+ You are going to see a star; an astrophysical object; in three dimensions, with great resolution; for the very first time! So begins 3D Sun, a fascinating new look at something each of us sees every day. Featuring extensive offline/online 3D editing, visual effects, color-correction and finishing by Splice Here, 3D SUN envisions and explains the “how and why” behind images that will be captured by STEREO, a still unfolding two-year NASA mission that relies on two nearly identical space-based observatories to provide the first-ever, high definition 3D stereoscopic images of the Sun.
“I was looking for a Minneapolis post facility with the technical capacity and artistic talent to handle a job of this size,” says Melissa Butts, Executive Producer of Melrae Pictures, Minneapolis, MN. “From the outset, 3D Sun promised to require a lot of rendering and other complex work -- 3D digital cinema is definitely not for the faint-of-heart. Splice Here already had a great reputation for being very technologically adept. The company, and editor Carl Jacobs in particular, has an almost innate need to problem solve. There were a lot of stones to turn over on this project and Splice Here just never gave up.”
The project marks the first time Splice and Jacobs ever worked on 3D project, and for Jacobs the project was a challenging as it was rewarding.3D Sun enables audiences to experience a 3D rocket launch of STEREO in appropriately seat-shaking 5.1 stereo sound. Together with 3D representations of the Sun, Earth, and several CMEs, 3D animation of the floating and separating spacecrafts will follow, with 3D Sun images usually only seen by NASA scientists.
“We edited the whole thing in DV 25,” Jacobs says. “We only went to high definition when we absolutely had to. A big reason for that was the fact that, for 3D, we were editing one ‘eye’ at a time, and only bring them together at the end. Handling two HD streams simultaneously would have been a slower process, so we performed all our testing at DV 25.” All of which did not completely prepare Jacobs for the full 3D experience he was about to discover. “We edited one eye at a time, but when we brought everything together it was like going from black and white to color; the experience was just an amazing thing to see. It was a big surprise, and a fascinating phenomenon to discover.”
Using the new version of Apple Final Cut Pro, Jacobs also contributed cinematic animations of the Earth’s magnetic field to complement more photorealistic representations of the spacecraft that were provided by NASA. “We broke the unwritten rule that you don’t change software going into a project,” admits Jacobs. “It was worth it, however, for Final Cut 6. The new version came with ProRes, a new codec that allowed us to store HD imagery at much smaller file sizes. We were able to deal with huge uncompressed images in a much more economical manner, which saved us a huge amount of work.” “3D SUN” had its North American premiere at the prestigious New Jersey Liberty Science Center in July of 2007 followed by Boston Museum of Science. Produced in cooperation with NASA, “3D SUN” is currently in worldwide distribution to digital 3D and 4D theaters in museums, zoos, aquariums and other digitally equipped venues.
To watch trailer and clips from 3D Sun: Click Here