ProGoPro - Compact 3D Rig


3D Experience Ltd goes Pro with GoPro's Hero's.

Images: Seperate GoPro Hereo cameras & custom stereo Mount fitted to Land Rover Hood. Front View. 3DE ProGoPro 3D System.

GoPro's Hero cameras are considered one of the best cameras for capturing full HD action or sport, due to its small size & low weight. Usually, helmet mounted or chest mounted, it captures that action packed "Point Of View" shot or fixed to a bike, skateboard or surfboard, it films athletes and thrill seekers "doing their thang" in 1080p at 30 fps, or in slow motion at 60 frames per second.

3D Experience Ltd started using pairs of GoPro Hero cameras for 3D capture as early as February 2010. A commission for an Off Road Extreme Landrover Ride was produced for the French Simulator Company, "Ellip6".

A special custom stereo mount was fitted to the hood of the vehicle supplied by "Gigglepin" and driven by champion, Jim Marsden. A pair of Hero's in their telltale, lightweight, acrylic waterproof housings was carefully aligned on the stereo mount by Jack Ezra of 3D Experience. This kept the mud off the cameras and additional sound was recorded via a Tascam DR-07. Without going into too much detail, the Hero's audio is disappointing, to say the least. Syncing up the footage was done in post, all be it, with a slight miss-match on the faster moving sequences as each camera ran independently (at that time.) Incidentally, I am sure some kind of record was broken that day, because as well as filming the ride in 3DHD, the pitch, roll & yaw of the vehicle was simultaneously recorded via a special device and laptop supplied by "Ellip6".

A year later GoPro launched their Stereoscopic "3D Hero System" which allowed owners of pairs of Hero cameras, a chance to make their own 3D movies. A single, but larger, waterproof housing encased the pair of cameras but also, that all important sync cable could be fitted across the pair of cameras. Both cameras would now start simultaneously and stay 100% in sync. This solution from GoPro was a huge leap forward for 3D capture but still lacked a couple of essential things. One was, that you could not fit their LCD "backPac" monitor to the 3D housing as the sync cable used the IO ports of each camera so no monitoring was possible while filming 3D.

The next problem was that the cameras are placed so close together (one inverted) that the lens centers are 33mm apart. This is terrific if you want to shoot 3D material of a subject a meter or so away, but when you think 99% of Hero users subject matter takes place in the great outdoors, the 3D effect is non existent or minimal, at best. Anyone who knows anything about shooting 3D will tell you that the further away the subject, the wider the separation of the cameras has to be. As an example, the Land Rover Off-Road 3D material was shot with the lens centers of the cameras at 150mm apart, converged at 3 meters away to give a nice natural feel and a reasonable 3D depth effect.

3D Experience Ltd has taken a long hard look at the current "3D Hero System" and has overcome many of the drawbacks to offer an elegant, Professional solution. Removing the cameras from their GoPro waterproof housings and placing them in their own individual, aluminum clamshell supports, allows the lens separation a lot more flexibility. Now the cameras can be adjusted from 35mm to 56mm separation, or "interaxel", as it is known in the trade. The only thing that was restricting the cameras going further apart was the length of the original GoPro 3D sync cable. Now, a longer sync cable has now been produced by 3DE (not so easy as the orange plugs ends contain micro chips), so the cameras can be placed much wider apart if necessary.

The "3DE ProGoPro" solution is beautifully engineered in the UK and comes with a 2.5" monitor ready fitted & cabled to one camera's AV output. This is powered by a standard rechargeable PP3, 9-volt battery. The view is not in 3D but gives the user an opportunity to compose the shot - something the current "GoPro 3D System" is unable to offer.


Setting up of the 3D stereoscopic parameters such as height alignment and convergence is a straight forward, one time operation that takes just a couple of minutes. After that, adjusting the camera separation for each shot is achieved easily by undoing a thumbscrew under each camera and sliding the camera along the base. A handle is part of the system, which has a threaded hole at the base, to mount to a tripod. Two further holes offer attachment for shoulder or neck straps.

The "3DE ProGoPro" system from 3D Experience Ltd includes a clamshell mount for each camera, a sliding base, a handle which fixes to a tripod, a battery housing and a 2.5" monitor. Now customers who already own the "3D Hero System" or producers interested in stereoscopic 3D, have an elegant, compact and flexible solution, which maximizes the "GoPro Hero" cameras to give more control in making professional looking 3D material with a marked improvement in the stereoscopic depth effect. NOTE: The pair of GoPro Cameras are not included.

Contact us to order. Allow 14 to 21 days for delivery.


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