I've decided to update and share a post on our approach to 3D conversion, explaining our views on setting the level of the converted 3D benchmark and our AIPOP-3D Manifesto.
What to look for in a 3D Conversion
Over a decade ago I created a series of tutorials on YouTube explaining some different processes for converting filmed 2D footage into stereoscopic 3D. Looking back, with the tools we now have these look a little rudimentary and in some cases the techniques are really not advisable if you want to generate professional stereoscopic results. In fact I'd certainly dissuade anyone from trying the Pulfrich offset technique which I discuss, it's really not nice - I've learnt in my old age! It's all about displacement mapping - and that's definitely the tuts to watch. Apart from basic clarity in image and sound, what am I now looking for to meet the standards we all want AIPOP-3D to meet in 2023?
AIPOP-3D Manifesto: Converted 3D Benchmark
1. A NATURAL 3D ROUNDNESS & DENSITY
A great number of complaints about early attempts at 2D to 3D conversion relate to objects, and very often people appearing like flat cut-outs as opposed to having rounded limbs and bodies with shape and volume in 3D space.
This is where one of the techniques developed specifically for AIPOP-3D conversions comes into play and is what I hope makes these conversions a cut above the rest. Faces have a roundness, bodies have depth & shape and rooms and passageways have a feeling of space.
2. A REALISTIC 3D VOLUME OF SPACE OR FORM
Having been looking into conversions more recently with the growth of the AI Depthmapping tools one of the issues I spotted most often was a propensity to over do the 3D - and by doing this, aiming to increase 3D strength regardless of the reality of the actual depth, the conversions end up with over stretched and drawn out faces, rooms become halls what should appear natural landscapes become weirdly plateauing vistas.
In this regard I've specifically chosen partners to work with in AIPOP-3D who understand the reality of depth and who can create great looking, natural 3D.
3. VISUAL ARTEFACT REDUCTTION
Probably the most difficult thing to manage in this type of conversion, where it's impractical for budget reasons to rotoscope and paint in background layers, is the imaging that creates weird stretched halos, warped backgrounds and misplaced depth. Attempting to generate too much depth from a 2D image without inpainting will simply leave an unviewable mess like the above image.
Much of this can be limited by not over-doing the displacement strength of the 3D in the first place, but of course we all want a "good 3D" experience so it has to be balanced - but this will often still leave visible issues around objects or people - it's in dealing with this that I think takes AIPOP-3D once again up a level into a great looking conversion.
THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF AIPOP-3D
Using these three guiding principles, and working with a team of individuals who are passionate about the quality of 3D we are creating, I believe AIPOP-3D conversions will genuinely surprise viewers.
Many make the assumption this is like an old fashioned auto-convert that will not deliver much more than a 3D TV's built in convert option, or may have flat 2D layers in a 3D space - I can assure you that's not the case, these conversions will demonstrate just how good a modern, yet cost effective conversion can look.
There are no doubt going to be a fair number of "AI Conversion" discs and downloads coming out as the technology becomes more widely used, but it's our aim for AIPOP-3D to set the benchmark standard for good quality, ai- assisted conversions. We will not put out "one-click" auto-conversions or 3D content that doesn't meet stringent quality standards. AIPOP-3D is the stamp of 3D Conversion quality assurance.
THE PROOF IS IN THE 3D PUDDING
Our first release "Nightmare Castle 3D", an iconic gothic horror film, first released in 1965, is a classic that has captured the imaginations of viewers for decades.
The positive feedback from this conversion has been overwhelmingly positive with remarks such as:
"5 out of 5 for 3D Quality"
"I was floored by how great Nightmare Castle appeared in 3D. Realistic spatial placement, separation and movement certainly enhanced it's gothic black and white atmosphere."
"I, for one, am very impressed by how great this 3D conversion turned out."
"It is astonishing to see, what you can do, without being a Hollywood major studio!"
"A very good conversion.. medium to medium-strong throughout, with several very impressive strong shots of long corridors and doors into different rooms. Highly recommended."
And that's just a few of the huge number of positive reviews we received online.
So please rest assured when you see AIPOP-3D on a conversion, it's going to be a good one!