Tag Archives: 3D film

Learning to “see in 3D” to improve 2D photos

As a 3D stereographer, I am always aware of the 3D space in front of me. And when shooting 2D, I often wish I was shooting 3D!

The key idea, in this linked column, is that by learning to see in 3D, we can improve our 2D photos. You might think “seeing in 3D” is obvious – after all we see a 3D world around us. But truly, as 3D photographers know, learning to see in 3D is a technique all unto itself.

About negative space, looking 3D and some other things.

Source: About negative space, looking 3D and some other things. By Dirk Dom – STEVE HUFF PHOTOS

Google intros subtle “three dimensionality” to Android user interface

It’s subtle – page to the bottom to see the sample user interface: What is Google’s Material Design for Android? Appvigil – Android App Security Scanner.

The software API’s provide new “shadow” features to enhance the Z-axis “elevation” dimension of a control or window. Details of the feature are available from Google.

These effects are – so far – very subtle. I am not sure of the point of this –  its a basic element of graphic design that was used in software more than 25 years ago.

An “API” is an “application programming interface”. Operating systems – such as Android, Windows or Mac OS X – expose features to application programs through an interface, known as an “application programming interface” or just API.

World’s First 4K 3D Civil War Battle videos

I realized last night that the 4K 3D videos I posted on Youtube are the world’s first ever Civil War era battle re-enactments posted online in 4K 3D format. Kind of cool.

The videos were created using dual Lumix GH-2 cameras, each shooting a 1920×1080/30p video stream.

These were edited and mastered in Sony Vegas Pro and output as full width side by side videos – meaning 3840 pixels wide by 1080 high.

This is then uploaded to Youtube with several “tags” set to tell Youtube how to encode the video properly. When viewed on Youtube, two new viewing resolutions appear: 1440 HD and 2160 4K. Even if you only have a typical 2K monitor, either of the higher resolutions looks much, much cleaner in 3D!

ImportantThis remains experimental! I can only view the videos in correct format using Firefox. Chrome tells me I do not have HTML5 compliant hardware. I could play all but one video on an LG 3D TV using the LG Youtube app. However, when I played the videos on the same TV using a Sony BluRay player’s Youtube app, the videos have the wrong aspect ratio (3840×1080 instead of 1920×1080). A separate video I mastered as 3840×2160 side-by-side 3D did better, but means I have to double the file size (data rate) to get the same image quality.

We can argue about whether or not paired 2K streams are really 4K video. In one sense, they are half vertical resolution 4K. But when 4K is used to stream 3D, we end up with half size images on the left and right anyway. The effect is therefore the same in terms of what gets delivered.

Additionally, Digital IMAX theaters, as of now, are thought of as 4K theaters but they use dual 2K projectors (they will be upgrading the theaters eventually). Digital IMAX provides a more immersive and louder sound experience, but the Digital IMAX screens are just a little bigger than regular movie screens – and not like the 70 to 90 foot tall original IMAX screens.

In other words, dual paired 2K streams used for 4K 3D end up being roughly equivalent to having been shot in 4K on both cameras due to how the 3D left/right pair has to split the 4K image anyway.

#CES2013 #CES Report on consumer 3D cameras

Consumer 3D cameras are not selling.

The Lumix 3D1 is still being sold but I picked up word that sales are slow and it might not be continued, perhaps later in 2013.

Fujifilm is no longer manufacturing the Fujifilm W3 (confirmed) but is continuing to sell from existing inventory. I was told by a Fujifilm staff member who knows the issues well, that sales have dropped off sharply on the W3 – if demand were to ramp up, they can immediately run another production run. However, reading between the lines, its not ramping up – to illustrate, B&H Photo and Walmart.com both listed the camera as discontinued. At least from their sales. But if two huge vendors discontinue selling the product, then sales volumes will not be ramping up.

Toshiba has no cameras on display at the show and no one had any information on the Toshiba Z100, which is pretty much half priced at Amazon and B&H right now.

The Sony Bloggie 3D is no longer being made, but they are showing the new Sony TD30 which updates the TD10 which updated the TD10 video cameras. These uniquely record two full 1920×1080 video streams, producing very high quality 3D video images. Sony is also showing their digital recording binoculars, which view and record in 3D. They were also showing a prototype of a new model that is smaller and lighter and which will be available this coming year – no info on time or price.

