Category Archives: Techniques

“3D will not save a bad movie”

Exactly:

One of the overriding topics of this year’s 3D Stereo MEDIA is how bad 3D is hurting the industry, yet for Comisky, it’s all about the context and the target audience, citing the success of 3D horror films. “I know what bad 3D is when it comes to doing a quality picture but then there are different genres,” noted Comisky.

via Chuck Comisky: “3D will not save a bad movie” | Diary Blog | Screen.

Directors, producers and crews that seek excellence in the entire process are the ones that will be successful. No different than the 2D world!

3D isn’t awful – its the bad 3D that’s awful!

I went searching through Youtube this evening for 3D content and found plenty of it – and plenty of it was basically awful!

Badly misaligned left and right eye views, edge violations, poor quality 2D-to-3D conversions. Not the sort of quality that will encourage others to enjoy 3D.

It is good to see people trying to do 3D – but it will take time for new enthusiasts to learn how to shoot and process 3D correctly. As 3D hobbyists ourselves, we need to help teach others how to create good quality 3D.

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Question on how to expose for greatest dynamic range on GH2

Question on how to expose for greatest dynamic range on GH2 – Personal View Talks.

This question was posted on Personal-View.com, the web site for micro four thirds (run by the author of the GH-1 and GH-2 hacks) and specifically the high end Lumix cameras.

Suggestion is made to consider using graduated neutral density filters or polarizing filters to help reduce the highlights in photographs. The same could be said for video, and that this tip applies not just to Lumix cameras but all kinds of still and video cameras.

I shot something recently, on video, using a Canon camera, where the subjects were in the shade but enough else was in direct sunlight. There was nothing I could do but allow the highlights to blow out on the limited dynamic range of 4:2:0 HDV video. But the suggestion to use a graduated ND is a good one that I thought worth sharing with others.

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.
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3D video of Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Geyser eruption

3D video of Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Geyser eruption – YouTube.

This is a “fake” 3D video created from a 2D video shot from the overlook several hundred feet above the geyser basin.

This video was created by time shifting a 2D video to produce separate left and right images – creating a very nice effect of the steam cloud coming out of the screen at the viewer.

To  create this effect, the one 2D video was dragged to both the “left” track and the “right” track in Magix Movie Edit MX Plus. Then, using the Stereo 3D effects tools, click on the “Shift Frames” – or + options. For this video, the right track was shifted 5 frames to the left. This has the effect of moving the steam cloud forward or towards the viewer.

Because the steam cloud is constantly moving, by shifting one copy of the video sequence off by 5 frames, the left eye sees the original and the right eyes sees the original but shifted by 5 frames when the steam has moved slightly. This, in turn, is similar to having recorded a separate left and right video image. But instead, I cheated used only 1 camera.

This was shot on a single, handheld Lumix GH-2 with a 45-200mm zoom lens. My tripod was simultaneously in use shooting a time lapse sequence using a Canon SX1 which I have not yet processed.

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3d photos taken with a single camera

While hiking I took several 3D photos using a single Canon SX1 IS camera. This works by taking a photo and then sliding the camera a couple of inches to the right and taking the same photo again. The left and right images are then combined with Stereo Photo Maker to create a 3D image.

Obviously, when handheld, camera pointing is not perfectly aligned in the left and right images. Much of the alignment can be cleaned up in Stereo Photo Maker but there will be little artifacts, like lens barrel distortion, still present. But still, this is an interesting way of easily photographing 3D photos of stationary subjects.

(Click on any image for full size – all are in red/cyan stereo anaglyph format)

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