Category Archives: 3D Media

Preparing for sandbox launch at the Hall

The Lawrence Hall of Science (“the Hall”) staff has been busily preparing its Shaping Watersheds exhibit for prime time. The Hall shop staff did a wonderful job customizing and adding key modifications: re-locating the ‘Drain’ button for improved ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access, adding a transparent lid and new frame to enable two modes of use (facilitated and unfacilitated), and adding a USB port in the former location of the original drain switch. The USB port allows a keyboard to be connected to access the computer within the cabinetry.

A modified version of the ‘Shaping Watersheds’ exhibit is installed at the Lawrence Hall of Science. The modifications include improved ADA access and a removable, facilitation-flexible lid. A small stepping stool (seen in bottom left) allows little visitors to access the sandbox bin.

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3D Movie of Lake Tahoe Set to Make a Big Splash This Summer

This summer visitors to the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) will have the unique opportunity to “Go Jump in the Lake” without even getting wet.  A new 3D movie, produced as part of the LakeViz project, will dive under the water’s surface to observe the different organisms that live in Lake Tahoe and to explore the physics that governs the lake habitat.

The movie, “Let’s Go Jump in the Lake,” will feature unique footage of Lake Tahoe and its inhabitants, all in 3D. Stunning time-lapse sequences show changes in the lake throughout the seasons. TERC divers have captured subsurface video that includes kokanee salmon spawning, the extent of invasive species such as watermilfoil and Asian clams, schools of native fish, and underwater research projects. For close-up shots of the animals that live in Lake Tahoe, TERC set up aquaria for fish, Mysis shrimp, and zooplankton such as Daphnia. Computer generated animations are used to illustrate concepts—such as lake mixing—that  are difficult to capture on film.

Steve Andersen with Omnidual Media is filming and managing the post-production of the film. Since the movie will be presented in 3D, all the video equipment is specialized for the shoot. Steve has an arsenal of tools including several UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) designed to carry two cameras for the challenging 3D aerial shots.

3D Videographer Steve Andersen uses an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle equipped with dual cameras for 3D video of Lake Tahoe

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3D Camera Technology and Filming Tahoe

3D works best for scenes that show depth, action, and a sense of awe. Flying between mountains, skimming the surface of the lake, or going deep underwater are the quintessential 3D shots. Shooting these aerial scenes used to require a crazy and highly skilled camera person with an equally crazy, skilled pilot. But given the demand for 3D video, it’s no surprise that inventive people created gadgets where once dangerous shots can now be safely taken with remote controlled hexacopters.

For our new 3D movie about Lake Tahoe, we’re able to collaborate with people who can get these beautiful, dynamic shots.  The next 3D experience at TERC will feature Tahoe underwater.  As our own Heather Segale noted in her article for Lake Tahoe News, we’ll still use tried and true divers to get many underwater shots.  Brant Allen and Katie Webb will dive into Tahoe with 3D cameras (generously donated by Go Pro) this spring to give viewers a unique look into Lake Tahoe’s depths.  They will be guided by Steve Andersen, a 3D movie specialist based out of Tahoe.  He created a weighted 3D camera that can sit in a shallow stream and film Kokanee salmon as they swim past. This simple device doesn’t compare, though, to his other wickedly cool 3D camera gadgets that can get beautiful aerial shots without risking life and limb (pictured below).  He attended our winter meeting at the Tahoe Environmental Research Center in Incline Village, NV, to show them off!  We were all very impressed with his creative solutions and ability to get the perfect shot.  We look forward to working with our collaborators and hope we can create a fantastic experience for the visitors to TERC.

IMG_3845Above:  Steve shows off an interchangeable camera stabilizer for his hexacopter (on the right).  The hexacopter can fly for up to 10 minutes on a charge and take breathtaking aerial 3D movies without putting life and limb in danger. (On the left, below Steve’s elbow, you can see the weighted underwater camera.)

Below:  Steve shows off cameras that are ideal for shooting 3D time lapses.