Element Technica I/O Module Facilitates Metadata Wrangling

Element Technica (ET), a manufacturer of 3D rigs and peripheral equipment, has designed the I/O Module to gather, sync, and record the metadata necessary to optimize and streamline the 3D postproduction process.

Managing filmmaking metadata has traditionally been a daunting task. Not only must each sample of metadata, from multiple pieces of equipment, be captured and recorded, but metadata must be accurately associated with the frame of video from which the sample was taken.

ET’s I/O module fulfills that function, multiplexing and recording the various streams of metadata, both from the rig control and from the lens control, as well as external devices, with the exact timecode location.

“That’s a big thing about our device, it takes care of the timing issue, and that it’s all synchronized,” said Stephen Pizzo, Element Technica co-founder. “The metadata is indexed to the exact frame where the sampling was taken.”

The basic ET I/O Module has three metadata inputs, a timecode input, and a multiplexed metadata/timecode output. That number of metadata inputs can be expanded by daisy-chaining I/O Modules. A single I/O Module can intake and collate three different metadata streams, including T3D rig control (IO+C+HIT), ET, Preston, or C-Motion lens control (F+I+Z), as well as the streams generated by camera platforms like the Libra Head (P+T+R) or VFX tracking systems, depending on customer requirements.

This timecode stamped combination of the three metadata streams (referred to as a super-stream) is recorded to the on-board microSD card, and is also available to stream to cameras for recording in the R3D file structure. Users can interface the I/O Module through a PC application or the iOS iPhone app. These interfaces allow configuration of the system and updating of static metadata such as show name, DP, and rig number, as well as semi-static metadata like scene and take number. The interfaces also provide a convenient way to monitor metadata while shooting.

ET’s I/O Module is designed to capture metadata from any of the company’s Technica 3D line of stereoscopic rigs, including the large camera Quasar model, mid-sized camera Pulsar, small camera Neutron, and the Atom, which was purpose-built for the RED Epic camera.