Pictorvision rig captures 3-D images for Artbeats

Stock footage provider Artbeats, in collaboration with cinematographer/director of photography Doug Holgate, used two RED cameras with Angenieux Optimo 17-80mm lenses mounted on an eclipse 3-D aerial rig from Pictorvision for a recent shoot. Pictorvision’s technician Jake Capistron helped set up the rig.

To capture 3-D panoramic images in California, Holgate shot footage from a helicopter over the coast of Catalina, through Long Beach, downtown Los Angeles, Mount Wilson and back to Catalina.

“We needed to find a middle ground, not too close to our objects but not so far away that the images don’t appear 3-D,” Holgate said. “Traditionally, in 3-D you don’t want to go to the long end of the lens, past 35mm or stay wide. We went deeper on everything. When we got back to Pictorvision, we viewed the tests on Tom Hallman’s 50in 3-D monitor and it was amazing.”

Holgate said Pictorvision put trim knobs that acted as wheels on their gear, so he could get off the joystick and induce a pan or tilt. It was designed so that once the pan rate was selected, the equipment would maintain that rate of pan until he turned it down to stop it.

The benefits of using the eclipse, with its ability to handle large payloads, level horizon and perfect stabilization, really showed through on a big screen in 3-D, according to Holgate. Pictorvision also provided custom software to control the cameras and lenses, allowing the director of photography to focus on his framing and not worry about the added complications of keeping the two images in sync.