Thursday, November 10, 2011

Amazing Time-Lapse 3D: "Deus ex Homine"


This looks incredible on an LG Optimus 3D phone and my 8" glasses-free 3D viewing frame. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Moody Evening 3D

I shot this 3D video heading into the city on the bus on October 16th. The music is Creative Commons sourced and is just the sort of quirky thing I was looking for. I especially like the second half when I turn the camera to look West across the bus and the bridge toward toward the setting sun.

This video looks awesome on my Chinavasion-sourced 3D multimedia frame.

I used a Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W3 digital camera. Parallax was then optimised using StereoMovie Maker. The video was then edited and rendered using Magix Movie Edit Pro MX Plus.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Chinavasion 3D viewer thing

I ordered a "3D Stereoscopic 8 Inch HD Photo Frame and Video Player (Glasses-Free 3D)" (a real mouthful!) from Chinavasion on Saturday and it arrived yesterday (Thursday).

It's a 2D and 3D multimedia  photo and video viewer and music player with an 8" glasses-free display. It appears to use "parallax barrier" technology to feed a different view to each eye depending on location and proximity to the screen. In other have to hold it right.

First things first  - DEEP breath - it worked out of the box. I hate ordering stuff and having it arrive dead.

Stereo 3D image. Click for full size. Cross your eyes to view.

It (must do something about the horrendously long name) comes with a simple, attractive and easy-to-use interface. Left to right  that lets you choose among "My Favourites", "Explore" the device, "Photos", "Video", "Music", "Ebook" and "Setup" options. It has some internal storage (that also contains the system files) and you can choose to use that, or an external SDHC card (up to 32GB) or an external (independently-powered) USB hard disk. The top image is of the list of 3D videos I had copied to an SDHC card.

The controls are all buttons. This is not a touch screen device. One button is a 5- way control that you move up or down, left or right or push in. Be gentle with it because when that button dies, you won't be able to drive this device anymore. That said, it doesn't feel far.  Overall, the device has a nice, solid feel. Other controls include a menu button for multimedia control and a back button that does double-duty, via long-press, as the switch between 2D and 3D modes. There is a power switch and a separate sliding on-off switch.

Stereo 3D image. Click for full size. Cross eyes to view.

What can it do? Quite a bit.

It can play 3D stills from both my Fujifilm Finepix  Real 3D W3 digital camera perfectly and - sort of - displays my LG Optimus 3D camera. It distorts the 4:3 (aspect ratio) images from the LG and presents them as 16:9. But the 3D effect is there and the colour is right. But it isn't perfect. The LG doesn't do 16:9 as stills (though it does for video) in the current firmware. 

It can play 3D video perfectly from the LG Optimus 3D (They are mp4 files) and also from Magix Movie Edit Pro MX Plus. I use Magix to produce edited side-by-side squeezed mp4 video files for upload to YouTube. 

It can't (correctly) play the 3D AVI files from the Fuji camera. If I put it in 3D mode, it messes up the alignment completely and the result is correct sound, shame about the messy video.

But if I process the Fuji 3D video files through Magix Movie Edit Pro MX Plus into side-by-side squeezed 3D mp4 files (as above), it will happily play them. I haven't tried any other formats as output. This is the optimal format for YouTube and I'm happy to re-use those files on this device. It only takes a handful of minutes on my PC to convert even a large video, so not really a problem.  

If an image or video isn't recognised as 3D by default, then you just long-press the Return button and it puts the device into 3D mode manually. It works. 

Note: It plays these same original Fuji 3D video files just fine as 2D video, by default. It seems to be able to play pretty much any kind of 2D video....including *.mkv files so that's a plus right there. 

The display does a good job of 3D - both depth and colour - provided you have it at just the right angle up / down and left / right. 

The device supports USB thumb /flash drives; self-powered external USB hard drives (no size limit specified) and SDHC flash chips up to pretty much anything. You connect it your PC and copy files onto it....or use a card reader and copy them onto the chip...then insert in the device. Whatever.

It plays mp3 sound files. I haven't tried any others. It sounds pretty good, too. The potential for audio disaster existed....and they avoided it.  I have yet to try it with headphones. You can also line connect it to a stereo or external sound device to play on other speakers.

It works really well for the NZ$170+ shipping ($38) I paid for it.  For what I paid, it's good enough. I'm loving the big 8" screen.

Do you want one? I don't know. You might. At least now you know someone who bought one and is happy with it.

