Stereo3D Toolbox User Guide

Contents
What’s New in version 4?
Installation
Suggested Full Resolution Workflows
Final Cut Pro X stereoscopic pairing workflow
Final Cut Pro 7 stereoscopic pairing workflow
Premiere Pro stereoscopic pairing workflow
After Effects stereoscopic pairing workflow
Motion stereoscopic pairing workflow
Stereo3D Toolbox Controls
Source 3D Type & Flip/Flop
On-Screen Control & Visibility
3D Output and Global Output Mode
Toolbox Modes
Geometry Mode
Virtual Floating Window
Image Balance Mode
Ghost Toaster
Z-Depth Map Mode
Parallax Guide Lines
Parallax Inspector
Walkthrough

What’s New in version 4 of Stereo3D Toolbox?
Version 4 of Stereo3D Toolbox introduces Final Cut Pro X and Premiere Pro CS6 support, a single unified effect filter to perform all tasks previous handled by separate filters, full resolution master output of left and right eyes via new “Identifier” effect filters, and an innovative new on-screen control (OSC) system.  This OSC is currently compatible with Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 and After Effects CS6.  It is not compatible with Final Cut Pro 7 but should be compatible with Premiere Pro after the next update from Adobe.  Otherwise Stereo3D Toolbox v4 is still compatible with the Mac OS X versions of After Effects CS6, Premiere Pro CS6, Motion 5 and Final Cut Pro 7 via traditional effect pallette user interfaces.

Installation
Installation of all Dashwood plugins is performed from the FxFactory application. FxFactory is like an app store for plugins and can be downloaded from www.fxfactory.com/download. Once downloaded and installed you can launch FxFactory and find Stereo3D Toolbox in the Catalog under the Dashwood header. Simply click “Download Trial” and the plugin will automatically download and install itself into Premiere Pro, After Effects, Motion and Final Cut Pro. (see FxFactory’s system requirements for compatibility of OS and host versions.) Stereo3D Toolbox will then be accessible in your host application the next time it is launched. The default mode is ‘trial mode,’ which simply means the plugin will be fully functional, but a watermark will be visible until a license is purchased. A license can be easily purchased directly from within FxFactory by clicking on the price indicator.

Suggested workflows for full resolution stereoscopic clip management
We suggest that users first prep their stereoscopic media by pairing left and right clips in Compound Clips (Final Cut Pro X), Pre-Comps (After Effects), Groups (Motion 5), or Nests (Final Cut Pro 7 and Premiere Pro CS6.)  The concept is the same in all host apps, but the terminology and method vary slightly.  Please watch the video below for a quick overview on how it works.

Final Cut Pro X stereoscopic pairing workflow
Our suggested workflow for Final Cut Pro X consists of pairing left and right clips into Compound Clips in the Event Window, identifying the left and right clips within each Compound Clip, and then editing with those Compound Clips in the Project timeline. Stereo3D Toolbox may be applied to the Compound Clips in the Project during editing with Global Output Mode (default) activated on each clip so that all clips in the Project timeline can be changed to any stereoscopic output mode with one step.

  1. Import all left and right clips into an Event and make sure they are labeled as left or right. (MVC clips will need to be demuxed externally before importing.  See this knowledge base article for limitations.)
  2. ⌘-Select a pair of clips.
  3. ⌘-Click to reveal pop-up contextual menu and choose “New Compound Clip” from the menu.  Alternatively you may use the shortcut “option-G.” If you suspect that the left and right clips do not start at exactly the same frame you may use “Synchronize Clips” (⌘+option+G) instead and let FCP X attempt to sync the clips while creating a Compound Clip.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each pair of stereoscopic clips in your Event.
  5. Double-click a Compound Clip (or CTRL-click and select “open”) to display it as a timeline.  You will see your left and right clips on two separate layers one above the other.
  6. Find the Dashwood 3D category in the Effects Browser (⌘+5) and drag the “Identify LEFT” effect to the left clip inside the Compound Clip and drag the “Identify RIGHT” effect to the right clip inside the Compound Clip.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for each Compound Clip you had created.
  8. Make a new Project and Edit in the Project Timeline using only your new stereoscopic Compound Clips.
  9. Apply Stereo3D Toolbox from the Effects Palette to each compound clip you edit into your sequence.   Stereo3D Toolbox defaults to Compound Clip as an input mode and will output using Global Output Mode by default.

