Steele Studios Completes On-Air 3-D Graphics For 3net

Currently celebrating its 15th anniversary year, Steele Studios, a leading creator and producer of visual content for television, film, music videos, and commercial projects for Fortune 500 companies, has completed and delivered a massive, on-air Stereo 3D graphics package for its client 3net, the joint venture, 24/7 3D television network from Sony, Discovery and IMAX.

Press Release from Steele Studios

Culver City, CA, Oct. 31, 2011 --  Currently celebrating its 15th anniversary year, Steele Studios, a leading creator and producer of visual content for television, film, music videos, and commercial projects for Fortune 500 companies, has completed and delivered a massive, on-air Stereo 3D graphics package for its client 3net, the joint venture, 24/7 3D television network from Sony, Discovery and IMAX. Jo and Jerry Steele, co-founders, Steele Studios, made the announcement.

Beginning November 4, viewers of 3net will begin to see the vibrant, dramatic and compelling new stereo 3D graphics components designed, created, composited and delivered by Jerry Steele and his team. Comprised of over 60 elements, the new graphics include main logo opens, IDs, promotional and sponsored elements, interstitials, promo opens and closes, and many other transitional and supplemental elements. The package represents a visual and dynamic “refresh” of the look and feel of the network. This new work by Steele Studios extends the company’s involvement with 3net, which began months prior with the network’s launch in February 2011. That work included building elements and graphics for the launch, modifying existing graphic elements for S3D broadcast, editing and creating many promos, sizzle reels, flying titles, interstitials, wipes and transitions which have been airing during 3net’s first months.

Steele also completed all of the various complexities included within the Stereo post process for live action elements (convergence, LE/RE color balancing, linearity and geometry, depth budgeting and scripting). Because of the multitude of different sources for the content featured on 3net, Steele was required to re-converge and, in some cases, recreate the S3D for a standard TV size.

The 3net on-air graphics project for Steele Studios comes on the heels of the company’s other recent, very high profile 3D projects. In 2010, the studio completed a 3D video featuring Latin pop star Shakira for the opening ceremony of the World Cup soccer competition. Entitled ""Waka Waka (This Time for Africa,”) the video was the official theme song of FIFA's 2010 World Cup. For the video, Jerry Steele provided stereoscopic supervision, online, color correction, beauty FX, compositing, S3D geometry, linearity and finishing services. “Waka Waka” was seen by over 1-billion viewers around the world, making it one of the most viewed music videos of all time. Jo Steele served as Executive Producer of the project.

Soon after “Waka Waka,” Jerry Steele served as online editor for Avril Lavigne’s hit S3D music video "What the Hell.” Steele was in charge of the video's highly detailed Stereo 3D work, and provided the visual effects, beauty work, color correction and finishing. For the above-cited projects, as well as for the 3net refresh, Steele used the Quantel Pablo 4K with Stereo 3D.

In his role as Stereographer for the new graphics package soon to be featured on 3net, Jerry Steele said, “For these new graphics, we wanted to create really dynamic shapes that exaggerate depth, but at the same time, we were limited to a minimal S3D depth and inter-axial distance. The way we could do this was to use really wide-angle lenses and shoot objects which we’d move only a few nanometers at a time. We had crazy big lenses, giving us massive distortions, which allowed us to exaggerate depth and to ‘stage’ this 3D space appropriately. All the elements in the composite were ultimately shot with different sized lenses and then placed carefully within our limited space. We used a combination of solid and amorphous objects, so that we could ‘bend’ the rules as needed to fit all our pieces in the composites. We relied heavily on the undeterminable shapes that were placed between solid objects to separate them. We ultimately had to exaggerate the physical nature of these constructs, because all of the other visual information around them wouldn’t normally give the viewer the correct sense of depth and mass.”

 “One of the biggest challenges with this project was that we were limited to the dimensional budget we could apply to 3D graphics for television. For the theater, the S3D cannot extend as far into the screen relatively as it can for TV, and for TV, the S3D cannot extend as far out of the screen as with movies. It is a result of the maximum positive divergence that the viewer can comfortably watch,” Steele continues. “Ideally, you have to analyze what budget or degree of depth you're applying to which shots. We had to figure out a way to deliver.

