I-MOVIX Brings Functionality to Super Slo Mo, in 2D and 3D

The Sports Video Group is pleased to welcome I-MOVIX as its newest Premier Sponsor. The Belgian company offers extreme-slow-motion technology (from 150 to 10,000 frames per second), developing and commercializing full broadcast-integration solutions for ultra slow motion. Its SprintCam line comprises products combining very high frame rates and instant replay.

The technology has applications in live sports and other live TV productions, as well as in commercials, documentaries, feature films, and scientific research and development.

“I-MOVIX has established itself as the standard for ultra slow motion, with SprintCam systems contributing to some real breakthrough broadcasting in 2010, such as the first 3D ultra-slow-motion coverage,” says CEO Laurent Renard. “2011 promises to be very good, with new research and development projects and strategic partnerships enabling us to develop and commercialize new solutions with quality levels that fully comply with demanding international broadcast productions. With these goals in mind, working together with a key communication partner like Sports Video Group makes a lot of sense.”

In July, Chicago-based camera supplier Fletcher Sports delivered the industry’s first deployment of extreme slow motion in 3D for ESPN’s coverage of the 2010 Home Run Derby . Using twin I-MOVIX SprintCam Vvs HD systems in conjunction with a PACE 3D rig, Fletcher was able to provide 1,000 fps in 3D.

“It was the shot everyone talked about — the ‘wow’ shot — and people could not believe that 3D could be delivered at 1,000 fps,” says Fletcher Chicago VP Dan Grainge. “When you are shooting in ultra slow motion even in 2D, you reveal things people haven’t seen before. Add the third dimension, and the effect is breathtaking. To see the ball compress and the bat bend, and feel that they are so close you could be hit by them — that created a huge buzz, and viewers were really taken aback by it.”

Fletcher Chicago is the first to offer the I-MOVIX range of ultra-slow-motion rigs in the U.S. The company offers eight systems in-house. Fletcher’s four I-MOVIX systems dedicated to 3D work are already fully booked.

“The setup for a 3D shot takes a lot longer than 2D,” says Grainge. “Synchronizing the images from two cameras so that the left and right frames register perfectly requires absolutely precise calibration. Otherwise, the ball and the bat would appear in slightly different locations.”

With this in mind, I-MOVIX added custom functionality to the SprintCam controller to assist with synchronization, and the overlay convergence was fine-tuned within the PACE system.  According to Grainge, the I-MOVIX system feels familiar to anyone in the broadcast industry, and, with the hand-held camera body with integrated viewfinder, tally, and intercom — all running down a single SMPTE fiber to a CCU in the truck —  it’s an easy system to set up and operate. The SprintCam Vvs HD system used for the Home Run Derby runs at frame rates from 25 to 2,500 fps in full HD and provides instant replay at native HD resolution and image quality.

I-MOVIX is headquartered in Europe, with a growing global network of distributor partnerships. For further details on I-MOVIX, visit www.i-movix.com.