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Handling Fuji .MPO Files on ALL Displays

By October 19, 2009Editorial

By Neil Schneider

  • Introduction
  • Getting Started
  • Seeing the Problems
  • A Quick Fix: Resize, Reformat, and Realign
  • Conclusion
    Fuji FinePix Real 3D W1 Camera


    The Fuji FinePix Real 3D W1 Camera is the first modern stereoscopic 3D camera geared towards end users. Speaking first-hand, I have already used it to get S-3D pictures from the 3D Entertainment Summit, a business trip to Vancouver, and even true to life image captures of an iZ3D monitor through the eyes of the beholder! Lots of fun!

    While this camera is in many respects a point and shoot camera, there are a some caveats. First, the camera records pictures in a proprietary .MPO format that isn’t natively supported by everyone. Second, even with native support, steps are needed to correct image misalignments – and this goes for everyone. Third, and this is the most important part, it’s no fun if nobody else can see the pictures! How can we get the pictures in a format everyone can see, and is it going to take forever to do this?!?

    This guide will answer all these questions and more.

    Getting Started

    There is no need to run the camera’s photo software in any way. Instead, create an easy to remember file directory, and copy all the .MPO files over. If your camera was set to maximum quality, these files will be close to ten megabytes per picture, so make sure you have enough disk space. Think of this picture file directory as an “input” directory.

    The remaining JPG images on the camera are all in 2D, so there is no need to copy them for our purposes.

    Next, download StereoPhoto Maker. It is completely free, and it never ceases to amaze me just how valuable this program is.

    Seeing the Problems

    For our purposes, you are going to see two image versions for each step. A side by side version which can be viewed on any modern stereoscopic 3D solution, and an anaglyph red/blue version. We are only showing anaglyph so you can see the changes with your naked eye, and this should not be considered a reflection of what modern S-3D displays look like.

    Straight MPO to Anaglyph JPG Conversion, No Alignment

    Straight MPO to Side by Side Conversion, No Alignment

    The above anaglyph image was taken at the Vancouver Aquarium and represents the output of the camera without any modification. Looking without glasses, look at the blue and the red components of the anaglyph image. Notice how one colored view is higher than the other? While the viewer will get a full S-3D experience, this misalignment adds unnecessary eyestrain, and it detracts from the S-3D experience.

    Another problem is the convergence. The handsome man in the foreground is floating in front of the screen, while there is limited depth behind him. How can we make this a more comfortable experience?

    Finally, let’s face facts: .MPO is not a standard format, and exchanging ten megabyte files to fellow S-3D monitor owners is not realistic.

    A Quick Fix: Resize, Reformat, and Realign

    The good news is that you can convert your library of S-3D photos to both a comfortable and standard format very easily! Follow these steps to get all your photos looking their best:

    1. Run StereoPhoto Maker.

    StereoPhoto Maker, Main Screen

    2. In the “File” drop-down menu, select “Multi Conversion”.

    StereoPhoto Maker, Multi-Conversion Menu Option

    3. Multi-conversion Window Settings:

    StereoPhoto Maker, Multi-Conversion Settings

    I. Select all the .MPO files in the file selection box.
    II. Input file format is side-by-side.
    III. Ouput File Type is JPG.
    IV. Auto alignment is RECOMMENDED, but not required. More details in step 4.
    V. Tick “Resize”, and go with a resolution of 1440X1050. Maintain the aspect ratio and crop. We recommend this resolution because most S-3D monitors peak at 1680X1050 per eye, and this is the best fit for a 4:3 image. In the case of 1080P displays (e.g. HDTVs), the best 4:3 resolution is 1728X1080. Higher resolutions are only required if you plan on printing 300DPI pictures, or need to blow up smaller portions of the image.
    VI. Tick “Swap Left/Right” so that the left image is shown to the right eye, and the right image is shown to the left. This is for “cross-eyed” viewing, and is usually used by game driver developers for capturing S-3D screen shots.
    VII. The “Output Folder” can be anything you want, and it is where the converted files will be stored. Make sure it is not the same as the source directory to prevent confusion and accidentally overwriting your valued pictures.

    4. As indicated in Step 3, auto alignment is a recommended option. This is what fixes the problem of one perspective being shown uncomfortably higher than the other.

    StereoPhoto Maker, Auto-Alignment Page

    For the best results, tick “Only horizontal and vertical alignment (Don’t use rotation and resize)”, and make sure the input arrangement is set to “parallel”.

    5. Press the “Convert Selected Files” button, and let StereoPhoto Maker do its thing.


    Straight MPO to Anaglyph JPG Conversion, Correctly Aligned

    Straight MPO to Side by Side Conversion, Correctly Aligned

    Once finished, your camera’s pictures will be much more comfortable to view, the files will be in a side by side format that all solutions can display, and the image file sizes will be small enough to easily upload and share to all your friends!

    Would you like to see additions or updates to this guide? Share your thoughts in our discussion forums!

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