“It’s Coming Right At You!” Youtube Videos Go 3D

Last September, Youtube launched a beta feature which allows users to convert their videos into 3D through a single click. Since the company claim that hundreds of thousands of videos have been converted into 3D since then and today, they’re expanding the beta to the general public so that anyone can convert their videos into 3D. However, the only catch is that they must be short-form videos (anything under three minutes) and they must be uploaded in 1080p.

Announcing it on the Youtube blog, once those criteria are met, users can select 3D viewing in the Quality settings below (the gear icon) on the Youtube player. After that, just pop on your 3D glasses (assuming you have ones handy) and see Nyan cat and other hits in a new light. Here’s one of the examples Youtube provided on its blog.

Basically how it works is that the video conversion technology used to convert from 2D to 3D notices the different video characteristics used such as colour, spatial layout and motion to estimate a depth map for each frame of a video sequence.

Also through machine learning, they can figure out video depth characteristics and apply them in depth estimation from the number of true 3D videos uploaded onto the site. Ultimately, the generated depth map and the original monoscopic frame creates a stereo 3D left-right pair, that a stereo display system needs to display a video as 3D.

After acquiring this knowledge of 3D conversion, they then apply cloud computing scalability to make the conversion possible across the different videos on Youtube. They achieve this by breaking up the video into tiny chunks of data and processing them in parallel on Google’s cloud infrastructure lets them process these videos.

While it’s not going to set the world alight, (seriously how many people have 3D glasses handy when they’re using a computer), it’s a pretty cool feature and we could see different brands using it for future campaigns. The first campaign that comes to mind is the Skittles Touch campaign which requires you to place your finger on the screen. What other video campaigns could benefit from this feature?

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