A while ago I have posted a short 3D video from the mountain Bükk in Hungary in dual-stream WMV format and now the guys that made it (3d-video.hu) share two more stereoscopic 3D trailers of relaxing nature videos in 3D that they have shot. The first one embedded above in YouTube 3D format is called Mystic mountains of Austria showing some really nice places from the Austrian mountains.
The second new 3D video is called Living Nature and it shows some really nice spots demonstrating the beauty of Hungary’s nature in stereoscopic 3D. Again an embedded YouTube 3D trailer of the full movie and below you can also find links for downloading the two stereoscopic 3D trailers in MPEG2 format, 1080p Side by Side with half horizontal resolution (squashed), so don’t forget to select 16:9 aspect ratio when opening them in the 3D Vision Video Player or the Stereoscopic Player. Really nice work in stereo 3D and if you like the trailers you can order the full stereo 3D movies from them for $18 USD each, and you would be able to download them.
And a bit more details about the making of these movies in 3D…
With the music composer Szabolcs Kövi, we started nature filmmaking in 2004, called Relax DVD series. These movies contained just the beauty of nature with music, without any spoken word. These are not travel films, instead relaxation films. First 4 films were taken with regular SD cameras, but the 5th, the “Magic Forest” was the first created with 2 cameras side by side. It was 2009, at this time only few 3D films was available, so many people saw our film. On Youtube I’ve got 300.000 visitors now.
I have used 2 Canon HV10 camcorders, because of the slim size, so that I can set the interaxial distance to 6cm minimum. I like this natural 3D effect, big films often use a lot smaller base, so less depth on monitor/TV. I know this is because a separation which is good for computer monitor sizes would be too big for cinema screens. However, my films aren’t for big screens, instead for 3D TVs and projectors. And with these devices the depth is a lot more! Back to the recording.. Many people asked how did I synchronize the cameras. Well, HV10 does not have a LANC port, so we tried to sync by using something else. The composite video output also carries a sync signal, so we only have to make a circuit that show the 2 video output sync with LED. If the LED was red, it means bad sync, and I have to switch one camera off and on, hoping that I have more luck with sync. After 4-5 power on-off cycles and I always get green LED blinking, so the take was in sync. Fortunately, for this type of movies, 100% precise syncing is not needed. For slow pans, zooms or steadicam syncing only in post was enough. I use Sony Vegas, I like the 3D capability, and MVC rendering for 3D Blu-rays.
Magic Forest recording needed about 3 weeks in mountain Bükk/Hungary. I played a great game when going to nice places with a GPS: Geocaching! So it was fun but also tiring going up to a mountain alone with cams, tripods, etc. I always considered how cool would be all this on a projected 3D screen. And yes, it’s really gorgeous. In 2010 we were in Austria for 5 days, and made the next big 3D film: the Mystic Mountains of Austria. It was a holiday, but what a fatiguing holiday. Again, every place was planned carefully, so we rarely had spare time. Salzkammergut, Hallstatt, Icecave, Gosau-Golling-Krimml waterfalls, Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse – everyone has to see it! In 2011 I made another 3D film in Hungary for a German publisher. The places were near to me (Gerecse, Vértes, Pilis mountains), so it was a little easier, I was familiar with the landscapes, the routes, etc. This time I liked to film more animals: horses, birds, swans and even one fox is in the film! In summer I even bought one RC quadrocopter for making cool aerial footage. Then I realized controlling this bird smoothly is not easy, so first I practice with simulator, and in early 2012 cool 3D aerial footage will come – I hope.
Ok, we know that movie studios are totally ignoring all the millions of people that already have 3D HDTVs, 3D-equipped PCs, or event 3D-capable smartphones by not officially releasing stereoscopic 3D trailers for upcoming 3D movies online (with still very few exceptions). It seems that most of them don’t care about bringing these people in the cinema by showing them a glimpse at the 3D experience they have prepared for them in the movie theater, but at the same time they want to convince them to go and see a 3D movie by showing them a 2D trailer of that movie. Many 3D enthusiasts and 3D professionals are still wondering what is the stupid reason behind all of this and there could be a lot of these, some more reasonable, others not that much. For example the fact that a traditional 2D trailer with a lot of short and fast cuts does not work that well in stereo 3D, or that you need to find the right person for making a good 3D trailer, or the extra cost for making such a promotional material, or simply because you have crappy stereo 3D effects and want to cheat more people to go into the movie theater and get disappointed by the 3D effects they see. Who knows what it is exactly.