One thing I did try was taking a 3D photo of the 3D display with my 3D camera. It sort of works! It might get better with some practice. I used the LG which has lenses only 25mm apart. I suspect it would work better with the Fuji which has lenses 75mm human eyes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nostalgia Series: "9 Minutes at Virtual Piha" in 3D

I was going through my folders of 3D photos and video the other night. I have loads of photos...and a lot less video. Most of the video isn't very good as a hand-held camera can really only produce a steady shot if you stand there and don't move or move only rarely. Plus, the Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W3 camera has an annoying tendency to mis-read the focus and I end up with a minute or two of video that would have been utterly awesome if only it weren't so far out of focus it's of no use. I got caught that way a fair bit in the early weeks of owning the camera. Less so in recent times.

I got to my 2011-09-13 folder and watched my videos taken at Piha, a wild west coast beach on the north west edge of  Auckland. They have wind distortion. They are at times quite shaky as the receding waves sucked the sand out from under my feet. But they put me back in the moment and I loved seeing the depth in the images that only 3D can provide.

 Piha is a bit of a magical place and it occurred to me there may be people out there who would appreciate seeing it in 3D. Maybe people who know it and who live far away. Or people who have heard about it and who might like to see it. In the end, I made a video of some of the more interesting parts of my stumbles around in the surging waves having given up trying to keep my trousers dry.

The sound is raw. I did try to dampen the wind noise in the camera mics, but then I also removed a lot of the roar of the ocean itself. So I left the sound alone. People can turn it up, down or off as it pleases them.

Here it is: "9 Minutes in Virtual Piha". Not great. Not polished or professional. Just 9 minutes of roaring ocean and dark sandy beach......if you feel like seeing in it I saw it when I held the camera.

This video looks awesome on my glasses-free LG Optimus 3D phone's 3D display. If you haven't got this phone or the HTC Evo 3D, then seriously consider it. Everyone I show it to is amazed at how good the 3D is and how well it works with YouTube. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A 3D Toronto Subway Moment

On January 5th, 2011, I was on my way to my Dad's house for a visit and caught the subway at College. This is the train approaching. I hesitated for a moment, dipping the camera thinking I would get a better shot later, then decided to carry on anyway. In the end, this was the only clip I shot. It looks awesome streaming from YouTube on my glasses-free LG Optimus 3D android phone. 

It was shot with a Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W3 digital camera. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

All Blacks RWC Auckland Victory Parade in 3D

There are dozens of videos of the victory parades by the All Backs after their Rugby World Cup win, but so far as I can tell this is only one in 3D.

Been making some 3D video!

I've been going through my recent archive of 3D video and re-composing the material using the methods I outlined in this post. I've also worked out hwat I think is a way to 'provoke' YouTube into performing the processing that allows a 3D video to work properly on devices like the LG Optimus 3D and HTC Evo 3D.

If I upload the video directly from Magix Movie Edit Pro MX Plus the 'yt3d' tags are already included. But YouTube may not recognize them for up to 48 hours...or at least that is how long it has taken a couple of my videos to play properly on my glasses-free LG Optimus 3D phone.

But if I edit the video and remove all tags, play it once or twice with no tags, then put the tags back in...I have been able to play the video properly on my phone with in half an hour of uploading it.

Maybe correlation isn't causation and I was just lucky...and YouTube are speeding up their processing of properly composed 3D video. I'd be interested in hearing if anyone else has seen the same thing or finds this information useful and checks it out for themselves.

Here is my latest video. This one was playing on my phone in split (side-by-side) mode...and then stopped and resumed in full screen 3D. This was after I performed the steps outlined above.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Making "Head-ache free" 3D Video

One of the main sources of discomfort for people watching 3D video is bad alignment between the left and right images. This is fixable.  

I've worked out a way to make my 3D videos as clean and clear as possible and able to be played on both PCs and hand held "glasses-free" 3D devices like the LG Optimus 3D and the HTC Evo 3D.

Shoot the video with a camera with clean lenses. A dirty / filmy / oily lens will mess up any photo or video. Read that sentence again.

Generally, you want to align the video you shot, both horizontally and vertically, to best present the centre of interest (the thing people will most likely be looking at).

For the Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W3 camera video files, I use StereomovieMaker (free Windows app). I view the video in Stereomovie Maker in "red/cyan full-colour" (wearing red/cyan glasses) so I can see the effect of parallax changes easily. Using the yellow-highlighted controls in the screenshot below, I align the video both horizontally and vertically to best present the centre of interest (the thing people will most likely be looking at). I then and save the video as a "Stereo 3D-AVI" file with 90% quality.
You can click on the image of the sax player to see it in full size.

