The Cheapskate's Guide to 3D Videography and Photography - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 03-25-2012, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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This is for someone who does not want to spend a fortune taking 3D videos (and pictures), wants to see them in full color, wants to share them with friends without forcing them to purchase or borrow from you expensive equipment or put on glasses, and has some quality standards. You have to spend money (this is not the Poor Man's Guide), but you will not be wasting it.

I am not talking about viewing bluray 3D's. This is for someone who wants to take one's own 3D videos and 3D pictures. And I am ruling out anaglyph, with cheap paper red/cyan glasses. Anaglyph darkens exteremely and absolutely kills color, and ultimately kills interest in 3D (which is why it probably died in the 1950's).

The most efficient cheapskate strategy is a hedge: get equipment that is useful if you decide to abandon 3D. So, it is cost-effective if the equipment is good for things you do anyway - like 2D pictures and video.

So, here are my recommendations, given the criteria above:

1. Get the Panasonic 3D1. It is a very good, small P&S 2D stills and video camera - 12 megapixels, AVCHD 108060i ("Full HD") video with stereo sound. But, it has two lenses and takes excellent 3D videos and pictures, both of which conform to 3D standards (put the sd card in a Panasonic 3D TV or bluray player and the 3D photos and 3D videos show in 3D). Pocketable, portable, optical stabilization and zoom in 3D and 2D. Again, if you give up on 3D, you have a perfectly good 2D picture-taker and video camera (it also takes advantage of the two lenses in 2D - take simultaneously a wide-angle and telephoto shot, take pictures while shooting video even at a different zoom without sacrificing video or stills quality). Big 3.5" LCD. $459

Also considered: Sony 3D Bloggie (inferior quaility all way around, 2D and 3D), Fuji W3 (fail in video), 3D lens attachment to X900 (bulky and expensive).

2. The 3D1 3D videos are just standard 108060i AVCHD videos, so any editor that can handle AVCHD videos will work fine - you do not need an editor with 3D capability. You can trim and combine with any editor. To see the 3D in the editor, you will need a 3D-capable editor. The cheap ones include Sony Vegas Movie Studio 11 ($89), Magix Movie Edit Pro 17 Plus HD ($25), or Power Director Ultra v10. Of course, these editors are perfectly good for 2D video editing.

3. For your computer, get the LG D2342P monitor - it's a 23" 1080p monitor in 2D. Perfectly fine for all of your regular computer tasks. You do not need to purchase a special video card, just one that can output regular 1080 (which all the built-in Intel chips do on current computers) via HDMI. But, with software that comes with the monitor, you can view your 3D photos in full color 3D with passive glasses - no batteries. The same kind you get free in the movie house (Real3D). Two pairs come with the monitor. And with the free Steroscopic Player (software), you can play your 3D1 videos, full screen, full color in 3D (put on the glasses). Again, if you give up on 3D, you still have a fine regular monitor. $239

4. OK, so how do you show your friends and family your 3D videos or pictures? They do not want to put on glasses. They want to see 3D and full color. Here's the best part: the Nintendo 3DS. Just recently, the Nintendo 3Ds got the capability to display 3D videos on its wide screen in stereo (two speakers, one on each side of the screen). It always was able to show 3D photos - you just rename the 3D photos (no conversion) from the Panasonic 3D1. But with *free* dedicated software you can easily convert your 3D video into one that plays in 3D, full color, NO GLASSES, on the 3DS screen. It's a small screen and the quality is not as good as a plasma 3D HDTV, but it passes the Wow! test - when anyone sees the 3D videos they actually say wow. Light, portable and cheap. And if you give up 3D, you can watch Netflix movies on it, in stereo sound, and you get free wifi access at all AT&T hotspots and it has a browser! There is a limitation - the videos can be no longer than 10 minutes. But guess what - no one wants to watch your videos for more than that. Oh, and it comes in aqua, pink, red or black. $169.
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post #2 of 46 Old 03-25-2012, 01:07 PM
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Great thread and write up Mark. Thanks a bunch. I just ordered the Sony 3D bloggie yesterday from Sony Rewards. I got it for free with reward points and thought that the 3D Bloggie would be a real cheap option for me to start out with.