Interesting graphics which, when edited together, didn’t represent distracting convergence shifts, which can lead to audience eyestrain. You have to be able to plan how to go from one extreme to another to engage viewers in 3D, without visually confusing them. Additionally, the graphics had to be consistent and represent a norm that all the content around them could work with.”

“3D is an optical illusion, and the more cues that we can create within a certain depth range that are complimentary to each other, the more the 3D appears to be real. We’re tricking the eye into thinking there really are three dimensions. We have to put depth cues in at certain depths—every visual cue between the point furthest back in the screen and the imagery at the forefront of the screen, has to fall into place. If it doesn’t, that’s where the illusion stops. In creating these 3D animations, we made sure that the S3D was emphasized and de-emphasized appropriately. It is important to create drama within the S3D and allow the impact to play out. Timing and content are controlled to give the viewer the chance to rest and then feel the extent of the S3D again,” he concludes.

Adds Jo Steele, “3D is definitely the next big thing in TV. It will inspire the arrival of many new channels, and will also revolutionize the gaming industry. Many of our competitors are on the fence about 3D -- some think it’s a fad andwon’t adopt the new technology until it has proven itself, industry-wide. However, we at Steele Studios have recognized the potential of riding the crest of the wave many times before, and will continue to embrace these changing technologies as we strive to remain at the forefront of this exciting new medium.”

Steele Studios Credits for 3net Refresh Graphics Project:Jo Steele, Executive ProducerJerry Steele, Stereographer, Creative Director, Pablo ArtistChris Williamson, Design and Art DirectorKurt Miller, Cinema 4D ArtistMark Edwards, Producer

Hardware/Software:Quantel Pablo 4K with Stereo 3D for Compositing, Online, Color Correction,Finishing and Mastering.Cinema 4D for CGIAfterEffectsPhotoShop

ABOUT STEELE STUDIOS:

Steele Studios is a leading provider of unique visual content to television networks, TV shows, music videos and commercials for Fortune 500 companies. Since its founding in l996 by Jo and Jerry Steele, the company has provided visual effects and finishing services on well over 2,000 projects.

Steele Studios is a creatively driven, award-winning digital studio providing a diverse range of services. These include Digital Intermediate Services, Stereoscopic 3D and 4K, 2K, HD and Red DI services, visual effects, animation, graphics, titles, supervision and design services for film, television, commercials, music videos and online/viral media. The company is industry renowned for its design and creation of compelling and memorable visual imagery.

Among the major advertisers with whom Steele Studios has worked areCoca-Cola, Pepsi, Budweiser, Burger King, Gap, Old Navy, Microsoft, Dell, Sony,Nokia, Lexus, Cadillac, Nissan and BMW. Steele has also provided its services to such international superstars as Madonna, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Usher, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Katy Perry. In addition to 3net, the company’s corporate entertainment industry clients include Discovery, NBC, ABC, CBS, Showtime and Disney, to name just some.

Steele Studios is located at 5737 Mesmer Ave., Culver City, CA, 90230. The phone is 310/391-7770 and the web is www.steelevfx.com

ABOUT 3net:

3net, the joint venture of Sony Corporation, Discovery Communications and IMAX Corporation, brings together three of the world's leading media, technology and entertainment companies to provide the nation's first and only fully programmed, 24/7 3D network. The three partners deliver an extraordinary collection of award-winning 3D content, technology and production expertise, television distribution and operational strength to the project, with a mission to bring viewers the highest quality S3D and most immersive in-home S3D viewing experience possible.

The channel will feature the most extensive library of S3D content in the world by the end of 2011, featuring genres that are most appealing in 3D, including natural history, documentary, action/adventure, travel, history, hyper-reality, lifestyle and cuisine, concerts, movies, scripted series and more. 3net is currently available on DIRECTV channel 107. For more information, please visit www.3net.com

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