But why the hell you need to make only a 2D video trailer for an old blockbuster movie that you are going to be re-releasing converted in stereoscopic 3D? I mean you’ve seen the movie in 2D already, the whole movie and whether you liked it or not, there is no new footage in 2D that you can actually see in the “new trailer” and that video footage to make you go and see the converted to 3D version. Like in the case of the embedded official trailed for the Titanic in 3D that is coming on April 6th 2012, they could’ve just present the last part of the video with the text saying that Titanic is returning on April 6. But then again would millions of people watch an official trailer with just some text saying something that they’ve already read about, well the “new” 2D trailer for Titanic in 3D is here and millions have watched it already. But only talking about the movie in 3D even if it is by James Cameron himself probably won’t convince people that are not that big fans of the movie to go and watch it, for the movie fans however, 3D or not 3D they will surely watch it yet again, even probably multiple times. And one more thing, the original 2D version of the movie Titanic was a bit over 3 hours long (194 minutes to be exact) and going to see a 2D to 3D conversion that is over three hours might be a bit of a challenge for a lot of people. Watching a 3D movie like Avatar that is almost three hours long is one thing, but watching a converted to 3D movie like Titanic would be for over 3 hours, can turn out to be a big problem for a lot of people that are still fairly new to 3D and you can expect a lot of these… and if the 3D conversion is not at its best, then who knows.
Anyway, back on the 3D trailers thing. The problem is that it is not just one hit movie like Titanic, others are doing the same by pushing out “new” 2D trailers that contain no clue or information, let alone a glimpse of the experience that awaits the viewers when they go to the movie theaters to see the 3D conversion. And with all the negative media coverage that 3D conversions are still getting (some crappy ones fully deserve it) it may be quite hard to convince people that are not sure if they want to go and watch the new 3D return of a movie they liked a lot in 2D some years ago. Of course releasing a 3D trailer could be a double edged knife, because if you’ve done a crappy job with the 3D conversion or even with the trailer in 3D you can actually drive away viewers instead to attract their attention. So are movie studios too afraid not to mes up, or it is all about the money and they don’t care about the viewers as long as the numbers are satisfactory in the end… what do you think?
It is not my first time writing about the lack of stereoscopic 3D versions of movie trailers for 3D movies online, so that everyone with some 3D-capable hardware will be able to get an idea about the stereo 3D effect provided by the movie before going to watch it in 3D. Maybe the reason is connected with that, since if you don’t like the volume effect in the trailer you might just go for the 2D version of the movie or not go and watch it at all, nobody cares if you don’t like the movie when you are already watching it in the theater, you’ve already payed for the ticket anyway. And considering the fact that still most of the 3D movies are 2D to 3D conversions and not shot with 3D cameras this can be somewhat of a concern. But at the same time you are presented with 3D movie trailers of upcoming titles when you go to the movie theater or get a Blu-ray 3D movie, so why not have these available online and reach much wider audience. I mean we already have platforms supporting 3D video streaming such as YouTube 3D that you can take advantage of in promoting the movie essentially for free, as you’d already probably have the 3D trailer ready anyway.
But no, Hollywood is still missing on this opportunity, others movie makers however seem to have noticed the extra potential that publishing not only 2D version of their trailers, but stereo 3D versions can also engage wider audience, especially the constantly growing number of people with some kind of a 3D-capable device. Some Japanese companies are already taking advantage of that opportunity, for example earlier this year one of the first officially published 3D trailer for a movie on YouTube was for “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society 3D” and earlier this month another 3D movie trailer made its premiere on YouTube, one for the computer-animated movie “Tekken: Blood Vengeance (also embedded above). The interesting thing about those two movies is that they are computer generated animation with the first one being more interesting because of combining more traditional hand-drawn style of animation with computer generated cell-shaded graphics while the second is in more realistic style of 3D computer generated graphics. It seems however that animation is seeing some potential in using the stereoscopic 3D format for added benefit and that goes not only for the Japanese anime, but for western style of animation as well.
However it seems that we may still need to wait a bit more for live-action movies to start following this trend as well, especially the ones made in Hollywood. But there is one more important thing in regards to making a stereoscopic 3D trailer for a 3D movie and that is related to the way you usually make a trailer nowadays. When you watch a 2D movie trailer you usually get a lot of fast cuts from different scenes in the movie in order to make the action more dynamic and that usually works very well, but only in 2D. If you apply the same method of using a lot of fact cuts from different scenes with different depth and make that into a stereo 3D trailer, than the end result for the viewer watching it may as well turn to be unpleasant experience. One of the most important things that should not be done in a 3D movie trailer is to have a lot of very short scenes with big difference in the depth level stitched together in the trailer. Because our eyes need some time to readjust for the difference in the depth level in each scene and if you constantly vary the depth a lot each 2-3 seconds, the short 1-2 minute experience after watching the trailer might actually change your mind not to go and watch the movie in a movie theater. Even when the content in the trailer will most likely not always be the true representation of what is happening inside the actual movie, as it will most likely have longer scenes and easier transitions for the eyes of the audience. But still why is nobody in Hollywood even trying to do something about making available the 3D versions of the trailers for 3D movies, even if they are not made perfect right from the start… are they really afraid of loosing more of audience than they could attract this way?