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Cesar Rubio

3-D and Sports...

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Does 3-D works for sports coverage?


Yes if only wide angle shots were used, but since it's impractical to cover a whole event like that and close-up shots are a must, then in my opinion it doesn't.


Why do I say that, because 3-D to work correctly is governed by the Stereo Base 1/30 Rule. You can find out more about that here:




Telephoto lenses for 3-D work have these drawbacks:


1-You have to use a large Stereo Base (or Inter Axial) to have a proper 3-D effect, and that is based on the 1/30 Rule.

Example, when shooting a person lets say 35 mts. away from the camera (based on a soccer game and the camera placed just outside of the field in a 64 meters X 100 meters FIFA specifications game).

Then the cameras Stereo Base would need to be 1.16 mts. (35/30).


2-When zooming in and out, the Stereo Base must be adjusted accordingly. Yo would need a different Stereo Base for a person 5 mts. or 35 mts. away from your camera.


3-Working with such large Stereo Bases causes a Hyper Stereo effect, and people and objects look like miniatures.


4-Telephoto lenses flatten the images or compact the background with the foreground, in 3-D that looks terrible and the 3-D effect is lost.


5-Working with telephoto lenses people and objects appear to be a “Cardboard Cut Out” effect in 3-D.




Recently James Cameron and Vince Pace said (at IBC 2011) that with their 3-D technology, only a regular 2-D camera operator would be needed for 2-D and 3-D (the 3-D cameras are on top of the 2-D camera) and he (or she) didn't have to worry about the 3-D part since their 3-D system would take care of that automatically. My question is, such 3-D system would comply with point #1 and #2 that I already mentioned?


Also Panasonic was granted the rights to shoot 3-D at the Olympic Games of 2012, as far as I know they only have 3-D cameras with fixed lenses, how are they going to do it right?


Are they aware of those 3-D limitations for sports coverage? I think they are. But it is perhaps the urge to “cash out” the current 3-D craze blinding them?


People aren't stupid, and sooner or later they will learn to differentiate a good 3-D than a crappy one...


I hope that such “pioneers of digital 3-D” don't mess up 3-D again just for greed (it would be the third time in history).


Cesar Rubio.

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