Some odd tips for shooting #3D stills or video

I have learned all of these the hard way!

The following tips apply to shooting 3D using two cameras.

Got back from vacation 2 weeks ago and discovered that the time settings in my 2 cameras were not the same – making pairing up the video clips a little harder than I wished.

  1. Set the time and date in both cameras to the same settings! Makes it easy during edit to find matching images or video clips between the two cameras.
  2. Simpler cameras with fewer gizmos, gadgets and options generally mean you are more likely to get your 3D shot. Complex cameras have a lot of settings. The main value to shooting 3D with an advanced and complex cameras, I have found, is that you have interchangeable lenses, and its quite possible to adjust zoom lenses “close enough” on both cameras when you can physically see the lens markings as you make your adjustments. But otherwise, 3D likes wide angle and two simple cameras with nice wide angle lenses would be great for 3D.
  3. When taking still photos, you can use the auto-focus, but I recommend you use the pre-focus feature of your camera, if you have it. Most dSLRs will pre-focus the shot if you depress the shutter button part way but not all the way down. Wait for the pre-focus to complete, and then press both shutter buttons simultaneously. This can really help the two cameras fire almost simultaneously.
  4. The experts say to shoot everything in manual mode. That’s how I have been doing it, but on a modern dSLR there are a zillion manual settings that can get turned on accidentally, like programmed shooting modes, custom white balance settings, exposure override, a switch between 720p and 1080p and many more. I ran into this problem today! My thought is that for general hobby shooting, use the full AUTO mode on both cameras.
  5. Output to JPEG image files, not RAW. I shot about 60 3D photos today in RAW mode. Oops. Now I have to convert them all to JPEG before I can do the 3D processing! RAW is nice as it gives a far greater dynamic range – use it where you need it, but if you are shooting 3D, shooting RAW adds a lot of extra work steps.
  6. 3D is complicated enough – keep it simple. (I say after recently shooting 3D video with two shot gun mics, audio mixer, wide angle lens adapters …)
  7. Avoid shooting images that have railings or other items covering up part of the image. For example, the fence railings on th4e image below mess with the eyes. I encountered a similar problem with high school students behind a protective wire mesh used to shield them from some robots they were controlling. The wire mesh ruined the 3D imagery.
[singlepic id=173 w=640 h=480 float=]


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TV to Drive Global Demand for 3D-Ready Devices, According to NPD DisplaySearch – DisplaySearch

The 3D display market is set to grow from 50.8 million units and $13.2 billion in revenue in 2011 to 226 million units and $67 billion in revenue in 2019 worldwide, according to the NPD DisplaySearch 3D Display Technology and Market Forecast Report. 3D TVs contribute heavily to this projection and create the largest revenue stream with anticipated growth from 25 million units in 2011 to approximately 180 million units in 2019.

via TV to Drive Global Demand for 3D-Ready Devices, According to NPD DisplaySearch – DisplaySearch.

Magix Movie Edit Pro 2013 is out

Current customers can get a deep discount upgrade price (check your email) – in fact, I am installing the new version as I write this.

Magix Movie Edit Pro 2013 adds many new features – but also is said to speed up 3D preview rendering and adds performance improvements to all types of video editing.

Am looking forward to trying out the new edition!

Update: I seem to have run into a serious problem that renders Magix Movie Edit 2013 unsuable. I am editing 3d video and it goes into a continuous “Building frame-table for quick MPEG access…,” status message and seems to never end. I had to force/terminate the Magix Movie Editor. This happened several times.

Second update: I have sent a defect report to Magix and will update this when I learn more. Update: Have heard back from Magix support and have sent some files and file data to them for investigation.

Third update: <deleted> – proposed solution did not work.

Fourth Update: I started the project over, with a clean timeline, new files, etc, in MEP 2013. I add in and pair my video clips, set them as stereoscopic 3D pairs. This part works okay. However, when I select the Aligning “Automatic” spatially align function, it sometimes makes adjustments, and sometimes not. In all cases, whether it made an adjustment or not, the adjustment parameters remain on screen as “0.0” which is not correct. I can work around this defect and will see what I can do with reconstructing the project now.

Update: I have confirmed that the automatic spatial alignment feature in MEP 2013 for 3D clips is largely ineffective or does not work at all. I have created new projects in MEP 2013 and the prior version, MEP MX Plus. I imported the same clips to both products, marked them as 3D, chose the automatic alignment features. In MX Plus (the prior version) alignment is perfect while in MEP 2013, essentially nothing happens.


Fifth Update: When I have the “calculate video effects on GPU” option set to on, Export to MPEG4 files doesn’t work either. This is on a brand new project with video shot today and combined into 3D.  Gives a message “MPEG4 export module1: Export was canceled due to an unknown errors”.

It does work if I disable use of the GPU. (Actually, it mostly works in this case – I still had the error occur once, but starting the MP4 export process again had it working the 2nd time.)

MEP 2013 seems to have a lot of problems – more of a Beta test release. It is a lot faster than the previous version – and if you can figure out a path in between the defects the speed up is quite nice. But it leaves me feeling a bit uncomfortable as to whether I can trust the software for a big project – that’s not good. Magix can do better than this.

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