Thursday, April 29, 2010 Field Notes from Atlanta: Collaborative 3D Video Launch

Recently back from the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network's annual conference where a bunch of us gathered to brainstorm the collaborative 3D video project that I've been jawing about since we launched this blog. This post will be a quick summation and some ideas about moving forward. We also had a look at an inexpensive 3D HD video camera rig that was constructed by Keith Simmons at the Museum of Science in Boston which will be available to participants in this project. In addition, some network enthusiasts have offered to create their own, identical rigs (and we'll be available to help w/the specs, etc. on those--you don't have to be an advanced techno-geek, or subscribe to MAKE magazine to construct one of these things, but you will need about $250, most of which is the matching HD cameras). As soon as it's ready, I'll post a sample 3D movie shot with this rig.

So, a/p the "suggestion" of the blog's overlords, I should be keeping this brief. In fact, I probably should be done already. I'm trying. Bear with me. (I probably should've cut that). The conference session included a few dozen of us and 19 attendees forwarded their email addresses in order to participate in the project. In the course of the week following that session, I spoke w/several more people and enlisted their participation as well. So that seems like a great start, and even if half the list fades off, it's still a substantial, core production team. And several of the signees are individuals and Clubhouses w/fairly advanced video and/or 3D skills and capabilities!

That said, I want to quickly address a concern that arose from interested, though less technically developed, coordinators and prospective participants: you don't need to be a practicing 3D or video techno freak to get involved in this project. In fact, there are probably enough of those already in hand to satisfy that need. And we're here to help everyone along at whatever level they wish to engage. Though you might not have the obvious, related skill set for the bulk of this project, you, or the members of your Clubhouse, can probably produce music, collect sound fx from the web, write dialog, get snacks, etc., all of which are standard elements in any film or video production. And you can contribute as little or as much as you can handle. So don't be intimidated. And if you want to ramp up to more sophisticated roles (foleying sound fx, audio mixing, chroma-keying, After Effects, 3D modeling for background plates, etc.), you can. And they're not as difficult or mysterious as they sound. If you've been poking around in the Clubhouse for a little while, you should be able to pick this stuff up.


HOLD ONTO THE RED/BLUE (anaglyph--remember that word) GLASSES THAT YOU RECEIVED AT THE CONFERENCE. You'll need them to see the sample and basically everything that we do together on the collaborative 3D video project. Soon I will be writing a post that shows you how to make your own anaglyph glasses and where you can order them online (they're really cheap). I'll also be posting some projects and tutorials utilizing anaglyph 3D. Stay tuned for those and the next installment re the conference session, especially some ideas about the what and the how (it's too much to go into here and the blog police are at the door...).

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