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3D Stereoscopic Production & Delivery
Discuss 3D (stereoscopic video) acquisition, post and delivery.

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Old May 28th, 2009, 02:31 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2009
Location: United Kingdom
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3D Editing?


My name is Maria and I am new to this forum (that so far I am finding extremely useful!).

I am new also to the stereoscopic experience and have a lot of questions about it, especially about editing part.

My director is intending to shoot her first 3D film and I am 'supposed' to edit it. I use Final Cut Pro and I was wondering if I need any additional software for the editing process.

We have been doing some tests but I haven't been able to get the 3D effect when working with video, I was luckier when I tried with still photos.

I have the impression that the reason is that the cameras weren't close enough to each other. With the photo camera I just one picture and moved the camera only a couple of inches to take the second.

Will I need any software to sync the two tracks/left and right 'eyes'? Or is it a matter of testing with different separations between cameras for different shot sizes?

Anything you can tell me will be much appreciated. I think I am on the right track because my eyes are already a bit twisted! but I still have to learn sooooooooo much!

Thanks and good night!

Maria Corral.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 03:43 PM   #2
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depends what you are shooting.
usually the eyes have different behaviour if you look to objects close to or far from you.
the problem with camera , is it is difficult to change this angle (from infinite parallel to heavily crossed) , especially when the zoom feature does not exist in our eyes.
it is usually admitted that the the point where eyesight line crosses is the neutral.
the good thing on that plane is that both left and right image difference should be minimum.
(especially if you use color separation). so technically speaking, it is the location where the picture will look good.
So focus must be made on that plane.
This helps to define what is "behind" and "in front". You can change that by either moving the neutral plane (and keep focus on it) or just move the focus.
This require some analysis of the scene.
For example, you know that a neutral plane close to the camera (so big angle), will create highly different views in the background (and thus bad quality 3d render). To minimize this you can either choose to make space between lenses smaller or to make the background out of focus , so it should not bee to hard to the eyes.
The placement of the neutral plane is also important if you decide to give depth to the scene, or just make things pops out of the screen. (a feature overused in most 3D movies, when some stick is pointed right against the camera).
ideally you would set-up a preview monitor (Zalman is doing cheap 3d LCD screen) to find where you place the neutral plan, then where you place focus.
you can try too, to install two laser pointer on the camera, so with a simple white board you can display where the two laser dot mix together. it will be easier to set the correct alignement right on a subject.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 05:22 PM   #3
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Welcome Maria. I'll address the post-production questions specifically and assume your director will hire a qualified stereoscopic cinematographer so you won't have the issues you are describing.

Since you are planning to work with Final Cut Pro your options are limited.

Option 1: You can purchase Cineform's Neo3D system which I think is around $3000 USD. You can download it and test it out.

I've tested this workflow and it is pretty good for large projects once you get to the editing part, but your assistant editor will have a bit of extra work.
The basic workflow is:
  1. Transcode all captured media into Cineform codec using Cineform's ReMaster, FCP's Media Manager or Compressor.
  2. Import all transcoded clips into Cineform's FirstLight.
  3. Flag left clips as LEFT and right clips as RIGHT.
  4. Confirm sync on each clip by placing pointer at the "clapper" mark for each clip.
  5. Select each pair and export it as a new "muxed" 3D quicktime. This is a one by one process right now but I believe Cineform plans to implement an automatic batch process in the future.
  6. Once you have converted all your clips to paired 3D clips you can now adjust convergence on each one.
  7. Import those muxed 3D clips into Final Cut Pro and start editing. Your output can be any popular 3D mode you like (side by side, stacked, interlaced, anaglyph, etc.) or 2D. This is selected in the menu any time and works in real time on a Kona card and fairly well with Desktop Preview.

The advantage of the Cineform method is that you can monitor in 3D during editing. The disadvantage is the up-front time needed to prepare the clips and the extra storage for Cineform versions and the 3D versions.

Option 2: You can use FCP's built-in multiclip ability to pair left/right clips and then edit for story as you normally would (with the angle set for either left or right.) You can't do real-time previews of 3D using multiclip but it makes it easy to produce 3D outputs afterwards by duping the final cut onto another track and then applying whatever plugins or basic motion parameters are necessary for your 3D monitor. This is my normal workflow... however I recently wrote a new plugin that will take the clips from FCP (using Send To Motion command) and then allow you to make all of your convergence/image settings for all popular formats and even animate convergence with keyframes.

So the basic steps using my plugin are:
  1. Mark the "Angle" of each captured clip either Left or Right (this will be used by multiclip to arrange the clips)
  2. Create multiclips from Left/Right pairs in Final Cut Pro
  3. Edit with the multiclips (please use straight cuts at this point - do transitions later
  4. If no individual convergence adjustment is required then just
    • duplicate the sequence
    • change the angle of each of the clips in the duplicated sequence to "Right" (or vise-versa)
    • Make a new sequence
    • Drag the Left and Right sequences into the new sequence (one on top of the other)
    • Apply stereoscopic muxer plugin or applicable plugins and/or basic motion
  5. If individual convergence of each clip is required then
    • Copy and paste the clips in the locked cut to the next video layer
    • Switch the angle for each of the clips on the duplicated layer to Right (or vise versa)
    • Select the clips and "Send To Motion"
    • In Motion Apply my muxer plugin to all the left clips and adjust each one.
    • Render & Output
I will have more info on my plugin in coming weeks, as well as some demo videos. I'm looking for beta testers with various types of 3D monitors. I'm also building more tools for on-set preview.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 11:53 AM   #4
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Thank You!

