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Steele Studios Completes On-Air Stereo 3D Graphics Package For 3net

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Steele Studios, co-founded by Jo and Jerry Steele, recently completed a massive on-air stereo 3D graphics package for its client 3net – the joint venture, 24/7 3D television network from Sony, Discovery and IMAX.

Beginning Nov. 4, viewers of 3net will begin to see the dramatic new stereo 3D graphics components designed, created, composited and delivered by Jerry Steele and his team. Comprised of over 60 elements, the new graphics include main logo opens, IDs, promotional and sponsored elements, interstitials, promo opens and closes and other transitional and supplemental elements.

The package represents a visual “refresh” of the look and feel of the network.

Steele also handled the various complexities of the stereo post process for live-action elements, (convergence, LE/RE color balancing, linearity and geometry, depth budgeting and scripting). Because of the multitude of different sources for the content featured on 3net, Steele was required to re-converge and, in some cases, recreate the stereoscopic effect for a standard TV size.

“For these new graphics, we wanted to create really dynamic shapes that exaggerate depth, but at the same time, we were limited to a minimal stereo 3D depth and inter-axial distance,” explained Jerry Steele, who served as stereographer. “The way we could do this was to use really wide-angle lenses and shoot objects, which we’d move only a few nanometers at a time. We had crazy big lenses, giving us massive distortions, which allowed us to exaggerate depth and to ‘stage’ this 3D space appropriately. All the elements in the composite were ultimately shot with different sized lenses and then placed carefully within our limited space. We used a combination of solid and amorphous objects, so that we could ‘bend’ the rules as needed to fit all our pieces in the composites.”

He explained that he relied on the company’s Quantel Pablo 4K with Stereo 3D for compositing, online, color correction, finishing and mastering.

“One of the biggest challenges with this project was that we were limited to the dimensional budget we could apply to 3D graphics for television,” said Jerry Steele. “For the theater, the S3D cannot extend as far into the screen relatively as it can for TV, and for TV, the S3D cannot extend as far out of the screen as with movies.”

“It is a result of the maximum positive divergence that the viewer can comfortably watch,” he continued. “We had to figure out a way to deliver interesting graphics which, when edited together, didn’t represent distracting convergence shifts, which can lead to audience eyestrain.”

Steele Studios has been involved with 3net since the network’s launch in February, building elements and graphics for the launch, modifying existing graphic elements for stereoscopic broadcast, editing and creating promos, sizzle reels, flying titles, interstitials, wipes and transitions.

The 3net on-air graphics project for Steele Studios comes on the heels of the company’s other recent high-profile 3D projects. In 2010, the studio completed a 3D video featuring Latin pop star Shakira for the opening ceremony of the World Cup soccer competition, which was seen by over a billion viewers around the world, making it one of the most viewed music videos of all time.

Jerry Steele also recently served as online editor for Avril Lavigne’s stereo music video “What the Hell.” Steele was in charge of the video’s highly detailed stereo 3D work, and provided the visual effects, beauty work, color correction and finishing.

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