Very good and very bad news for everyone. We’ll start with the bad…
As of this week, Fujifilm has shut down their stereoscopic 3D (W3) camera page. For years, MTBS has counted on the FujiFilm W1 and W3 cameras for taking 3D pictures and presenting them on MTBS the way they are Meant to be Seen. This is really unfortunate because prior to the FujiFilm 3D camera series, it was either too inconvenient to pair up cameras for portable shooting, or the available options didn’t have nearly enough disparity between the left and right camera lens (e.g. taking a normal lens and just dividing it in half).
When ESPN announced their discontinued plans for 3D sports, we didn’t really care because we always knew 3D sports were in low demand from the beginning (nobody listened to us of course). When the BBC announced a hiatus on 3D production; big deal – never impacted us (another example of low demand content that we warned about). However, once you start taking away the tools for gamers and consumers to create 3D content on their own – especially now that 3D HDTVs are more or less standardized – it’s a real shame.
MTBS we will continue to photograph in 3D as long as our equipment lasts, but it’s a real loss because we are finally at a stage where the media and gamers are taking a strong interest in virtual reality technologies that heavily rely on stereoscopic 3D for convincing experiences. When things take off, it would be good to see products like this re-released as 3D / VR cameras with bigger field of view options and new 3D format capabilities.
Now…some very positive news to share! For quite some time, MTBS has made images viewable in stereoscopic 3D formats on our website in native form. So provided pictures are shared in cross-eyed side by side formats, they can instantly be seen in anaglyph, side by side, 3D Vision, AMD HD3D, interlaced and more using the sView plug-in and viewer. sView’s latest enhancement is Oculus Rift support via the Barrel Distortion viewing option. Remember to view in full screen mode to see the format. This is strictly for translating stereoscopic 3D images to the Oculus format. If you are viewing Oculus VR images, just view them in mono full screen.
What does this mean? Well, when we are testing and reviewing 3D games, Rift owners can now see the 3D images for themselves even if they don’t own a stereoscopic 3D display. This is also useful for viewing MTBS’ 3D coverage and your personal 3D movies. 3D images are also viewable in our discussion forums provided that they are uploaded to our gallery and the 3D bbcode is used in forum posts. It’s still a work in progress, but from a content point of view, MTBS is definitely Rift Ready! ;=)
The sView plug-in is compatible with FireFox, Google Chrome, Opera and Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer may have mixed results, so you will have to experiment!