For the LG Optimus 3D mp4 video files, I use Magix Movie Edit Pro MX Plus. It must be the "Plus" version as the non-Plus version doesn't handle 3D video.The 3D aligning function is under "Effects" and can be fiddly. To get access to the align function you have to drag an Optimus 3D *.mp4 video file to the timeline, select it by clicking on it, then under "Effects" click on "Stereo 3D", then "Properties, then "Aligning". At that point, you should see the controls in the image below. Again, you'll probably want to put the preview window in red/cyan analog mode (top left) and wear glasses so you can see the effect change.

I then compose, edit / render the video as side-by-side, left-on-the-left, half-width video files using Magix. These upload to both YouTube and 3DF33D.TV. In this format they will play on the PC immediately and, after some hours, they should play perfectly on glasses-free handheld devices like the LG Optimus 3D and HTC EVO 3D. I was quite frustrated last night when the Kumeu video would NOT play properly on my LG phone.....then when I tried it the next played fine. There is a lag.

The key here is the ability to tweek the alignment for the centre of interest in each segment....then edit the segments together. The result should be effortless, headache-free 3D.

Here is a sample video using the method above. The first 41 seconds will be very slightly "out", but then I shift position and the parallax is optimised from there to the end of the video. I didn't want to cut it because it's music and exactly matching the flow would have taken more time than I had.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Noodles" - Installation Art in 3D

Thinking about it, the only true way to record and re-present installation art is in 3D. It's art that stands out there in the world, filling its space. If you lose the depth, you lose a big part of what the work is attempting to present.

This work is "Noodles" and it's part of the AMPED  set of works currently in Myers Park.

AMPED is an annual, multidisciplinary creative showcase featuring work from students at The University of Auckland's National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries (NICAI). This year they took this exciting event into Auckland's Myers Park.

NICAI has been commissioned by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development to create interactive installations and events for Auckland's Fan Trail, a walking route from the waterfront to Eden Park stadium.

(You can click through to YouTube if you want to see this video in other 3D formats. This one is cross-eyed stereo)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Chinavasion: 3D Photo Frame and Video Player

[Update 2011 10 31: I've now ordered one of these!]

I've been keeping my eyes open for a glasses-free, 3D photo frame and video player for a while. I think Rollei sold one with their 3D camera but I couldn't find a place I could just order it from.

China to the rescue! As we see more and more often these days, Chinese companies are stepping up to fill market niches with cool stuff of all kinds including 3D products.

"Chinavasion" is offering a device it calls "3D Stereoscopic 8 Inch HD Photo Frame and Video Player (Glasses-Free 3D) " and the price is quite reasonable (NZ$182 / US$130-ish). The name of the manufacturer isn't obvious. This is often the case. You may find if you Google around that the same device is being sold under a variety of names.

My experience with this sort of thing is very much BUYER BEWARE as the quality can be low (or VERY low) and the specs are often very close to NOT actually being able to do what the product promises.....but not quite. Or it could be a wee piece of massive awesome and you'd be glad you bought one. As build quality can be 'variable', sometimes you can even get both levels of quality - excellent or rubbish -  simply by buying two (apparently) identical units.

If you're feeling adventurous, then order one of these things. You'll either be very happy with it or you'll have an interesting horror story to add to your collection of stories about trash made in China. It's almost worth the money either way. :-)

Manufacturer Specifications

Color: White
Display: Glasses-free 8 inch parallax barrier TFT-LCD
Screen resolution: 1280 x 768
Optimal watching distance: 45-65cm
Internal: 4GB
External: SD Card up to 32GB (not included)
Compatible File Types: 
- Videos: MJPEG, MPEG1/2/4, Divx, Xvid, VC1, WMV, H.264, AVI, RMVB
- Pictures: JPEG, JPG, BMP, PNG
-Videos: 3DM, 3DV 
-Pictures: MPO, 3DG, 3DP
-Music: MP3
-E-book: TXT
Power: AC 100-240V, 50/60HZ / Internal battery
Battery Capacity: 4000mAh
Battery Life: 2-4 hours depending on use
Built-in stereo speakers: YES
OSD Language: English, Chinese
Dimensions: 204 mm (W) x 139 (H) x 20 mm (D)

Thursday, October 6, 2011 Lives!

