Ten Stereoscopic Tricks I Learned From Pixar

Ten Stereoscopic Tricks I Learned From Pixar

| September 6, 2009

After watching UP again at a Sydney VES preview event, here are my 10 tips for better stereo 3D imaging, or what I like to call Lessons I learned from Pixar after watching the best 3D I have seen yet:

1. It needs to work in mono first. If watching the mono the cuts seem odd- (because it is cut that way just for stereo 3D), then you are approaching your film the wrong way. See Journey to the Centre of the Earth
2. Dont push it on divergency – my eyes look in, not out
3. Be careful with defocus and 3D stereo. In the real world if I look around the shot… I bring that part of the shot into focus.

4. Avoid lens flares – they are really hard to get right – and would often affect one eye differently than the other in the real world. See U2:3D
5. Try and stay inside the screen, dont make we work to hard for the 3D effect – it takes me out of the film experience. See Meet the Robinsons
6. Give the audience a clear thing to look at, a clear visual layout or direction, I want to be directed – I want to not have to look around for the point of the shot.
7. Watch reflections – I change my focus when I look at reflections on say glass – as they are ‘further away’. The problem with reflections in Stereo 3D – I can look at them but the focus or otherwise of the reflections dont change as they would in real life.
8. Dont animate convergence in the shot – it is too clever and it annoys me to the point of a headache See Best of Both Worlds Concert : Miley Cyrus – on second thoughts – dont see it (unless you are a ten year old girl and if you are; why are you reading this?.. go,.. play).
9. Make the Stereo work completely be an extension of the camera and lens choices, understand the cinematography before picking the convergence.
10. Focus on the story first : See UP

Note: check out the fxguidetv interview (Episode 65) with the UP team.

4 Responses to “Ten Stereoscopic Tricks I Learned From Pixar”

  1. Anonymous

    Thanks mike.
    These will come in handy.
    If you could put a clink to “See Journey to the Center of the Earth” it’d make it easier.


  2. Anonymous

    […] team(cf FxguideTV episode 65), and he create a list of 10 tips for creating Stereo Movie. You can find this list here on the Fxph Dean’s blog AKPC_IDS += "601,";Popularity: unranked [?]Share/Save […]

  3. Anonymous

    never seen animated convergence/divergence but I was wondering what kind of effect that might be…
    thanks for the tips!

  4. Anonymous

    Thank you for all the valuable tips Mike.

    I wish to understand point one more.

    Cutting in Stereo or Mono is two very different ways to approaching an edit.

    Why would it need to work in mono first? (apart from deliverables down the line)

    In my opinion it needs to work in stereo first. (especially if this is you ultimate deliverable)

    I’m an editor and in my experience I feel its important you are aware of your convergence points from cut to cut.
    Also (like you mention in point 6) you need to be aware of where your eyes are going and that the viewers aren’t going to be overwhelmed and get lost within the shot. As you know with mono you can cheat/force a viewer to a point within the frame using depth of field etc, but you can’t do this as much with stereoscopic.

    When I first started out cutting stereo, I found I would view the edit mostly in mono (or using ‘one eye’ as I kept hearing it refereed too).
    As my experience developed I realised I needed to often switch viewing my edited sequence between stereo and mono. I found that most of the work I cut in mono was cut to ‘fast’ when I reviewed it back in stereo, I would have to reedit the sequence and ‘slow’ the cuts down.

    I’m a big believer that a lot of the editing rules have gone out the window for stereoscopic editing. I feel like I’m watching theater on TV now.

    Exciting times.

    Thanks again Mike for all your valuable tips.


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