NHNZ is now offering 3D content after completing a three-year collaboration with Korean tech giant ETRI to create new 2D-to-3D conversion software.
The project, for which NHNZ, ETRI and other NZ organisations including Digipost and Film Auckland signed MOUs back in 2011, was to develop conversion software SIGN (Stereo Image Generation Nodal Pipeline), which ETRI claims can convert 2D footage to 3D at a quarter of the cost of previous techniques.
NHNZ provided information about broadcast quality needs and technology, and also its series Life Force as a guinea pig. Life Force’s diversity of images, including day, night, indoor, outdoor, super slomo and macro shots, gave ETRI the chance to test its product on a broad range of material.
Now the project is complete, the 3D version of Life Force: New Zealand is available for licensing.
It’s fair to say that the 3D content hasn’t turned out to be the future of TV in the way some envisioned five years ago, when there wasn’t really any available. But, as NHNZ’s Wayne Poll noted, “There is still a strong market for 3D content in the theatrical and exhibition market sectors. One of the strengths of the ETRI software is the ease with which conversions can be tailored to suit different display sizes. The resulting 3D content can be optimised for nearly any screen size, from small TV screens to large theatre projection systems.”
John Crawford, Head of NHNZ Business Affairs, said, “As a company we are always looking towards technological advances that enable us to do things better. With the reduced cost of the SIGN software it really will be worth the effort.”