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3ality Digital acquires rig maker Element Technica

3ality Digital, based in Burbank, CA, has acquired direct competitor Element Technica (Los Angeles), a company that manufactures motorized S3D camera rigs, and renamed the combined company 3ality Technica. No financial details were provided.

The move allows 3ality’s product engineers to focus on its software suite of stereoscopic 3-D image processing tools and leave the mechanical engineering to the Element Technica team.

In acquiring Element Technica, 3ality gains an in-house manufacturing and design capability, and the opportunity to further expand its R&D efforts. The companies will now co-locate at 3ality Digital’s Burbank headquarters, which will be expanded to accommodate the increased staff and manufacturing activities.

Steve Schklair, the new CEO of 3ality Technica, said the companies are highly compatible, and the lack of redundancy between them makes this an ideal acquisition.

“Perhaps the greatest benefit of this acquisition will be to the motion picture and broadcast producers who will now have an unprecedented amount of tools and technology tailored to meet their specific needs,” Schklair said.

The new 3ality Technica will now manufacture and market both existing product lines.

Several major theatrical releases have been shot using the two companies’ systems and technology, including “Jack the Giant Killer,” “The Amazing Spider-Man, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Prometheus,” “Underworld 4,” “Oz” and “The Great Gatsby.” Also, broadcasters like BskyB and ESPN have based some of their productions of live events on 3ality technology.

Hector Ortega, senior vice president of 3ality Technica, said automating the 3-D production process will be a focus for the new company going forward.

“Not only will automation become more common,” he said, “it will be the standard as the industry begins to enjoy the simplicity and speed it affords.”

The combined company will also continue to support 3ality’s existing 3-D educational program (3DIQ) to filmmakers, broadcasters and other production professionals.

Element Technica’s full product line, including its Quasar (for full-size digital cinematography cameras), Pulsar (for mid-size cameras with lenses with PL, PV or B4 mounts), Neutron (for compact digital cameras with C-mount prime lenses), and Atom (for the RED Epic camera) 3-D camera rigs, will continue to be marketed under the Element Technica brand.

The companies said they have already integrated some of the best aspects of both product lines “so the market will see an immediate improvement in tool sets, component integration, and customer service,” Schklair said.

3ality Digital has been named in the 2011 Inc. 500 list and is considered one of the fastest growing companies in the nation.