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Old November 30th, 2010, 11:50 AM   #1
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Zooming on 3D stills

I've been experimenting with HDR 3D using a Canon 7D DLSR on a rail for a project. I'm using this system to get close up shots that the Panasonic 3DA1 can't get because the objects are too close. Anyway, as a production-centric person I'm a little late to the editorial side and I need some advice about how to achieve an effect.

Basically, I want to zoom and pan around these stills, which were shot Raw at 5K x 3K and then down convert to 1920x1080 when they are done. I want to work in this higher resolution so I can do some extreme zooms into objects without pixelating. I haven't yet figured out exactly how to do this with two separate (L + R) data streams and I'm looking for some advice from people who have expertise in doing things like this. I tried doing the copy/paste attributes routine in FCP but for some reason the zooms wouldn't perfectly track on the two shots.

My tools available are FCP v7, After Effects CS5, Premiere Pro CS5, Photoshop CS5, and Tim Dashwood's 3D Stereo Toolbox V2.0 plug in.

I've been told that After Effects is probably my best bet, but I would love to hear that it's possible to do this in 3D Stereo Toolbox, as that would make the workflow easier and shorter. So if anyone has any suggestions, please post them.

One last thing, I've noticed that the 3D Stereo Toolbox plugin doesn't work at 5K resolution - can anyone tell me what the highest resolution FCP and this plugin can work in?
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Old November 30th, 2010, 05:36 PM   #2
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You could try the AE scripts by Christoph Keller. He also has some tutorials on how to use them on Vimeo. I looked into them for a project. You can create your project in AE with your camera moves/zooms and then automatically have the second camera generated. You can also specify content that has L/R footage to use. Scripts and tutorials are at
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Old November 30th, 2010, 06:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bruce Schultz View Post
I've been told that After Effects is probably my best bet, but I would love to hear that it's possible to do this in 3D Stereo Toolbox, as that would make the workflow easier and shorter. So if anyone has any suggestions, please post them.

One last thing, I've noticed that the 3D Stereo Toolbox plugin doesn't work at 5K resolution - can anyone tell me what the highest resolution FCP and this plugin can work in?
Remember I originally designed Stereo3D Toolbox for After Effects mastering. It just happens to also work in FCP & Motion but it kicks butt in AE CS5, especially if you have a fast graphics card. FCP doesn't handle any non-HD resolution very efficiently (2K, 3.5K, 4K, 5K, etc) but AE seems work well with any resolution.
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Old November 30th, 2010, 07:45 PM   #4
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Thanks Tim, I have a CUDA Mercury NVidia board installed now to speed up CS5 programs, so I'll investigate that avenue. Does 3D Toolbox work as an AE plugin like FCP or do you export to it from FCP?
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Old November 30th, 2010, 08:07 PM   #5
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Just remember that your minimum stereo depth volume is determined by the interaxial when you shoot. Zooming in to a pair of images will increase the depth still further, with depth increasing the more you zoom in. Horizontal translations will change the convergence point, but depth the volume will not change, so for differing images with different amounts of blow up or zoom you will have different amounts of depth and that depth will always be greater than the depth you started out with.

Am I making sense? Shoot with less depth than you think you need as when you zoom in to the images the depth will increase, is what I'm trying to say.
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Old November 30th, 2010, 09:20 PM   #6
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Thanks Tim, I have a CUDA Mercury NVidia board installed now to speed up CS5 programs, so I'll investigate that avenue. Does 3D Toolbox work as an AE plugin like FCP or do you export to it from FCP?
It works just like any AE plugin. Obviously the press has concentrated too much on FCP "3D editing" and it seems no one realizes that Stereo3D Toolbox also works in After Effects. We keep hearing this from people at trade shows so we must do a better job at getting the word out to the AE crowd.

Using multi-frame rendering in AE CS5 may cause some issues and it is not recommended but cards with CUDA cores will likely see a big improvement in preview and render speeds.
For example, we have benchmarked the Nvidia QuadroFX 4800 playback of ProRes422 1080p30 (two streams) in FCP at realtime. The render bar still shows orange because we are a third-party plugin but the sequence plays in realtime without rendering.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 05:20 PM   #7
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Shoot with less depth than you think you need as when you zoom in to the images the depth will increase, is what I'm trying to say.
Yes, I anticipated this and shot these stills with three different interaxial settings; 12mm, 25mm, and 40mm. So I'll be able to tell which IA works best by choosing one of these distances on a per-image basis. I chose to shoot with narrow IA settings for this reason and to get closer shots than the fixed IA on the Panasonic 3DA1 allows.

The zooming and panning part is throwing me for a loop though, but I have a friend who is an AE genius and he will try and lead me out of the wilderness in a few days - hopefully.

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It works just like any AE plugin.
I never looked in the AE Effects tab to notice it was there. Thanks for pointing that out.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 07:27 PM   #8
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The zooming and panning part is throwing me for a loop though, but I have a friend who is an AE genius and he will try and lead me out of the wilderness in a few days - hopefully.
Zoom and x/y pan (Master Reframe) are standard keyframe-able features in the Stereo3D Geometry filter within Stereo3D Toolbox. Don't use the built-in AE or FCP basic motion controls or it will throw off your side-by-side outputs.
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Zooming on 3D stills-master_reframe.png  
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Old December 4th, 2010, 11:28 AM   #9
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Sweet! Master Reframe does a good job of zooming straight into an image, X,Y pan are more problematic. Any way to re-center a zoom point? So far your plug in is the only way I've found to do anything meaningful with these images in 3D.
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