Virtual Test Drive

Virtual Test Drive

Dimensional Communications and Lightspeed Design Deliver 3D Film for Mercedes-Benz’ NY Auto Show Exhibit


Dimensional Communications, designer and producer of Mercedes-Benz’ New York Auto Show exhibit, tapped Lightspeed Design to executive-produce the HD 3D Stereoscopic film for this event marketing installation

Dimensional Communications, designer and producer of Mercedes- Benz’ New York Auto Show exhibit, tapped Lightspeed Design to executive- produce the HD 3D Stereoscopic film for this event marketing installation. The fast-paced driving film was captured in 3D at 4K resolution and presented on both a large high-brightness rear-projection screen as well as multiple 3D monitors in a massive 88- x 158-foot open exhibit area, and was viewed using movie theater-style polarized glasses.

Filmed on location near Santa Barbara, CA at the Sandpiper Golf Course, Bacara Resort, and Cojo- Jalama Ranch, the six-minute film features live 3D running footage of the Mercedes SLS AMG, E-Class Cabriolet, and S400 Hybrid, as well as pro golf played on a breathtaking oceanside course. The footage was shot on dual RED ONE cameras incorporated into Lightspeed’s DepthQ Stereoscopic rig, while the all-digital shoot utilized DepthQ Capture Software, which provides real-time monitoring, recording, and playback of the stereoscopic imagery. Post-production and editing at Lightspeed Design’s studio added custom CGI, special effects, and incorporated Mercedes archival media.

Chris Ward, president of Lightspeed Design, adds, “Our production pipeline benefits from advanced filmmaking technologies that we’ve developed and honed over the past 17 years producing stereo 3D content. DepthQ Stereoscopic is actually a mature, live-action 3D filmmaking process that maximizes creativity, efficiency, and accuracy from acquisition through post. Combined with our knowledge and experience in 3D filmmaking, it allows us to produce comfortable, visually impactful 3D cost-effectively.”

The HD 3D film was displayed on a 16-foot wide by 9-foot tall rearprojection screen using two 30,000- lumen Christie Digital projectors, as well as on four passive horizontally interleaved 3D LCD monitors distributed throughout the exhibit space. Custom-branded Mercedes-Benz plastic circular polarized glasses gave guests a first-class 3D experience on both the large projection and the 3D monitors.


Top: The HD 3D film was displayed on a 16-foot wide by 9-foot tall rear-projection screen using two 30,000 lumen Christie Digital projectors, as well as on four passive horizontally interleaved 3D LCD monitors distributed throughout the exhibit space. (Bottom Left) Custom-branded Mercedes-Benz plastic circular polarized glasses gave guests a first-class 3D experience on both the large projection and the 3D monitors. (Bottom Right) The footage was shot on dual RED ONE cameras incorporated into Lightspeed’s DepthQ Stereoscopic rig, while the all-digital shoot utilized DepthQ Capture Software, which provides real-time monitoring, recording, and playback of the stereoscopic imagery.

“This is our second major promotional project for Dimensional Communications and Mercedes. Dimensional does a great job of intelligently incorporating unique and advanced multimedia systems into their exhibit designs. They also produce artistic and beautiful booths with great attention to detail, and we are very pleased to be able to support their direction and concepts,” continues Ward.

Robert Sneed, partner and vice president of multimedia technologies at Dimensional Communications, adds, “With the worldwide success of Avatar, I knew the time was right to produce the first large-venue 3D film for tradeshow use, and I knew Mercedes-Benz would be the perfect client to approach. The results were astounding and the film became the star of the Mercedes-Benz exhibit. Because of its success, it will be presented at many more Mercedes-Benz events this year. The biggest challenge for the 3D project was the time we had to do it. Shooting didn’t begin until February 15 and the client viewing was the end of March.”

To create the required platform for presentation, Dimensional used stacked Christie 30Ks for rear projection onto a Stewart Filmscreeen 150 16-foot screen and for flat screen display used four new JVC 46-inch passive 3D LCD monitors. For the Samsung walls, the company used synchronized Mac Minis as HD playback devices using Pro Video Player software to handle the synchronization. All long HDMI cable runs were handled by Geffen extenders, which performed flawlessly. All 3D footage was color corrected and stabilized frame-by-frame where necessary and was fed directly to the Christies.

When looking back at the event, Sneed notes, “I hope it is the beginning of many more large-venue 3D productions for the industry. If the reaction of the NY attendees is a gauge, then 3D large screen productions in a tradeshow environment is going to be huge.”