This may sound like an unexpected combination, but after working as the stereographer and 3D editor on two 3D surgeries, I think this is a great use for 3D technology.

These 3D surgeries were produced by EBU productions in Chicago and we used the ET Quasar rig with the RED ONE camera supplied by Daufenbach Camera. On this shoot, we also used Angenieux Rouges- zooms matched for 3D. This was a little tricky as the client wanted to be able to zoom in real time while shooting. These lenses are most often used as ‘variable primes’ as the alignment can be difficult to hold over the zoom range. After some work by Rig Tech and AC John Waterman, we are able to use them live in surgery to zoom successfully. We had a range of 30-80mm.

These were both live surgeries so there is no retake… It became in many ways like a sports event, as we just had to react to the situation dynamically. The rig was on a technocrane 15 so that we could get up above the actual surgery and have some room to move around the surgeon. As you can imagine, surgery rooms are very small, so this was something of a tight squeeze to get the AC, crane arm op, and the other 3D camera operator all in the room.

For this shoot we also used the Panasonic 3DA1 for a ‘B’ cam to cover the wide shots as best as possible. This was a challenge as well, as the range for this camera is best around 8-20 feet, so typically you would want the camera to be at least 8 feet from the subject. Obviously, we were not able to achieve this, but we attempted to limit the background and therefore total depth of the shot by being creative with the scene. We would often ask the surgeon or other doctors to fill in more so we could eliminate the more distant wall in the background.  The other reason this camera worked ok is that it was being cut in with the footage from the rig, and so this would allow the viewers a break after a shot of stronger 3D.  Additionally, these were shown at a doctor’s conference in San Diego on a 20 foot screen and several 3D TV’s and it was likely that people weren’t going to be watching the whole surgery in one viewing… they might watch some and then move on, so their viewing time was relatively short.

I also did the 3D editing on both of these, performing the mux, convergence pass, alignment and color pass, and added a few floating windows.

A bit of sample footage will be up soon – not for the squeamish!

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3D Surgeries

  • Medical 3D