Paradise FX Launches Helios 3D Stereo Rig
October 27, 2011

Paradise FX Launches Helios 3D Stereo Rig

Van Nuys, Calif. - Paradise VFX, an experienced provider of 3D stereo camera systems and production services, has launched Helios, a wireless, self-contained, 3D stereo rig, whose advanced design and operational features support faster on-set deployment, streamlined postproduction, and more cost-effective 3D stereo production.

Helios harnesses Paradise FX's 20 years of expertise in 3D camera system design, and delivers a 3D capture system suitable for all types of untethered camera work, including handheld, Steadicam, and studio applications, with optimized metadata handling, crucial to VFX-oriented 3D production, according to a company representative. When provided as part of a production service package from Paradise FX, Helios reduces the technological and crewing footprints of 3D stereo cinematography, bringing them into line with 2D production practices.

Helios, manufactured from rigid, lightweight magnesium and aluminium alloy, is currently designed for use with RED EPIC cameras, with future support for ARRI Alexa M and Sony F3 cameras. It is offered with a range of matched lens pairs, including ARRI Ultra Primes and Angenieux Compact Zooms.

Using Preston G4 wireless controls, Helios' interaxial range can be adjusted from 0 to 2 inches, and convergence from 10 inches to infinity. It measures 18.5 (H) x 18.5 (L) x 8.5 (W) inches, with a mirror box width of 15 inches. The rig's naked weight is 18 pounds; 42 pounds in Steadicam mode; 47 pounds in handheld mode; and 53 pounds in full studio mode.

Paradise FX has designed Helios to meet the requirements of all key departments on a 3D stereo production: the camera team, producers and directors, and editorial/VFX.

As Helios is lightweight, self-contained, and untethered, Steadicam operators can move as freely as they do on a 2D shoot. Its self-balancing design means that interaxial convergence controls move out from the center of the rig, preventing a weight shift from affecting the Steadicam operator's performance.

To boost postproduction workflow, Helios can be deployed with Paradise FX's Mercury metadata capture system. Files, timecodes, associated lens, and 3D stereo information, such as interaxial and convergence metadata, can be offloaded for post or VFX. In addition, camera moves can be played back on-set in the same way as a motion control system. To support even more efficient postproduction workflow, Paradise FX also provides an on-location Digital Lab facility for fast dailies review, archiving and post adjustment of 3D footage.

Outfitted with RED Epic cameras, Helios provides the smallest package for a 35mm chip, and unsurpassed quality and firepower allowing up to 96fps at 5K and 300fps at 2K.