Sky Sports gives RWC warm-ups the 3D treatment

The Rugby World Cup might have been forced to shelve plans to capture the tournament in 3D, but Sky Sports has been more than happy to capture England and Wales’ two warm-up matches against each other in the format.

Last weekend’s match from Twickenham, which England won narrowly, and this weekend’s upcoming one at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, which could easily go either way, were both captured by Sky’s now traditional six 3D camera configuration; with Camera One and Two up on the gantry and four lower cameras, all feeding into one of Telegenic’s OB vehicles.

The broadcaster would like to take more. “But we’re always a little bit limited with the amount of hardware we can either get into the stadium or we can fit in the trucks until the technology develops further,” explains Robin Broomfield, Sky’s 3D Development Manager.

As well as a Sony-based super slo-mo rig, which provides shots at 75fps, the production also used ACS’s 3D Railcam (see last week’s story for details) which Broomfield calls probably the most significant technical development in the field of 3D capture this year. “That’s looking really good and it’s nice to have a controllable rig on that rail so we don’t get those nasty shots of a linesman close in shot – we can manage those depths much better,” he says.

Space considerations mean that the Railcam won’t be deployed for the Millennium Stadium match, but another recent innovation – a 3D jib in the far right corner – will be. “We’re using smaller rigs on the jibs, either a 3ality TS5, ET Pulsar or the P+S Freestyle. They’re light enough that we can put them on a standard jib now, rather than a Technocrane because of the weight, and that’s been a big development over the last few months.”

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