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WATCH: How ZEISS CP.3 Cinema Lenses Were Used On RocketJump’s ‘The Floor Is Lava’

WATCH: How ZEISS CP.3 Cinema Lenses Were Used On RocketJump’s ‘The Floor Is Lava’

We recently had the chance to speak with Zeiss’ Richard Schleuning about the new Zeiss CP.3 lenses and their use on the viral “The Floor Is Lava” video from RocketJump.

Shot on RED cameras using Zeiss’ new CP.3 lenses, “The Floor Is Lava” is a short film that sees roomates trying to make it out of their home alive when the floor literally turns into lava. The Zeiss CP.3 lenses high speed and expansive meta-data features helped the RocketJump team capture exactly what they needed for their VFX heavy short.

The Zeiss CP.3 lenses go well beyond just metadata and the clean, crisp look Zeiss is known for, affecting all aspects of a production in a variety of ways:

Camera Operator / Camera Assistants

  • Real-time display of T-stop, focus distance and depth-of-field supported on lens control systems, cameras and monitors
  • Automatic detection of the lens, which enables the focus scale without calibration on a l ens control system


Script Continuity

  • Lens settings can be viewed at a glance on a monitor for continuity log sheets or transferred wirelessly to supported device apps


Data Wrangler / Digital Imaging Technician

  • Classification and search functions for specific shots (e.g. correct lens settings for a re-shoot)
  • Automatic options for quality check procedure (e.g. pre-selection of critical shots for visual check in real-time)
  • Statistical analysis of lenses used in the production and the lens’ settings


Director of Photography

  • Lens settings at a glance on monitor or viewfinder
  • Defining the final look by previsualizing color grading, shading and distortion and transferring it to post-production


Video Engineer

  • Pre-visualization of corrected images in live grading or VFX previews (e.g. live-key)
  • Distortion corrected pre-visualization of CGI Live-Rendering


We were also able to witness Zeiss’ own Snehal Patel (Executive Producer of the short)lead a panel about the making of “The Floor Is Lava”. The panel includes RocketJump Co-Founder Freddie Wong, Writer/Director Clinton Jones, DP Jan-Michael Losada and stars Cliff Lloret, Brett Driver and Casey Edwards. They reflect on how Zeiss’ CP.3 lenses affected each of their roles in the shoot and how they improved the final result beyond what they imagined. A big part of said result is the CP.3’s effects on post production as they discuss above. Some of those effects include:


  • Classification and search functions for specific shots
  • Automated image correction speeds up the process of image optimization



  • Quick supply of dailies to head-of departments due to automated image pre-correction and faster sorting options


Visual Effects

  • Removing or adding distortion for stitching and CGI integration
  • Removing or adding shading while matching shots
  • Key lens data for Match Moving, calculation of defocus and bokeh with CGI integration, stitching, manipulation of motion blur


Color Grading

  • Automated image correction accelerates the color grading process and saves valuable time for more intense fine-tuning


Virtual Reality Productions

  • Stitching and matching of multiple images


Augmented Reality Productions

  • Corrections for CGI integration


You can find out more about the Zeiss CP.3 lenses from our interview above, the “The Floor Is Lava” making of video as well as at