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Sony Professional’s Paul Cameron Talking About 3D Technology

November 11th, 2010 · 16 Comments · Other S3D Tech

Sony Professional Europe has certainly started an interesting thing about 3D, a series of videos that try to cover different aspects of the 3D technology with Paul Cameron, who is a trainer and training developer at Sony, doing all the explaining. So far there have been 6 videos released in the series for about a month time, but you can pretty much expect more to come. The videos are short, but focused on key points and explain things well, so definitely worth watching. Below you’ll find the currently published videos embedded as well as a link to Sony Professional’s videos at Vimeo, where you can find more videos when they become available.

Paul Cameron looks at how and what technology could soon allow us to watch 3D TV from the comfort of our living room. In this video he covers topics like lenticular photos and autostereoscopic 3D displays and how the future of 3D displays can evolve further without us needing to wear glasses. He also talks a bit about the making of 3D movies and how the thinking of movie producers has evolved over time to take advantage of the 3D technology to make the story they tell more believable and realistic, instead of just using cheap tricks to briefly impress the audience.

Paul Cameron covers briefly the most important cornerstones in the the history of 3D – when and how everything has started and how things have evolved over time. He demonstrates a stereoscope and explains its basic working principle, then he demonstrates the View-Master that can be considered as the more modern version of the stereoscope. But these are all devices for a single person to view stereoscopic 3D content and nowadays we want multiple persons to be able to see the same 3D content at the same time.

In this slightly longer video Paul Cameron introduces the basic principles of 3D and how we are able to see in 3D with out eyes. You will learn what are depth cues and how they help our eyes and brain to figure out the depth of different objects and how these depth cues can be used to give us sense of volume even when watching 2D pictures and videos.

In the fourth video of the series Paul Cameron talks about the how the 3D images can be created and used for us to see them in stereo 3D with the added sense of depth. You’ll learn how positive, zero and negative parallax works to give us the perception of different level of depth for different objects. How camera separation can influence the perception of depth, how parallel and converged cameras work and why you should be careful when shooting with two cameras for recording video in 3D.

This time Paul Cameron talks about some of the most common errors made when filming in stereo 3D. With most of the mistakes actually being in the mechanical setup of the two cameras used to shoot in stereo 3D, so you should be very careful with the alignment of the cameras, although you might be able to correct some of them later in the post production it will cost you some of the resolution and/or quality. There are however a lot of other things you should be careful like having matching camera settings, taking consideration of the size of screen the 3D content will be displayed on, subtitles in 3D are another important thing and so on…

In the last video from the series published so far, Paul Cameron explains all about 3D cameras and rigs. What are the different basic designs of 3D camera rigs built from two 2D cameras as they offer most flexibility. In the next video that is yet to be published Paul Cameron will be talking about what kind of equipment, other than the cameras, you will be needing for recording and post-producing in 3D.

You can continue following the series when new videos become available here…

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16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mathew Orman // Nov 11, 2010 at 16:50

    Visual prove that Sony have no faintest idea what stereo vision is all about.
    Also it proves that Sony uses it as a gimmick to sell overpriced hardware.

    Mathew Orman

  • 2 Frédéric Lopez // Nov 12, 2010 at 08:01

    Would you care to elaborate ?

  • 3 Mathew Orman // Nov 12, 2010 at 08:52

    but maybe it is better off-line:


  • 4 Thomasjn // Nov 12, 2010 at 16:47

    To me it seems like Sony know what they are talking about.

    Nice video’s, thx for sharing.

  • 5 Mathew Orman // Nov 12, 2010 at 18:19

    but do you know what Sony is talking about?

    Mathew Orman

  • 6 Frédéric Lopez // Nov 12, 2010 at 20:25

    Mathew, if you have something to say about Sony videos, just say it ! Or are you here only to get publicity for your website ?

  • 7 gordy // Nov 12, 2010 at 23:58

    I’ve seen Orman post on other 3d sites. It’s always the same stuff– he’s the world’s foremost 3D expert. Everyone else is making crap. blah blah blah

  • 8 tritosine // Nov 13, 2010 at 08:23

    I too think Sony is playing a game, very obvious.

    Chinese should enter this market with LCOS and MEMS displays.

