Well friends, we’ve reached the end of our three-part discussion of “How to Make Your Own 3D Multi-Media Projects”.
We’ve gone over how to shoot 3D still shots and 3D video, we’ve discussed the various forms to view our 3D media and we’ve even previewed how to view 3D video on YouTube.
What? You’ve missed these previous posts? Well, it’s never too late to check them out.
To quickly review, by photographing two slightly offset images we were able to create a “left-eye” and “right-eye” view of our scene. By combining these two images we create the illusion of 3D depth. Once combined we can create several viewing options including anaglyph, polarized and free viewing. These options can be viewed and calibrated on YouTube.
Each snapshot is at a slightly different angle
Now that we know how to shoot and view 3D, it’s time to create our 3D viewable projects.
Now before I begin there are numerous apps and software plug-ins available online and for purchase that can automatically combine and adjust your two offset images as well as extrapolate a single image into viewable 3D projects. Since these solutions are just a quick Google search away, I will leave that part up to you. Instead I want to show you how to use simple graphic and video editing programs such as Adobe’s Photoshop and Premier to convert your media to 3D. I’m assuming you have a basic understanding of both programs. If not you can find basic tutorials on the Adobe website.
Let’s begin converting our two “apples” images into an anaglyph 3D image. I’ll be using the “Red/Cyan” anaglyph method, which means I’ll need to wear my “Red/Cyan” 3D glasses.
OK, first I’m going to open Photoshop. I’m using Photoshop CS5 on a MAC by the way, but you can do this in almost any version of Photoshop and on a Windows PC. If you want to follow along, feel free by clicking on the above “apples” images and downloading them to your computer.
I’ll place both my “Left” and “Right” images on separate layers. Make sure you label them so you can keep track of what is what. I’ll also put my “Left” layer on top of my “Right” layer.
Select the bottom “Right” layer and then by right clicking on the layer, select Blending Options under the pop up menu. You may want to turn off the eyeball for the above ”Left” layer so you can see the currently selected “Right” layer.
The Layer Style dialogue box opens up. This box gives you all sorts of options to affect your layer such as adding drop shadows or glows. We’re just going to be interested in the Blending Options Default menu item. Select it if it’s not already.
Under the Advanced Blending section de-select the “R” channel checkbox. This instantly removes all the red-color from the layer turning it into a blue or cyan tinted image.
Click OK to close the Layer Style dialogue box.
Now turn back on the eyeball for the “Left ” layer. Right click the layer and select Blending Options just as we did for the previous “Right” layer.
This time we’ll be de-selecting both the “G” and “B” channel checkboxes. You should now see that very familiar looking “Red/Cyan” anaglyph image.
Click OK to close the Layer Style dialogue box.
Using your “Red/Cyan” glasses and your keyboard arrow keys, select the move tool and try nudging the top “Left” layer slightly side to side or up and down to refine the depth of the image.
After you got a satisfactory image, crop out the non-overlapping edges of the image and then save out your project to any format you want.
There you go, an anaglyph image of the “apples” in all of its 3D glory.
The trick is to apply a Levels Adjustment under the image menu for each layer.
Make sure you adjust the Red black input level to the far right for the “Right” layer and the Blue and Green black input levels to the far right for the “Left” layer.
Then by using the Blending Mode drop down menu change the “Left” layer mode to Screen. This produces the exact same effect as the Blending Options Layer Styles method.
To create non-photo 3D graphics, design your graphic, duplicate the layer to create two layers (a “Left” and “Right” view), and then follow the steps above.
By using this process you can create 3D designs for websites, print pieces, flash animations and just about anything else that you can think of. A great example is a 3D designed promotional mailer along with a pair of free 3D glasses. How’s that for getting the customer’s attention?
Now let’s talk video. And more specifically, how do we prepare our video for upload to YouTube? Well, as discussed we can use Photoshop, but that could get a little complicated especially if you plan on editing video. Instead, I’ll be using Adobe Premier. You can also use other popular video editing software such as Apple’s Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer.
First we’re going to need to line up our two “Left-Eye”/”Right Eye” images much like we did in Photoshop. So we’re going to need to create a temporary anaglyph 3D viewable image. Again you can use the “apples” images to follow along. Even though these images aren’t video they will import into Premier as clips just the same.
