2015 RJI Tech Showcase



Last week I presented with the 3D journalism team at the 2015 Reynolds Journalism Institute Technology showcase. I talked about some of the challenges with shooting 3D that I’ve discussed here before.

We didn’t have enough survey respondents to present our findings yet. If you want to help out I’d appreciate it a lot.

Here’s a survey link for news consumers, it should take around 5 minutes:


And here’s a survey for journalists and newsroom employees, it should take 5 to 10 minutes:


 Thanks so much!


Behind the scenes, the biggest challenge with putting the presentation together was exporting that brief clip we played into a 3D viewable format. Because of how I was precomposing my sequences in Sony Vegas, I tried over 12 different exported videos to watch a finished video in 3D but wasn’t having success. I couldn’t figure out the settings in Stereoscopic Player but it turns out the video I was exporting was in 2D. It really doesn’t matter what settings you have the player on or what file format your video is in if the video is in  2D, you not going to get any depth. In the future, I will make the entire video in one sequence until I can figure out how to precompose a different way in Vegas. Any advice would be appreciated!


Youtube 3D


You can’t use Google Chrome or Safari to view this video in 3D. At least not at the time of this writing. Firefox will work but Chrome or Safari don’t have the options for some reason. The video will appear as two nearly identical videos side by side in Chrome, which is what the video looks like while I’m editing it, instead of the composite video.

The work flow for editing 3D video is very similar to 2D and doesn’t require much more time. The more I work with 3D video, the more I see the difference between 3D and 2D similarly to the difference between color and black and white pictures. Depth, like color, is an additional layer of information.

Aside from potentially having to adjust the positioning of the two videos in relation to each other, which is a breeze in Sony Vegas, there isn’t any difference I’ve found so far between the editing of 3D and 2D video.

Exporting the video may require an extra step. When I exported my 3D video it took a couple tries to find the codec that would work. I used the Sony codec that exported the file as an AVI. In Vegas. The video file I got would play fine, but it was also almost 10 GB (aka the same size as the newest iPod in 2002, advertised to hold “about 2,500 songs”).

That would have been a headache to upload to YouTube even on a reliable wireless network (no offense Mizzou Wireless) so I had to get the size down. I opened the AVI file in Adobe Premiere and exported the video again using the H.264 codec and checking the “match preset to source” box. This option might be available in Vegas but I’m less familiar with that program than I am with Premiere and in all my A/V classes we used H.264 and it hasn’t let me down yet.

The file Premiere exported was a much more manageable 90.5 MB MP4. To my knowledge, there has never been a 90 MB iPod.

To view the video, which lacks any impressive depth, you will need either analglyphic (blue and red) glasses or a 3D TV. The purpose of the video was to test how virtual reality apps on a phone would appear in a video. One day I’d like to composite a 3D model over the phone so there will be something interesting to look at. Until then, I present roughly two minutes of barely 3D hands using a iPad and then a phone.

The app in the video, by the way, is the Augment Virtual Reality app I described last week.