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. To date, the projection has proved tricky, but these limitations are starting to fall away. Applications like telepresence, which is similar to 3D video but implies a two-way communication stream, can facilitate interactions with people or environments in remote locations, saving time, money and travel while still allowing for an immersive experience.

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

  • I fear that if 3D video will conquer the homes, museums must react and integrate 3D video. Otherwise museums will have an oldfashioned video technology. In combination with Augmented Reality 3D video could have an enormous impact. A 3D video of Brancusi's studio or of the painting Pollock would be impressive. - harald.kraemer harald.kraemer Aug 31, 2011
  • I dont believe it is correct to focus solely on 3D video whereas still stereoscopy will also prove a vital tool for museums. - len.steinbach len.steinbach Aug 31, 2011

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

  • This description should probably include hologram and hologram-like displays, still and motion. These have been used at science centers and the Met had one as part of Alexander McQueen exhibit (though that had been from one of his fashion shows) - len.steinbach len.steinbach Sep 1, 2011
  • The role of 3d in digitization of collections is increasingly important. We are also seeing 3d digital objects appearing in augmented reality applications. - nancy.proctor nancy.proctor Sep 1, 2011
  • Another perspective here.

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

  • 3D provides a natural realism or virtual tangibility while providing a unique mode and opportunity for personal exploration and discovery.
  • Here are some other rationales and impacts with respect to 3D use by museums: - len.steinbach len.steinbach Sep 1, 2011
    • Stereoscopic presentation of visual content is, due to its biological roots, naturally more engaging and therefore a valid museum tool and strategy
    • The public has gravitated toward constructed 3D experiences for more than 150 years indicating that this is not a fad;
    • There is a wide variety of ways from which museums can choose to use 3D experiences in support of better educational and interpretive outcomes -- 3D need not be a gimmick nor a tease;
    • As 3D technology becomes more mainstream, visitors will expect a media experience in the museum that is no less effective and engaging than that which they experience at home;
    • The tools and techniques of content creation and presentation continue to increase in variety, diminish in complexity, and decrease in cost, making them more useful and feasible for museum use.
    • Stereoscopy can often be integrated into existing or planned multi-media and object photography endeavors;
    • Although more research on the net effectiveness of 3D is needed museums will continue experiment and researchers should create and test evaluation criteria.
    • The use of 3D crosses boundaries of theater, gallery, immersive environments, and web presence;
    • Whether or not museums present images of their collections in 3D, the public will start doing it “for them” as verified by any flickr search of anaglyph and museum.
    • Younger audiences will increasingly consider 3D a visual lingua franca that will demand some respect or accommodation.
    • As more autostereoscopic devices or other technologies/techniques are developed that do not require special glasses, museums will find the use of such technologies far more "manageable"

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

  • - holly holly Aug 30, 2011A company called Holovista has been doing some interesting small projects for museums in the UK. http://holovista.com/holovista_011.htm
    andhttp:holovista.com/holovista_012.htm the second example is an interesting one for museums because it was produced for a Durham University exhibition in lieu of actually being able to borrow the bust of Septimus Severus from the Museum of London.
  • Here is holographic projection used by Alexander McQueen fashion show (lifesize) but shown in reduced scale at Met exhibition. Physical scalability is another exciting aspect of the hologram's use. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIcsYBZSQ48 - len.steinbach len.steinbach Sep 1, 2011
  • This youtube video purports to show a hologram at the Seattle Science Center, and although I cannot confirm whether it is hologram or spherical projection, it still validates the use of 3D technology in the exhibition space.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7dp4Nz4YSM - len.steinbach len.steinbach Sep 1, 2011
  • The website for the exhibition, The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy www.themourners.org presents stereoscopic sculpture images in association with the exhibition. www.mourners.org - len.steinbach len.steinbach Sep 1, 2011
  • As far back as 2004, the British museum brilliantly demonstrated with Mummy:The Inside Story in 2004.[i] Detailed X-ray and computerized tomography (CT) images, from many angles converted into an interactive 3D model from which museum researchers could discern new information about the life and final condition of Nesperennub, who lived around 800 B.C. In a small theater especially designed for the occasion, the audience would share the researchers’ “journey within the body” through real-time computer generation of 3D and motion imagery. See http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/online_tours/egypt/mummy_the_inside_story/mummy_the_inside_story.aspx for the British Museum website description; a BBC tv report with a video showing the experience can be found at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3839523.stm - len.steinbach len.steinbach Sep 1, 2011
  • Place: Hampi, produced by Museum Victoria, and developed by their research group lead by Sarah Kenderdine and with its university partner iCinema, serves as both a research project and an artistic/interpretive commission. In essence, one visitor, stationed in a the center of a circular, enclosed arena, “steers” through an environment projected on a section of the panoramic wall as he, and other visitors within the arena, experience all facets of their 3D visual and aural immersion. PLACE: Hampi toured for four years. The project produced a visitor evaluation study which, the authors state, “support(s )the strategy that multimodal worlds that focus on kinesthetic and multisensory amplification can play a significant role in the in interpretation” of cultural heritage, and that “stereoscopy//, panoramic visual and auditory immersion,” are key strategies in that regard. - len.steinbach len.steinbach Sep 1, 2011 http://Place-hampi.museum
  • Although not specifically a museum project, Werner Herzog's film Cave of Forgotten Dreams demonstrates the effectiveness of presenting art in a 3D context. - len.steinbach len.steinbach Sep 1, 2011

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