 

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The big announcement though, is Samsung’s NX300 and the new integrated 2D/3D lens. The 3D images I saw looked very good. Here’s a view of the camera with the dual 2D/3D lens in place:

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The camera can output a live 3D video over HDMI, and they were using that to show live pictures of convention goers. The Samsung reps I talked to felt that the other 3D cameras on the market were too low end (my thoughts too). The early adopters for 3D are not low end consumers, but the semi-serious amateurs who buy $500 to $2000 cameras and look for quality.

The NX300 is an APS-C sensor, a very high quality camera system, and the world’s first single lens 3D camera. The parallax is quite good based on what I could see (both naked eyes and using active shutter glasses on their monitor). Here is what the parallax looks like – click on the image for a bit bigger version (due to being on a cellphone link, I’m using smaller picture sizes than usual):

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I am very impressed with the NX300 3D image quality. If a wider angle lens version of this became available, I could see using this as a primary 3D still and video camera.

GoPro is the other vendor that continues to have a 3D solution. They have a package that combines two GoPro Hero cameras and a sync cable between them, plus some 3D alignment capabilities in their Cineform Studio (free and pro versions).

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Consequently, a mixed bag on 3D consumer cameras – sales are confirmed as not being great at the low end.

But Samsung might have figured it out, though. The 2D/3D lens is a darned good 2D lens and will likely be bought just for that. If sales are decent, Samsung will introduce more lenses featuring the 3D capability.

Everyone is showing 3D TVs, including 4K 3D TVs (I don’t know where you’ll get 4k content for a while yet – there will be a new Bluray spec for 4k but its not done yet.) I really liked the Samsung Ultra 3D TV (4K) – wonderful image quality. It seems that the extra resolution enables some very fine parallax to be used – something to think about. Such fine detail would be lost in lower resolution renderings.

3D is being shown, but its not all over hype at this point. It’s just 3D. Stream TV, an R&D firm from Europe was showing the best, hands down, glasses free 3D display. They also have a tablet glasses free 3D display.

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The technology pieces are coming together. I don’t think the marketing has been where it needs to be yet, on consumer 3D image capture.

I cross posted parts of this to two 3D related photo groups on Yahoo.

Other items of interest

LG had the world’s largest 3D video wall. Their sample video made outstanding use of “theater space” projecting images 20 feet or more in front of the screen and at times, nearly over the viewer.

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The Winbot is a great idea – it is a window cleaning robot. I think the price quote was $299.95. Considering the bother of cleaning windows, this is an amazingly well targeted product. Cleans an entire window like this in a few minutes.P1000784

 

 

This year’s new thing is giant smart phones – how big is too big? I have no idea. But 5 inches and I think even 6 inches are being shown in places.P1000795

 

 

Sony has a lot of software accessories now. Some, not all yet, are beginning to understand how software can add value and differentiate their products from competitors. Another example would be Nokia, who is adding a large number of software-based features, available only to owners of Lumia phones.P1000773

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Felts Field, in #3D anaglyph

Two photos taken using dual Kodak Playsport Zx3 cameras with their tiny wide angle lens adapters. Not bad for a 5 MP camera – I bought two of them, used, for $75. The little wide angle adapter were practically given away by Kodak as they have left the digital capture business and I was lucky to rummage through their online store as the price went down to really low.

Both photos are red/cyan anaglyphs – you’ll need a pair of red/cyan glasses to view in 3D.

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Perhaps my best 3D depth photo so far

Photograph of the “fishing pond” at the 2012 Spokane Valley Fest. Photographed using two Lumix GH-2 cameras, 14-42mm lens on the 14mm end. I really like how all the “clutter” creates very nice depth in this photo, plus the camera alignment was decent at the time of the shoot 🙂

Use red/cyan glasses for viewing this stereoscopic anaglyph image. Click on the image for a full size photo.

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Morning Glory in #3D, Yellowstone National Park

This is a red/cyan stereoscopic anaglyph still frame from an HD 3D video. Equipment used was two Canon Vixia HF M301 consumer camcorders on a homemade mount.

 

I also photographed this as a 3D still image using two Lumix GH-2 cameras. However – notice the problem? The reflection in the pool really messes with the eyes in this 3D image. I think this means we need to be very careful about reflections, whether in water, or bouncing off of cars and windows.

 

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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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Handheld, single camera, #3D still photos

The following photos were taken while hiking, using a single Lumix GH-2 camera.  The 3D effect is created by taking the left image photo, then moving the camera slightly to the right, and taking the right image photo. The two images are then combined in Stereo Photo Maker to create these red/cyan anaglyph images.

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

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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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