Six Nations Rugby 3D: behind the scenes

Rugby in 3D - just like being there
Rugby in 3D - just like being there

This weekend sees yet another sporting event getting the 3D treatment.

Hot on the heels of last week's 3D Arsenal vs Manchester United match, the opening match of the RBS Six Nations is to be shown in 40 Odeon and Cineworld cinemas across the UK in 3D.

Although the BBC has rights to the content, it's not actually the BBC who will be taking care of the 3D feed. An independent UK company is taking the 3D reigns, called Inition, which has a long-standing relationship with 3D in the UK.

The team at Inition were behind Keane's historic 3D internet vidcast last year and the company also shot Usain Bolt on the streets of Manchester for a promo for the Manchester Commonwealth Games.

That race saw the runner beat his World Record time. Luckily the production company was on-board, complete with the first 3D tracking shot to capture the eye-popping action.

Rugby 3d

To understand just how much of an undertaking shooting England vs Wales in 3D is, we spoke to Inition's Director Andy Milns and were invited to its studios in London to see the cameras being used in action.

"It was two years ago when we, along with two other companies, decided to do a 3D broadcast of the rugby," explained Milns to TechRadar. "We approached the BBC and we funded it privately."

There were a number of issues with that experimental first shoot, namely the lack of equipment on hand for the match.

Not that this dampened Milns' spirit in any way or his enthusiasm for the technology: "Unfortunately we only really had one camera position and no graphics so we were limited.

"And then there weren't any tries and it was a rubbish game, but apart from that it was a great experience."

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.