Thoughts on 3D Video
[This article was first published in the July, 2010, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe.]
As part of that same DGA Digital Day, a long session was devoted to 3D video. While targeted at directors, which means it wasn’t very technical and concentrated on production, I was so impressed with the challenges this new medium offers that I am creating a webinar in September specifically to discuss this.
However, in the meantime, here are a series of thoughts I jotted down during the presentations that can serve as a conversation starter for all of us.
- Yesterday, the art of cinema was converting reality into 2D. Now, it’s converting reality into 3D.
- All films are about story. But with 3D, we can also capture spatial experiences.
- 3D likes wider lenses and LESS depth of field; meaning more of the image is in focus.
- Convergence determines where an image is in space. Small increments are easier to watch that big.
- The best place to put the convergence point is right behind the key actor or main point of interest.
- Setting 3D depth to match the screen plane is best. Move key actors just in front of the screen plane.
- 3D requires both a focus-puller and a convergence-puller during a shot.
- The process of converting 2D images to 3D is almost exactly the same as colorizing a movie.
- The process of converting 2D images to 3D is very, very labor intensive.
- If you are converting a 2D image into 3D, be sure you add enough scale and depth to make it worthwhile to watch.
- Biggest challenge in converting 2D to 3D is making flat objects appear round. And making hair look good.
- An image which is very complex and busy in 2D, suddenly seems simple in 3D. Imagine looking into tree branches, for example.
- The key is to balance both lenses so that zoom, focus, and iris all track equally. Almost no lenses are the same, or match that closely.
- Provided your lenses balance, there is almost no difference between shooting 2D or 3D.
- Move the camera half as fast as you would in HD. Dolly is better than pan.
- When in doubt, keep your shot wider and make it simple so the eye and brain can follow.
While I’m still of two minds about whether 3D is solely for theatrical release or whether it has broader implications in the home, I thought you would be interested in what I learned.
You can find out more about 3D video by attending my upcoming webinar on 3D in Final Cut Pro.
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