Tag Archives: Stereoscopy

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

How to create 4K 3D Videos for Youtube

Using Sony Vegas Pro (and presumably newer version of Sony Movie Studio)

  • I used the MainConcept AVC/AAC (*.mp4, *.avc) codec
  • I selected Custom Frame size and set width to 3840 and height to 1080.
  • I set maximum bps to 40,000,000
  • I set average bps to 32,000,000
  • On the Project tab, I set Stereoscopic 3D mode to “Side by side (full)”
  • Upload the file to Youtube
  • Add the following as individual “tags” in the Youtube “tags” section:
    yt3d:enable=true
    yt3d:enable=LR
    yt3d:aspect=15.99:9
    yt:crop=16:9

After Youtube recodes the video, the viewer will include 1440 HD and 2160 4K viewing options. Select your 3D viewing options and select 2160 4K – note, you need a fast Internet connection. This produces a much higher quality 3D image than the normal Youtube 3D configuration.

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Using Magix Movie Edit Pro (version 13 – should work on 14 too)

  • Compress the output to an mp4 video as 3840×2160 (not 1080). This creates a vertically stretched “half frame” on the left and right – however, since its 1920 wide, we end up retaining all of the original 1920×1080 on each stream.
  • Set to side by side, half frame (didn’t work for me when I set to full frame side by side)
  • Select a high bit rate such as 40 Mbps or faster
  • Upload to Youtube with the tag yt3d:aspect=15.99:9
  • In Advanced settings, select “This video is already 3D, and then select “Side by side: Left video on left side”.

After encoding, this shows up as a 4k 2160 3D video and plays as you would expect, but at a much higher image quality.

Gondoliers inside The Venetian, in #3D red/cyan anaglyph

As you know, everything in Las Vegas is a little out there. Inside the enormous Venetian hotel and casino there is a canal and gondoliers shuttle visitors along the interior canal, while singing.

This was taken with a Fujifilm W3, handheld, at probably 1/30th or 1/15th second (I didn’t check the EXIF) and ISO 800. The Fujifilm W3 becomes quite grainy at ISO 800 but it was needed in this poorly lit area.

GondilierTurnAround (Large)

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#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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The opportunity for 3D is much larger than 3D movies and pictures

With our interest in 3D photography and video, we can get stuck on thinking 3D is just

English: A 3-D solid model of a jack inside a ...
English: A 3-D solid model of a jack inside a cube. Modeled and ray traced using Cobalt. Animation is 120 frames at 25 fps. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

about photography or movies.

But the future of 3D is vastly larger. As 3D monitors and 3D TVs become wide spread – which is likely a few years out yet – consider the impact this could have on line shopping. And especially when glasses-free displays are common on computers, tablets, phones and HDTVs and the use of 3D is no longer a gimmick but the ordinary.

No longer would we expect to look at a little photo on the web site when choosing a product. Instead, we will likely look at a large 3D view or 3D model that we can rotate and examine, almost as if it were in our hands.

True 3D is also coming. Think “Holodeck” at a small scale. I know people working on this type of technology and for now, the goal is desktop sized “Holodeck” perspectives that enable engineers to design parts in their CAD system and then create a view – not just a mapping of 3D to a 2D display (like the image that accompanies this article) – but a volumetric display which you can walk around and see from all sides.

Add in 3D scanning technology – its available off the shelf today from Microsoft and its called Kinect. Use future 3D scanners to capture information about parts and components or the layout of a kitchen that is to be re-modeled. Or to capture a 3D model of yourself to then use in a virtual clothes fitting exercise where 3D modeled clothes are mapped to your body and checked for size, before you purchase online. So much for retail show rooms? And of course, this can all tie in to 3D printing. Or deliver a 3D virtual world to use from our remotely controlled 3D-seeing robot.

Even traditional 3D imaging can provide us with new perspectives. I enjoy shooting macro 3D – which is close ups of small objects in 3D. Because they are so small we have to get our face so close to the subject that we lose 3D depth perspective. But our camera can capture 3D depth at close range and enlarge it for our viewing.

Similarly, what about slow motion 3D? While we are used to seeing 2D slow motion in sports, 3D slow motion may reveal new insights. And then, what about slow motion macro 3D? Now we may be able to see things that we miss entirely today because we cannot see depth at close range, and definitely not in slow motion.

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Online 3D Photo Web Sites

The following web sites are more than just Flickr – they provide online 3D editing tools. You typically upload two images, a side by side 3D image or an MPO file – and then make alignment and other changes “in the cloud”. Once done, your finished 3D image can be stored in your online photo gallery and viewed in multiple formats, as selected by the viewer – such as side by side cross eyed views or anaglyph.

  • Phereo.com
  • Dualfoto.com
  • 3dMedia.com (uses offline composition software, web site does not display photos on my NVidia GPU – because I do not have a stereo monitor)
  • This list is to be continued …
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Fujifilm W3, Lumix 3D1 and Toshiba Z100 3D cameras all appear to be “discontinued” but…

In the last two weeks, many 3D cameras have been marked as discontinued or their price has been slashed, suggesting they are being discontinued, or their availability has been sharply curtailed.

It is likely that vendors are clearing out inventory the week before Christmas in anticipation of announcing new 3D cameras at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show during the 2nd week of January.

