Pairing 2 cameras to 1 remote for 3D stereoscopic shooting?

Discussion in 'SJ7 Star' started by Happy Chappy, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    I'll take this a step further. If SJCam doesn't want customers hacking their products, they should say so. If they don't mind, a bit of support isn't that hard to do.

    I see the same basic situation in the smartphone world. Some people are quite happy with their phone as it comes out of the box. Some people, myself included, want control of their phone to the point of gaining full control of files and apps. And some people want to do major modifications from custom ROM's to a different OS. Certain phones, which can be altered, are then recommended over "just live with it" phones. In a few cases (Google, OnePlus, LG, for example) the manufacturer at least leaves a pathway for modification (you break the phone, don't come crying to them, of course) .This doesn't probably doesn't make a large difference in sales, but any positive word of mouth is desirable.

    The SJ7 is basically a very good camera. Some owners want to take advantage of that good base to extend the camera's usefulness. A camera that does well gets more WOM props.

    Beating a dead horse further, my experience with Sena (near silence) generated negative WOM and, ultimately, a lost customer. Anecdotal evidence suggests more than one Sena product owner has gone the same way.

    SJCam should "read and heed".

    And, yes, this is very OT.
     
  2. Happy Chappy

    Happy Chappy New Member

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    Hmmmm... that's odd... I posted a couple of replies to you guys... @Jason and @RBEmerson... but they are not showing up here. Before I go ahead and rewrite them and potentially double post I wonder if I did something wrong?

    I can see I couldn't post links until after my 3rd post which is why I replied to @Jason first. That post had a 2 picture attachments only. My 4th post had picture and a link to the source of the information I found, so I'm sure I did not break the "3 posts to add links" rule.

    I can rewrite the posts if necessary... just seems odd that they never appeared at all. Any help appreciated.
     
  3. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    @Happy Chappy Got you loud and clear this time. Maybe the posts were in another part of the SJCam forums?
     
  4. Happy Chappy

    Happy Chappy New Member

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    Browser restart and now the posts are showing up... never mind... these things happen - DOH !
     
  5. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    When in doubt, refresh the browser with F5 (in Windoze - maybe in MacOS, too).
     
  6. Jason

    Jason Moderator

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    Have you look back on page 1?
    The photos are there
     
  7. Happy Chappy

    Happy Chappy New Member

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    Just for the record guys in case anyone else has a similar idea to me...

    I've been playing around testing with the 2 cameras for a bit now and in all honesty, unless you want to have some specific close up work or long distance effect or something... making 3D Side by Side videos is actually very easy. Much easier than I ever thought it would be.

    As long as you have a mount to set the 2 cameras up, you really don't need to get ridiculously picky about things. The baseline (distance between the 2 cams)... the convergence (amount they point inwards) is for the most part irrelevant in real world practice... as I say... as long as you are not doing something really close up.

    You can basically eyeball it once you've done a few tests to see what does what. It's not rocket science at all. As long as the cams are on a mount and at the risk of stating the obvious, they are set up at the same vertical angle (eyeballing it is plenty good enough)... you end up with good 3D video.

    For clarity, I got myself an Oculus Rift when they were released about a year ago so that is what I use to view the 3D video. You can of course you a phone and Google Cardboard if you want because ultimtately all you're doing is watching a video. There is no complicated 3D rendering involved in the end user viewing experience.

    My basic workflow is the following steps now... with thanks to you guys for helping me out!

    I have 2 remotes... 1 for each camera.

    1. I hit record on both as best as I can at exactly the same time.

    2. Use a clapperboard app to make sure the videos are in perfect synch when I come to edit.

    3. Attach the cables to download to your computer and rename the files with xxx_L for left eye and xxx_R for right eye. The naming is not critical, I just do it for simplicity.

    4. Go to your preferred video editing software and create a side by side video. I have been using Power Director for years so for no other reason than that's what I'm familiar with, that's what I use. I've played around with a few different video editing software and they all seem to have the same basic layout, so it's simple enough to apply the same princinples with any software. If you want a free option... try the Blender open source software.

    blender.org

    It's as simple as dragging the left eye and right eye videos onto the timeline above/below each other so that they are effectively playing at the same time.

    Select the Left video in the timeline and resize it in the viewing window... it snaps to grid and you get a perfect half size image on the left. Repeat the process for the right and your Side By Side video editing is done. Simple... it takes seconds and you don't need to make it any more complicated than that.

    5. Play back your side by side video to make sure your videos are in synch. If not, you can drag the individual video in the timeline a frame or 2 to so that the clapperboard gets you in perfect synch.

    6. Go the the Produce tab and output your video... using the same format as the input video. In my case 1080 at 60fps. Don't mess about with the 3D options because you already just made the video 3D in the 30 seconds it just took you to do the editing.

    7. Fire up your favourite Side by Side viewing software and enjoy! In my case I use the Whirligig software for the Oculus Rift... but obviously you can use whatever works for your particular hardware combo.

    It has to be said though from a very practical standpoint... that when I'm out and about it would really, REALLY help if there could be just one button I could press that would start both cameras simultaneously to make life simple. At the moment I need one hand for the cameras... one for one remote.. another for the other remote.. and then I have to use a clapperboard app to make sure I can synch the video's at the editing stage. All that fuss could be avoided if I could simply press one button. I could literally do it one handed instead of feeling like I need 4 hands to make this work.

    Regardless... its continuing to be a fun project and one that I hope giving my feedback on how simple it is, will help others to circumvent some of the learning curve I've gone through. Any questions about it, please ask... because the chances are I've already experimented with it and can save someone some unnecessary time and effort.

    Happy 3D shooting!
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  8. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    Standing O! Great thanks for your efforts detailed in this post! Good on ya!

    A couple of questions about procedural details. You mentioned remotes. These are the SJCam "wristwatch" remotes? I take it you can't pair two cameras to one "wristwatch"?

    About the clapper - do you use one when you start the cameras? It sounds as though you're using an app to figure out where two video streams match up.

    Now for the biggie... have you tried this while moving. My guess is a car is the best place to start, given the mass of the cameras and mount.
     
  9. nianeko2

    nianeko2 Member

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  10. Jason

    Jason Moderator

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    @Happy Chappy cracking write up. I found it much easier to have the cameras parallel and work on divergence later rather than toeing them in to diverge on a point when I shoot.

    I'm assuming that the clapper board app just gives the audible tone, visual queue and timestamp and you then manually cut at one of these points (e.g. when the timestamp ticks over from one value to the next), or does your software auto align based on audio?

    Have you had many artefacts breaking to window? This is when an object goes out of the frame but with the convergence should be in front of the screen so you eyes have to figure out which is actually in front and breaks the illusion.
     
  11. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    どうもありがとうございました

    (Google: Thank you very much!)
     
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