I plan on getting something better in the future, but the 3D bloggie will always be good for certain filming scenario's and it is easily pocketable.

Can I trim and combine bloggie video's with any AVCHD editor that I have? Will the Sony PMB software that I have handle the bloggie's 3D for those tasks?

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post #3 of 46 Old 03-25-2012, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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The Bloggie 3D videos are good. They are mp4, not AVCHD (still H264 compression, but different wrapper and AAC audio not AC3). So editors that expect and only handle .mts files are not going to work. That the clips are 3D will not matter to any editor, as it is just one mp4 file. Try the editors you have. I used Vegas Pro to put together Bloggie videos because I wanted to handle the audio better.
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post #4 of 46 Old 03-25-2012, 04:31 PM
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Thanks, mp4 should not be a problem with the editors that I have. It was a last minute decision to purchase the 3D Bloggie last night. Sony Rewards was running a special on it so I figured what the heck.

I did not research the Bloggie too much so I wasn't sure of it's file formats. I know you have stated in the past that it is a fine unit for it's price point.

I do have Sony Vegas Pro 9 and was wondering what you did with it to handle the sound of the Bloggie better.

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post #5 of 46 Old 03-25-2012, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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The audio begins with a pause after the video starts in very clip. This means when you join clips there is an audible pause between the clips. This is not true for the TM900 - if you just join the clips with no video gaps there is no audio gap.

An easy way to avoid the audio gaps is to overlap the clips, which creates an automatic audio and video fade and the gap is not noticed. Otherwise one has to trim the beginning of each and every clip. This transition is easy to do in Vegas, by just pushing the beginning of of one clip against the end of the previous one so they overlap a bit. The 3D1 was edited that way in Vegas; overlap tarnsitions are generally nice; audio gaps I find not to be nice.
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post #6 of 46 Old 03-25-2012, 04:46 PM
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Oh yeah I am aware of that issue, I read that in one of your threads/posts. That's a bummer that it does that. I wonder if they have done anything with firmware to fix that issue with recent units. I guess I will find out.

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post #7 of 46 Old 03-25-2012, 05:28 PM
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Mark,

About 2 years ago I wanted a new and big TV. To get a good one, it seemed 3D came with it whether you wanted it or not. The "free" glasses were the salesman's "closer". My granddaughters and I loved Johnny Depp in "Alice in Wonderland" that came with it. Yes, you have to wear glasses.

Six months later we decided to buy our first camcorder and went shopping. The Panasonic TM-900 seemed to be the top of the heap. Then I discovered the SDT-750 with the ugly lens. I failed to find anything about it that made it less capable than the 900. It had the ugly 3D lens, the older (cheaper) style battery, an included charger and an included HDMI cord. There was so much negativity around 3D and Panasonic "forcing" 3D on consumers, the 750 was heavily discounted. So, we bought it!

Attaching the 3D lens cripples many of the 750 camcorder functions. But, my granddaughters and I have shot some very fun stuff. Most of it is things like the family dachshund running around.

A good part is that, with the Sony TV, we can watch the 3D in exquisite detail. The bad part is that it is hard to "share" beyond our own TV.

It may be that 3D will gain some traction as an artistic tool. My brother has been doing it for years with a variety of snitch market cameras. Martin Scorsese made it clear in "Hugo" that 3D can be an amazing enhancement to the story.

Thanks for starting this thread. Maybe I can get a little more serious about using the 3D capability of the camera we own. Specifically, maybe I can learn a little about sharing 3D when a fancy TV with glasses is not part of the equation.

