3Ality Digital to Show New Tech at NAB That Will Make 3D Productions More Cost-Effective

CEO Steve Schklair also is testing its use for network series.

LAS VEGAS -- 3Ality Digital-whose 3D production technology is currently being used on The Hobbit and The Amazing Spider-man -- is demonstrating new, automated technologies designed to make 3D production work more cost effective at the NAB Show currently taking place in Las Vegas.

While it is aiming to create a new business model, 3Ality also revealed that while the industry has been heavily focused on sports coverage in the area of TV production, it also completed a test for a 3D network series.

3Ality CEO Steve Schklair believes the 2D and 3D broadcast infrastructure needs to be combined, suggesting that a 15-20% premium over 2D seems to be a premium that could support a business model for live 3D events coverage.

"Now it is 120% because you have a separate crew," he said. "It has to be a combined broadcast."

He suggested that a 10-20% premium over 2D for episodic series seems to a sweet spot.

"We are having episodic discussions," Schklair told The Hollywood Reporter, emphasizing that it is essential to meet not just the budget, but the 2D schedule. "We just completed a test for a major network episodic show."

"They did the test as a hard-core budget test," said 3Ality's Lucas Wilson. "They are getting into the budgeting process."

The new 3Ality products that will be displayed at NAB include IntelleCal, designed to automatically align two cameras on a stereo rig, without the intervention of a technician; and IntelleCam, designed to automatically control the convergence and the interaxial spacing of the cameras, without the need for a separate convergence puller at each rig.

"Typically there is one convergence operator per camera. If there are 12 cameras, that's 12 people," Schklair said. "If you eliminate these roles (including hotel, airfare, etc.), maybe you are cutting $80,000-100,000 (on a live production). That is a big number toward making a business case that works."