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GoPro Hero3 Black 3D
  • Did some field testing of my GoPro Hero3 Black 3D setup this weekend at drifting. Here's my setup:

    3D Rig: image

    Shoulder Rig:


    Test video 1:

    1080p60, Narrow FOV, Protune, CamRAW WB

    Neat Video, Magic Bullet Looks, a little Shadow/Highlight to recover the clouds

    Here's a frame without 3D for reference: image

    Gotta say, I LOVE the dynamic range on these cameras! Unless you're shooting something really dark, all but the brightest highlights (ie. the sun) can almost always be recovered in post. There doesn't seem to be much of an issue recovering shadows under most conditions, either. Of course, you'll need to use noise reduction on more serious shadow lifting. I find Neat Video invaluable for heavy processing, as it will remove blocking on smooth areas once you start pushing the limits.

    Rig Setup:

    Pretty simple, actually. For the 3D part, I got a pair of macro sliders, tore off the rubber surface grip for the bottom piece, removed one of the mounts for use as the top piece, used a 1/4-20 hex standoff to link them together, and slid the GoPros inside. The tension holds them in place perfectly, and the gap from no grip lets me perfectly align the cameras in parallel. The only downfall of this one is that things 5ft or closer tend to hurt the 3D effect, since the lenses are spaced around 3" or so apart. If you're focusing on a subject further back, close objects will look quite a bit off. Same with close subjects, things behind him will be off. After about 5ft, though, everything is fine. I'll be making a more sophisticated and lightweight setup soon, which will allow me to invert one of the cameras to get the lenses much closer.

    For the shoulder rig, it's just a Cavision shoulder pad with some 15,000mah USB batteries gaffer taped to a flat section of a flash bracket, screwed into one of the holes in the back. I have a Swivi monitor up front with the 3D rig mounted onto it. It's really lightweight, but I definitely need something more in back to balance it better.

    As far as battery life, I left the GoPros running for 6hrs straight. I was able to monitor the battery life through the Swivi's meter, and after that time period, even with the Swivi on, I only used about half the battery. So I should hopefully be able to get around 12 hrs max from that setup.

    Here's my Red/Blue workflow:

    As far as syncing the left and right, I've found that they're usually about 2 frames off. I try to find and event that is easy to spot on both cameras (subject just passing in front/behind something, light turning on, etc.) to do an easy sync. If that doesn't work, Pluraleyes has no problem matching them up.

    Once that's done, I color correct and grade, then apply the 3D Glasses effect in AE. Using the Difference mode, I can align the frames and set keyframes, so the focus can follow the subject no matter where he moves. Then set Keframe Interpolation to smooth the transitions. It's tedious, but the effect is worth it.

    Finally, I'll set to Balanced Colored Red Blue and adjust the Red/Blue balance to reduce/eliminate ghosting, scale up to get rid of the edges (aligning will throw them off), and export.

    And for Side by Side:

    A lot of it is the same, though I seem to have issues with the 3D Glasses effect in Stereo Pair leaving lots of empty space around each frame, and you can't scale each side up individually to fill it. To get around that, I set everything up in the 3D Glasses effect, then export the left and right sides individually. This aligns them properly from the start, so I can get around the empty space issue. Then I do correction and grading, and put them into a double-wide frame next to each other (3840x1080) to get the side by side 3D. YouTube doesn't seem to have a problem with this, though I'm not sure if it would be compatible with any place else.

    In the end, it's not really much more work, just more time waiting for it to encode, and with the double wide setup, you get true 1080p 3D.

    A note about Premiere/After Effects and 5DtoRGB:

    Both Adobe programs will crush the highlights and shadows a bit, at least in Protune. Running the video through 5DtoRGB first will prevent this from happening. It'll also create a much higher quality file than converting through Cineform Studio, since it interpolates color, reducing blocking artifacts. Plus, you can reverse the Cinestyle curve while converting if you want. 5DtoRGB also makes the reds look redder, instead of the slight orange cast they seem to have.

  • 4 Replies sorted by
  • Nice. Really like the rig.

  • @Hallvalla Yeah, just needs some padding under the shoulder part. I had my backpack on, so the strap acted like its own padding. It's a pretty cheap basic rig, but very well built and sturdy.

    I really wanna try this rig out with my GH2 and Canon 9-117mm F/1.6 ENG lens. I have the remote zoom controller for the lens, so it could be an incredibly versatile setup, depending on how well balanced I can get everything set up.

  • @BlueBomberTurbo, are you using the GoPro Sync Cable?

  • @kavadni Nope, doesn't work yet. Just lights up the rear light on the cameras.