You can change the Global Output Mode at any time while editing. When it is time to output separate left and right Quicktime movies, selecting left or right as the Global Output Mode will automatically send full resolution video from the source clips within each Compound Clip.

 

Final Cut Pro 7  stereoscopic pairing workflow
Our suggested workflow for Final Cut Pro 7 consists of pairing left and right clips into Nests within a bin, identifying the left and right clips within each Nest, and then editing with those Nests in the Sequence.  Stereo3D Toolbox may be applied to the Nests in the Sequence during editing with Global Output Mode (default) activated on each clip so that all clips in the Sequence can be changed to any stereoscopic output mode with one step.

  1. Import all left and right clips into a Bin and make sure they are labeled as left or right. (MVC clips will need to be demuxed externally before importing.  See this knowledge base article for limitations.)
  2. Make and Open a new Sequence and name it the same as one of your clips.  This sequence will become your stereoscopic nest for that clip.
  3. Drag the left and right clips with the same name into the new sequence and make sure they are on top of each other on V1 and V2.  It doesn’t matter which eye is on top or bottom, but you may adjust frame sync between them and mute any redundant audio channels.  If you are asked to match sequence setting to clip settings when adding to the sequence then select YES.
  4. Find the Dashwood 3D category in the Effects Tab and drag the “Identify LEFT” effect to the left clip inside the sequence and drag the “Identify RIGHT” effect to the right clip inside the sequence.  You may also select each clip and choose teh filter from the Effects–>Video Filters Menu.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 for each pair of clips.
  6. Make a new Sequence and edit in your sequence using only your new stereoscopic Nests.
  7. Apply the Stereo3D Toolbox video filter to each nest you edit into your sequence.   Stereo3D Toolbox defaults to Nest as an input mode and will output using Global Output Mode by default.

You can change the Global Output Mode at any time while editing. When it is time to output separate left and right Quicktime movies, selecting left or right as the Global Output Mode will automatically send full resolution video from the source clips within each Nest.

 

Premiere Pro stereoscopic pairing workflow
Our suggested workflow for Premiere Pro consists of pairing left and right clips into Nests within a bin, identifying the left and right clips within each Nest, and then editing with those Nests in the Sequence.  Stereo3D Toolbox may be applied to the Nests in the Sequence during editing with Global Output Mode (default) activated on each clip so that all clips in the Sequence can be changed to any stereoscopic output mode with one step.

  1. Import all left and right clips into a Bin or the Project palette and make sure the clips are labeled as left or right. (MVC clips will need to be demuxed externally before importing.  See this knowledge base article for limitations.)
  2. Make and Open a new Sequence and name it the same as one of your clips.  This sequence will become your stereoscopic nest for that clip. (As a shortcut to avoid re-typing the name you may also select one of the clips and drag to the New Item icon or “New Sequence from Clip.”)
  3. Drag the left and right clips with the same name into the new sequence and make sure they are on top of each other on Video 1 and Video2.  It doesn’t matter which eye is on top or bottom, but you may adjust frame sync between them and mute any redundant audio channels.  If you are asked to match sequence setting to clip settings when adding to the sequence then select YES.
  4. Find the Dashwood 3D category in the Video Effects Palette and drag the “Identify LEFT” effect to the left clip inside the sequence and drag the “Identify RIGHT” effect to the right clip inside the sequence.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 for each pair of clips.
  6. Make a new Sequence and edit in your sequence using only your new stereoscopic Nests.
  7. Apply the Stereo3D Toolbox video filter to each nest you edit into your sequence.   Stereo3D Toolbox defaults to Nest as an input mode and will output using Global Output Mode by default.

You can change the Global Output Mode at any time while editing. When it is time to output separate left and right Quicktime movies, selecting left or right as the Global Output Mode will automatically send full resolution video from the source clips within each Nest.

 

After Effects stereoscopic pairing workflow
Our suggested workflow for After Effects consists of pairing left and right clips into Pre-Comps within a bin, identifying the left and right clips within each Pre-Comp, and then editing with those Pre-Comps in the main Composition.  Stereo3D Toolbox may be applied to the Pre-Comps in the main Composition during editing with Global Output Mode (default) activated on each clip so that all clips in the composition can be changed to any stereoscopic output mode with one step.