We’ll start by creating a sequence and putting our “Right Camera” clip on video channel one and our “Left Camera” clip on video channel two. If our clips are video we’ll need to be sure they are exactly synced up to the frame. You can use a visual or audio cue such as a slate or handclap. In my case I’ll be using time code to sync my clips.
I’ll be applying the color balance (RGB) effect to each layer. You’ll find this effect under the Effects window inside the Video Effects Folder and under Image Control Folder. Just drag the color balance (RGB) effect icon onto each layer.
Click the “Left Camera” layer to access the Effect Controls for that layer. Twirl down the Color Balance Effect and drag the Green and Blue color balance sliders all the way to left until they reach zero. This creates our Red Channel.
Voila, you’ve got yourself a 3D anaglyph image to play with. Use your ”Red/Cyan” glasses to move your layers’ positions around to get the ideal depth. You may need to slightly scale up the layers to crop any non-overlapping edges.
Ok, now that we have our clips synced and lined up we need to optimize our video for YouTube upload. Turn off the color balance effects on both layers by clicking on the fx checkbox to the right of the effect. Also, change the opacity blend mode back to normal on the “Left Camera” layer.
Under the “Left” sequence delete the bottom “Right Camera” layer.
Under the “Right” sequence delete the top “Left Camera”.
Rename this sequence “Composite”.
The “Right” sequence should be on video channel one of the “Composite” sequence. Now drag the “Left” sequence on video channel two. We have effectively created two nested sequences each consisting of perfectly aligned and synced Left/Right video channels.
Now we need to fit each stereo channel into the frame. I’m working with an HD 1920×1080 pixel frame. Click on my “Left” layer and twirl down the motion effect under the effect window. Change both the position and anchor point “x” value to zero and reduce the scale width to 50. Uncheck the Uniform Scaling Checkbox to access the scale width.
This squeezes our “Left” video onto the left side of the screen. Now do the same for the “Right” video layer. Click on the “Right” layer and under the effect window change the position and anchor point “x” value to 1920 and reduce the scale width to 50.
There you go you now have your two offset video clips ready to upload. Just export the sequence as video and then upload to YouTube.
Here are my settings I use to compress my sequence:
- Format – H.264 (creates an .mp4 file)
- Frame Size – 1920 x 1080 pixels
- Frame Rate – 24fps
- Audio Codec – AAC, Stereo, 48khz
Once compressed, go to YouTube and click upload.
Under the Advanced Settings you’ll see a “3D Video” setting.
- Anaglyph Modes (Red/Cyan • Blue/Yellow • Green/Magenta)
- Polarized Interleaved and Side-by-Side (for 3D monitors and TVs)
- No Glasses Mode (Good Luck!)
- HTML 5 (Still in Beta Version)
Now that’s exciting.
You can always access the Advanced Settings after a video uploads by selecting the edit option for that video
Oh, you may have noticed a curious option under the advanced settings 3D drop down menu. One of your choices is “Please make this video 3D.” This means not only can you upload 3D videos; YouTube can also convert regular 2D videos into 3D.
Now you’re saying to yourself, why do I have to go through the hassle of shooting and converting my video to 3D when I can just let YouTube do the heavy lifting?
Well the answer is simple.
Since only one image view is provided, YouTube is interpolating or guessing what a 2D image will look like as a 3D image. This approximation can lead to image distortion, blurriness and inconsistent 3D depth. Trusting a true, Left/Right natural stereoscopic image will yield far superior results.
YouTube isn’t the only one who uses this “post-conversion” method. Many apps, 3rd party plug-ins and major Hollywood blockbusters rely on “post-conversion” to keep the costs low and profits high. Again, depending on the software, results may vary from bad to good.
A movie that uses Post-Conversion:
A movie that uses true 3D:
Well folks there you have it, a basic guide to understanding, creating and viewing 3D multi-media. If you enjoyed these articles or have any questions please leave a comment. And as always please “Like”, “Share” and “Subscribe” if you dig The Emmy Winning Blog.
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Coming up next, a discussion on website favicons. If you have no idea what a favicon is or even if you’re an expert you need to check out my next post. See you then.