The Hobbit video diary reveals 3D shooting secrets

The Hobbit video diary reveals 3D shooting secrets
Baggins in 3D

The fourth video diary from the set of The Hobbit has been released and it reveals quite a bit about how the film is being shot in 3D.

Most will know by now that The Hobbit is being shot on the RED Epic but Jackson revealed just how many cameras he is using – a whopping 48 (originally we thought it was going to be 30). And that he has named every one after a member of his or his wife's family, which is more than a bit mental.

But while the video is based around an idiot's guide in how to shoot in 3D, it does relay some interesting problems that have been encountered and how they are being fixed.

Red faced

One is the make-up – in the video, you see one of the actors Graham McTavish in full Dwalin regalia but his face looks rather sun burned. Apparently this is to counteract the unforgiving nature of shooting both in 3D and at 48fps.

So, the make-up department has had to add extra red to the faces of the actors to make sure that they come across as a normal skin tone on screen. If this doesn't happen then the tones look yellow.

Jackson also reveals that he would have relished the opportunity of shooting Lord of the Rings in 3D but the technology just wasn't there.

He did shoot a load of 3D stills of that shoot though – so expect to see the 3D images to appear on The Hobbit 3D Blu-ray when it does eventually hit shelves sometime in 2013. None of them will look as cool as Gandalf in 3D glasses, though.

Speaking about The Hobbit shoot, Jackson said: "The reality is that it is not that difficult to shoot in 3D.

"The RED Epic allows us to shoot 3D and we are using a mirror system from a rig that has been created by 3ality.

"The last thing I wanted to do when we went to 3D was to restrict or change the shooting style. It was very important with the Hobbit that it felt that we are just going into Middle Earth and shooting another movie."

One of the more endearing bits of video in the production diary is seeing two older conceptual artists create 3D pencil pre-production drawings of the shoot.

This time, though, the art is being drawn in anaglyph red and blue. While this isn't perfect it does show how much detail the production of the Hobbit is going into when it comes to 3D.

Head over to to see the video in full. December 2012 can't come quick enough for us.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.