We know that Google has been trying to improve and most of all make more user friendly the upload of 3D videos to YouTube for a while already and while they manage to do quite well in that, they seem to miss some really basic stuff that can result in the 3D video not being displayed properly. It is quite nice and easy to just select from a drop-down box that “This video is already 3D”when uploading a 3D video to YouTube from the Advanced Settings tab under 3D Video (just avoid using the “Please make this video 3D” option as this will use 2D to 3D conversion in order to convert a normal 2D video into a stereoscopic 3D one simulating the feeling of depth).
Then from the second drop-down box right below the first one you choose “Side by side: Left video on the left side” or another type of arrangement form the available ones either Side by Side or Top to Bottom with the correct frame order for left/right eye and when the video uploads you expect that everything will work fine. That however may not happen exactly like you thought it would, as for example if the video you uploaded was 1080p in resolution with full frames for both left and right eye (total resolution of 3840×1080) then the result you’d see in the player may not be the one you would want to see. If you uploaded a 3840×1080 resolution 3D video in Side by Side format, going trough the simple drop-down configuration of the type of the video may not be enough as YouTube will still not show it with the correct aspect ratio and you’d need to fix that in order not to have black bars at the top and bottom of the player…
And here I though that adding extra tags for 3D video uploads is something that we’ve left in the past, but no, you may still need to add the good old yt3d tag to make things work properly and the good news is that it actually still works. In the above real world example I’ve had to add “yt3d:aspect=16:9” (no need to use the quotes) in order to get the 3D video displayed with the correct aspect ratio in the player, again this aspect ratio fix is intended for when uploading 3D video clips in Side by Side format with 3840×1080 resolution in YouTube. Lower resolution 3D videos and/or clips with horizontally or vertically squashed frames for the left and right eye may not need the extra tag to be displayed correctly, but if you are having trouble with them you may try adding the tag as well.
Some time ago YouTube has added support for uploading stereoscopic 3D movies in a side by side format (left and right frame into a single video stream next to each other) and then view them in different mode. This feature has not generated too much attention, simply because there is still not that much stereoscopic 3D content that can be freely distributed. And to tell you the truth I’ve known for this YouTube feature for quite some time, but I’ve tried it just today by uploading a clip recorded with FRAPS to test it…
If you already have the stereoscopic 3D video clip ready you can quite easily upload it to YouTube and you just need to enter something specific in the field for tags at the end of the list of tags you’ve provided for your video. The tag you need to enter as a last one is “yt3d:enable=true” (without the quotes) as you can see in the screenshot above – have in mind that this tag needs to be at the end and not specifically to be the only one entered. And that is it your stereoscopic video is uploaded an being processed and when it is ready you should be able to view it in the available Stereoscopic 3D modes that YouTube currently supports.
Here s a list of stereoscopic 3D modes that the YouTube player currently support with the main focus being the anaglyph modes, but there is also support for cross-eyed viewing method that does not require special hardware and there are even experimental modes for row interleaved viewing for passive polarized display users and a few others (including option to view just the left or right video frame in “plain 2D”). As you can see so far there is not way for you to directly watch the videos in stereoscopic 3D mode if you are using Nvidia’s 3D Vision setup, but do not loose your hope as there is actually a quite easy workaround. You just need to download the High-quality or High-definition version in MP4/MOV format of the YouTube video you want and then play it back through the NVIDIA 3D Vision Video Player without problems. And if you have some issues with playing back the downloaded movie you might need to first setup the codec list of the 3D Stereo Player in order to add the installed MP4/MOV splitter/decoder in your system (Settings / Decoder / MPEG4 Stream Splitter).
Have in mind that there are some possible issues when sharing Stereoscopic 3D videos through YouTube. I’m talking about the limited resolution the Stereoscopic 3D videos are being processed at and then made available for the user. And then there is the issue wit the quality as when the video gets re-encoded with a lower resolution an bitrate than the original one being used, so watching through the player or downloading it afterwards might result in not that great quality. If you want to upload 1080p stereoscopic 3D video or even a clip with 720p quality to YouTube you should forget about that with the reason being that you still get 1280 and 1920 maximum width for the re-encoded content you’ve uploaded as stereoscopic content. So for true 720p quality you’ll be uploading video with resolution of 2560×720 that will be downsized to 1920×540 (1080p HD) and 1280×360 pixels (720p HD), so you might consider recording the video in one of these two resolution, if you plan to share it exclusively through YouTube. This way you might achieve better quality when the video is being just recompressed and not resized by YouTube, but still it depends on a lot of other factors so it still might be considered to be a trial and error at first.