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Silicon Imaging Unveils SI-3D Integrated Stereo 2K Camera (12/4/2010)
Combines Camera, Recording and Monitoring with a Single Processor
Silicon Imaging will unveil the SI-3D camera at the National Association of Broadcasters Convention, April 12-15. The new SI-3D stereo camera utilizes dual SI-2K Mini heads integrated with a single processor, which mixes and synchs the left- and right-eye images into a single 3D QuickTime file. These can be recorded with the new SI-3D Minideck Recorder, or fed into the new SI-3D Live system for stereoscopic SMPTE HD-SDI broadcast or 2K Cinema playback and projection.
The SI-3D offers filmmakers built-in tools for checking and adjusting camera alignment and parallax shift between the two views. All of the controls are accessible through a simple touch-screen interface. The stereo data is processed in one system, eliminating the need for a separate stereo processor to mix the two signals for a stereo display.
Currently, 3D content is captured from two independent left and right cameras, each with its own settings, color controls, record start, timecode, content management and monitoring outputs. A variety of complex “workarounds” are used to synchronize the recordings or combine the outputs for viewing. Other systems use a fixed optical system with highly compressed H.264 or J2K codecs to record, which either limit 3D depth for close-ups or large scenic views
“When you shoot with two separate cameras, you have to do everything twice, and you need all these other boxes to mix the signal together,” said Ari Presler, CEO of Silicon Imaging. “With the SI-3D, all you do is point the camera, shoot, edit, and then do your 3D grading. This camera makes it all one streamlined process.”
In-Camera Stereoscopic Adjustment
Using the overscan resolution of the 2K imager, the SI-3D provides virtual alignment and parallax controls so that the cinematographer can digitally shift the position of the two images while maintaining a full 1080P HD output. All adjustments are non-destructive and are stored as metadata in the file. This allows for re-adjustments in post to fine-tune content for cinema versus TV, or Internet delivery.
“The system is very easy to use because everything is done through one interface,” said Presler. “In the camera, we have the ability to switch back and forth between left and right view. You can mix them and in anaglyph, side by side, or split screen without needing any special external hardware. We can also capture the timecode into the system. Everything that you need to shoot and manage 3D is built in.”
The SI-3D shoots uncompressed raw data encoded directly to a single stereo CineFormRAW QuickTime file, along with 3D LUT color and convergence metadata. The stereo file can be played back instantly and edited in stereoscopic 3D on an Apple Final Cut timeline, without requiring proxy conversions. With the addition of CineForm’s Neo3D, convergence plus stereo or individual eye color adjustments can be dynamically controlled and modified, while viewing live 3D playback. Further grading and stereo sweetening can be done on Quantel’s Pablo, IQ, or IRIDAS’ SpeedGrade DI.
Shooting Saw VII in Stereo with the SI-3D
The SI-3D is currently in use on the upcoming Saw VII, which is being shot in 3D in Toronto. “The SI-3D camera is marvelous," said Bill White, senior partner at the 3D Camera Company (3DCC), which is servicing the production. "The SI-3D is a compact, powerful package with image quality that rivals 35mm. The workflow is simple. It's like a shooting onto a digital negative with lots of detail in every frame. The shots render beautifully giving us the distinctive film look fans expect in the Saw series."
"The SI-3D is so compact, we're even using it for handheld shots," said Dan Heffner, Executive Producer on Saw VII. "We're able to work so fast with this camera, I can't imagine how we'd have been able to make this movie without it."
See the New Silicon Imaging SI-3D Stereo Camera at NAB
Silicon Imaging’s New SI 3D cameras will be on display at Band Pro Film & Digital, (C10308); Element Technica, (C12326); NVIDIA, (SL5629); Intel, (N1323); ZGC/P+S Technik, (C5348); 1Beyond, (SL7620); CineForm, (SL10323); International Datacasting, (SU6321); Binocle, (C10139); Stereotec, (C12342), and Red Rover (C11538).
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