Bill
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post #8 of 46 Old 03-25-2012, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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There are other sharing options:

The LG Thrill (or Optimus 3D) is a phone with a great 4.3" 3D widescreen. It will play 720p 3D videos in full color 3D without glasses. I have watched Avatar on it, and it is great. But I am queasy about passing around a $700 phone for people to watch videos on. I suppose the HTC Evo 3D can also do this.

There are relatively cheap ($100 or so) 3D autostereographic tablets (8") but I have found them to be very finicky about angle, they are heavy and it is hard to hold them at the needed position. Off angle, the 3D effect is jumbled and discolored. Not a good option.

That is why the Nintendo 3Ds is really a nice cheap solution (seems to be selling for $145 at Target this week). It is light, not finicky and does convey the 3D effects in full color, widescreen and stereo for 3D still pictures and videoswith no glasses.
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post #9 of 46 Old 03-25-2012, 07:03 PM
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Mark, I have been researching the 3DS tonight. Where do you get the free software to convert 3D video formats to be able to play on the 3DS?

Edit: Also, what do you mean about renaming still .MPO files so you can view them on the 3DS as well. Rename the file extension?

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post #10 of 46 Old 03-26-2012, 12:34 AM
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Mark- you may wish to add to item #2 The cheap editors as Power Director Ultra v10.

Tingham- The 3D Bloggie has one big limitation in that it lacks image stabilization and unless you hold the camera very still, use a tripod or sit the camera on a steady surface the video will mostly be unusable. 2D video that is shaky is awful but 3D shaky video is impossible and a waste of time. But, the Bloggie when used within it's limitations can produce some excellent 3D Bang for the buck.
The audio clip cutting sound before the end of the picture can be annoying but I learned the clip just needs trimming in the edit. I always roll video before the action and continue to roll past the end of the scene anyway so all my clips need some heads and tails trimming.
There is no perfect one camera does all. Some do very little and those are the cheap ones you get for bargain prices. Once you learn to work within the camera's limitations you can get some excellent video.
The main advantage of the 3D Bloggie is that you can carry it in your pocket and be ready to grab adequate 3D video for any project when the opportunity presents itself.
It is so thin and simple, I pocket it in my pants or shirt pocket and forget it. While I like everything there is about the 3D1 it is a bit bigger and may be pocketed but have a conscious presence it's still with me. Plus the price is over double the 3D Bloggie so that makes it a pocket 3D camera only for those who are more serious about 3D.
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post #11 of 46 Old 03-26-2012, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
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"Mark, I have been researching the 3DS tonight. Where do you get the free software to convert 3D video formats to be able to play on the 3DS?"

http://gbatemp.net/topic/315365-3ds-video-beta/

"Edit: Also, what do you mean about renaming still .MPO files so you can view them on the 3DS as well. Rename the file extension?"


No, the extension is the same, there is just a naming convention of I think three letters followed by three numbers (it is easy to check by taking a 3D still or video with the device and seeing what it is named). The 3DS takes standard sd cards up to 32GB, and the pictures and videos go in the DCIM directory of the card.

Nintendo 3DS $145 at Target right now.
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post #12 of 46 Old 03-26-2012, 05:20 PM
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Thanks for the link to the software. I did see that software briefly in my internet research last night but did not see a link for the download. Good to know that it works fine for you.

I do want a device to show friends and family 3D video and the 3DS seems like it will accomplish that. You can't beat it's price point.

I stopped at Target in my travels today and took a look at the 3DS. The screen is small but the 3d coming out of it looked decent on some content. I was playing the Mario Cart game and was impressed with that games 3D. I also looked at some other game demo's that were on the device, but the 3d did not look all that good with them. I guess it all depends on the source file or game. You seem to be pretty happy with how it performs with your 3D videos. I just don't know about the 3DS for me yet. I'll think about it for a few days.

Thanks for all the great input Mark.