Good news for 3D photo sharers everywhere: Phil Dhingra, founder and owner of says the popular 3D photo sharing site will live on. It sounds like enough people were keen to help Phil out that he has found a way to cut the cost of running of the site and keep it viable.

In particular, Nintendo 3DS users everywhere will be rejoicing. :-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

3D Sunset at Beach Haven Wharf

I went down to the wharf at Beach Haven Point last Wednesday (2011-09-28) and took loads of photos as the sun went down. I used both my LG Optimus 3D phone and my Fuji Real 3D W3 camera.

The pics posted here are from my phone only. The LG Optimus 3D tends to flatten the contrast if the subject is too bright - and the Sun is certainly bright. To correct for that I've used GIMP to bring the contrast back a wee bit toward what the scene looked like in my mind's eye.

I have a "thing" about trying to take the best possible photos using (relatively) low-spec camera devices like phone cameras. A clean lens and good framing can produce results I'm very pleased with.

Click on the pics to see them in full size.

To see the "3D" depth, look at the left side and cross your eyes slowly until the two images merge into one, overlapping, and at that point, you see the depth in the scene looking across the water.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Photography: When to use 3D?

I've had my first 3D camera, a Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W3, for about 9 months. One of the things I think I have sorted out is when to use 3D in my photographs.

His Chair. His Place.
(R/C anaglyph)
The short answer as far as I'm concerned is: Use it for everything. 

The simple reason I say that is, to me, everything looks better with some depth in it. Depth adds information to context, literally adding another dimension to every photo you take or video you may capture.

Fortunately, the Fuji camera has a feature that allows you to take both a 2D and a 3D photo at the same time and stores a copy of each on the SDHC card. Other devices, like the LG Optimus 3D phone, take side-by-side "unsqueezed" 3D jpeg images. If you want a 2D version you just open the file and crop away either the left or right image and you have a 2D image.

A Moment in a Market
(R/C anaglyph)
Opportunity: Taking good photos is often a matter of luck intersecting with opportunity. You have to be ready to do the right thing in the moment, if you get the chance. You might only get one shot. But if you didn't take a 3D image in the first place, then you've given that option up and may not have second chance.

 (R/C anaglyph)
Memories: A 3D image may seem like a gimmick while the subject in the photo is readily available. But I find it takes on a different light when the subject is inaccessible or gone entirely. Then, a 3D image is about as perfect a representation of the subject as one can hope for. Twenty years after a loved on has passed on or travelled far away, a 3D image lets you see them now as immediately present as they were when the image was taken. This is even more true for 3D video. I find 3D images and videos have the power to put me into that moment again in a way that 2D photos and videos simply can't do. The subject of the photo or video might be a person or a pet or place or thing you you owned that is now gone. It could be anything that's important to you. I want my recordings of these people and things to be as true to life as possible and 3D just moves that goal a little closer.

Fire Destroys Heritage Building
Toronto 2011 01 03
(R/C anaglyph)
History: I separate history from memories. Memories are mine or yours. History is a record that transcends you or I. When we are gone and our memories are dust the records we make of things that are important to us now will inform future generations of our own families and wider society about who we were and how we lived our lives. I think it would be amazing for someone 100 or 1000 years from now to be able to look at 3D images I've captured and be able to see what I saw just as I saw it as it was then....whatever the subject may be. For perspective: those old black and white photos from 150 years ago tell us a great deal. If they were hand-painted with colour, as many were, they tell us even more. They seem more real. If they also have depth and spatial context, they tell us more still....and are even more 'real'.

Whether it's a sunset or a puppy or the flowers in your garden, I think 3D is appropriate for any and all of them. The only situations where 3D fails are where the device capturing the image can't do it. The Fuji camera, with its 75mm base parallax doesn't produce good 3D images of anything closer than 2 metres. It needs to be cross-eyed to do it and it can't be - it's a camera. Similarly, the LG Optimus 3D with its 25mm base parallax can't really take good 3D photos closer than 1/2 a metre. If you want to take extreme close-ups you either need special 3D equipment or a 2D photo will have to do.

These are my opinions, of course, I'd be interested in hearing any thoughts you might about when to use 3D.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

3D "HDR" Style Auckland Skyscapes

I was walking home from work late yesterday afternoon and as I crossed the Northern Motorway at Sunset Road, the Sun went behind a cloud. For someone wanting to shoot a photo of the sky that's a good thing. Otherwise the Sun more or less wipes out everything else in the frame because it's so bright.

