Magazine article American Cinematographer

The Spacevision 3-D System

Magazine article American Cinematographer

The Spacevision 3-D System

Article excerpt

A technically impressive 3-D system which has the unique capability of projecting objects out of the screen and into the audience, seemingly within arm's reach of the spectators

Spacevision, Inc., a subsidiary of Capitol Records, Inc., is the owner of a three dimensional cinematographic process for use in filming and projection of feature length motion pictures. The unique SPACEVISION process utilizes a single 35mm taking camera and existing projection equipment.

The heart of the system is a patented trioptiscope lens which incorporates a pair of unique deviation prisms. These prisms "see" two viewpoints on a horizontal plane in a manner similar to one's eyes. They "stack" the two images one above the other in a standard 35mm frame. The trioptiscope lens is designed to fit standard Mitchell BNC and N.C. 35mm cameras and is also adaptable to Mitchell Hi-Speed Camera for slow motion effects. The final picture ratio is approximately 2.35:1 which is normally attributed to anamorphic "CinemaScope" type films.

Projection is accomplished through the use of a wedge projection prism assembly which hangs on a bracket in front of a standard projector. The prisms vertically superimpose the two film images on the screen. Image coding is accomplished with polarizing filters which are built into the projection prism assembly. Therefore, polarized viewers are required by the audience.

During filming, the cameraman focuses and sets F-stops in the usual manner. However, the critical setting is convergence which is usually handled by a technical consultant. Although time is required to familiarize the producer with special filming techniques, the technical consultant allows the cameraman and Director of Photography to function relatively unhampered by unfamiliar calculations and procedures.

Other than the trioptiscope lens, the camera is totally unmodified. The aperture is a standard .735'' × .868'' and regular Mitchell finders readily adjust to the SPACEVISION format.

Regular film stocks are used, developed and printed in the conventional fashion with no extra costs. This is an especially interesting feature, as you can have 3-D dailies in the same time you would have 2-D dailies.

Projection is accomplished with unmodified, standard theater projectors. The SPACEVISION projection prism units are hung in front of the projector on a special bracket. There is no actual attachment of the unit to the projector as with other 3-D systems. In this way, the unit is universal and will work with any type of projector. …

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