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3D Workflow

In a recent blog post I talked about shooting a short in 3D and I thought today I’d share a little bit about my post workflow for that project.


So my setup was basically two flip cameras gaff taped together plus a shotgun mic rubber banded to the bottom of my rails rig. It was definitely pretty ghetto and not even close to perfect, but I was surprised how well it actually worked. Since I was shooting on two cameras plus recording dual system sound, I ended up having to sync three clips for every shot. Once I had copied all the footage from my cameras and sound recorder to my computer I made sure that all my files were easy to match up by labeling the corresponding clips with their take number. I then started by syncing the two cameras as closely as I could (most shots were definitely off a by sub frames since record wasn’t pushed at the exact same moment) using their scratch audio tracks. Once the cameras were synced as best I could, I then synced the camera footage with the separately recorded audio files.



After each shot had been synced, I then edited the clips together and then copied the clips from my Premiere timeline and pasted them into a new After Effects comp. I could have dynamic linked the projects so that if I made any changes to my Premiere timeline it would automatically update in AE, but for this project I decided I wanted to have all the clips separated in case I needed to make adjustments to the individual clips. When you dynamic link the projects the Premiere file would come in as a nested composition…



Next, inside AE I created a new solid that was the same size as my comp and placed that layer on top of my copied footage. Then I split the solid layer so that it matched the length of each of the edited clips. Then I applied the 3D Glasses effect to each of the split solid layers. By doing it this way I could easily make adjustments to each of the clips without using a lot of keyframes to set the convergence. I then set the convergence ( the point that you want your eyes to focus on where the red & blue meet) for each of the clips.



Once that was all finished I exported the comp from AE and imported it into Premiere. Since all the timing of the clips was the same I just laid it on a track above the original files and everything was still in sync.


The last thing I did was create the graphics for the video. I wanted to make them 3D as well so here’s what I came up with to pull off the effect. In AE I created a composition with the graphics I was going to use and placed the graphic in 3D space. I then created two cameras that were offset from each other around 100px. My goal was to basically create a L eye camera and a R eye camera. I then duplicated the comp and in one comp turned the L eye camera off and in the other I turned the R eye camera off. Now I had two separate comps with slightly different views, one for each eye. I then dropped the solid into a new comp with the L & R eye comps and set the convergence and that was it. This may not have been the best process and it’s possible it could have been done more easily and efficiently, but this was just the one way I chose to accomplish the effect.



This project definitely wasn’t on the level of James Cameron or anything but it was a fun test of using 3D techniques. I hope you find it helpful. I’ll post the final video soon so get your red/blue glasses ready and you can see how it all turned out.