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post #13 of 46 Old 03-26-2012, 05:35 PM
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Want to add, though, that the Panasonic 3D1 records 3D video in a side by side format sharing one 1080i frame. That is not as high res as 1080 for each eye, although for most purposes it is fine. That side by side format does allow any video editing software to work, rather than needing special 3D capable editing software, as the OP noted.

I sure agree that image stabilization is invaluable for any hand held recording. The Sony Bloggie suffers from no image stabilization, as does my HD Hero rig, although a little jiggle has its charms. Also, I see documentation that the 3D1 is also waterproof. Swimming pool family video in 3D - what more could you ask? Thanks for this thread about affordable home 3D.

- Subsequent input from forum members show that the waterproof claim is wrong -
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post #14 of 46 Old 03-26-2012, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrickMcKaha View Post

Also, I see documentation that the 3D1 is also waterproof. Swimming pool family video in 3D - what more could you ask? Thanks for this thread about affordable home 3D.

Really...waterproof or water resistant? I can't find any documentation that states that it is waterproof. Could you provide a link?

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post #15 of 46 Old 03-26-2012, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tingham View Post


Really...waterproof or water resistant? I can't find any documentation that states that it is waterproof. Could you provide a link?

Yep here is where I read it. Gotta scroll down to the listing for the 3D1.

http://www.cameras.co.uk/details/wat...al-cameras.cfm
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post #16 of 46 Old 03-27-2012, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Landis View Post

Tingham- The 3D Bloggie has one big limitation in that it lacks image stabilization and unless you hold the camera very still, use a tripod or sit the camera on a steady surface the video will mostly be unusable. 2D video that is shaky is awful but 3D shaky video is impossible and a waste of time. But, the Bloggie when used within it's limitations can produce some excellent 3D Bang for the buck.
The audio clip cutting sound before the end of the picture can be annoying but I learned the clip just needs trimming in the edit. I always roll video before the action and continue to roll past the end of the scene anyway so all my clips need some heads and tails trimming.
There is no perfect one camera does all. Some do very little and those are the cheap ones you get for bargain prices. Once you learn to work within the camera's limitations you can get some excellent video.
The main advantage of the 3D Bloggie is that you can carry it in your pocket and be ready to grab adequate 3D video for any project when the opportunity presents itself.
It is so thin and simple, I pocket it in my pants or shirt pocket and forget it. While I like everything there is about the 3D1 it is a bit bigger and may be pocketed but have a conscious presence it's still with me. Plus the price is over double the 3D Bloggie so that makes it a pocket 3D camera only for those who are more serious about 3D.

Thanks Don!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrickMcKaha View Post

Yep here is where I read it. Gotta scroll down to the listing for the 3D1.
http://www.cameras.co.uk/details/wat...al-cameras.cfm

It must be a misprint. Nothing about being waterproof is mentioned on Panasonic's support page for the 3D1. If it is waterproof you can bet Panasonic would make a high priority of listing that feature.

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post #17 of 46 Old 03-27-2012, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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From the 3D1 manual:

"This camera is not dust/splash/water proof.
Avoid using the camera at location with a lot of dust, water,
sand, etc.
Liquid, sand and other foreign material may get into the space
around the lens, buttons, etc. Be particularly careful since it may not
just cause malfunctions, but it may become unrepairable.
- Places with a lot of sand or dust.
- Places where water can come into contact with this unit such as
when using it on a rainy day or on the beach."
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post #18 of 46 Old 03-28-2012, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

From the 3D1 manual:

"This camera is not dust/splash/water proof.
Avoid using the camera at location with a lot of dust, water,
sand, etc.
Liquid, sand and other foreign material may get into the space
around the lens, buttons, etc. Be particularly careful since it may not
just cause malfunctions, but it may become unrepairable.
- Places with a lot of sand or dust.
- Places where water can come into contact with this unit such as
when using it on a rainy day or on the beach."

But I read it on the internet!!!

