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Lorin Thwaits A geek says what?

If you have one of these, you can capture *amazing* full-color high definition 3D video:

The general idea is:

1. Record a scene with two high definition camcorders running at the same time.  Have them mounted on a board, pointed the same direction, and spaced about 1 foot apart.
2. Acquire the footage into a computer and edit the streams to synchronize them with each other
to within 1/30 of a second.  You now have two streams, one for the left eye and one for the right.
3. Use a filter to combine the two matched streams such that
the left eye content is on top, and right eye content is on the bottom.  This would normally end up with a pretty tall video, 1440x2160.  But it has to be stretched back down to half the original height, 1440x1080.
4. On a computer with a CRT monitor (must be a high-end CRT, not LCD), set the
resolution to SXGA+ (1400x1040), True Color, and 60Hz vertical refresh.
5. Put a frequency doubler inline on the video signal that makes the
vertical refresh cook along at 120Hz.  Each frame being displayed is shown as a 1400x520 progressive slice, stretched to fit the whole screen.  Some CRTs can't scan that fast, so you have to try out high-end units until you find one that can actually go that fast.
6. Synchronize LCD-based shutter glasses to oscillate between left eye and right eye along with the new 120Hz vertical refresh.  Each eye gets 60 frames per second, and video is remarkably realistic, and looks really, really smooth.

I'm considering also trying a setup with a couple LCD panels to display the video stream, along with mirrors to allow a person to see the playback.  Something like this:

I've submitted this contraption to be shown at the next Maker Faire, held May 3-4 in Silicon Valley.  If you haven't been out to the Faire yet, may I just say that it's a must-attend event.  Think of "Burning Man", but for geeks.  Incredible.  At any rate, if you go then perhaps you'll get to see my 3D camcorder in action.

Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 2:22 AM Gadgets | Back to top


Comments on this post: 3D Camcorder, anyone?

# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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This is awesome! Did you come up with these rates/resolutions through tons of experimentation? Best of luck, sounds like fun...I'd love to see it sometime.
Left by Jerod Crump on Mar 12, 2008 2:50 AM

# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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Yeah, lots of experimentation. I actually first built this setup four years ago using standard definition cams (two TRV-900s no less!) and the results were pretty good. The further apart the cameras are, the further away it can register 3D objects. For instance, on the 4th of July back in 2003 I mounted the cameras 15 feet apart and filmed fireworks. The results were crazy -- a fireworks show that really looked 3 dimensional, but it appeared small like you could reach out and grab it in your hand!

Most of the stuff I film is with the cameras just 1 foot apart, which is good for up to the size of a large auditorium. Stuff that is closer than 4 feet doesn't work very well, though.
Left by Lorin Thwaits on Mar 12, 2008 8:14 AM

# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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Your results are fine with my camcorder too. I tested the results found here with mine, it is coming in a niceway.
Left by Baby Shower Ideas on Jun 20, 2009 2:17 AM

# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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i love this
Left by ed hardy shoes on Aug 12, 2009 8:57 AM

# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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wow, that is cool, but dose it really work?
Can you upload something you did to youtube?
Left by resveratrol supplements on Aug 24, 2009 3:44 AM

# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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Did you set up the LCDs as you planned of setting them up?

Make easy money
Left by Dalirin on Aug 30, 2009 2:46 AM

# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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Cool! Reminds me of the capabilities of the old Atari 1040ST computers. WAY back in the day, they had shutter goggles for these bad boys, despite the fact that they were slow by modern standards. The trick? No video RAM. Video was shared with main memory. To change the framebuffer, all you had to do was change the value of a single pointer.
Left by The Rich on Oct 18, 2009 11:53 AM

# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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Nice! where do you get that camera?
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# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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# Mr
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Thank you for sharing.It is so nice of you
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# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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framebuffer, all you had to do was change the value of a single pointer.
Left by brand clothing on Dec 30, 2009 8:02 PM

# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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Current 3D systems are large-scale setups in which two cameras are fitted to a rig in parallel, or vertically intersect across a half-mirror. Separate recorders are also required. In Panasonic's new Full HD 3D camcorder, the lenses, camera head, and a dual Memory Card recorder are integrated into a single, lightweight body. The camcorder also incorporates stereoscopic adjustment controls making it easier to use and operate.
Left by Cheap Lasix on Jan 12, 2010 3:02 AM

# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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vertically intersect across a half-mirror. Separate recorders are also required. In Panasonic's new Full HD 3D camcorder, the lenses, camera head,
Left by UGG Classic Mini on Jan 14, 2010 2:31 AM

# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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!!!!! Same human eye !!!!!
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# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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I think you do a great job whit that. I hope you bring more
Left by auto parts stores on Aug 07, 2010 7:01 AM

# re: 3D Camcorder, anyone?
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Great Idea. Would like to know if it would works.
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Left by ofen news on Aug 21, 2010 4:33 AM

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