La vida de Pi: detalles de la estereoscopía

Para compensar la noticia negativa de ayer, os paso una explicación de Brian Gartner, estereoscopista de «La vida de Pi» de Ang Lee, que ha enviado detalles de cómo ha concebido el 3D de la película a una lista a la que estoy suscrito y ha dado su permiso para difundirla.
Para mis estándares y manera de entender el 3D, éste ha sido a la vez un ejemplo de ‘savoir faire’ y el mejor trabajo de estereoscopía en una película de live action desde U2 3D y la de Street Dance que filmó paradise FX (creo que era la 2), aunque como película las supera a ambas de largo (y U2 no es ni una peli :-)).
Usad Google Translate l@s que no dominéis la lengua de Shakespeare:

I actually started designing the 3D during pre-production.
Specially, I crafted a particular 3D grammar for the film.
I even worked closely with the storyboard artist, very early on.
And I set up the virtual 3D stereo cameras on some of the most important VFX shots, personally, during 3D PreVis.
Anything I didn’t do with my own hands, I wrote detailed notes.

It’s interesting that so many people chime in on how well the conservative 3D worked, but not that I chose each of those moments.
Yet, no-one mentions that the 3D went the full gambit, from extremely deep positive parallax through to extremely close negative parallax, to extremely shallow near-zero parallax.
And of course, lots of articulated in-shot parallax, where the 3D animates dramatically… as do the dynamic floating windows.
The interaxials also ran the gambit, so extremely wide, some so small it challenged the equipment.
But, most importantly, ALL the 3D is completely STORY driven.

For example, when Richard Parker first re-appears after a long absence, he leaps right out to full negative parallax, as if to strike the 3D glasses off your face.
Can’t get any more negative than that! Yet, instead of being a 3D gimmick,
it’s a carefully chosen, meaningful story beat.

Perhaps most interestingly, it is the first and only film so far to _only_ use Dynamic Floating Windows for artistic cinematic storytelling.
It is only used for creating an emotional response in the audience, and does it so seamlessly that no-one seems to have noticed DFWs were used.

On a similar note, also for emotional impact, the aspect ratio changes in a few key moments in the film. Here the stereo window is manipulated to effect and position the stereo window in x, y, z, dx, dy, dz.

How do you close a 3D story about storytelling?
Well, of course, the last shot of the movie was a 3D Reverse-Vertigo shot.
The camera dollied, the shot zoomed in, and the interaxial was pulled in-shot to zero, and the image was desaturated of color in post. The technique was mention in the May/June 2009 Creative Cow magazine article «Perception and The Art of 3D Storytelling«.

PS – Some of the full heads vs flat BGs were accomplished in-camera through clever uses of lens choice vs interaxial choice.
Others were done through my use of «multi-rigs», where different depth ranges of the scene use different interaxials between cameras and are later composited together, a technique that I pioneered in the early 1980’s.