  1. Import all left and right clips into the Project palette and make sure the clips are labeled as left or right. (MVC clips will need to be demuxed externally before importing.  See this knowledge base article for limitations.)
  2. Create and Open a new Composition and name it the same as one of your clip pairs. This sequence will become your stereoscopic Pre-Comp for that clip. Alternatively, as a shortcut to avoid re-typing the name and also skip step 3 you may also select both of the clips and drag to “Create a New Composition” icon.
  3. [Skip this step if you used the shortcut in step 2] Drag the left and right clips with the same name into the new sequence and make sure they are on top of each other on Video 1 and Video2.  It doesn’t matter which eye is on top or bottom, but you may adjust frame sync between them and mute any redundant audio channels.
  4. Find the Dashwood 3D category in the Effects & Presets Palette and drag the “Identify LEFT” effect to the left clip inside the Pre-Comp and drag the “Identify RIGHT” effect to the right clip inside the Pre-Comp.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 for each pair of clips.
  6. Make a new Composition and work within your Composition using only your new stereoscopic Pre-Comps.
  7. Apply the Stereo3D Toolbox video filter to each pre-comp layer you edit into your composition.   Stereo3D Toolbox defaults to Pre-Comp as an input mode and will output using Global Output Mode by default.

You can change the Global Output Mode at any time while editing. When it is time to output separate left and right Quicktime movies, selecting left or right as the Global Output Mode will automatically send full resolution video from the source clips within each Pre-Comp.

 

Motion stereoscopic pairing workflow
Our suggested workflow for Motion consists of pairing left and right clips on layers within Groups and identifying the left and right clips within each Group with the Identify Left or Right filters.  Stereo3D Toolbox may be applied to the Groups in the main Project during compositing with Global Output Mode (default) activated on each clip so that all clips in the composition can be changed to any stereoscopic output mode with one step.

  1. Navigate to all left and right clips in the Library palette and make sure the clips are labeled as left or right. (MVC clips will need to be demuxed externally before importing.  See this knowledge base article for limitations.)
  2. Create a new Group (SHIFT +⌘+N) in your timeline and name it the same as one of your clip pairs.
  3. Drag the left and right clips with the same name into the new Group and make sure they are on top of each other on separate layers.  It doesn’t matter which eye is on top or bottom, but you may adjust frame sync between them and mute any redundant audio channels.
  4. Find the Dashwood 3D category under Filters in the Library Palette and drag the “Identify LEFT” effect to the left clip inside the Group and drag the “Identify RIGHT” effect to the right clip inside the Group.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 for each pair of clips required in your timeline.
  6. Apply the Stereo3D Toolbox video filter to each stereoscopic Group you use in your timeline.   Stereo3D Toolbox defaults to Compound Clip/Nest/Pre-Comp (equivalent to Group) as an input mode and will output using Global Output Mode by default.

You can change the Global Output Mode at any time while editing. When it is time to output separate left and right Quicktime movies, selecting left or right as the Global Output Mode will automatically send full resolution video from the source clips within each Group.

 

Stereo3D Toolbox Controls
Stereo3D Toolbox is no longer a suite of separate plugin filters designed to perform individual tasks and now contains almost all features within a single dynamic filter.  The UI and parameters of Stereo3D Toolbox will dynamically change depending on the mode in use or the activation of certain options.   As of the publication of this document “Dynamic UI” works reliably in After Effects, Final Cut Pro and Motion, but may sometimes lag in Premiere Pro CS6, requiring  the user to toggle an option on or off a second time before the controls are revealed.

Source 3D Type & Flip/Flop/Swap
Stereo3D Toolbox understands many different half-res 3D formats, however it defaults to “Compound Clip/Nest/Pre-Comp” so it can be used in full-res workflows as described in the section above.  The Flip/Flop/Swap section can be used to flip or flop left or right eyes if the image is inverted due to a beamsplitter rig.   The swap output option exchanges right eye and left eye output.

