The present and future of post production business and technology

What about 3D at NAB 2010?

Throughout the Panasonic and Sony press events we were bombarded with 3D. Panasonic pushing the camera to couch while Sony approaches the concept as Lens to Lounge. Both companies showed examples of their partner’s work in 3D.

Panasonic are at the forefront of the affordable HD production race with the AG-3DA1 camera that is shipping in very limited supplies and has a waiting list. At $21,000 this dual lens, single body camcorder records to AVCCAM and has integrated convergence control.

Sony had many partners in 3D production at the high end but nothing yet in their affordable product lines, although the implication was that these will be coming in the future.

Between the two companies we were exposed to a lot of 3D examples. My thoughts are very subjective but I found that 3D worked well for gaming, sports, particularly the relatively slow-paced golfing footage for this week’s Master’s event. What I found, and my associated confirmed, is that the fast cut concert footage and entertainment features did not work so well because of the slight disorientation at every edit.

While the cuts we use in traditional editing are analogous to the way the Human Visual System works, there is no real-world analog to jumping from place to place, view-to-view in the real world. This leads to a momentary disorientation at each edit, which takes the viewer out of the experience.

The other problem we noted collectively was that we got tired of graphics being “thrown out” of the screen to the audience.

One more thing: 3D content creators STOP THROWING THINGS AT ME! Stop with the gratuitous “in your face” movements. Whenever you throw something like that – like a 3D Bono hand (U2 concert video) or a 3D Graphic or whatever – keep it close to the screen. When things come flying at you in real life you react. With 3D, I react and I don’t react positively to the program.

So, just stop it, OK?

Regardless of my impressions this is the year that 3D hit the mainstream at NAB. Will it still be prominent next year?

For 3D, mark me as skeptical