How To Shoot Better 3D Video

How To Shoot Better 3D Video

3D features are becoming increasingly common on consumer video cameras, but filming in 3D is a bit more complex than the simplicity of 2D point-and-shoot. Sony’s Sean Ellwood shares some basic tips for getting a better result when you’re shooting in 3D.

The main hints are all in the video, but here’s a quick summary of the key points (and some extras):

  • Use a tripod Wobbly video is never pleasant, but in 3D it can be quite literally nauseating. A tripod is the best way to ensure your camera stays stable.
  • Plan your shoots for depth. 3D is more effective when you have a well-defined foreground, midground and background, so position yourself to get those elements.
  • Think carefully about zooming. Zooming can be very disturbing in a 3D video. If you need to zoom, plan to cut during editing to make that less obvious.
  • Make sure you’ve got a good light source. 3D shot in low light doesn’t look effective.
  • Learn your camera features. Depending on your model, there may be optimal settings for 3D shooting. This is definitely an area where reading the manual will pay off.

If you’ve got a pair of 3D glasses and a suitable screen to hand, here’s the same clip in 3D (if you have troubled viewing it, click on the YouTube logo to view directly in YouTube):

Lifehacker 101 is a weekly feature covering fundamental techniques that Lifehacker constantly refers to, explaining them step-by-step. Hey, we were all newbies once, right?


  • Another good bit of advice is ‘don’t do it’…

    Seriously, let 3D die its natural death quietly and peacefully. Your children will thank you.

    • If it dies now, our children will still see it. It comes back every 15 years or so!

      But yes, don’t do it. Until we get true 3d (holographic style), it will never look right (eg. can’t refocus your eyes to see what’s going on in the background).

  • 3D should definitely be pushed ahead and promoted. Don’t let it die! Fools… Don’t you realize that all the 3D home footage and professionally made movies will be useful content when they make 3D TVs that can be watched without glasses? The recent Consumer Electronics Show had such a demo, and it was mind-boggling and stunning! It may be a few years away, but all the content that is being shot now will be appreciated in years to come!

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