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by Ulric Flood, Managing Director VIDEOFORCE V IDEOFORCE is a company with modern ideas and a fresh outlook. After starting in Linköping in 1999, it added a new Stockholm base in 2010. The company specialises in video for events providing technical equipment such as cameras, flightpacks, LED displays, projectors, screens, vision mixers and converters as well as the operations and production personnel. Recently business has expanded to include 3D. In most cases our output drives big screens, also supplied by VIDEOFORCE. We generally need the best, the most competent and affordable equipment that fits our requirements. We are always on the move so, when choosing a vision mixer, it must be reliable, powerful and, equally as important, able to fit into, and be operated in, a small flightpack. Of course it must have HD but SD inputs could also be required. The control panel should have an easy-to-use and conventional layout, so freelancers can quickly learn how to efficiently operate it. We need equipment that is very capable and has plenty of possibilities for expansion – all at a reasonable price. We have found all this in our HVS-350HS 1.5 ME and HVS-300HS 1ME vision mixers supplied by Protel, the local dealer in Sweden for FOR-A. Both mixers have a stable platform with high reliability, even when working under tough conditions. The HVS-350HS includes the important 3D capability. Set-up on event locations is always very busy so we are very glad that the mixer’s rack frame incorporates many built-in features beyond the traditional mixer package. The video inputs include switchable frame synchronisers and can accept SD and HD as well as computer signals (with optional cards). On the output, the 4, 10 or 16-split multiviewers reduce the need for video monitors and the control panel is connected by a single coax. We can see that the demand for 3D for events and screenings continues to grow stronger. For example, on the 28 May at an event in Gothenburg, VIDEOFORCE, together with Viasat, set a Guinness World Record for achieving the world’s largest 3D LED display. The screen measured 7.11 m (23 ft 3.92 in) diagonally and the display area is 6.192 m (20 ft 3.78 in) x 3.483 m (11 ft 5.13 in). We used our FOR-A HVS- 350 vision mixer during this job. It fits very well into our 3D workflow. It is a simple and robust mixer, with the best features... and we can use it in our flightpacks. We have saved money in both purchasing and operations while being able to provide a better service. First we bought a vision mixer with all the capabilities we wanted, including 3D, at a reasonable price. On top of that the built-in video input processing that accepts asynchronous SD, HD and PC signals, along with the multiviewer outputs, means there is a lot less equipment on site, which is better for everyone – and, again, saves money. 50 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE Lighting for 3D production LITEPANELS VIDEOFORCE Choosing a mixer for 3D events Shining in the puppet theatre Richard Walch, a photographer and DSLR film-maker from Germany, usually makes spectacular productions dealing with extreme sports. For a 3D special supplement in one of the largest German newspapers, Richard Walch photographed Germany‘s most famous puppet theatre: The „Augsburger Puppenkiste“. The troop is internationally known for its films including figures such as Jim Button and Urmel from the ice age. Two 1x1 Bi-Focus LED camera lights by Litepanels, a Vitec Group brand, provided the right lighting during shooting. 3D is not only booming in the cinema 3D productions are not only once again in great demand for cinematic blockbusters but also for photography,“ reports Richard Walch. „Three-dimensional lighting is especially important for the stereophotography to get an optimal 3D effect.“ For the 3D camera from RBT & Fuji Finpix 3D, the versatile and energy-saving lights from Litepanels were the right accessories. Richard Walch supplied the cover photo and more for the special 3D supplement of the Augsburger Allgemeine Newspaper. In numerous impressive 3D photos, the photographer captured the world-famous puppets and their players in the „Augsburger Puppenkiste“. Highest standards of quality and usability The very slim construction of the Bi-Focus lights allowed for optimal lighting conditions despite the narrow space in the puppet theatre. In particular, the variable spot of the 1x1 Bi-Focus light was a decisive advantage when illuminating the stage and the puppets. „As a photographer, you have the choice of a spot or flood light, or something in between, with the Bi-Focus. This provides the complete range of possibilities and freedom that you need for a 3D lighting situation,“ explains Walch. The bright light can be dimmed from 100 percent to 0 and can be manually adjusted using the control dial. „In addition, you don‘t burn your fingers on the battery-operated Bi-Focus lights and can easily look for the right setting for professional lighting conditions. The usability and high quality of these incredibly versatile lights have won me over,“ says Walch when summing up the work for the 3D shoot. The two 1x1 Bi-Focus LED lights from Litepanels perfectly set the scene on the stage of the „Augsburger Puppenkiste“ for the 3D photo shoot. © Richard Walch