Hello everyone, welcome to Part Two of our discussion on the making of 3D multi-media projects.
Last time out we touched on various ways to shoot 3D still images and video. By photographing two slightly offset images we were able to create a “left-eye” and “right-eye” view of our scene. Check out Part One, here, to get the full scoop.
Each snapshot is at a slightly different angle
Now that we have our two views, we need to combine them into a viewable 3D image or movie. But first we need to ask ourselves one important question. How do we view 3D content, or more to the point, what format do we choose to view our 3D content?
Well let’s see, we certainly have a lot of choices out there.
There’s the classic “anaglyph” mode made popular by those cheesy 1950’s sci-fi 3D movies. For most of us, this is the traditional if not iconic way to watch 3D, as well as notorious for the wearing of cheap red/blue cardboard glasses.
A modern, more effective way to view 3D is with “polarized” 3D glasses using specially designed monitors, TVs or movie projectors. These glasses may be “passive” (non-powered) or “active” (battery powered), depending on the 3D system you are using. Most 3D movies such as “Avatar” are viewed with the “passive – polarized” 3D method.
Now if glasses aren’t your thing. You can always view your 3D images or movies by placing the “left-eye” image and “right-eye” image side by side. You may have to cross your eyes or try swapping the “left-eye” and “right-eye” views. This method, as you can guess, is extremely difficult and hard on your eyesight. However, this “free viewing” technique eliminates the need for glasses. By the way “free viewing” was one of the traditional ways to view 3D stereoscopic images back in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Other forms of 3D viewing include:
- Stereoscopes (made popular by the Viewmaster® toy line)
- VR – Virtual Reality (can you say Matrix?)
- Holograms (“Help us Obi-Wan you’re our only hope”)
- Wiggle Stereography (more on this in a later blog)
- And many more…
Now before your brain explodes, let me just tell you that I won’t be getting into the “how’s” and “why’s” of the various 3D technologies nor will I touch on the more obscure 3D methods. Instead I’m going to stick to the YouTube playbook of 3D.
YouTube offers seven different types of 3D viewing experiences. There are three types of “anaglyph” options, two types of “polarized” options, an “HTML5” option, (which I will not get into right now), and there is even an option to “free view” your 3D content.
To see and access all these options click on the “3D” icon located on the right hand side of the video control bar of your YouTube video. Then select “change viewing method”. You may use the “3D Emmy Video” above to test these options. (You may need to press “play” to reveal the 3D icon)
There you can see all seven 3D viewing methods. Once selected, each viewing method will have its own menu of settings and preferences. If there is no 3D icon then that particular video is not set up as a 3D video.
Now that we have narrowed down our choices let’s discuss how and what we need to view each of these 3D options.
As I previously stated there are three types of “anaglyph” 3D modes. These are the top three viewing methods displayed in the “Select 3D viewing method” menu. Again, you can access this menu by selecting “change viewing method” under the 3D control bar icon.
These three “anaglyph” methods are probably the easiest and cheapest way to view 3D. You do not need any special monitors, TVs or graphic cards. They can be viewed on your current computer display, laptop or mobile device. All you need is a cheap pair of anaglyph glasses. As the menu clearly shows, you can use Red/Cyan (these are the classic red/blue 1950’s glasses), Green/Magenta or Blue/Yellow.
Each of these methods has various settings to control color, swap “left-eye” and “right-eye” views or to turn off 3D viewing altogether. You may want to try all three different colored glasses and test each mode yourself to determine what looks best.
The next two 3D viewing methods are for “polarized” 3D glasses. Each method requires the use of a 3D monitor or TV. The “interleaved” method is mostly used for “passive”, (non powered) 3D glasses and 3D monitors, while the “side by side” method is used for “active”, (powered) 3D glasses and 3D TV’s. Again, depending on the type of monitor or TV will dictate the individual settings and preferences for each method.
The “No Glasses” viewing method is definitely the hardest to see 3D depth. As the name suggests you don’t need any glasses or special monitors. Basically, the two images for the “left-eye” and “right-eye” are displayed side by side. By looking at the two images long and hard enough you will be able see the illusion of 3D depth. This method takes a lot of patience and practice. Try tweaking the settings to improve your chances of seeing 3D.
The last viewing method is the “HMTL5” method, which requires certain computer graphic cards and an HTML5 compatible browser. As stated above, I’m going to stay away from this one, especially since its still in the beta phase.
Anyway, we have more than enough to work with.
Now that we have determined what YouTube offers for 3D viewing, it is now time to create our 3D viewable image.
And that, my friends, will be continued in “Part III of Making Your Own 3D Movies”. In addition, I’ll show you ways to create and embed 3D graphics and images right into your website or print piece.
Until then, please “share” this article and feel free to subscribe to “The Emmy Winning Blog”.