[ This article was first published in the September, 2010, issue of
Larry’s Monthly Final Cut Studio Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]
I just finished working on a webinar which totally changed my thinking on 3D video – stereoscopic 3D, if you want to be technically correct.
While there isn’t space to go into everything I learned, I do want hit a few highlights. If you want more details, or a detailed demo of working with stereoscopic 3D in Final Cut Pro, check out the webinar here.
Here’s my current thinking. Whether 3D is a flash-in-the-pan or the long-term savior of theatrical films doesn’t really matter. Currently, Final Cut editors can get into 3D for $99 using the Dashwood Studios Stereo 3D Toolbox LE plug-in.
That, plus a couple bucks for some anaglyph glasses, (those red/cyan ones) and you can get started. Yes, you can spend more money, but you don’t have to. Not yet.
Since YouTube is now distributing 3D movies, you have access to a free distribution mechanism.
This means you can go back to clients that haven’t been talking to you in a while, and pitch them on the idea of doing 3D promotional work for the Web.
They get a marketing opportunity and the ability to brag about being “state-of-the-art” and you get a paying gig, with someone else paying you to learn how to edit stereoscopic 3D.
Then, as more client dollars start to come in, you can buy the higher-end software and monitors you need for serious work.
If 3D takes off, you are on the leading edge and positioned to grow with it. If it dies, well, you were making money with it while you could.
ONE MORE THING
Here’s the other idea to keep in mind. Stereoscopic 3D video is simply two full-screen video streams running at the same time – just like a multiclip.
So, the process of editing 3D is just like the process of editing 2D – except you are editing a fancy form of a multi-clip.
In other words, the step from where you are now to getting started with 3D is not as big as you might think.
Now before experienced 3D professionals bombard me with emails saying: “Uh, hey dummy, it isn’t as easy as all that!” let me hasten to add that 3D is both as simple and as complex as lighting. If all you want to do is practice shooting with a camera, you can hang a light in a room and start shooting. But getting great lighting takes time, practice, and understanding the craft. 3D video is similar. It is easy to get started, with incredible depth (pun intended) to explore as your time, budgets, and projects permit.
For everything you need to know to get started, watch my webinar. Anything that gives us a chance to pitch for more work is a good thing in my book.
NOTE: As an example of how to take advantage of this opportunity, the Sept. 23, 2010, episode of the Digital Production Buzz has an interview with Terri White, a wedding videographer, who is now shooting weddings in 3D. During the interview we’ll find out why she’s doing it and how her market has responded.
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