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S3D Technologies debuts S3D Calculator, new beam splitter

S3D Technologies, an R&D company based in Barcelona that focuses on 3D stereoscopic production tools, has just released a software-based calculator to find all the parameters required for shooting 3D. The company–which was founded by Carolina Barco, whose background is in film/TV production–is showing the calculator and the new model of the S3D Beam Splitter Rig (with axes motorized) at IBC in Amsterdam. Carina Portillo, head of the Los Angeles office of S3D Technologies, describes the S3D Calculator. “The calculator works for stereographers and for cinematographers,” she says. “It gives a reference point according to your goals of how to set the camera in the rig, and the user can always  put a creative touch on it and change the parameters.” The user enters the zero parallax distance, the lens in use and a few other set parameters, and the S3D Calculator will do the math for interaxial and convergence settings for both cameras. Jesus Rodriguez, head of the R&D division, is behind the development of the calculator. “You can toe in both cameras for convergence or shoot in parallel with both cameras parallel,” he says. “In both cases, the calculator shows how much to toe in the cameras or not.  You have two main options for the rig: side-by-side or beam splitter. If you have the beam splitter, the calculator will give you the parameters for placing the camera with the interaxial separation and the convergence parameters. For side-by-side, you’re not toeing in the camera, but you still have to set up the interaxial separation.” The calculator can be used for any rig, but it is integrated in the S3D rig as part of the software. “The rig has a computer that controls it and it’s part of the software inside the computer,” says Portillo. For users of other 3D rigs, the S3D Calculator is available for sale (at 250 Euros) through the company website, and can be downloaded to PC or Mac. S3D Technologies is working on an iPhone app of the calculator. The company website also offers a trial version of the calculator for those who’d like to give it a try before buying. “The calculator makes your life more secure and easier, especially when you don’t have time and have to set up the shot quickly and not waste time,” says Portillo. “Or if you want more security that you’re doing the right thing.”

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