  • 9 Mathew Orman // Nov 13, 2010 at 09:20

    @Frédéric Lopez
    It is a gimmick way of making an impression that Sony is big into 3D. Even the name Cameron. If you search the web there is no evidence of any 3D contribution as an expert Paul Cameron.
    If is is true name then he was hired only because of his last name since it is irrelevant if he has the real knowledge or not.
    Based what is on videos one can only produce gimmick type 3D content that will never yield true realistic immersion in stereoscopic scenes. It is also a prove that Sony is not able to define real stereoscopic camera or is willing to produce one for consumer or commercial market. It is trivial for Sony to design, build and sale such products but as you can see they are not doing so or even planning for the future.
    They do not care if 3D TV owners will not have any real 3D content to watch or if they have 3D cameras to make their own.
    Why? It is becasue it cost them less than 10% more to make HD 3D TV so at any time they can drop the price to 2D HD equivalent and no consumer will ever complain. One will just have a 3D TV which can be used as 2D without additional expenses.

    You are misinterpreting my posts in which I simply state the fact that there is not a single 3D content that is not geometrically distorted and unrealistic and that there should be
    both type a gimmick one and the realistic or undistorted.
    And consumers or viewers should have a choice and only then they will judge what is best for them.

    Mathew Orman

  • 10 Frédéric Lopez // Nov 15, 2010 at 03:27

    Mathew, you really don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Paul Cameron has been a professional trainer for Sony since 1995 and he gave a talk about stereoscopic broadcast at the last IBC conference in 2010.

    About the videos presented here it’s evident that it’s only popular science and that they can’t explain complex techniques in 4′. Extrapolating that Sony is not serious about stereo 3D from these videos is complete nonsense.

    Sony has been very active in stereo 3D for several years now, they created the Fusion 3D camera James Cameron used for Avatar, they equip RealD cinemas with their 3D projectors and they created their first stereo 3D movie in 2006 (Open Season).

  • 11 Franco // Nov 24, 2010 at 00:03

    I thought Panasonic was behind Avatar’s 3D cameras, since Avatar bluray3D is been bundled with Panasonic 3DTV’s.

  • 12 Bloody // Nov 24, 2010 at 01:10

    Cameron uses a modified version of the Fusion 3D Camera rig that apparently is based on two Sony HDC-F950 HD cameras, however that rig should be capable to work with other cameras. As for Panasonic, they just managed to get the exclusive deal for Avatar… ;)

