Skybot MK2 is what appears to be the first radio controlled helicopter filming platform supporting aerial 3D video and photo shooting, a radio controlled flying 3D camera, sounds cool right, but this is not a toy. Skybot MK2 is the second generation made by British Technical Films, as the first one only supported 2D shooting with a single camera, the new model adds stereo 3D filming functionality. The “helicopter camera” uses machined airframe from aluminum combined with gyro stabilization and camera roll and tilt compensation to provide the perfect tool for filming aerial shots. The Skybot MK2 uses two GoPro Hero HD cameras allowing you to record in 1080p resolution with 30 fps or 25 fps, 960p (4:3) with 30 fps or 25, 720p with 60/50/30/25 fps or WVGA (848×480 pixels) with 60 fps or 50 fps.
The video above shows the Skybot MK2 in action filming Bob Burnquist at his MEGA RAMP in USA for Discovery Channel. The video is in 2D, but it can give you an idea about what kind of aerial shots you can do with it, even in 3D, so it is worth watching it. Thanks to the camera stabilization system the shots turn out very stable and smooth and the quality that the GoPro HD cameras provide is really good.
Here is another DIY 3D beamsplitter camera rig project built by Jesse Blanchard, it is almost finished and the total cost of the project should be less than 100$. The rig is built mostly from wood and is intended for shooting with dual Canon T2i DSLR cameras using their wide angle 18mm zoom lens (taking into account the crop factor). What is left to be done for the rig is the IR split trigger, eye-brow, and the light blocking set-up, but so far it looks quite good and not very hard to build. So now we are waiting to see the final build and some demo 3D footage shot with it.
The Stereo3D CAT application from Dashwood Cinema Solutions (Mac OS X only) is an on-location calibration and analysis system for quicker and easier stereoscopic 3D camera calibration. When you are using dual-camera stereoscopic 3D rig you need to properly align the two cameras before starting to shoot the scene. You need to get rid of things like rotational disparity, zoom disparity if using zoom lenses, vertical camera disparity and so on in order to get best results and to have less to do in the post production process. This takes quite some time to do every time, but thanks to the use of Dashwood’s Stereo3D CAT solution apparently this time can be greatly reduced, and apart from quicker and easier alignment of the 3D camera rig, you can also plan better the dimensions of a scene based on what will be the audience and on what 3D visualization system they will be watching the content you are shooting in 3D. To get the best idea on what features and how this software solution works you better watch the intro video above as it gives you a very good idea and shows the system in action. Currently you cannot order the Stereo3D CAT system, but Dashwood Cinema Solutions is looking for beta testers, so you can fill in the form on their website if you are interested in trying the product.