I took these two photo on my LG Optimus 3D android phone then later used GIMP v2.6 to transform them into something a bit different. But....I didn't actually do anything to them that I coudn't have done with the editing tools right on the phone. I just didn't think of it until later. :-)

These are stereo 3D. I've shrunk them to 1024x384, but that's still a lot bigger than the display size in this post, so if you want to see them larger, just click on them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Auckland Sunrise - 2011 09 20

I walked to work this morning. Along Glenfield Road below Sunset Rd is a stretch with a high retaining wall. It's great place to take photos to the east without trees or buildings getting in the way of the shot.

This photo was taken with an LG Optimus 3D phone, then brightness, contrast and saturation adjusted with GIMP to more accurately reflect what my eyes saw. Very few cameras actually catch an outdoors scene exactly as you it. But they get more than enough to let you fix that. On the other hand, indoor shots tend to be more accurate and require less 'post-processing'. To be fair to the LG Optimus 3D phone, the image editing app (2D and 3D) in the camera app (in the phone) would have let me do all of these adjustments right in the phone.

Click the image to see the full size.

20110920 - 07:02 - Sunrise over the Hauraki Gulf

Monday, September 19, 2011

"The Gap" at Piha

I'd heard about "The Gap" at Piha and while I was there I thought it might be good to go and have a look. Before I did that, I was wandering around on the main beach, taking in the sights and sounds as well as getting my feet wet as the waves slid up the beach, flat and fast, after each surge.

At one point, I happened to look to the cliffs beyond the south end of the beach...and saw a huge plume of white water appear in - and ABOVE - the gap in the cliffs. It must have been utterly huge to be that big and that high relative to the cliffs.

I headed over there immediately. The walk to The Gap was steep but short, then swept away across the face of a hill. It took maybe 15 mins to get there at a fast walk once I got onto the track from the beach.

It certainly is a dramatic place. I shot this video from a point above the generally sand-filled channel the gap gives entry to. I wasn't lucky enough to capture a wave anything like the one I had witnessed from the other end of the beach, but imagine a plume of water on the left side of the gap that was higher than the face of the cliff. It had to be for me to see it from the bottom of Lion Rock.

I didn't stay long as the rain was visibly coming in from the Tasman Sea and it looked like it was going to set in when it arrived. But I had time to shoot these two minutes of video. They may give you sense of the power and magic of this place.

Turn the sound up! It's 95% roaring sea and waves, 5% wind.

(Click through to YouTube to see this video in 2D or in a different 3D format.)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Footprints at Piha

Went to Piha this morning and spent several hours there taking 3D photos and video. One of the shots I like best is this one of a pair of footprint tracks in the sand. In taking the shot, the Sun was so bright I couldn't see the screen on the Fuji Finepix Real 3D W3 camera, so I held it down around waste height, tipped it to what I though might be good angle...and pressed the shutter. The result was exactly what I had hoped for. I was lucky.

This image is a red /cyan anaglyph. If you want to see it in full size, click on the image below. You need red/cyan glasses to see the 3D effect. It's well worth it. The effect in this image is powerful, IMHO.

Friday, September 16, 2011


You have your 3D camera and you want to share your awesome pics and videos. What do you do?

I went looking for sites that specialise in enabling the sharing of 3D content and found a few. Each has strengths and weaknesses and none of them are perfect. But the price (free) is certainly not heavy and you can't really complain too much.

My aim in sharing 3D content was to make it as easy as possible for others who may not have much experience with 3D images and how to use them. I also wanted a site that let the user turn the 3D off if they just aren't up for it.  I also like to view my images in red/cyan anaglyph full screen on my big PC monitor. The effect is amazing, but sometimes the parallax in the anaglyph images is 'off' and most sites offer no way to fix that.

3DF33d.TV does all these things. This is why it's my favourite 3D viewing and sharing site by a reasonably wide margin. It's the only site out there that lets you fix misaligned parallax and see a good-quality, high resolution image (or video) at the same time. No one else comes close. The site provider / operator, Keith Fredericks, has put together something very special for us all.

Up front, 3DF33D.TV requires your web browser to support WebGL. That means you need a very recent version of Forefox or Chrome. You should see prominent graphic explaining your WebGL options and how to enable it of you don't have it.

Once the WebGL is sorted (if you had to do anything at all), the default viewing mode is 2D. You have to select a 3D viewing mode in order to see it and the selection button is top and centre on the main page.