  • 13 William Reeve csc // Dec 3, 2010 at 02:13

    Having shot several million feet of 3D IMAX cinema and many D-cinema productions over 27 years, I feel the need to speak my mind a little. My colleagues and I assembled the first digital 3D camera system for Jim Cameron and Vince Pace at Imax in 1999. It used the Sony HDC-60 industrial cameras and they repurposed the test imagery to IMAX through the IMAX DMR process. This is what may have launched the post IMAX 3D experience into the wave of digital cinema 3D
    I believe Sony is very serious about 3D as their CEO has recently announced that 3D and the technologies they will produce, are targeted to put Sony back into the leader of entertainment which has long since the Walkman, been dominated by their competitors. I have worked for Sony on their recent productions and do not wish to “bite the hand that feeds me” but I do have some concerns over the generalizations that deal with the need to create positive parallax to make images look “natural” or “normal”. There is nothing natural about our eyes having to diverge and see object space behind the screen. When our eyes are observing a distant object in real life, with little or no parallax, they are parallel or very close to parallel and our brain never actively participates in attempting to see diverging object when we look at things close up. Historically the use of positive parallax to position the image behind the screen followed the assumption that the cinema is a theater stage and there for the proscenium arch where the curtain was is where the performance must take place. Hence the use of positive parallax. However, our brain can only tolerate 1.5 degrees of positive parallax eye movement by toeing eyes outward. Asking our brain to tolerate this state for 90 minutes is what causes eye strain not just driving the image over our limits but asking our brain to fuse positive parallax for long periods of time. In large format IMAX size movies most of the imagery is using negative parallax , the totally peripheral view of images are mostly in front of the screen and the screen plane is infinity. What is rarely talked about is that in total negative parallax space ( all in front of screen) our brain sees infinity way behind the screen -mostly due to the visual cues Paul speaks about. Seeing negative parallax is the way we see things in real life and the stuff in the back ground we see in eyes resting parallel, not in positive parallax by toeing eyes outward in the big D-cinema theaters. So it makes sense to use more negative than positive behind the screen as suggested. Only when system limitations like shooting with side by side rigs at excessive inter lens spacings is convergence used in large format IMAX cinema to push the foreground images away from the audience and reduce miniaturization.
    The videos here are generalized for logical reasons. Sony states that we can expand and contract “depth” by changing the camera spacing ; this is not really the case. The focal length of the lens changes the relative net depth, not the inter lens ( inter axial or i/a) spacing. We can only move the net amount of depth forward or backward to behind the screen by either converging in camera or converging in post production. Increasing the camera spacing simply brings the subject closer to the audience and changes the subject SIZE because of the vertical view angle reduction.
    There should be much more dialog about the difference between home theater where eyes are partly converged and can tolerate more divergence and see behind the screen easier. Positive parallax (behind he screen) works better by subconsciously identifying the space around the screen than we do in large formats where all is more peripheral and more conducive to our normal vision. The D-cinema screens we attend today are somewhere in between and the use of positive parallax and mostly behind the screen must be carefully reviewed and modified with better guidelines to post production houses, or the industry will be in trouble due to lack of public acceptance of eye strain. There are two camps on this subject in the professional industry. Some studied the empirical testing that IMAX did in the 1980’s and others followed the “Hollywood style” proscenium arch theory. I applaud Sony and Paul Cameron for attempting to bring such a tricky subject to light without going into the technical rant like this required to explain 3D.
    The most important thing to remember is that 3D cinema is very simply a catalyst to a good 2D image by adding binocular ranging to the experience. Study more about this than anything else.
    On glasses free technology my vote: get a pair of designer prescription glasses in circular polarization to wear to the Real D and IMAX (polarized) theaters because 3D glasses are going to be around for a long time. I’m a big fan of circular polarization because when you fall asleep from boredom, the image stays polarized as your head is tipping over into your loved one’s lap.

