The BBC’s first 3D drama transmits tonight

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Family comedy Mr Stink, airs on the BBC HD channel tonight, and is the BBC’s first dual 2D/3D production.

Part of the BBC’s 3D trial, Mr Stink is a TV adaptation of the David Walliams book of the same name.

Unlike other BBC 3D productions such as Strictly Come Dancing and the 3D coverage of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the 2D and 3D versions of Mr Stink were shot at the same time, with the 2D version being taken from one of the eyes of the 3D rigs.

The show was filmed using a 3ality Technica Atom rig and a P+S TECHNIK Freestyle rig was chosen for its light weight and mobility. Each were fitted with two RED Epic cameras filming at 5K resolution using a 16mm lens.

The director of photography Philipp Blaubach, who originally proposed to shoot the one hour drama in 3D, recently said: “Having a close collaboration with the stereographer and the director meant we really embraced the strengths of 3D and found a visual style that works especially for this comedy genre. We liked slightly cartoonish and quirky compositions, like in the films of Wes Anderson or the Coen Brothers, and the fact that 3D works particularly well with wide angles even for close ups suited the style we were after perfectly.”

Blaubach chose to frame Mr Stink at 2.35.1, wider than the TV widescreen 16.9 ratio, opening the window for some interesting effects: "We composed the film for a 2.35 aspect ratio and during the depth grade there were a couple of instances where we could move the action into negative space and virtually make it overlap the letterbox. The 3D is especially effective in those moments as you feel the objects literally coming into your living room.”

Mr Stink 3D preview 475x267 The BBCs first 3D drama transmits tonight

Comparing to other BBC 3D programmes Blauback said: “The programme was shot using a single camera rig with an occasional second rig. This is different to the multi-camera set-ups we've used for the studio and live programmes that have been in the [3D] trial so far. This meant that instead of the stereographer adjusting each camera to match the 3D depth during the shoot, a 'depth grade' process was added to the final post-production stage. The depth grade matches the amount of 3D in each shot so there are no sudden jumps on shot changes.”

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Depth grading was done using ‘Mistika’ at ONSIGHT. Matthew Smith was the stereographer and Chris Parks (Vision 3) was the Stereo Supervisor.

Mr Stink transmits in 2D on BBC One & BBC One HD tonight at 18.30 and is repeated on Boxing Day at 12.40. The 3D transmission is on the BBC HD channel and shortly after on BBC iPlayer for seven days.

On December 25th, the BBC will broadcast Planet Dinosaur in 3D: Ultimate Killers at 14.05 which will be followed by the first ever 3D broadcast of the Queen’s Speech at 15.00. Sky 3D will also be broadcasting the Queen’s Speech in 3D on channel 217.

Read a behind the scenes look at Mr Stink 3D on the BBC Blog.

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  • Tony J

    Such a shame, the 3d is really boring. Missed opportunity!