Thanks for the correction.
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post #19 of 46 Old 04-05-2012, 10:01 AM
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Ok, I need some guidance. I purchased a HP Passive 3D monitor to view my 3d bloggie files on my computer. The software that came with the monitor will not play the audio because it is in .aac format. Will the free Stereoscopic player play the bloggie files? If so, what settings would I use in the player..can't seem to figure it out.

Mark, your 3D YouTube video's look great on the monitor when using interleaved, but I see no option for that in SP.

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post #20 of 46 Old 04-05-2012, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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For input, the Bloggie video is side-by-side 1/2 frame, 16:9

For output, I think it is
Row Interlaced, Right Line Top

Stereoscopic player should be able to play the Bloggie files with audio, which are standard MP4, for which AAC is the norm.

It makes such a difference to see 3D in full color rather than anaglyph.

btw, for a treat: the Masters is streamed in 3D live today for free starting at 4:30 (I think it is at masters.com/3D). You find the link to the url of the stream, enter it as an input to Stereoscopic Player (row interelaved output, sbs input) and you see 3D in color live (put on your glasses). If you just look at the stream normally in say media player, you see it is just 1/2-frame sbs, just like the Bloggie (except it is wmv).
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post #21 of 46 Old 04-05-2012, 12:06 PM
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Thanks for the settings Mark. It's working now. Some of my bloggie files I have to swap the L/R eyes for some reason. I could be watching one file, and then I have to swap when the next file plays to make it look right. Yes, big differance from anaglyph!

I'm not to thrilled with the limited functionality of the software HP included with the monitor. They include a 3d demo video and the PowerDVD software that's supplied doesn't support the sound in the demo..wtheck. The PowerDVD software wants me to upgrade to do so, at a cost of $70.00. Thank goodness for SP.

Thanks so much for posting about the Masters in 3D, and how to watch it with SP. I'm a golfer and love the Masters, of course. I have to get done working so I can tune in. Can't wait!

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post #22 of 46 Old 04-05-2012, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I have the LG 3D monitor (passive also). It came with TriDef software, which is useful - play videos and shows MPO's in 3D. According to this http://www.tridef.com/products/pc
it comes with a 3D HP monitor too.
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post #23 of 46 Old 04-05-2012, 03:08 PM
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Yes, the TriDef software came with it also, but the version supplied is for gaming only. I have no use for that. Maybe I can somehow get the version that you have. I'll do some research when I get a chance.

I'm watching the Masters in 3D right now with SP and it looks great. The problem is SP disconnects after 5 minutes because I'm using a unregistered version which has a 5 minute playback limit. I see no way around this unless you purchase a license key? Is that right?

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post #24 of 46 Old 04-05-2012, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Correct.
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post #25 of 46 Old 04-05-2012, 06:44 PM
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Ok, thanks for all the info today Mark. Nothing can never be easy, can it. It was a pick between the HP2311GT and your LG monitor. They are both pretty much the same price. I read some reviews stating that LG was supplying the wrong glasses in some instances with their monitor and it being a real pain to get the right ones. That's what kinda steered me towards the HP.

I really like it except for the supplied software side. It looks great in 2d and 3d. The PowerDVD software (ver 10) will play 3D movies fine and convert 2D movies to 3D (which it does a fine job of). I don't watch movies on my computer though, so it's not ideal for me. I don't understand why they ship such an old software with a just released 3D monitor. PowerDVD is on Ver 12 now. It's all about the dollars. If it didn't have the aac limitation it would be fine for my usage.

I guess I'm going to have to purchase some kind of software. There seems to be quite a few options. TriDef, Stereoscopic Player, PowerDVD12 and I'm sure others. I guess I'll have to do some research and go from there.

Do you or anyone else have a suggestion on what program would be best for my usage of viewing 3D files on the HP 3D computer monitor? Maybe I should be looking at 3D editors as well, for 3D playback and editing?

btw, can I ask what render settings you are using on Vegas Pro with the Bloggie after combining files? Did you make a custom profile? I remember having issues trying to figure that out. I had to use Corel Video Studio for some reason.

