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TOPIC: The Grand Canal in 3D by Jiangsu TV China

The Grand Canal in 3D by Jiangsu TV China 6 years 5 months ago #1

Blackmagic Design has announced that the digital media experiment centre of Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation (Jiangsu TV), one of China’s major broadcasters in the city of Nanjing, edited and graded its stereo 3D documentary “Living Heritage: the Grand Canal (Jiangsu Section)” on DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio.

“Living Heritage: the Grand Canal (Jiangsu Section)” explores the Jiangsu section of the Grand Canal, or the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, including waterway transportation, water conservancy and life in cities along the canal. It also looks at culture and civilization, presenting the interactive relationship between the Grand Canal and Jiangsu, and highlights the “living heritage” characteristics of the Jiangsu section of the Canal.

The documentary was shot with a stereo dual digital film camera rig, but the processing of the dual stream 4K footage posed a challenge for the post team.

“Our old editing system was unable to handle the dual stream 4K footage in real time and rendering was really time consuming,” said Zhang Qingjie, editor of the documentary. “Many editing packages allow users to edit 3D projects in one eye mode in real time, but this makes checking stereo 3D depth difficult when you try to make sure there are no large depth changes between shots.”

“Even if we had been able to edit the project using a common editing package, we would still have had to conform the project on a stereo 3D finishing system for further adjustments, such as 3D alignment and color grading. However, the cost of such a stereo 3D system can be daunting, and this has hindered the development of stereo 3D documentary making,” said Jiang Zhenhui, stereo 3D technician. “Now that I have been using DaVinci Resolve Studio, which supports stereo 3D, and with the release of version12, which is both an editor and color corrector, we decided to build a stereo 3D editing and color grading system around DaVinci Resolve Studio.”

The team built a Mac based DaVinci Resolve Studio system with two GPUs for acceleration and a DeckLink 4K Extreme capture and playback card for 3D monitoring.

“DaVinci Resolve Studio offers the same real time performance as other 3D systems, but the other systems are much more expensive. When editing in stereo 3D mode, the dual stream 4K timeline was played back smoothly,” said Jiang. “Resolve could automatically do stereo 3D calibration for most of the shots, ensuring a high degree of comfort for viewers. Also, it was very easy to add floating windows, which were used to fix edge violations, and we were able to see what was going on immediately on the monitor.”

Because it was shot in log mode to make the most of the camera’s dynamic range, the documentary had to be color graded. “With Resolve, we didn’t have to move between editing and color grading systems. Instead, all we needed to do was switch between the edit and color pages in Resolve, which simplified the workflow and improved the efficiency drastically,” said Jiang.

There was also a large amount of time lapse footage in CR2 format shot with a stereo rig. “It was exciting that Resolve 12 easily handled the CR2 format we shot the time lapse footage in because it meant we were able to import the RAW format, which keeps all details in blacks and highlights from the cameras, directly into Resolve. We managed to achieve the best possible image quality for the time lapse shots,” he concluded.

Knowing that DaVinci Resolve Studio allows users to customize powerful stereo 3D editing and color grading systems, Ms. Cai Gewen, producer of the documentary, said: “We are very excited to see that the ability to edit and color grade stereo 3D projects, which only the largest facilities could afford to cope with, is now available to medium and even small productions, thanks to DaVinci Resolve Studio.”

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Nguyen Quang Tri
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