The Latest Gear Behind 3D Movie MakingSDLP recently teamed up with former LucasFilms effects studios Kerner Optical and Tippett Studios to work on a stereoscopic 3D Trailer for their cinema projectors. Pushing this style of filmmaking (kinda like the 3D attractions at theme parks) forward was something they were all excited about, and they took me around Kerner Optical's facility and showed me the latest camera gear they used to make the 3D trailer.

The Latest Gear Behind 3D Movie MakingS

The Latest Gear Behind 3D Movie MakingS

The Latest Gear Behind 3D Movie MakingS

Seeing the camera setup in person is pretty awesome. It consists of two cameras — one facing straight forward in a horizontal orientation, and one facing straight down, in a vertical position. Between them sits a mirror, angled at roughly 45 degrees, that acts as a beam splitter, directing the image to the vertically facing camera and helping to create the 3D effect.

The Latest Gear Behind 3D Movie MakingS

While the vertical camera remains stationary, the horizontal camera slides from left to right. In doing so, the intensity of the 3D effect varies according to position as the pictures from the two cameras phase in and out. Once the camera has done its job, its up to the viewing apparatus to carry out the rest of the magic. Kerner Optical uses special LCD monitors with the ability to display 3D images with the help of polarized glasses. Many rear-projection DLP televisions actually do the same thing, but a lack of content support has kept the technology obscured from most owners.

The Latest Gear Behind 3D Movie MakingS

Many people in the industry are pushing for 3D filmmaking to take off, as they think it's the next big technical innovation in movie production. Personally, I'm all for it, because it really is fun to watch, but until the industry finds a way to get the same effect without glasses , I'm not sure mainstream acceptance will be easy. [DLP and Kerner]