On-Screen Control & Visibility
Stereo3D Toolbox On-Screen Controls (OSC) allow for easier interactive control of parameters. OSC is currently compatible with Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 and After Effects CS6.  It is not compatible with Final Cut Pro 7 but should be compatible with Premiere Pro after the next update from Adobe.  Otherwise Stereo3D Toolbox v4 is still compatible with the Mac OS X versions of After Effects CS6, Premiere Pro CS6, Motion 5 and Final Cut Pro 7 via traditional effect pallette user interfaces. Push buttons and some drop-down menus are also available as OSC in Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5.
See the video below for examples of OSC.

OSC is the only way to adjust many of the controls in Final Cut Pro X.   The Stereo3D Toolbox filter must be selected in the effects palette (a.k.a. inspector) before OSC will be visible.  In some hosts like Motion and After Effects, OSC can be toggled on and off. When OSC is off the Stereo3D Toolbox plugin will dynamically display sliders in the effects palette.  OSC Visibility must be turned off before rendering or outputting from Stereo3D Toolbox.

Modifier keys can be used in Final Cut Pro X and Motion when moving control points to slow down, constrain or reset controls.  Press and hold the ⌘ key while moving the control point with the mouse to slow down the movement.  Press and hold  the SHIFT key to constrain the control point to the x or y axis.  Press the OPTION key and click a control point to reset it.

3D Output and Global Output Mode
Stereo3D Toolbox can output a variety of stereoscopic half-res formats as well as discreet left and right full-res. The Depth Analysis mode is new to Stereo3D Toolbox v4.  Depth Analysis finds relative parallax points in the image and displays positive parallax points as green and negative parallax as red.  Magenta and blue colours indicate vertical misalignments.
The 3D Output of Stereo3D Toolbox defaults to Global Output Mode.  Any output mode can be set system-wide as the Global Output Mode at any time.  For example, if you set “side by side” as the Global Output Mode then “side by Side” will be used in every occurrence of Stereo3D Toolbox in every sequence and in every host.
Global Output Mode is useful for changing the output mode of an entire sequence with the push of one button.  Please keep in mind that any clips that have already been rendered will not change when the Global Output Mode is changed.
When the suggested workflow is followed using the Identifier filters Stereo3D Toolbox  is capable of outputting separate left and right Quicktimes in full resolution.  Full resolution is only initiated when Left or Right Output Mode is set as the Global Output Mode.

Stereo3D Toolbox Modes
Stereo3D Toolbox now functions in one of three primary mastering modes, along with control sections like Ghost Toaster that are always available.  The three primary modes are Geometry, Image Balance and Z-Depth Map.  Setting made in each mode will always be active even though the control parameters may be hidden.  

Geometry Mode
Geometry Mode is used to correct geometric disparities between the left and right eyes and also adjust the convergence point of the scene.  OSC controls for Geometry Mode use five primary control areas.  The controls on the far left adjust scale and rotation disparity between the left and right eye.  The controls just left of centre adjust Tilt and Keystone disparity.  The controls in the centre adjust vertical disparity and convergence.
The controls to the right of centre adjust master reframe, master scale and master rotation.    When OSC is turned off sliders will be visible in the effects palette that allow for the same amount of control.  Keyframes can be used to change the controls over time.

Virtual Floating Window Control
Floating Windows are a necessary tool in stereoscopic mastering if objects in ‘theatre space’ break the left or right edge of the frame, or “window.”  The on-screen floating window control in Stereo3D Toolbox allows the user to simply drag point controls for the left and right edge of each eye to the desired position. The floating window positions can also be animated via standard keyframe control in After Effects, Motion or Final Cut Pro.

Image Balance Mode
Image Balance Mode is used to correct disparities between the left and right eyes in saturation and levels.  Waveform and Vectorscopes that compare the left (red) and right (cyan) eyes can be overlayed while correcting.  OSC controls are clearly labeled and standard UI sliders will appear in the effects palette when OSC is disabled.  Intuitive “ping-pong” sliders finely adjust both eyes at the same time, meaning less overall correction.   Move a saturation slider to the right and you add saturation in that channel to the right eye, while removing it from the left eye.  Move it to the left and the opposite happens.  The concept is the same for input and output levels.
Image Balance can be bypassed completely by checkmarking “Bypass Image Balance.”  Bypassing Image Balance will improve real-time performance.

The 2X Vectorscope Gain push button will double the gain on the vectorscope making it easier to make fine adjustments to hue and also adhere to DSC Labs standards for Chroma DuMonde and Dashwood 3D charts.

