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recreate cinerama or vistarama on 60 x 20 screen - HD


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#1 John Dempsey

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 05:17 PM

This is what I am trying to accomplish:
Replace a physical walk through tour of a working manufacturing plant to a video tour. My goal is to make this, "visually", as if they were walking through it themselves.
3D is not an option.

Here are 3 of my ideas:

1. This would be projected onto a screen approx. 60'wide x 20'high
Shoot approximately 120 to 150 degrees field of view without any fish eye distortion.
This field of view would come close to the natural field of view from the human eye.

This is what I have done so far:
I have shot several tests with our HDX900 cameras.
Shooting with 2 cameras, cross shooting with both lenses at 7.6mm, I like the field of view but what I will call the "Center of Convergence" where the center edge of frames meet, the image is distorted.

Shooting 3 cameras, all 7.6mm with center camera and cross shooting left and right, both at 45degree angle to center and equal distance from center, the field of view looks great, the center is correct but edges will not line up. I have to increase the scale of the left and right to 110percent in post and they are almost correct.
Let me also say that these shots would be taken as a dolly move and I know that I would have to build a rig to make this work. That would be another discussion.


I have also been searching the web for information and found this article on Vistarama.

I realized that with modern HD video equipment and optics, we should be able to cover that field of view with a single camera rather than the unwieldy three-lens device used for Cinerama. Chris Tchou in my group and I then found a way that our lab?s 3D-scanning and camera-calibration techniques could measure the precise way to split the HD image onto the three projectors to recreate the scene?s original field of view for the viewer. A real force behind making this project a reality has been Randal Kleiser, who?s written and directed the first Vistarama HD short film about our institute, and is excited about other creative possibilities for this process.

That got me looking at using a single fish-eye lens and then trying to find a "formula" for the post production to divide the 16x9 image into 3 sections and then correct the distortions on the outside edges.
No luck there.

2. Second option using only an approx. 30' x 10' screen but still using the 3 - 16x9 cameras making it a total of 48x9 image. Then using something similar to pushing in on the rank or pan and scan in post, move the image as needed to go with the voice over.

3. Third option similar to the second one but only using a 16' x 9' projection screen with the 48x9 image. I know I lose the field of view that I was trying to achieve, but I think I might gain a different look or effect using the pan and scan as opposed to just panning the camera.



Any thoughts, suggestions, insights or "you're crazy" will be welcomed.

Again, main purpose to make this "video tour" as visually realistic as if they were walking through the buildng themselves.
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 05:33 PM

At HPA maybe 3-4 years ago, there was a system for combining multiple overlapping projectors (up to 16) to create a large image. It used a small camera hooked up to the same box that drives all the projectors. Setup was you just point and focus the projectors at the screen, then set up the camera to shoot the whole region covered by the projectors. Push "Go" on the brain box, and it puts up test patterns on each projector in sequence, then figures out from the camera data how to divvy the incoming image amongst them. The results were excellent, no cinerama type jitter lines.



-- J.S.
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#3 John Dempsey

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 05:41 PM

At HPA maybe 3-4 years ago, there was a system for combining multiple overlapping projectors (up to 16) to create a large image. It used a small camera hooked up to the same box that drives all the projectors. Setup was you just point and focus the projectors at the screen, then set up the camera to shoot the whole region covered by the projectors. Push "Go" on the brain box, and it puts up test patterns on each projector in sequence, then figures out from the camera data how to divvy the incoming image amongst them. The results were excellent, no cinerama type jitter lines.



-- J.S.



I think that would be the Watch Out system or something similar, which I will be using to control the projectors. I need to create the blended image prior.
Here is a link to the watch out system
www.HDWideScreen.net
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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 07:21 PM

You might be better off with some kind of 360 degree camera rig.

http://www.0-360.com/

http://www.cinematog.....amic shot.htm

http://www.cornflex.org/?p=1

But the more field of view you cram into one camera, the less detail you have in the final image. For shooting multiple cameras you might want to look into the kind of rig that mounts the cameras vertically around a central axis, shooting into mirrors placed at a 45 degree angle.

There was an article about such a 360 rig (yours doesn't have to be 360) used for background plates for the recent TV show Drive. Can't remember where I read it, and couldn't find it quickly online.
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#5 John Dempsey

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 07:49 PM

Very good information. I will check out the 360* information. At first glance the camera rigs are probably more than what we can afford. The cornflex.org looked interesting also. It may be overkill since I don't need the 360 but I will read up and let you know.

Thanks,
JD
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