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.