(I thought I had post this reply few hours ago but it didn't go though... so here it is)

Hi guys!

Thanks for your replies. I feel less lonely now! :)

We (my director and myself) are just making tests before thinking of seriously shoot for 3D but I think we are getting really in the mood for stereoscopic filmmaking!

So, to re-cap: It would be ideal to work with Cineform 3D to align and color match clips but it can be done also with FCP. Isn't it?

I'm looking forward to know more about your plug-in, Tim, it sounds excellent! In the meantime I'll test with the multi clip feature in FCP.

Thanks once more and enjoy the weekend! :)

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Old June 2nd, 2009, 11:28 PM   #5
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I should have a public beta version ready soon. There are a couple small bugs I know about that I need to iron out but then I'll have something for those interested to test.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #6
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Tim's Plug-in

Hi Tim!

I visited your website and was listening to the tutorials for your plug-in. I have to say that I learned much more from them about stereoscopic editing-compositing than from all my research and reading! For what I saw in the tutorials I think that the system you are developing is very user friendly and I can't wait to try it...

I downloaded the FxFactory 2.0.7 and I would love to become a part of the Beta testers group but when I tried to register I couldn't. Am I being impatient? Or do I need to do something else to try your plug-in?

Thanks so much for your work. It's awesome!

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Old June 18th, 2009, 03:34 PM   #7
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Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
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Hi Maria.

I haven't gone public with the beta yet but you are welcome to download an earlier version (beta v0.7.1) from here.
I've already fixed quite a few little bugs, improved anaglyph algorithms, and added a couple new features that won't be in v0.7.1, but you will get the basic idea.

It will probably be ready for the public around the first week of July.
Dashwood Cinema Solutions
I'm still adding tutorials. Coming up next is how to put 3D objects/text into 3D space using just x convergence controls. Coming soon are workflow tutorials and how to compliment the usage of Neo3D with Stereo3D Toolbox. As well I will also demonstrate how to use two cameras in After Effects and feed them into Stereo3D Toolbox.

BTW, you don't have to register FxFactory now that you have downloaded and installed it. Just download the plugin from the link above, unzip it, and then double click it to install.
That's it.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 08:31 AM   #8
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Tim's Plugin!

Hi Tim,

Thanks so much for your reply.

I will download the plugin and will be looking forward to the next versions.

You are making my life so much easier!

Have a good weekend,

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Old June 23rd, 2009, 12:12 PM   #9
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v0.7.7b has been posted for download.

Download Stereo3D Toolbox v0.7.7

Stereo3Dtoolbox.com for more info.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 02:36 PM   #10
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I use a different workflow. I am luck enough to have a Zalman 3D monitor that uses a line interlace polarized system to display 3D images. I use FCP and build my 3D programmes in 2 layers, and then apply an interlace mask to the top layer. By monitoring full screen on the Zalman I get a 3D interlace/polarized display. A copy of my 1920x1080 mask is below.
Attached Thumbnails
3D Editing?-interlace1920.bmp  
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
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Old July 29th, 2009, 11:39 AM   #11
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Hi Tim, I downloaded your plugin and seems great. I've been doing some tests myself in Afetr FX but I really look forward to your instructions. What I've done was setting a 3D camera with a viewpoint 5000 pixel forward on the Z axis. Then I move it keeping still the focus point 5000 pixel forward. When I was happy with my animation I copyed the COMP and in the second one I moved on the X axis the camera by 30 points but I kept the same exact focus point, thus creating a small angle between the two camera with a focus point 5000 pixels in front. I know I should check kind of camera and probably there is some calculations to do to find the perfect combination of camera type, focus distance, camera distance, etc... so I wait for your help... still.. it seems it's working...
But.. I have problems with live video. In your first post in this thread you suggest a Stereoscopic specialist but when I see your tutorial I just see you playing with a (small) camera in your garden. And it works! How did you do that? With a NuView/Sterocam ? I am looking for something like that for my bigger HM700.. Why the hell such a good and interesting product like that has not been developed for bigger cameras ?
All the best, Marcello

How is it going with the plugin? What will be the final price?
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Old August 6th, 2009, 01:45 PM   #12
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Stereo 3D Toolbox Update


What is the status of your plug-in. Are you going to be releasing anything soon? I am interested in testing it with Mitsubishi DLP/LTV. Thanks.
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Old August 11th, 2009, 12:49 AM   #13
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I realize that you said you're using FCP. But I just wanted to point out that Avid Media Composer has 3-D editing built-in. And it will run on any Mac that can run FCPS. It costs about $2K.

So if you are looking at buying additional software, Media Composer might be something to look at ;).
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Old August 12th, 2009, 04:55 AM   #14
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Hi Tim,
thanks for posting a FAQ site on your Website in regard of Stereo3D Toolbox.
I hope this will reduce your email traffic.
(Frequently asked Questions)

I am in a hurry to finish a 3D demo until the end of the month, so I hope, August as release date of your PlugIn is still on. Please let us know as soon as you have a more detailed time frame.
Is there any Beta version available, where the watermark is more discreet (I've downloaded the one you have posted here v0.7.7b)? That would help me already a lot for my current project.

Best regards, Jürgen
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Old August 12th, 2009, 09:26 AM   #15
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The plugin is finished (at v1.0.2 already) but it relies on some new functions that are to be included in the next release of FxFactory. They should both be released within days.

I'm revamping the website and we'll make the official announcement in this forum.
In fact, we might even create a sub-forum here to handle support questions.
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