Test card will cut 3D headaches

DSC Labs, a Toronto company which specialises in high specification test cards for film and video production, is introducing a new 3D test chart (its 3-DZ model) designed to reduce the possibility of eyestrain and headaches.

Initially announced as the prototype ‘Pilot 3D Chart’, the 3-DZ is engineered to quickly pinpoint imprecision in subjective and inefficient setup procedures, resulting in the possible reduction of 3D headaches. “3D viewing can be an exciting and pleasurable experience when cameras and projection systems are set up accurately. However, misaligned rigs could be responsible not only for contributing to health issues, but also for giving 3D a bad image,” comments DSC Labs President David Corley. “While DSC’s ChromaDuMonde and other charts enable precision alignment of colour, greyscale and resolution in the X/Y coordinates, the 3-DZ adds the missing third, or Z, dimension that is so vital in stereo imaging. We believe that setting up accurately with the 3-DZ at the start of each scene could save hours in reshoots and salvaging scenes in post. It could be the ‘ounce of prevention’ that provides a ‘pound of cure.'”

The 3-DZ consists of five LED lights with adjustable brightness for daylight and studio settings to help simplify the adjustment of virtually any 3D rig. The four corner LEDs provide basic frame alignment and ‘The Schnoz’, a central, adjustable LED, is used to set interocular distance and convergence. Horizontal and vertical indices in 100th (image width) increments also assist in precise and repeatable alignment. The Schnoz is adjustable from chart plane to 305 mm (12″) in front of the chart surface, and the 3-DZ’s graduated set-square, along with X/Y axis adjustment, helps ensure that The Schnoz’s LED is centred and positioned at the desired distance in the Z plane.

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