  • 14 Paul Cameron // Feb 27, 2011 at 20:09

    I have to thank William for his response to the previous comments, most of which seem reasonably positive and one in particular that seem alarmingly negative for someone I have never met! So to get the records straight …
    I have been working in media in one way or another for most of my life. In early life I struggled to mix art and science. In my opinion the education system does little to help those that want to do this preferring to pigeon-hole young people into one discipline or another. My qualifications ended up being a bit of a mish-mash of both, but sparkling in neither.
    My father was the managing director of a lens making facility in Leicester, UK during the 1970s and I used to spend my summers there as a teenager in the broadcast and film lens production facility. This was the start to my love affair with optics, photography and the moving image.
    I have worked in a number of companies involved in communications and media in its fullest sense. I started as an electronics designer before moving into training, firstly on the products I had designed and later on others I had not designed. I have worked as part of the professional broadcast and cinematography arm of Sony for the past 16 years as a trainer and training developer. I have never made a program or film in my life but I have trained hundreds, if not thousands of those that have. My training has covered everything from full engineering on professional video tape recorders, cameras and camcorders, involving the total strip-down and rebuild of these machines, through to operations and craft use of these machines and others. I also train on workflows, programme making and technologies ranging from, broadcast fundamentals, television and film technology, high definition, video and audio compression and colour. I ran extensive training on DVD when it was introduced and Blu-ray a few years later together with its professional equivalent Professional Disc. …and of course not forgetting 3D both as a basic science but also as a craft tool for television programme makers as well as for cinema.
    I have been responsible for developing a range of 3D training courses at the Sony professional facility in Basingstoke, UK designed specifically to train the media industry on how to shoot good 3D and make good 3D programming without falling into the same mistakes people have make in previous years. This training borrows heavily on Sony’s experiences over the years in 3D. In Europe, to date, this has been mainly in live production with work on the World Cup, The Ryder Cup and a number of other events. In the States this has been mainly in digital cinematography (film) with strong collaboration from our sister training group based at Sony Pictures in Culver City, where they have been running 3D craft courses for the film industry for a number of years. (Anyone wanting to attend these courses should search through the appropriate Sony web sites.)
    The videos on this site (and others) are intended as a basic introduction to 3D. They are not intended as an exhaustive treatise on the subject. I leave this to the training courses me and my colleagues run. I might get round to making a more advanced “expert” series of instructional videos … maybe … when I can find a moment …!
    Indeed I have always been very wary of anyone purporting to be a “3D expert”. Remember, 3D has gone through three very distinct booms in the past, and every boom has failed dramatically, partly, I think, because of technology and partly because of production values. I strongly disagree with a small minority of blinkered “experts” that continue to regurgitate the same production values that have resulted in 3D failing in the past. As a community we all continue to learn what makes good 3D and we need to modify our approach in accordance with the latest findings and available technology.
    I have read William’s contribution with interest. I have had a number of interesting discussions with those making 3D for IMAX. The whole geometry of IMAX pushes 3D to some very interesting limits, and probably represents the very opposite from those required for television. In IMAX the screen is a fair distance from the audience and is very large, pushing way out into peripheral view. The distance means the vergence angle between zero parallax on the screen plane and infinity is quite small. In contrast there is more angle to play with in front in negative parallax. Also, as the screen stretches into peripheral view negative parallax edge violations are much less of a subjective problem. In a nutshell this means there ain’t much space behind to play with and lots in front, so shooting parallel and building the 3D in front of the screen seems logical.
    On TV however the screen is nearer and the zero parallax vergence angle is greater. There is more to play with behind and less in front. The screen frame is much more evident in the viewer’s subconscious, so negative parallax edge violations are more of an issue. Also TV channels like to put channel idents, score lines, tickers adverts and other graphics on top of the image. This is done by adding the graphics at about -1.5% parallax. This imposes a very strict brick wall on any allowable 3D in front of the screen. Live production in particular must ensure that no objects in the scene stick out beyond the -1.5% position or they will cause an object violation. This means that it is probably better to shoot with a certain degree of convergence in the rig to avoid the need for too much correction from shooting parallel. What this all says about average 40 ft. cinema screens is a discussion for another time!
    As for William’s comments about the glasses, I tend to agree. The professional circular polarising screens seem to look a lot more pleasing than the shuttered glasses ones. However even though the glasses do allow you to tilt your hear over, I am not sure if you should. The disparities presented to you in 3D are always horizontal, unlike real life. I am not sure how our eyes resolve the 3D at an angle and if this is a good thing or not. I am tempted to think that one should keep one’s head reasonably upright … This aspect of 3D perception is something I still have more to learn about.
    William, if you have any comments on this or anything else regarding 3D I would be pleased to read them, either here or off-line.
    Finally, my name is, and has always been, Paul Cameron. I am not related to James Cameron or David Cameron, although if I were given the opportunity to chat with either I would probably go for James as my interest in film far exceeds that of politics!

  • 15 Jonathan Takiff // Jun 10, 2011 at 21:54

    Consumer Electronics Daily is quoting Mr. Cameron today (June 10, 2011) about the “superiority” of Sony 3-D glasses in being brighter and eliminating flicker, achieved by using only one polarizing filter instead of two (as used by other 3-D TV makers) in each eyepiece. Something not possible with plasma 3-Ds, Cameron proclaims! That may be well and true, but until Sony comes to grips with the ghosting that results with single polarizing lens glasses when wearers tilt their heads just a wee bit to the left or right, then the company is NEVER going to convince reviewers (such as I) or sales people that their technology is “superior.” Classic Sony hubris! The floor sales reps at my local Best Buy all steer customers away from the Sony sets to the Panasonic and Samsung 3-Ds, after explaining how the Sonys have “wierd” viewing effects. I’ve discussed this problem with U.S. Sony marketing guys. Their come-back was that complaining customers can request and then self-affix (if they know how) a second polarizing lens to the glasses, but that is a backasswards “solution.” I appreciately greatly how Sony has been promoting the new tech, and sincerely hope that their next gen, lower cost ($70) shutter glasses – announced at E3 and promised to “work with different brands of sets” – will remedy this shortcoming.

  • 16 vishall shrivastav // Nov 21, 2011 at 17:30

    i have a worlds greatest technic to see 3d videos on any 2d standard t.v. and laptop and i will disclose soon when i found a person who understand and help me out. i m preparing to rock the world

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