May the 'Force' be with you

Disney pic is a unique stereoscopic 3-D production

This summer, there are almost too many Digital 3-D releases to count.

But one combination CG/live-action film, Disney's August release "G-Force," took a unique approach as the scenes were converted to 3-D in postproduction, rather than shot with a 3-D rig.

The reason is that "G-Force" originally was planned as a 2-D title.

"The decision to release in 3-D was made halfway through shooting," recalls visual effects supervisor Scott Stokdyk of Sony Pictures Imageworks, which created a virtual second camera for the CG 3-D, then combined the elements in post with the live action 3-D (created by In-Three, a Westlake Village, Calif.-based company that calls its proprietary service "dimensionalization"). "We had a variety of camera rigs and setups and very tight quarter shooting, so we had to be extremely flexible."

This approach allowed director Hoyt Yeatman to work with his editorial staff and VFX crew in a normal way and deal with the stereo issues at the very end of the proces. The live-action material then went through a 3-D post conversion process at In-Three.

"You have to plan ahead when you are composing 3-D shots, but it's not so much of an imposition as when you have to work on the right and left eye throughout the process," Stokdyk says.