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3D Image and Video Sharing: 3DF33D.TV

By Steve Withers, in , posted: 16-Sep-2011 12:07

You have your 3D camera and you want to share your awesome pics and videos. What do you do?

I went looking for sites that specialise in enabling the sharing of 3D content and found a few. Each has strengths and weaknesses and none of them are perfect. But the price (free) is certainly not heavy and you can't really complain too much.

My aim in sharing 3D content was to make it as easy as possible for others who may not have much experience with 3D images and how to use them. I also wanted a site that let the user turn the 3D off if they just aren't up for it. I also like to view my images in red/cyan anaglyph full screen on my big PC monitor. The effect is amazing, but sometimes the parallax in the anaglyph images is 'off' and most sites offer no way to fix that. 3DF33D.TV Main screen

3DF33D.TV does all these things. This is why it's my favourite 3D viewing and sharing site by a reasonably wide margin. It's the only site out there that lets you fix misaligned parallax and see a good-quality, high resolution image (or video) at the same time. No one else comes close. The site provider / operator, Keith Fredericks, has put together something very special for us all.  

Up front, 3DF33D.TV requires your web browser to support WebGL. That means you need a very recent version of Firefox or Chrome. You should see prominent graphic explaining your WebGL options and how to enable it of you don't have it.

Once the WebGL is sorted (if you had to do anything at all), the default viewing mode is 2D. You have to select a 3D viewing mode in order to see it and the selection button is top and centre on the main page.

Select 3D mode 

When you click on the "Select 3D mode" icon you're taken to a page that offers a wide range of choice for 3D viewing options. To be honest, I don't know what half of them are (yet), but I'm sure the people who need them will identify them readily.

Main 3D Viewing Modes 

The main selection list above should be good enough, but if you need something more specialised, you can click on "Other Modes" and gain access to an additional list of 3D viewing modes. For example, regular (full colour) red/cyan anaglyph may be good enough for most things, but if you have an image that has a lot of red and / or blue in it, your glasses will make those parts of the image look......just wrong. So, instead, you'd click on Other Modes and select "Dubois", which alters the shading of the reds and blues in the images to optimise them for viewing through red/cyan lenses. A bright blue sky on a sunny day will look much more natural using Dubois red/cyan anaglyph than the regular full-colour flavour. It's this kind of flexibility that makes 3DF33D.TV a win for me. This works for both stills and video.

 Other 3D Viewing Modes

Fixing the parallax in red/cyan anaglyph mode (if you selected one) is easy for any still or video. MovingAdjust Parallax

the mouse cursor to the top-right in the image or video when, not in fullscreen mode, gives you access to the parallax adjustment tool (I don't know what Keith calls it.) With your glasses on, just use the mouse pointer to slide the white dot up or down until the ghosting disappears. Then you can make it fullscreen. The parallax adjuster is also available in fullscreen mode, but doesn't work. It will immediately go to the highest negative number and stay there, so best to do this before going to fullscreen.

Images can be up to 20MB each. Maximum resolution is 3048 x 1080. The site supports "png gif jpg jpeg mpo" image formats. It can also handle *.jps files if the file being uploaded has been renamed to end in *.jpg. Always make a copy. Don't mess with your originals. I have an LG Optimus 3D (P925G - XT flavour) phone camera and it produces *.jps files and this method works fine for me. It also accepts the *.MPO files from my Fujifilm FinePix real 3D W3. I recently bought "Magix Movie Edit Pro 17 Plus HD" for editing and producing more polished 3D video content (US$99 download copy). 3DF33D.TV happily processes the *.wmv files Magix produces.  

This is all goodness. Could 3DF33D.TV be better? Sure. I admit, I don't know what Keith's goals are for the site, so what might be good from my point of view might not with his vision of where he wants to take 3DF33D.TV. Keith posts a blog entry on the site every few days and they are always informative and or entertaining. His enthusiasm for 3D shines through brightly. He recently published a book: "The Future of 3D Media". I bought an e-copy copy via Amazon for US$9.99.

The site allows you to use tags, but has no folders. So if you want to organise your uploaded content you will need to think about a set of tags that will let you group your images in ways useful to you. I use permutations on the date that include my user-id initials as other people may also want to use dates and won't want my images mixed in with theirs. For example, we can't ALL use "201107" for July 2011 without overlapping. I also add a word or two about the main subject, the location - city and country, my username (so I or others can select only my images/videos) and the device that shot the image ("LG Optimus 3D" or whatever). There is a search function, but any new user will rely heavily on the "new, hot, random" selection choices on the feature pages to locate content of interest. There is no high-level topic index. You have to browse and when you find a user whose content you like, you can drill into it.

It's possible to rate images and videos as one to five stars. I usually do. But no one else using the site seems to use this much. You can also leave comments, but I'm one of the few who do. There is no real "community" side to the site. If you want forums for sharing, learning or teaching, you'll have to go to another site. The fonts on the menus can look a bit "chunky". In some browsers the words on the menus are black on black unless you're mousing over them. But generally the site is stable and stuff just works. I've found in video playback that the player doesn't really buffer much of the stream, so if the network path between you and 3DF33D.TV is being "choppy" due to congestion at some point, there is no way to get around it. For this reason, I can only very rarely use the 720p HD playing mode with the site, but the 360p mode works very well almost all the time.

The user community on the site is still quite small as far as I can tell, but the hit-counts on the content seem to be rising, so interest appears to be growing. The more content there is, the more people will want to go there.

The summary for me is that 3DF33D.TV is the best 3D sharing site out there. If you haven't tried it then it's time you did.


More information

Other related posts:
A Cheap 3D TV
All Blacks Auckland RWC Victory Parade in 3D

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Steve Withers
New Zealand