BURBANK, CALIF.– Cameron Pace Group debuted 5D technology at the 2013 Winter X Games, addressing barriers that have traditionally limited 3D growth. CPG rolled out technology that integrates 2D and 3D content production using scalable methods to improve image quality and overall viewer experience. Specifically, this technology works to produce multi-format live footage without multiplying production costs.
“Our engineering efforts always focus on ways to enable broadcasters to do more with less,” said Vince Pace, CPG’s co-chairman and CEO. “The X Games were a milestone in demonstrating that 3D innovation can also directly augment 2D production.”
CPG developed products that embed 3D functionality into existing 2D production models without sacrificing flexibility or mobility.
“Our goal at CPG,” explained Pace, “is to enable broadcasters to generate top quality footage under any circumstances, adapting to any approach they select. For this year's X Games, we were able to do just that.”
For the X Games, CPG deployed two Shadow mobile units, each with newly-engineered MaxRemote automated camera rigs. MaxRemote technology is at the core of the company’s new suite of production tools. This technology facilitates functions including matching back focus and vertical lens tracking, features that are being considered for use in standard 2D production. MaxRemote reduces the personnel needed to staff cameras in the field and facilitates centralized command of 3D image acquisition and quality control. This technology was critical for the X Games, which had hard-to-access cameras.
“The key to MaxRemote is you can place the camera anywhere and never have to physically visit during the production,” said Patrick Campbell, CPG’s chief technology officer. “At the X Games, the cameras were essentially only visited when they were bagged for the night and unbagged in the morning.”
The MaxRemote technology complemented other 3D image capture and playback innovations. The Dual Convergence Controller system facilitated more precise alignment of camera rigs, while reducing dependency on gear. CPG also upgraded its handheld rigs to more compact and lightweight beam splitter models, which use larger imagers to provide higher quality images and lens performance.
CPG also debuted a custom-built, 3D high-speed camera integrated with its latest slow motion replay technology. This system captured shots at 420 fps and produced high quality replay footage, which X Games judges used for scoring purposes.
“Thursday was its first day in live production — recording and playing back — and it was great,” said Robert “Bruno” Brunelle, engineer-in-charge for CPG’s Shadow mobile units. “The setup was easy to use; it's more reliable; it’s robust.”
“By integrating CPG solutions directly to the manufacturers’ camera sensors, the resulting 3D images seem technologically impossible. Every frame is captured in perfect time sync, resulting in an expression of athleticism that has never before been witnessed in such clarity,” Pace said.
Viewer reaction by viewers to the X Games’ 3D footage was enthusiastic on micro-blogging sites. Scott Simmons (@editblog), tweeted “Winter X-Games on ESPN3D [is the o]nly way to watch! No ticker tape crawls, super cool shots. 3D at home better than 3D in theaters.” Another viewer, Michael Obermeier (@ObieTrice16), tweeted, “X Games in 3D! The ultimate experience!”
In one day, CPG supplied a crew and 30 3D rigs to cover six hours of live X Games events, and they also provided nine additional rigs and a crew to cover four hours of College Gameday basketball.