The rise of high frame rate and 4K technology will be among the points of discussion at France’s Dimension 3 (June 18-21). By Melanie Goodfellow.

Dimension 3, the international forum devoted to stereoscopic 3D and other forms of technology revolutionising the moving image, will open its doors on the outskirts of Paris for the seventh year this June.

Conference founder and general manager Stephan Faudeux notes that although the initial hype over 3D filmmaking has died down somewhat, the conference remains as valid as ever.

“3D has matured to find its natural place in cinema thanks to the increasing numbers of film-makers who see in 3D a means of artistic expression,” he says.

Some 50 3D pictures are due for worldwide release in 2013 with directors as diverse as Ang Lee (Life Of Pi), Laurent Tirard (Astérix And Obélix: God Save Britannia) and Eugenie Jansen (Above My Head) having embraced the format over the past year.

“In recent months, post-production tools have improved. Editing and colour-grading software is increasingly compatible with 3D film-making,” Faudeux continues. “Shooting has also sped up thanks to new automatic camera calibration and rig alignment equipment. We will be presenting a new generation of cameras that will further facilitate 3D shoots during this year’s edition of Dimension 3.”

Alongside 3D innovations, the forum will also examine the latest developments in 4K technology and high frame rate (HFR) film-making. “4K technology is enjoying the same buzz that existed around 3D technology three years ago. There is a synergy between 3D and 4K technologies as well as HFR film-making,” says Faudeux, referring to recent experiments to increase the number of frames per second from the traditional 24 by the likes of Peter Jackson for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

This year, the forum’s packed conference programme will include sessions on whether there are real benefits to HFR; whether 3D will become widespread or remain a niche format; and the new workflows involved with 4K production. “The aim of the conferences is both to give the attendees tips and information and also examine developments over the past five years,” says Faudeux. On a more practical note, there will also be a session on how to budget a 3D feature, examining whether the format is becoming more affordable for art-house and low-budget pictures, and another presentation on where to source finance for 3D pictures.

There will also be a number of behind-the-scenes case studies. Respected French stereographer Joséphine Derobe will present the 3D work on Thomas Szabo’s Minuscule: Valley Of The Lost Ants — a hybrid work combining live-action nature shots with CGI. Stereographer Chris Parks of Vision3 will present the 3D component of Jack The Giant Slayer.

In touch with technology

Beyond the conference programme, the Dimension 3 exhibition will a launch a new event called the Big Shoot, offering attendees the chance to try out the latest equipment in a simulated shoot environment.

“We are very proud of the Big Shoot, it’s a unique and innovative concept for such an exhibition. All the cameras and rigs being showcased at the forum will be available for the Big Shoot. There will be a 150 square metre platform with space for 10 cameras. A group of circus performers will perform throughout the day to give those trying out the camera something to shoot,” says Faudeux.

Alongside the Big Shoot set, more than 60 companies are expected to attend Dimension 3’s exhibition, including French 3D equipment specialist Binocle. New attendees include Blackmagic, Canon, Panasonic, JVC, GoPro, Sony, Grass Valley, Stereolabs, Marquise, Assimilate, FilmLight and Quantel.

Beyond the professional event, Dimension 3 will also run its annual Dimension 3 Festival, a competition open to 4K content for the first time this year alongside 3D works. The entries can be any format. The awards ceremony will take place on June 20 and will be followed by a pre-premiere screening.

Linked to the competition, Dimension 3 will also run its public-focused 3Discovery festival (June 10-25) showcasing some of the competition entries but also previewing a number of new 3D and 4K features.