Friday, 20 August 2010

Experiments into 3D Video

Now I don't have any fancy 3D TV or projectors, but I do have some old amber/blue 3d glasses lying around, so I thought I'd have  go at 3D  video on no budget.

I have experimented with 3D images before, using Poser and Photoshop, but this time I would be working with real-world video (not CG) so I needed 2 cameras for my DIY 3D rig. I have 2 cameras. I have a very nice Sony-Z5 for high quality video and I have a cheap little JVC Everio for anything else. The way that the amber/blue 3D glasses work (so I am informed) is the the amber image has most of the colour, while the blue provides the depth. So I decided to use the Sony for the amber (left) and the JVC for the right (blue).
The first task was to patch together a 3D rig to hold both cameras. I didn't have much time, or materials, so I came up with an interesting workaround. I set up the Sony on a tripod as usual, then used a Joby Gorillapod to suspend the JVC, upside down, from the microphone mount on the right of the camera. With a bit of trial and error I got both cameras at about the same level and zoom and started recording.

Once I had my footage I imported both into After Effects as separate compositions, created a parent composition containing the two and began the work of lining them both up. Obviously, the first thing to do was to rotate the JVC footage 180 degrees so that it was the right way up. Once I had done that, I created a solid layer in the parent composition and applied the 3d glasses effect. I will not be using this effect for the final result, but it is useful to set it up to interlace the videos while aligning.
While displaying the interlaced view in one window, I scaled, rotated, resized and distorted the JVC footage, until it was a close match to the Sony footage (as the Sony footage was to contain the details I did the work on the JVC footage).

Once the clips were aligned, I hid the solid layer and tinted the JVC composition so that it appeared in greyscale. Making sure the Sony layer was above the JVC layer, I used the Set Channels effect on the Sony layer, setting the blue channel to be sourced from the JVC footage's lightness.

Et Voilà!
(obviously you will need amber/blue 3D glasses to see the effect)
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