B&H Photo has marked the Fujifilm Finepix 3D W3 camera as “discontinued”; Walmart.com says the same thing. I own this camera and find it a lot of fun for shooting quick 3D stills. A lot easier than my dual camera setups!

Amazon has marked the dual lens, dual camera 3D Toshiba video camera down to $159.95; B&H was at $149.95Toshiba Camileo Z100 3D Digital Camcorder Camileo Z100

That is a remarkable price for a stereoscopic 3D video camera recording dual video channels (at 960×1080) – and amazingly, the Z100 includes an external mic input too. Main drawback is lack of image stabilization to control for shaky handheld shots.

The Panasonic Lumix 3D1, which was carried by Amazon itself until a few weeks ago, is now only carried by resellers: Panasonic digital cameras Lumix 3D shooting black DMC-3D1-K. And B&H Photo lists this camera as “discontinued”.

My guess: We will see many new 3D cameras at the 2013 CES!

I plan to be at CES and will be filing reports on cameras, especially micro-four thirds systems, 3D photo and video cameras, and tablet computing devices. Some of my camera items will appear here and at least one other web site. More info as we get closer to CES!

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Fujifilm 3D W3, Lumix 3D1, Toshiba Z100, Sony Bloggie 3D specifications

A comparison of inexpensive, consumer level 3D cameras in terms of the specifications that matter for 3D photography and video. There are other cameras besides these but these are affordable and available from many vendors. Another day I will look in to specifications of higher end cameras, such as the Sony TD10/TD20 3D video cameras.

Update: Since posting this item it appears that most of these cameras are in the process of being discontinued and you can find some great half price deals right now. It is likely that new 3D cameras will be introduced in a few weeks at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show.

Fujifilm W3 Lumix 3D1 Toshiba Camileo Z100
Stereobase 6.5 cm 3.0 cm 3.0 cm
Focal length 35-105mm 35mm equivalent 25-100mm 35mm equivalent Fixed lens, 4x digital zoom in 3D, 35mm equivalent unknown
Stills 2x 10.0 MP Sensor3D Resolution
7.2 MP in 16:9 ratio
8.9 MP in 3:2 ratio
10.0 MP in 4:3 ratio

Stills recorded in full size side by side MPO format

2x 12 MP Sensor3D Resolution
6 MP @ 16:9
8 MP @ 4:3

Stills recorded as full size
Side-by-Side MPO files

2x 5 MP sensor3D Resolution
4 MP @ 16:9
(2D 5M 2592 x 1944, and an “interpolated” 16 MP 4608×3456)

Stills recorded in  full side-by-side JPEG

Video Video
1280×720/24p
MP4 encoding3D HD Resolution
two separate video streams recorded as 1280×720/24p for left
1280×720/24p for rightEncoding
AVCHD or MJPEG
3D-AVI format
Video
1,920×1,080/30F
in either AVCHD or MP4. Sensor is progressive but video is encoded as 1080i – end result is basically the same as 30p.
1280×720/30p
1280×720/60pEncoding
AVCHD or MP43D Resolution
960 x 1080 for left
960 x 1080 for right
Video
1920×1080/30p
720/60p
MP4 encoding,3D file format is one half side-by-side formatmeaning 960×1080 for each halfFeatures external mic input plug
LCD Glasses free 3D 2D only Glasses free 3D
Image stabilization No, CCD imager Yes, CMOS imager No, CMOS
Battery user replaceable user replaceable user replaceable

 

 

Sony Bloggie 3D
Stereobase 2.0 cm
Focal length 16:9 stills and video: 47mm (35mm camera equivalent)
4:3 41mm (35mm equivalent)
Stills 2x 5.15 MP sensor
(3.1 MP @ 16:9)
(5 MP S 4:3)3D
2 MP (1920x1080x)Encoded as full size MPO side by side images
Video 1080
720/60p
720/30p
3D: 1080/30p onlyEncoding
MP4Encoded in half size side-by-side 3D format for 960 x 1080 resolution per side
LCD Glasses free 3D
Image stabilization Yes, CMOS imager
Battery internal, not replaceable

An interesting observation – some of these cameras have 1920×1080 image sensors but actually cut the image in half when encoded into video. The reality is they are not 1920×1080 but 960 x 1080 x 2.

In addition, the frame rate offers additional temporal resolution.

Let’s compare the image quality in terms of actual resolution, as well as resolution in time by calculating a “mega pixels per minute” rate:

  • Fujifilm W3: 1280 x 720 x 2 x 24 fps = 44.2 MP/minute
  • Lumix 3D1: 960 x 1080 x 2 x 30 fps = 62 MP / minute
  • Toshiba Z100: 960 x 1080 x 2 x 30 fps = 62 MP / minute
  • Sony Bloggie 3D: 960 x 1080 x 2 x 30 fps = 62 MP / minute
  • Generic 1280 x 720 x 30 fps = 55 MP / minute
  • Generic 1280 x 720 x 60 fps = 110 MP / minute

Interestingly, depending on many factors, your highest image quality might come from 720 x 60 fps because it delivers more potential information to your eyes over time.

Shooting 3D with my two Kodak Playsport Zx3 cameras, I think the 720/60p dual camera view looks on par with the 1080p/30p view. But that is also because after editing and 3D processing, the output of a 1080p video often ends up as a 960x1080p side by side video (as needed, for example, to upload to Youtube).

Figuring out which is best can get complicated!

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