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Lineage Solutions Creates Stereoscopic 3D VR 4K Video with Blackmagic Design

Lineage Media and Solutions is a Bellevue, Washington based start up offering software development and media services for small businesses. The Lineage team has launched more than fifty mobile apps, produced publishing platforms, built presentation software, and designed and developed website and social media platforms for its clients. It also has a state of the art studio to create high quality photos and videos to help clients promote their businesses. 

According to Lineage CEO Aaron Linne and Director of Video Technology Brian Langhoff, the team uses four Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4Ks in the studio to create stereoscopic 4K videos, as well as a number of additional products in the studio and field kit to create high quality videos, including ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K, four HyperDeck Studio Pros, a Video Assist, Video Assist 4K and two SmartScope Duo 4Ks. 

Enhancing the Learning Environment with 3D VR

"We got our start with our primary clients being in the education space," said Aaron. "The name Lineage comes from the fact that we try to capture people's presence and do it in a way that will be relevant for decades to come. Both Brian and I got into video production as things were moving from SD to HD. We both worked for companies previously where we were capturing incredible talent on screen in HD, but we knew 4K was on the rise and that we wanted to create 4K video that could be utilized far into the future."

The Lineage team's primary project in the studio thus far has been a project called Intelligent Education. They film college professors in stereoscopic 4K using Micro Studio Camera 4Ks so that students and viewers can watch them later in a 3D VR experience via Google Cardboard and soon with the VR headsets HTC VIVE and Oculus Rift. In this environment, the stereo 3D video is displayed alongside a dynamic transcript as well as 3D models and scenes that relate to the learning. The project is designed to advance the level of engagement the learner can have in the education process by using native stereoscopic 3D video, which carries the sense of presence in the learner's mind and a level of empathy that enhances learning. 

Keeping Costs Down When the Needs Add Up
"Without the technology developed by Blackmagic, we would not be able to have true 3D video in the VR learning environment," said Brian. "When we first started building out the studio, we wanted to be able to shoot a full body shot of the talent from about one meter away from the lens, and do it in stereoscopic 4K. When we did the math, we realized the lenses would have to be right next to each other with just a little bit of space in between them. We also decided to add two additional cameras for a traditional medium/wide shot for the talking head style video as well as the full body. On top of that, we also needed the cameras to sit behind a teleprompter. All of that restricted the form factor of the cameras that we could use." 

With a need for four cameras that were compact in size, but that would also produce high quality 4K images, Aaron and Brian knew it would be challenging to find something that fit the bill, especially considering they needed the cameras to be budget friendly. When they discovered Blackmagic Design's Micro Studio Camera 4K, they purchased four units and immediately put them to use. 

According to Brian, "They are great cameras. They are so small but still include so many professional features and amazing image detail. At previous jobs we've used more expensive cameras that were not as good quality as these cameras. They do everything we need them to do in the studio, and we typically leave them mounted in our studio ready to roll for our education clients, but there have been times where we've taken them off the rigs and out into the field, and it's great to be mobile like that. We are able to record for longer because the camera is so lightweight, and our camera operator is grateful that he doesn't have to hold several pounds of excess gear. It's also very easy to swap them back into the studio rig. We like the versatility of being able to shoot both in the studio and in the field."

Building Out a Supporting Workflow 

To support its ability to offer high quality education content, the Lineage team also develops content using a 360 camera, for which they rely on Blackmagic Design's HyperDeck Studio Pro and UltraStudio Mini Recorder. The HyperDeck allows for their 360 camera to roll continuously using their supply of SSDs.  This capability has allowed them to record long-form documentaries and interviews that are not possible without additional gear on other systems.

In the studio they use a Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio Pro for each Micro Studio Camera 4K, as well as an ATEM Production Studio 4K switcher to control the cameras. A third party application allows them to control up to eight HyperDeck Studio Pros simultaneously or individually record and stop them. Also in the studio are two SmartScope Duo 4Ks which they use to monitor both the video and the waveform levels.

"The SmartScope Duo 4Ks have been really helpful," said Brian. "A few of us come from the older broadcast days when you had to look at scopes to understand what you were actually broadcasting. Without those tools, we wouldn't be able to make sure our waveform levels are where we need them to be. Scope prices can vary widely and it's great that Blackmagic Design keeps the price affordable."

Aaron and Brian noted that with the ability to do live production well, and even live to internet production, they have been able to test out workflows with the ATEM switcher and HyperDeck recorders that didn't even occur to them at first. For example, they have successfully tested out a workflow that involved recording and switching multiple X-Boxes for a live gaming stream. 

"It's a hardware solution rather than the typical software solution for live streaming," said Brian. "We haven't decided whether to use it for a live event yet, but it's a possibility and we have really enjoyed the ability to use the hardware for something unexpected like a live gaming event."

Aaron summed it up by saying, "We chose Blackmagic gear because we were a startup with crazy needs: 4K, affordability, side by side shooting for stereoscopic instead of a mirror. If it wasn't for such a comprehensive, affordable solution from Blackmagic Design, we wouldn't be able to do what we do with the ease that we can. The gear allowed us as a startup to get into high end video production, and then take it a step further into 4K stereoscopic video. When I look at our equipment, I feel like we haven't even begun to tap into all of its potential as a production company that's starting out. We're able to do everything that we do today, but more than likely we've got unknown uses for it in the future. It reassures me that we made the right decision."

Brian concluded, "We love our Blackmagic equipment because it allows for us to dream big, and know that the technology that Blackmagic continues to create will be there to support us, both in the specs that we need and the price that we love."

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Related Keywords:Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K, VR Production


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