Ghost Toaster
Most Stereoscopic 3D viewing systems such as Circular Polarized, and even Active Shutter-Glass to a certain extent, have traces of what is referred to as “Ghosting.” This is an undesired effect that occurs when there is leak of the left image into right eye and the right image leaks into the left. When this occurs the viewer will see a faint double image around objects within the scene. This occurs most often in high contrast areas of the picture and will create retinal rivalry, as there are severe disparities and asymmetries between the images. Some ghosting is negligible and will go undetected but if the images leakage or crosstalk is over a few percentage points from the original then the images are required to be “Ghost-Busted”, or “Ghost-Toasted” in the case of Stereo3D Toolbox. Some projection systems such as Real-D now ghostbust while projecting, but many still must have ghost compensation added before they are ever displayed in a theatre.

Operating Ghost Toaster is a simple one-slider process. It is encouraged to either use a test pattern or view the image on the final output medium to ensure the Ghost Toasting is sufficient or not over-powering.
The Crosstalk slider(s) will determine the amount of crosstalk compensation added to the overall scene or to each individual eye. Activating “Use Same % for Right” will add the same amount of crosstalk compensation to both the left and right eye files. Each value of 1 equates to 1% of the opposing image pre-compensation, as in how much of the right image will be subtracted from the left image and vice-versa. Moving the slider to the right will increase the amount of Ghost Toasting processing to the image, which pre-compensates for the opposing image to leak over. Ghost Toaster will raise the left image’s dynamic range by the sliders value and then subtract a copy of the right image with the dynamic range decreased equally from the left image to create a Ghost Toasted image. The same process will then be implemented for the right image. Each value of 1 also equates to 1% of the dynamic range loss.

Z-Depth Map Mode
The Z-Depth Mode of Stereo3D Toolbox allows for extensive manipulation of depth maps. Depth Maps can be restricted to a user-assignable Luma Range and then used to convert 2D sources to 3D. The amount of pixel displacement can be controlled with the displacement slider. The new Extrusion preview mode renders a 3D perspective of the how depth will be applied to the 3D image.   The camera point of view can be manipulated using the camera orbit point control.

Parallax Line Guides
The Parallax Percentage Line Guides provide a simple overlay of custom or calculated screen parallax line guides that can be set to any desired opacity. This helps the stereoscopic grader judge the overall parallax in the scene while making convergence adjustments.

The vertical lines of the Parallax Guides represent the average human inter-ocular distance, 65mm, but this value can be changed to something more conservative. Positive parallax (background separation) that exceeds the guides will cause the audiences’ eyes to diverge, resulting in discomfort.  The user is able to adjust the guides in the Parallax Guides section. First by entering the final display screen size and resolution. Alternatively, the user is able to enter a Custom Parallax Percentage. The Guides will change in relation to the input data of the user allowing for fast and effective parallax inspection to ensure quality stereoscopic content.

Sometimes the parallax guide lines will not display properly on a scaled canvas display but will always look correct on full resolution external output.

Parallax Inspector
The Parallax Inspector allows the user to magnify and examine the actual parallax in the scene, which is clearly outlined in easy-to-see red and cyan. It also provides a simple measuring device that helps you determine if your parallax is within native divergence limits of any given screen size or custom percentage value.  The same values set in the Parallax Guides section will be used by the Parallax Inspector.

 

For more information please watch this detailed walkthrough.

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2 Comments for Stereo3D Toolbox User Guide

  1. Pierce Murphy says:

    Dear Mr Dashwood,

    First of all, thank you for providing us content creators with such a fine tool as the Stereo3D Toolbox.
    However, I seem to have issues with my version of Final Cut Pro X (10.0.5) and your newest version of Stereo3D Toolbox (4.1.2 at the time of writing this). What could be the reason for the issues? Is it because I am using the Lite version and not the full activated one? Surely I am simply overlooking something.

    Hope to hear from you!
    All the best,
    Pierce Murphy.

  2. Tim Dashwood says:

    Hello Pierce.

    The issue is probably to do with v10.0.5. You should be working with at least 10.0.9 or 10.1.1. If after the upgrade you continue to have the issue then please submit a support ticket to our support team at http://www.dashwood3d.com/contacts.php