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post #26 of 46 Old 04-05-2012, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Check that the TriDef software that came with your monitor does not also play 3D videos and also shows MPO files in 3D. It is not just for games, though they are appealing to that base. I would assume that the version you got of that software is the same as mine - also check on the TriDef site for a specific update of the TriDef version for the HP monitor (support OEM). It is a February update.

The Bloggie video clips are basically 2D clips, standard 108030 Mp4 files. They can thus be cut and merged with any editor. The only advantage of a 3D-capable editor is that you can see the clips in 3D while you edit (they can convert for viewing 1/2-frame sbs to anaglyph or whatever). But you render as a standard 108030p file - in:1/2-frame sbs, out 1/2-frame sbs. So you could edit the files never indicating that they are 3D.

So in Vegas the project properties are: progressive, 30p, 1080 mp4, but you also tell it that you want to view in anaglyph or interleaved (set stereo to whatever setting you can view 3D in). You can save these settings, but you can just have Vegas to select the properties setting based on its own reading of the clip.

The problem in rendering is that the default stereo mode for rendering is the stereo project property (which you set to anaglyph or interleaved), but in fact you want no stereo mode for rendering (the clip is already sbs 1/2-frame). So, you change the project properties to stereo *off* right before setting the rendering settings and then you render the video using the same properties as the original clip - 108030p mp4, choosing a bitrate.
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post #27 of 46 Old 04-05-2012, 07:17 PM
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Thanks so much for the Vegas tips (I will give them a try) and Tri-Def update availability. I see no options with the current TD software that I have for MPO or 3D playback. All the documentation that came with the monitor states that the version I have is for games only. PowerDVD allows me to view MPO's and 3D playback (of course), so that's a good thing.

I will check the TriDef website for the update and let you know how I make out.

Edit: Just to let you know the TriDef software that came with the monitor is TriDef 3D Ignition.

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post #28 of 46 Old 04-05-2012, 08:37 PM
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Mark- Thanks for the heads up on the Masters golf in 3D. I'm not much into Golf but enjoyed studying how ESPN 3Dwas done. I saw the ESPN 3D team in operation in January and they all use twin SBS cameras. I could see the quality of depth in the shots today. In the production I saw ESPN cameras were using an IA of about 6"

I used your link and got to the Masters web page and the just used Windows Media Player on my monitor in full screen. Then set the Vizio to SBS and the 3D was excellent.
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post #29 of 46 Old 04-06-2012, 04:54 AM
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Just to let you guy's know if you did not see it, or anyone else that might be interested. The Masters will be broadcasting in 3D on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as well. Here is the schedule....

4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Friday 6 April 2012:

4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday 7 April 2012:

4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Sunday 8 April 2012:

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post #30 of 46 Old 04-09-2012, 05:55 PM
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Mark, I checked the TriDef site for a software upgrade for the HP 2311GT and there is no update to enable 3D video or photo file playback. The software is for "Games" only...bummer. I guess since HP supplied PowerDVD they figured they were covered for movie and video playback with that program. I will continue to use SP for video with sound and if the need arises for longer playback times I'll upgrade that program.

I think I figured out why I had to switch the left/right images at times when viewing files made with the 3D Bloggie. With the Bloggie you record 3d video in the horizontal position. You can flip it 180 degrees and record as well, but this swaps the lens position. When I had it on my tripod shooting video it was flipped because of the bloggie's unusual tripod mount, which caused the left/right images to be swapped.

I like the 3D bloggie so far but will upgrade to the 3D1 or something even better at some point.

I watched more of The Masters over the weekend in 3D. I'll tell you, CBS did a real nice job of broadcasting it. They had some terrific video with some great camera angles. It was nice to see Bubba Watson win yesterday as well.

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