When you click on the "Select 3D mode" icon you're taken to a page that offers a wide range of choice for 3D viewing options. To be honest, I don't know what half of them are (yet), but I'm sure the people who need them will identify them readily. 

The main selection list above should be good enough, but if you need something more specialised, you can click on "Other Modes" and gain access to an additional list of 3D viewing modes. For example, regular (full colour) red/cyan anaglyph may be good enough for most things, but if you have an image that has a lot of  red and / or blue in it, your glasses will make those parts of the image look......just wrong. So, instead, you'd click on Other Modes and select "Dubois", which alters the shading of the reds and blues in the images to optimise them for viewing through red/cyan lenses. A bright blue sky on a sunny day will look much more natural using Dubois red/cyan anaglyph  than the regular full-colour flavour. It's this kind of flexibility that makes 3DF33D.TV a win for me. This works for both stills and video. 

Fixing the parallax in red/cyan anaglyph mode (if you selected one) is easy for any still or video. Moving the mouse cursor to the top-right in the image or video when, not in fullscreen mode,  gives you access to the parallax adjustment tool (I don't know what Keith calls it.) With your glasses on, just use the mouse pointer to slide the white dot up or down until the ghosting disappears. Then you can make it fullscreen. The parallax adjuster is also available in fullscreen mode, but doesn't work. It will immediately go to the highest negative number and stay there, so best to do this before going to fullscreen.  

Images can be up to 20MB each. Maximum resolution is 3048 x 1080. The site supports "png gif jpg jpeg mpo" image formats. It can also handle *.jps files if the file being uploaded has been renamed to end in *.jpg. Always make a copy. Don't mess with your originals. I have an LG Optimus 3D phone camera and it produces *.jps files and this method works fine for me. 

This is all goodness. Could 3DF33D.TV be better? Sure. I admit, I don't know what Keith's goals are for the site, so what might be good from my point of view might not with his vision of where he wants to take 3DF33D.TV. Keith posts a blog entry on the site every few days and they are always informative and or entertaining. His enthusiasm for 3D shines through brightly. He recently published a book: "The Future of 3D Media". I bought an e-copy copy via Amazon for US$9.99. 

The site allows you to use tags, but has no folders. So if you want to organise your uploaded content you will need to think about a set of  tags that will let you group your images in ways useful to you. I use permutations on the date that include my user-id initials as other people may also want to use dates and won't want my images mixed in with theirs. For example, we can't ALL use "201107" for July 2011 without overlapping.  I also add a word or two about the main subject, the location - city and country, my username (so I or others can select only my images/videos) and the device that shot the image ("LG Optimus 3D" or whatever). There is a search function, but any new user will rely heavily on the "new, hot, random" selection choices on the feature pages to locate content of interest. There is no high-level topic index.  You have to browse and when you find a user whose content you like, you can drill into it.  

It's possible to rate images and videos as one to five stars. I usually do. But no one else using the site seems to use this much. You can also leave comments, but I'm one of the few who do. There is no real "community" side to the site. If you want forums for sharing, learning or teaching, you'll have to go to another site. The fonts on the menus can look a bit "chunky". In some browsers the words on the menus are black on black unless you're mousing over them. But generally the site is stable and stuff just works. I've found in video playback that the player doesn't really buffer much of the stream, so if the network path between you and 3DF33D.TV is being "choppy" due to congestion at some point, there is no way to get around it. For this reason, I can only very rarely use the 720p HD playing mode with the site, but the 360p mode works very well almost all the time. 

The user community on the site is still quite small as far as I can tell, but the hit-counts on the content seem to be rising, so interest appears to be growing. The more content there is, the more people will want to go there. 

The summary for me is that 3DF33D.TV is the best 3D sharing site out there. If you haven't tried it then it's time you did.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Lazy Cat

Everyone knows clean washing makes a great bed for a lay-about cat.

Shot with an LG Optimus 3D phone and uploaded with Google's Blogger app for Android. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 May Be Closing Down

3D fans everywhere had some bad news yesterday. Phil Dhingra, founder and owner of, announced he will likely have to close the site down as he can no longer afford to keep it going.

In tweets with Phil, he told me he'd need  (presumably US) $300 - $400 per month to keep the site doing, so we aren't talking mountains of money. If as few as 30 or 40 people donated a few dollars / month, could carry on.  

