Seminole Productions captures 3-D analysis footage to assist football coaches

Seminole Productions, the video production unit of Florida State University's Department of Communication, recently purchased Panasonic's new AG-3DA1 3-D camcorder, which it has begun using to shoot 3-D recruitment videos and coaching analysis footage for the current Seminoles' football season.

Seminole Productions has been a quiet pioneer in 3-D sports production, having shot 3-D highlight videos for recruits and alums for the past five years. Executive director Mark Rodin said that, prior to buying the 3DA1, he had been using parallel rigs equipped with HDV camcorders.

Rodin worked with a preproduction model of the 3DA1 during football training. "We had the camera hooked up to Panasonic's BT-3DL2550 3-D monitor, and the coaches could see the benefits instantaneously. And I immediately realized tremendous time-savings in post," he said.

Initially, Rodin worked with Adobe After Effects and Final Cut Pro to do convergence and alignment, but now he uses CineForm Neo3D to support a real-time 3-D editing workflow.

Seminole Productions purchased the 3DA1 as soon as it became available last month and has used it to shoot highlights and coaching video at all football games to date. The 3-D analysis video is being integrated into an existing 2-D infrastructure. "I envision a full-scale changeover to 3-D for coaches' evaluation, but the sports software still has to catch up with the acquisition hardware," Rodin said.

Seminoles' head coach Jimbo Fisher is the lead cheerleader among the 10 football coaches for 3-D analysis. "Coach Fisher says the players' arm rotation and foot movement are seen so much better in 3-D," Rodin said.

Beyond football, the Seminoles' men's and women's basketball and soccer coaches have expressed an interest in working with the 3DA1, said Rodin.