F33ding the Future of 3D on the Web

March 6, 2011 3:40 am

Tags: 3D, Sergio Rosa, Stereoscopic

As you may know, I love 3D, 3D technology, watching 3D movies, and also 3D filmmaking. So, you can imagine it was very exciting when I learned about 3DF33D (www.3df33d.tv). 3DF33D, currently in Beta form, is a website that broadcasts 3D content, be it 3D video, 3D pictures, and even real-time 3D models in 3D. You can select what type of content to watch from the top menu bar. If you have a registered account, you can also upload your own content from the page (currently only uploading videos and photos is supported, but the 3D model uploader will be available soon).

Browsing content

The website supports pretty much all of the 3D playback methods available (side-by-side, top-bottom, interlaced, page flip, and so on). Setting it up can be very easy, as most 3D devices have specifications on what methods to use (for example, 3D HD TV sets support side-by-side, among others). They recently added support for the Nvidia 3D Vision system too.

I would greatly recommend that you create a (free) account so your 3D settings are stored. If you don’t, you will need to go through the set-up process every time you visit the site.

Output set-up

Watching videos on 3DF33D works like a breeze. You select the video you want to watch, set it to full screen and it will automatically switch to the 3D method you may be using. The same applies for 3D pictures. The 3DF33D website does not support tabs, so if you’re used to tabbed browsing, you will need to settle with just one tab when browsing the site.

As I said before, you can also see models in 3D. You may remember various applications that offered displaying 3D models in the browser, allowing you to rotate, zoom, and pan. The same principle applies here, but on the 3DF33D website you actually see your models in 3D, popping out of the screen. I can see this as an extremely useful feature for marketing products, since you’d be able to actually see the product from different angles, especially in 3D content marketplaces.

3D model view, being rendered and manipulated...in real-time.

While the 3D video section has quite a selection already, the 3D models section only contains a few. Right now, if you want your model to be displayed, you need to send it to the site administrators. However, a 3D model uploader is currently under development and will be available really soon.

There are also live 3D feed cameras broadcasting in real time. I am thinking this could be expanded to live events 3D broadcasting and such, which would be amazing (so far, the only live event I remember being broadcasted over the internet was a Nascar event).

Uploading videos and photos to the site is as easy as uploading videos to YouTube. The only difference is that you need to specify the 3D encoding format (be it side-by-side, or top-bottom). Keep in mind, you need to register for an account before you’re able to upload anything.

Currently the 3DF33D website is in beta, so you can imagine there’s still room for improvement. While watching videos is easy, finding the video you may want to watch is not. Currently, all videos are displayed in upload order (there’s also a “most viewed” section). I think it would be nice if content was found in categories (or channels), for example trailers, short films, experimental, sports, and so on. That would allow the users to find the content they want to see right away.

Viewing the Avatar trailer...in 3D!

Allowing users to search content would be very useful as well, as the site currently doesn’t offer a search field. This and the media categories would make the site a lot friendlier.

One thing I found interesting is that a lot of the content is actually user-generated. There are plenty of live-action films, sports recordings, live events, animations, and such. Not all the content you will find can be compared to the latest 3D blockbuster, but I still like the fact that people put their content on the site so others can watch it.

For me, it is really exciting to see a site like 3DF33D seriously taking on the task of broadcasting 3D content. Not everybody can get access to 3D TV networks, and watching the same Blu-ray movies over and over can be boring, so I see 3DF33D offering a very nice alternative to enjoy 3D content, and I can’t wait to see how it evolves.

Sergio Aris Rosa [nemirc], is Sr. Staff Writer for the Renderosity Front Page News. Sergio discusses on computer graphics software, animation techniques, and technology. He also hosts interviews with professionals in the animation and cinematography fields. You can follow him on Twitter, and if you want to see what he's up to you can visit his blog.

March 7, 2011

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