What is 3D Video?

3D video is not an entirely new technology, having been around in the film industry for many decades. However, the technologies that deliver this immersive form of video viewing are improving. New cameras, better viewing glasses, projection systems, software and displays are starting to bring 3D video into its own at the consumer level, enabling new forms of creative expression and imaging. 3D video requires the capture of two images simultaneously, the same way our eyes do. Once captured, this dual imagery must be displayed or projected in a way our eyes and brain can resolve enough to be believable with the assistance of specialized eyewear. New LED-based systems that do not require special glasses show considerable promise, but currently require a very precise viewing angle. Consumer displays and televisions that support 3D technologies began to appear on the markets in 2010.

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Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - alan alan Jan 27, 2010

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the museums you know best?

  • This technology has come a long way in its usability, and I do see its value in museums in expanding access to collections. Many objects in the National Park Service collections I access are basically irreplaceable with incredibly complicated procedures involved just to get them on display. We use photos and standard video, 3d models and replicas today, more or less in increasing cost order to bring those objects into the interpretive space. With the availability of prosumer stereo video cameras in the near term http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/02/sony-ex3-prototype-3d-camcorder-spotted-destined-for-retail-cha/ stereo video may be a cost effective solution to achieve the same effect, and many more objects might be released to the public in this manner. Also consider that it is now a small step to make any virtual environment or MMO a stereo 3d experience. I don't know how many 3d TV's will be sold this year, and there are doubters http://ces.cnet.com/8301-31045_1-10415690-269.html but it seems to me as someone who has watched this phenomena for 15 years as if we are on this road like it or not for that functionality in our homes and on our smart devices. - mike.kelly mike.kelly May 2, 2010
  • Like high def images, 3D video is a critical tool in helping the museum expand beyond its walls, and taking its collections content to its audiences wherever they are. This is not a question of 'if', just 'when'. - nancy.proctor nancy.proctor May 4, 2010nancy.proctor

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Stereopsis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereopsis is common across media types in video, imagery and 3d virtual environments. - mike.kelly mike.kelly May 2, 2010
  • I am including here any stereo depiction on a video screen whether strictly speaking video or the amalgam of stereoscopic still photography to produce in QTVR, Flash or other mechanism 3D photographic movies. These may be web, gallery, or theater installation based, may use any type of mechanism for display and observation, e.g. lenticular/autostereoscopic, shutter glasses, anaglyph, etc. Within this general category, we need to consider that the mechanisms for producing content are becoming cheaper and easier, as well as displaying and making it accessible to a broad public (e.g. consumer equipment used for movies and gaming, cheap and disposable glasses, ). Additionally, there are enclosed "environments" which enable the viewing of synthesized objects, animals, worlds.....; the use hi def/hi res photography, animation, and magnification enhance the use of this technology significantly- len.steinbach len.steinbach May 4, 2010
  • HTML5 is expected to greater facilitate 3D on the web. Here is a discussion: http://www.3d-test.com/interviews/x3d_2.htm - len.steinbach len.steinbach May 4, 2010

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on education and interpretation in museums?

  • 3d video has the potential to increase spatial cognition, and as a tool may improve learning in museums. Its directed use in virtual environments http://www.nagt.org/nagt/jge/abstracts/mar06.html#v54p158 suggests improved task performance and increases in spatial survey knowledge. Stereo videography may allow more public access to collections and exhibits, allowing increased connection between the public and their heritage and resources that we hold in trust. - mike.kelly mike.kelly May 2, 2010
  • This technology has profound implication for education and interpretation in museums. For "real" objects, especially art sculptures, anthropological artifacts, biological specimens --- whether used for standalone exploration and tool or as part of more expansive educational interactive or context ---- it permits personal, visualization, exploration, and discovery as never before. In a theater projection setting, imagine the use of true manipulable, zoomable, stereoscopic 3D images alongside a lecture (goodbye powerpoint slide); imagine that flower in bloom, that african mask whose dimensionality forces everyone to "feel" it wrapping around their face. I will stop there but there is a lot more...- len.steinbach len.steinbach May 4, 2010
  • Yes, as Len says, 3D video will enable more people to connect with content, and deeper exploration and understanding of artifacts that are now inaccessible due to distance or fragility. Along with AR, I think 3D will be a prime factor in transforming the museum experience in the next 2-3 years. (LBS I take for granted now...) - nancy.proctor nancy.proctor May 4, 2010nancy.proctor

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • Recently, FRAME (French Regional American Museum Exchange) produced what is thought to be the first full sculptural exhibition on the web, including hi res 3D and stereoscopic (anaglyph), manipulable, zoomable objects on the web, in conjunction with the exhibition,
The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy.
(link goes to site with the stereo 3D) This exhibition has recently opened at the Met before continuing on a tour of 6 other museums in the U.S. and ending at Musee Cluny in Paris prior to its return to Dijon. In-gallery versions of the web interactive are planned for some of the touring sites. (fair disclosure: I directed this project)- len.steinbach len.steinbach May 4, 2010
  • In 2005, the Cleveland Museum of Art presented a photorealistic stereo-3D simulation of its one of a kind Medieval Table Fountain, in assocation with the exhibition, Dukes and Angels: Art of the Court of Burgundy. Using an autostereoscopic display, visitors could see and hear this fountain in action with water running and bells ringing. The curator at the time noted that he had never seen visitors look so carefully at the detail of the real thing as when they had first had the chance to view the animation.- len.steinbach len.steinbach May 4, 2010 (I produced)
  • In 2005 the Cleveland Museum of Art explored the use of 3D stereo video using the "magical" opening and closing of an 18th century french desk made of fragile wood marquetry, which was otherwise too fragile to manipulate. A note videographer was commissioned to have the manipulation set to music. Developed as a proof of concept, the video was shown at an art and technology festival. The object's curator noted how the museum could never otherwise show the desk in its full glory, with shelves, drawers and secret compartments open and extraordinary detail revealed.- len.steinbach len.steinbach May 4, 2010 (I produced)
  • Tim Hart, at the Melbourne Museum in Australia has been doing significant work in 3D/VR, primarily with Sarah Kenderdine. I can provide some links to this later- len.steinbach len.steinbach May 4, 2010
  • On April 23, NASA unveiled 3D images of the Sun from NASA's Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO);High resolution STEREO 3D images and movies are being displayed at museums and science centers including the Tech Museum, Denver Museum of Science and Nature, Adler Planetarium and others. Education programs and materials for teachers complement the exhibition. http://www.3dsunfilm.com/museum-list.html and http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/stereo/news/stereo3D_press.html - len.steinbach len.steinbach May 4, 2010
  • Demonstrating increasing interest in this technology for museum interpretation, the National Museum of Natural History and Sony (RealD) hosted an educational "Museum Experience Reception" focusing on how "emerging 3D and high-definition visual technology trends from Hollywood and the theater community are shaping the museum experience" - len.steinbach len.steinbach May 4, 2010