There aren't many 3D-specific image sharing sites out there and it would be a shame to see Phil's site go dark. hosts over 43,000 images uploaded by Nintendo 3DS owners, as well as several thousand images uploaded by owners of other devices. It supports upload of *.jps and *.mpo files and  for viewing offers red/cyan anaglyph, stereo cross-eyed / "freeviewing", side-by-side parallel or your choice of left or right. You can also see images in an animated "wiggle" format that I personally find very annoying, but that's just me.

The site also lets you see your images in fairly good quality and doesn't over-compress them.

Hopefully Phil will find a way to solicit sufficient donations to keep 3dporch,com up and running. If you think you have a solution or want to help, his contact details are at the bottom of the page here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

LG Optimus 3D: I love the 3D!

My LG Optimus 3D arrived 3 weeks ago. I'd ordered it from on a Thursday afternoon. It left Guangchou on Friday, the next day. It was in my hand by Noon the following Monday.

I'm impressed. But it got better.

It's a Telecom XT version (P925G) and is rich in Rogers livery, intended for sale in Canada.

I'm really impressed with the Optimus 3D. It feels good. Runs really quick and smooth. The 3D screen is actually pretty good. I'm able to watch 3D video from YouTube 'natively' on the (4.5"? - bigger than the HTC Sensation) screen without crossing my eyes or wearing glasses. That's nice!


The LG Optimus 3D is pre-loaded with Android v2.2 upgradeable to 2.3 in October '11 (I'm told).


The screen resolution is 800x480...which on a big screen works out really well for these 53yo eyes.  You can actually see the detail in the icons! I'm not used to that as my other phones have had smaller screens or higher resolution. Either way, things were smaller on the screen.

Performance / Capacity

The phone's dual-core 1GHz processor delivers good, snappy performance. The 512MB of RAM may be less than other top-end phones in relative terms, but it doesn't appear to matter in absolute terms. Perhaps this is due to the "tri-dual" implementation LG have used: dual-core, dual-channel, dual RAM. Whatever, this phone can't be accused of being slow.

There is 1GB of app storage. not as much as some other high-end phones, but more than I have ever used. I still have 400MB left after installing every app i can think of that I might want to use every now and again...maybe. Games typically put their data on the sdcard, so that doesn't matter, either.

Without adding external storage, you get about 5.5GB of internal storage space - of which about 1.5 GB is used to store included 3D apps. I added a 16GB Class 10 microSD. I suspect they have an 8GB sdcard hard-wired inside and have subdivided it into partitions for system, installed app storage and user data / app space.

Camera and Photos / Video

The 3D photos the phone produces are 5mp 2D stills or 3.2mp x 2 stereo images. Just good enough for me, but may not be for others. The camera app has a built-in editor for editing 2D and 3D photos. It's actually very useful. You can tweek the pics righrt there on phone before sharing them. You can crop or resize. You can manipulate brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, RGB and there is an "auto" option as well. You can then save the file with a new name if you prefer - and I always prefer as I never alter my originals. You very often can't just take them again. The moment passed.

The files are in *.jps format, which is basically side-by-side, cross-eyed, jpeg. If your favourite PC or phone-based viewing / editing app can't see *.jps, you can just make a copy (I never mess with the originals!) ending in *.jpg and it should be able to see them. The still camera's default still image aspect is 4:3. I prefer 16:9....but I have my Fujifilm 3D camera for that.

Every 3D sharing web site I know of can handle *.jps directly, except will allow you to upload the LG Optimus 3D's pics provided the file name ends with the *.jpg extension. No problem. Just make a copy that ends in *.jpg.

The video the LG Optimus 3D produces is 720p HD. The quality is pretty good for a phone and considering there are two images in there....not just one.


The LG Optimus 3D's twin cameras are 25mm apart. That's about 1 inch, for those in the last country on Earth that isn't metric. (You know who you are). That is about 1/3 the distance between human eyes, which is about 75mm (also like the Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W3 camera). This means the 'parallax' - the difference between the two views - is also much less. What THAT means is that you lose the sense of depth sooner than you would if the same scene were viewed through human eyes The upside - and there is one - is that you can see depth clearly in photos taken at much closer distances than with a camera that matches the human eye distance. For example, the LG Optimus 3D phone can happily snap away at things only half a metre (1/5 feet) away to good 3D effect, while the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 camera struggles to properly represent things in scenes that are close then 1.5 metres (about 5 feet) away.  This matter particularly if you want to use the red/cyan anaglyph 3D viewing method. Images that are too close just won't line up right if the parallax is too great. The LG Optimus 3D is great for 3D of people and things close to you. A camera with greater parallax (like the Fuji) is better for  outdoor scenes and landscapes...and people and things more than 3 metres (10ft) away.

