Check Out 3D Concept Art from 'The Hobbit' from New Video Blog

The Hobbit 3D concept art
3D The Hobbit concept art, Click the Image for a Larger Version
Photo: New Line Cinema / Warner Bros.

Get out your red and blue 3D glasses, Peter Jackson has released his fourth behind-the-scenes video blog from the sets of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again in New Zealand, this time taking a closer look at how he's using 3D, why he's using it, the cameras he's using, etc.

Along with the video I've also captured the above shot from the behind-the-scenes look, which gives you a look at how concept artists Alan Lee and John Howe have gone so far as to try and create old school red and blue 3D versions of their concept art with one red drawing and one blue drawing. Even better, it actually works if you have a pair of the glasses... Trust me, I tried. Just give the image above a click or click here for a larger version.

As for the content of the video, Jackson opens it by saying, "Shooting The Hobbit in 3D is a dream come true. If I'd had the ability able to shoot The Lord of the Rings in 3D I certainly would have done it. What I did on Lord of the Rings is I had a 3D camera taking 3D photographs. Hopefully, one day, maybe even on 3D Blu-ray, we might actually be able to show you some of the 3D photos from 10 or 12 years ago."

He discusses using the RED Epic camera (they have 48 of them) and 3D camera rigs developed by 3ALITY (they have 17 of them) while exploring the use of mirrors in order to get the camera lenses close enough together to mimic the human eye and how they're actually able to change the 3D effect within the shot.

Jackson also references how they're shooting the film at 48 frames per second, twice that of other films and by doing so it's causing difficulties with makeup, hair and prosthetics due to the high definition cameras. Additionally, the RED Epic camera, according to production designer, Dan Hennah, "tends to eat color" so they've had to add color to the set, which you'll notice in the Mirkwood scenes. Jackson follows that up saying that while they've had to oversaturate the image, the colors will be graded down in the final product to just get the barest hint of color in the finished film.

But I don't want to spoil the whole video, give it a watch below.

The first of The Hobbit films to hit theaters will be The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arriving on December 14, 2012. For more information including the cast and additional images click here.

  • adu

    very cool.

  • frank

    this movie is going to be huge and a massive step forward for film, utterly excited

  • Ian

    I'm not too concerned with the whole "shot in 3D" thing as I'll only be seeing these films in 2D, as I do with all films. I am curious though as to how the digital cinematography will come has the potential to have a bit of a soft focus in the final product which gives just a bit of a stylized look to the film in my opinion...see The Social Network and Anonymous for two good examples. Not bad by any means as both of those are terrifically shot films, but just a bit different. As far as I'm concerned, there's really no substitute for shooting on film, particularly with anamorphic lenses, as both of those techniques result in a resolution and "real-feeling" look that digital can't come close to replicating.

    What I am concerned with is this 48 fps business. No one seems to know what the finished product will actually look like, but I'm really afraid from how they describe it that it will come out looking like low-grade video type stuff, like you'd see on old BBC productions or something like that. I really hope that isn't the case because it would look terrible, particularly on such an epic project.

    • Alex

      "What I am concerned with is this 48 fps business. No one seems to know what the finished product will actually look like"

      Where you'll notice it is in the movement on screen. It will look a little bit like what you're used to seeing every day on TV - depending on where you are in the world, TV is broadcast at either 50 or 60 fields per second. One reason for shooting at 48fps when shooting 3D is to make it feel more like real life, as the frequency of the frames is more akin to what the human eye perceives.
      Personally I haven't seen a 3D film shot the 'old way' at 24fps that worked well so I'm interested to see how 48fps will look. I'm certainly not keen on the look of 48fps in 2D, because as stated above, it looks like TV, not cinema. However, saying that you're concerned it'll look like an 'old BBC production' is a bit ridiculous, given that this is a multimillion dollar feature film shot on the most advanced digital cinema camera in the world...

      "digital has the potential to have a bit of a soft focus in the final product"
      Usually it's the opposite actually. People have been fighting for years against the sharpness of digital.