How to convert 2d videos into 3d – An easy, inexpensive technique

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I was wondering this myself.  How do you convert a 2d video into a 3d one?  Or, alternatively, how do you make a 3d video from scratch?

Here’s an option that’s easy and cheap.  Very exciting, I’ll explain it.

Step #1: Go to the TriDef website.
http://www.tridef.com/

Step #2: Buy the TriDef 3d experience.
It’ll cost you $50.00.

Step #3: Find or buy some red-blue anaglyph 3d glasses.

Step #4: Take your video, any video, and play it in anaglyph format with Tridef.

Ta-da!  Your video is now in 3d!

TriDef is one of those conversion systems that analyzes the areas of your video and determines what is in front of what, then uses that data to create two tracks and then convert them into one anaglyph video.  All in real time.  Which is pretty damn impressive, although it’s not as good quality as if the video had actually been shot in 3d.

Plus anaglyph format sucks.  So here’s a procedure for going from TriDef’s 2d -> 3d conversion to a nicer format, ColorCode.

ColorCode, incidentally, is the format used in the 2009 Superbowl.  It’s a good format in that it looks almost like normal video without glasses, but with the ColorCode glasses, it looks 3d – and with no loss of the color spectrum!

So here’s phase 2 of my 3d conversion method: 

Step #1: Download the ColorCode 3d software if you want ColorCode 3d instead of crummy red-blue anaglyph.
http://web.mac.com/csvendb/APO/Software.html

Step #2: Get some free ColorCode glasses if you didn’t do so at your local grocery store before the aforementioned Superbowl.  The ColorCode website will send you a few free by mail if you fill out a form.

Step #3: Take your video and display it in TriDef in the parallel screen mode or whatever it’s called, the one where you get two video tracks out of the one you started with, side by side.

Step #4: Use FRAPS or some other screen video recorder app (pick your fave) to record your screen as the video is playing.  Make sure you capture both the left and right video streams.

Step #5: Go into a video editor and crop the two tracks carefully down to the right size.

Step #6: Run them through the ColorCode software or any app that converts two tracks into one 3d track (in any format you prefer)

And then you can enjoy your awesome video in ColorCode 3d or any other 3d format you choose.

Alternatively, you can do all of this in one step, by handing your 2d video to me, and paying me a few dollars, and asking me to convert it to ColorCode for you.  Just a thought.  😉

For better quality 3d than Tridef can generate artificially, you can use some kind of camcorder addon for video that is live-action:
http://www.stereo3d.com/vidrec.htm

And render two separate passes in your 3d app of choice for CG effects shots, from two slightly offset virtual cameras.

For compositing shots, you can either composite each shot twice, one for each eye, or run it through the Tridef method.  The latter is not ideal, but it’ll seem pretty tempting when the alternative is hours of extra rotoscoping and motion tracking.

Anyway, just thought you might like to know.

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