The UI

The Optimus 3D's UI looks like Samsung's TouchWiz, but is actually usable....I kinda like it. We'll see how we go. I removed all the Rogers apps from the Home screen. No big deal. They don't work anyway in NZ.

The "3D Space" UI is also good fun. A sort of spin-able horizontal wheel of 3D aspects (3D Apps & Games, YouTube, 3D Gallery, 3D Apps, 3D Camera) all presented in a 3D display with depth that I really like. A new owner of the phone can see immediately a strong hint of  the potential of this device. Opinions will vary. They always do with 3D. :-)

I really like the glass on the LG Optimus 3D. I use SlideIt, a swipe keyboard...and the glass on the LG doesn't get "sticky" if you're writing a long email. On my SG-S and HTC Sensation I noticed the glass face can gradually increase friction with my finger tip. This doesn't happen with the LG. Odd....but good.

3D Games

I've also had a chance to download the 318MB for "Asphalt 6" racing game - included with the phone (Remember - included stuff may vary from telco to telco). I think it looks great in 3D. :-)  I've also had a quick peek at "Nova", also included, and it looks like it could be fun. The graphics are good enough for me. There is a golf game, too. Haven't tried it yet. Also noticed I can play any 3D video on YouTube in 3D on the screen without needing glasses. That's cool.

Bottom Line

I'm *really* impressed. It's better than I thought it would be. The LG Optimus 3D is my main phone now, even though I also own two other phones with nominally higher spec. I love the 3D!

Here are some sample images in stereo cross-eyed format. Click through to see them in full size. Also below is a link to a video I shot on the LG Optimus 3D.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

3D - Orewa Beach Spring Day

Shot this yesterday (2011 09 10 - Saturday) on the beach at Orewa, north of Auckland.

Click through to YouTube to see it in 2D or to select another 3D viewing format.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Stunning Spring Day!

3D pics shot a few minutes ago with my LG Optimus 3D phone / camera. Went outside with my jacket on and it was one of those days you realise you don't need it.

Update: when I uploaded these from my phone using the Blogger app, they aren't the full-size and you can't click on them to get the full size. Sorry about that! I've uploaded them again via Chrome.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

3D Bus Ride

I made this video last week. I shot it with a Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 digital camera. For editing, I used Magix Movie Edit Pro 17 Plus. It's cheap, stable and has loads of features and functions for making great 3D video out of the bits and pieces you capture with your camera.

Click through to YouTube if you want / need to see this 3D video in other 3D formats.

3D Content Sharing Sites

I've found several sites that make sharing 3D images and videos easier.
I use (listed in order of preference):
  • stills can be viewed easily and in good sizes including fullscreen.
  • many 3D viewing formats supported. Over a dozen.
  • when viewing in red/cyan anaglyph you are able to adjust the parallax as you view to optimise the perceptions of 3D
  • handles video, too, and also allows parallax adjustment
  • free membership
  • No folders. Tags are the only way to group pics or videos.
  • video player has to be refreshed to restart video. Videos can only be played through and can't be arbitrarily started or entered at any point.
  • stills only
  • reasonable viewing size
  • multiple viewing modes supported
  • free membership
  • hard to find anything.
  • no tags or folders
  • larger viewing sizes are full resolution and usually larger than your monitor.
  • default viewing format is "Wriggle" which is intensely annoying
  • As of 2011-09-13, Phil Dinghra says he may have to shut the site down if he can't raise more money to keep it going.
  • stills only
  • multiple viewing methods supported
  • supports folders
  • can toggle between image sizes
  • can order hard-copy lenticular prints (US$35 each)
  • free membership
  • Images you upload are highly compressed and image quality is poor at the two larger viewing sizes. (not in order of preference - it's in a class by itself)
  • 3D video only - not stills
  • supports a number of viewing formats
  • free membership
  • annoying and often incorrect or inappropriate implementation of copyright restrictions
  • disputes process slow and largely ineffective (NVidia)
  • free to join
  • supports video and photos
  • Photos viewable as red/cyan anaglyph, but looks like you can only see 3D video if you have NVidia 3D gear. Not much use if you don't.

Inaugural Post

I've been into 3D images since I was a kid at school looking at black and white stereo images in geography class. Now 3D-capable devices are widely available in the consumer arena and I've jumped in with both boots as have many others. 

On this blog, I want to share information, resources and some images and videos, too. 

On with it then.