Explore the stereoscopic workflow SpeedGrade
Exploring the stereoscopic workflow
Over the past few years, stereoscopic 3D production and post production has really gained in popularity, and in this movie, I want to show you the essentials of how you can get set up to work with stereoscopic 3D inside of Adobe SpeedGrade. Before we jump into SpeedGrade, I want to show you how I have my stereo footage organized here on my machine. So let me go ahead and open up the Exercise Files folder here, and then let me go into this folder right here called Media, and then let me open up this folder right here called stereo footage. Inside of this folder, you will notice that I have two subfolders, one called left for my left eye footage and one called right for my right eye footage.
And inside of each folder, I have a shot called lizard, one for the left eye and one for the right eye. Now it's always a good idea to organize your stereo footage into separate left and right folders, but not only is this a good organizational practice, it can also help you inside of Adobe SpeedGrade. Adobe SpeedGrade can automatically detect which shots are for the left eye and which shots are for the right eye, depending on how you've named your folders. So I always think it's a good idea to name your folders left and right for separate left and right eyes. Okay, let's jump into SpeedGrade and see how stereoscopic footage works inside of the application.
If you are following along with the exercise files, let's go ahead and open up this project right here called 02_05_stereo.ircp. Before you can actually start working with stereo footage, there are a few things that you need to adjusting in your settings. So to get over to your Settings tab of course, you can just click, but you can also use the keyboard shortcut S on the keyboard. Here in the Settings tab, the first area or the first category that we need to look at is the Editing category and if you scroll down just a little bit, you first need to make sure that you enable stereo. If you don't have this option selected, you will not be able to work in stereo.
Next, let's come up to the Display category and in the Display category, we have Stereo 3D Display Options, and if you click into the Stereo display mode menu right here, you have a few different options for how you are going to actually display 3D, you can turn it off, you can choose to display anaglyph red/cyan, interlaced, and so on. For this movie I am going to go ahead and choose the red/cyan option. Then I am going to go down to my Timeline tab here and on the Setup tab, let me make sure that this Timeline is set up to work in Stereo. Let me press D to get back to my desktop. Then what I am going to do is scroll down just a little bit, and I want to look for those two lizard shots that we were looking at just a moment ago.
Okay, here are the two shots, lizard_ left and lizard_right, let me go ahead and add the lizard_left shot to my Timeline. Okay, I have added it to my Timeline, but let me click the Timeline tab and then click over to Reels, and you will notice that SpeedGrade automatically added the right eye as well. And that's because of the way that I have my footage organized. Remember I had it organized into separate left and right folders and Adobe SpeedGrade is really smart when it comes to Stereo work and it can automatically detect matching shots for either eye. Okay, let's go ahead and click on this tab right here called Stereo 3D, and this tab become active when you are working with stereoscopic 3D projects.
Here on the Reel Assignment tab, under the Stereo 3D tab, is where you can set up your reels. Now this was automatically done for us when we added the footage. Again, SpeedGrade is really smart and figured out which eye is which. Here is the left eye and here is the right eye. But if for some reason, SpeedGrade didn't actually choose the right eye, you can always manually come back to your desktop and drag a shot in for either eye, just like that. Here on the Reel Setup tab, you can adjust things like mirroring and you will often need to do this if your footage was shot on a beam splitter rig, but my footage was shot side-by-side, so I don't need to do any mirroring changes. On the Geometry job, this is where the "magic" happens with stereo work inside of Adobe SpeedGrade as far as I am concerned.
So what I can do on this tab is I can automatically align my image. Now let me show you the image before we continue on. I want to press D on my keyboard to hide my Desktop and here's the shot. It looks pretty good. Remember, it looks kind of weird right now, because it's just in anaglyph mode, that red/cyan mode. I don't see anything that strikes me as being totally off and totally weird. However I am willing to bet that there are some alignment problems with this shot. So what we can do with these controls right here, is we can align the image. This first one allows you to adjust Parallax. This next one, Rotation. This one, Vertical offset and then this one Relative scale.
These controls right here allow you to match color and contrast between the eyes. The first button tries a little bit to match the color, the middle button tries a little harder and then finally this button right here, matches the color and the contrast of the shots or of the different eyes really, really strongly. Of course, you can always use the manual controls up here to adjust things, but I like to go ahead and first do an automatic match to see where I get. So what I am going to do is click the Match button right here and SpeedGrade will process these clips. And in just a second, it will automatically align them.
And you can see up here in the manual controls it did in fact make some adjustments, and you can further refine those adjustments if you see fit. Okay, so up here in the Monitor, I have a few different buttons that I want to show you. The first button is this one right here and this is how we can view our stereo image in Display mode. Remember we set that up just a moment ago in our Settings, and right now I am viewing this image as red/cyan anaglyph. But at any time, you can view separate left and separate right eyes. You can also use the keyboard shortcuts Option+L or Alt+L or Option+R or Alt+R to quickly switch between the left or right eyes, clicking back on the center set of glasses will get you back to both the eyes.
This button right here lets you go into Side-by-Side display mode. Side-by-Side display mode is a popular way that 3D stereoscopic productions are worked on in postproduction. It's also a popular way that stereoscopic 3D work is delivered. With this button right here, you can view a Difference Matte of the two eyes. A Difference Matte is particularly useful for when you need to come down here to the Adjust button under the Stereo 3D tab and start adjusting your parallax or your separation. And as you do that, it's really easy to see how you have separated the left and right eyes. And over here on the Floating Window tab, you can control the position of the stereo window.
When objects have a negative parallax are in front of the screen, sometimes they go past the edge of the screen and when they do, this breaks the stereo effect. But by using Floating Windows, you can prevent these types of problems. Okay, let me go ahead and close this Timeline and I want to show you one more thing about getting set up to work with stereoscopic projects. I don't need to save this, but what I am going to do is come back to my desktop, and then scroll back up to the top here, and once again open up the project 02_05_stereo.ircp, but I want to make sure that my Timeline is setup to work in Stereo, which it is, and then let me open up this EDL called 02_05_stereo.edl.
Just like when we worked with an EDL earlier in this chapter, we have an offline or not loaded clip. So what I am going to do is come over to my Reels tab here and click the Load from desktop button. And once again, Adobe SpeedGrade automatically figured out the left and the right eyes. Now why is this any different than what we did? Think about it this way, oftentimes in stereoscopic productions, an editor will work in mono. Typically, working with the left eye to cut the show together and get everything sorted out with the story, but then what they can do is export an EDL of the left eye. You can bring that EDL into Adobe SpeedGrade and based on the way that Adobe SpeedGrade can automatically figure out the other eye, assuming that timecode matches, you can simply load a mono EDL and Adobe SpeedGrade will automatically create a stereo Timeline for you if you have this settings enabled, which is hugely useful.
Finally, the last thing I want to discuss is just about grading with stereo footage. Now I know we haven't talked about grading quite yet inside of Adobe SpeedGrade, but I just want to show you something real simple. If I come over here to my Look tab, what I am going to do is just a simple contrast correction on this shot. Let's make it a little darker in the midtones and we'll make those highlights a little brighter as well. Now what happened automatically, if I switch between those two eyes, is that Adobe SpeedGrade copied the correction to both eyes. You don't have to switch back and forth between different Timelines making sure that your different eyes match.
Adobe SpeedGrade does it for you automatically. Okay, so that's the essentials of getting set up to work with stereo 3D footage inside of Adobe SpeedGrade. Even if you are not working with stereo 3D footage at the moment, it should be reassuring to know that Adobe SpeedGrade is up to the task when it comes to stereoscopic finishing and color grading.
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