Ruins of St Augustine Church in Goa India

Ruins of St Augustine Church in Goa India

Now that some of the biggest Hollywood studios and movie makers have jumped on the stereo 3d movie making bandwagon, there will be an explosion of locations being shot in 3D. Equipment to film in 3D is also receiving special attention, with top Cinematic equipment manufacturers such as Sony, Red (cameras) and other manufacturers announcing dedicated hardware for capture of our three dimensional world.

However, what many Hollywood film makers and television documentary makers may not know, is that 3D movie making, was and still is being made by a very different genre of “cinematographers”. These 3D film makers would more likely be known to us as archeologists, architects, historians and scientists. They use stereoscopic 3D capture of locations, historic buildings and monuments to use in their work – The restoration and preservation of Historic Architecture.

The same 3D that gives us the “wow” effect when we watch things pop out of cinema screens at us, or the deep sense of immersion we feel when watching a scene of the ocean or a lake in 3D, is what these non-hollywood filmmakers use, back in their laboratories to extract precise “spatial” cues, distances, measurements, and such data that eventually helps them document and re-construct ancient sculptures, monuments and historic architectural masterpieces.

Hollywood and Documentary Filmmakers can help preserve History?

To answer this, let’s take a very brief look at how Stereoscopic 3D documentation – as it’s called, helps archeological survey teams and others in this field.

There is an area of science and documentation called Photogrammetry that yields all sorts of valuable data to these professionals, that help them document and re-construct everything from remains of ancient statues, to ruins of old buildings and also architecture that may come into dis-repair in the not so distant future, such as buildings from the earlier part of the 1900’s.

Entire 3D models of ancient architecture and heritage buildings can be re-constructed as real time navigable 3D models using traditional 2d measurements and 3D measurements that can be extracted from a stereoscopic 3D image or video. At the very least, a Stereoscopic 3D documentation of a location can give in valuable “spatial” cues to these specialists to aid them in their work.

Unfortunately, not all Government or even privately funded Archeological or Historic Architecture preservation projects are Documented in Stereoscopic 3D prior to their Preservation or Restoration in the way they could be if given the “Hollywood” treatment.

The more locations that are filmed in 3D, the more data there will be available should there ever be a need to re-create a Historic piece of architecture that may get destroyed by Age, Terrorism / War or forces of Nature such as earthquakes, cyclones etc.

Walk down history in a 3D movie

Walk down history in a 3D movie

The image at left is of the over 400 year old Saint Augustine Church in Goa, India. It is hard not to be overwhelmed by the beauty of even the ruins of this magnificent structure and the history that is attached to it!

The ruins are likely to be re-constructed into the original church, though we don’t know for sure. The only way for people to experience the ruins as it stands today in it’s current state, is either to visit the location in person or get immersed in a 3D video on a large cinema sized screen.

If these ruins are captured either in a 3D documentary film, or feature as a scene in a movie, not only will it awe audiences, it can and will provide valuable information to restoration teams that may only work a couple of years from now on the restoration project.

And no one can predict what damage may occur due to nature etc, in that time span.

The same can be said of many such locations and heritage architecture, worldwide

Film makers stand a chance of shooting beautiful 3D dimensional masterpieces featuring such heritage locations in their films, and at the same time doing their part to document and preserve history! 3D films today, are moving away from the poke-them-in-the-eyes gimmick, and the focus is now on using depth and 3D space as an integral part of the storytelling.

What better “eye and mind candy”  can there be for movie audiences than the visual detailing, combined with the sense of history that the mind will visualize when presented with rich scenes of Historic locations that can only be appreciated in full high definition,  stereoscopic 3D format.

More images of St Augustine Church in Goa, India below:
Click on images on this page to view high resolution versions.

(Images were shot on Canon Eos 400DSLR using cha-cha method,  handheld due to security restrictions. Please excuse the vertical mis-alignment of stereo pairs as a result. All images here are copyright Real Vision Consultancy. Do not reproduce without permission)

Stones from the original church laid out for documentation / restoration

Caved in wall draped on the ground - Ruins of St Augustine Church Goa, India

Caved in wall draped on the ground – Ruins of St Augustine Church Goa, India