Learning Stereo 3D Filmmaking

With final results from 2013 box office income demonstrating that 3D is an overwhelming force in cinema, should all aspiring filmmakers consider comprehension of stereoscopic 3D as a basic component of their required learning?

Since the virtual reboot of 3D cinema and related technology with “Avatar” in 2009, stereoscopic 3D film has grown from a small percentage of Hollywood’s output to being ubiquitous for any tent pole attraction. The initial surge included a large number of shoddily converted, quick-buck grabbing films which threatened the resurgence in its infancy and although conversions still abound technology has advanced as have the skills and many are considerably better than the first generation attempts. One area of concern is that natively shot live 3D productions are still thin on the ground.

Of 2013’s highest grossing ¬†films in 3D, 8 were converted in post, 3 were animated in 3D and only 2 were live action natively shot in 3D. That’s an uncomfortably low number considering that natively shot 3D does generally deliver better looking results. From these numbers we can extrapolate that 3D conversion, as part of the post production industry, offers definite growth opportunities if this years swing towards stereo 3D continues. Or alternatively is there an opportunity to support wider learning of shooting natively in 3D, so as to educate younger filmmakers in an appreciation of the benefits of well shot 3D, thus alleviating the requirement for quite as much post production conversion?

This has led me to another question in my home country: Why are there no opportunities nor training for Stereo 3D film in Scotland? One of the world’s fastest growing entertainment technologies, in a field where a major complaint is that there is a shortage of good quality content – and in our whole country there is currently no training available, nor any opportunity to get involved with this technology.

The good news is that Enhanced Dimensions now has a plan to address the lack of 3D training in Scotland. Having had success last year with our very brief “Introduction to 3D” that we ran for a local film group we are now in the planning stage for a comprehensive 2 day course on 3D Filmmaking. The course will take attendees through the theory of stereoscopy and offer practical opportunities to be hands-on with 3D cameras from Sony (HXR-NX3D1) and Panasonic (AG-3DA1), plus experience using a fully operational 3D Film Factory beam splitter rig using Canon XF-105 Cameras. Finally the course will take users through the editing and post production process for 3D using Adobe Creative Suite.

The course is currently under development and we aim to run this in 2014, in Edinburgh. If you are interested in the course please email 3d@enhanced-dimensions.com and we’ll be in touch when dates are confirmed

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