."
The actual article is here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pixel Arrays for Digital Cinema

So we make things around here for Digital Cinema since the incredible IU Cinema is fully DCI compliant at 2K and will be considered an E-Cinema for 4K content.  The digital projectors both have a 1:1 PAR, that's pixel aspect ratio, so the dimensions of source material are projected true.  The pixel array values we use when creating content and packing digital cinema packages (DCPs) are:

  • 2K container = 2048x1080
    • 2K Silent 1.33:1 = 1440x1080
    • 2K Academy 1.37:1 = 1480x1080
    • 2K European 1.67:1 = 1804x1080
    • 2K Flat 1.85:1 = 1998x1080
    • 2K Scope 2.39:1 = 2048x858

  • 4K container = 4096x2160
    • 4K Silent 1.33:1 = 2880x2160
    • 4K Academy 1.37:1 = 2960x2160
    • 4K European 1.67:1 = 3608x2160
    • 4K Flat 1.85:1 = 3996x2160
    • 4K Scope 2.39:1 = 4096x1716
The accepted aspect ratios are: 1.89:1 for the container, 1.33:1, 1.37:1 for Academy, 1.67:1 for European, 1.85:1 for Flat, and 2.39:1 for Scope.  We only need to know the full container aspect because that is what we pack the DCPs in.  Movies aren't generally made with this 1.89:1 aspect in mind.  Most everything you'll see these days are made for Academy, Flat, or Scope.

For a bit of history regarding aspect ratios, check out this article from the Creative COW.

We're a creative team

My wife, Meagan, posted about our creative projects over on the family blog.  She's got the right of it, that's for sure.

Update on "Project Z-6463"

Well, Project Z-6463 (working title) is still moving forward, though at a slow pace.  I'm planning to finish the pre-production prep soon and get to casting and rehearsals by the end of the month.  The idea is to shoot over a weekend in mid-May (probably the weekend after IU graduates).  One day and two nights will give us enough material to cut together this 5-7 minute short.

I'll be casting 10 roles, three of them speaking.  This will, of course, be shot in 3D with a Scope aspect ratio (2.39:1).  I'll also try to work out how to develop a decent 5.1 sound stage for the final product.  Hopefully we can develop a showcase for the IU Cinema so you can see this on the big screen!

We're also planning some stunts and will be working with some very talented IU students that are also attending stunt school in their free time.

3D technology primer

Wow, Mashable really did their homework and gathered a lot of information into a great article about the current state of 3D technology.  It's a long read, but well worth it if you're interested.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Some images

Sean and I on location for "An Ancient Pond"

Students from the first 3D class on location. This version of the rig weighed 45#.

The rig on a small jib in one of the IU production studios.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Building a new matte box for the AVL 3D rig

We're on our second matte box for the 3D rig and it's looking pretty ratty at the moment.  I'm in the process of refining the design and building a new matte box.  At the moment we're using heavy matte board and it holds up pretty well given the use it receives.

I'd like to see if I can source something like non-corrugated plasticard to make a stronger version in the near future.  Things like this are always fluid and as long as we have a decent matte box for the glass we'll be good to go.

3D in the IU Cinema, a success!

The IU Cinema hosted a showcase of 3D content developed with the help of the IU Advanced Visualization Lab.  We showed content from three sources:
  • A 3D modeling and animation class at IUPUI
  • The 3D production class at IU Bloomington
  • The Advanced Visualization Lab
The content included entertainment and educational animations, live action comedies, drama, and thrillers as well as a hybrid CG/live action educational piece.  All of this was screened with the leading edge equipment in the THX certified IU Cinema at 2K resolution with a Dolby Infitec 3D system.

The event was quite a success by any measure as 218 tickets were sold and 138 of them were actually used (it was a free screening on a Sunday afternoon).  This was the first screening in 3D at the IU Cinema and things went very well.

We learned a lot about processing 3D content to create digital cinema packages (DCPs) that could be played by the Dolby DSS-200 media block and Barco 2K projector.

Student 3D work - "Gone Nuts"

Linked here is a project created by the students in the first 3D video production class at IU.  It's called "Gone Nuts" and was shot and edited over two weeks.  The crew had a great time on the shoot and everything went pretty well for them, no nasty surprises.

Links to YouTube for my 3D and 4K resolution clips

Some 3D clips

Some 4K clips (hard to view for 99% of the population and way too compressed by YouTube)

An old project wants a freshening

So I get an email from a subject I worked with almost two years ago.  I shot a brief profile of an art student here at IU to develop my 3D chops.  The resulting footage was actually pretty decent for an early attempt as there was only one glaring bit of excessive parallax in one setup.

The student, Annalea, emailed me to see if the profile was online somewhere.  This got me to thinking that cleaning up the footage is not a bad idea at all since I've learned so much about 3D editing in the intervening time.

So, my to-do list now includes polishing and frame-packing for YouTube 3D Annalea's 3D student profile video.

3D projects I'm involved with

I'm involved with a lot of incredible 3d projects here at Indiana University as well as out in the real world.  The biggest chunk of my time is dedicated to teaching a 3D production class in the Department of Telecommunications at IU.  I'm also planning and producing three short movies for my M.S. degree final project.

In addition to the official 3D projects, I'm also involved with a few independent projects with some very talented people in and around Bloomington.

So, this concludes your introduction.  More later (famous last blog words, I'm sure).