Stream to 3D - Configuration


There are a range of configuration settings that can be tweaked to get the most out of the Stream to 3D application in different scenarios, which require further explanation.

Configuration - Tools

The Tools configuration can be accessed from the Tools option in the main menu. This short cut makes it quicker to switch media players, for example.

It is best to check that the Tools configuration is correct following first installation or upgrade to make sure that everything has been correctly discovered and configured, clicking on the Tools item in the main menu takes us to the screen below:

If you had some of these tools installed before installing Stream to 3D, make sure that the paths that appear in the path selection boxes are correct. Stream to 3D uses the registry settings of these tools to determine their installed locations, if they are incorrect then you can change them accordingly.

Configuration - Tools - Media Players

If you have any of the supported media players installed, you can use the Media Player drop-down to change the current Media Player (and so the install path displayed - labelled as MP Path) and edit the path as necessary. The Media Player selected is also the one that will be used when you hit the "Play" main menu button to play a video through Stream to 3D, which will be automatically converted to a 3D format:

As an example of configuration of other media players, this is the view with PotPlayer installed and selected:

You can also specify a "Custom" media player and the path to its ".exe" file, but the custom media player must be able to accept ".avs" files as input.

Configuration - Tools - Libraries

The libraries (shown on Lib Path 1 and Lib Path 2) assist with scene and motion detection during 2D to 3D conversion. They are not absolutely required, but the quality of the 2D to 3D conversion will be enhanced significantly when they are available.

Configuration - Tools - Video Conversion [NA for Real-Time product]

The FFMpeg tool is used during off-line video conversion. The latest version of FFMpeg is downloaded during Stream to 3D installation, if selected. Check that the installation path is correct, particularly if you are using your own version of FFMpeg.

Stream to 3D auto-detects whether you have an Nvidia or AMD GPU and, if enabled, will use the appropriate FFMpeg settings for GPU accelerated video encoding to either H.264 or H.265.

Important: For GPU accelerated video encoding, FFMpeg has a dependency on your GPU graphics driver, so you need to make sure that your GPU graphics driver is up to date. You will receive an error from Stream to 3D, telling you to upgrade your graphics driver, during video conversion if there is a mismatch.

Configuration - Format

The Format settings page provides control of the 3D format output from Stream to 3D. The same settings are applied for real-time playback and file conversion.

The 3D output drop-down list allows selection of a number of different 3D output formats:

  • SBS (Full Side by Side)
  • TB/OU (Full Top/Bottom)
  • HSBS (Half Side by Side)
  • HTB/HOU (Half Top/Bottom)
  • HSBS Upscaled
  • HTB/HOU Upscaled

The final two formats require a little more explanation. HSBS Upscaled outputs the video in HSBS format, but upscales the video so that it has the same resultant resolution as Full SBS, by retaining the horizontal resolution of the original video and doubling the vertical resolution. Similarly, HTB/HOU Upscaled retains the original vertical resolution of the video, but doubles the horizontal resolution. This is for compatibility with devices/media players that only support Half SBS/TB formats. However, the trade off in increased quality is an increased demand in terms of machine resources.

The preset configurations supplied with Stream to 3D for Virtual Desktop and BigScreen Steam VR use a format of SBS (Full Side by Side) for Virtual Desktop and HSBS (Half Side by Side) by BigScreen. If your system can handle it, you could experiment with the Upscaled formats for BigScreen.

The "Resize Input Video to..." checkbox option allows you to optionally resize the resolution of a 2D video before it is converted to 3D. This is usually to scale down very high-resolution videos (e.g. 4K) before conversion, particularly if they are higher resolution than would be supported by the target device. This will be the per eye resolution in the output video. As a guide, note that the maximum resolution of the Quest 2 VR headset, for example, is 1,920 by 1,832 pixels.

The value selected in the "Maximum Width"  drop-down is applied if the "Resize Input Video to" checkbox is ticked. In this case the input 2D video is resized to the width selected, before 2D to 3D video processing is applied.

The "IPD Frame Stretch" factor allows tweaking of the depth effect. You can increase the value to heighten the depth effect, but setting it too high will cause the effect to break down and introduce distortion. It is also related to Interpupillary Distance, so if the 3D view is not comfortable for you, try adjusting this stretch factor.

Configuration - Algorithm

For background and further reading on the algorithm used by Stream to 3D, see here. Several significant enhancements to the base algorithm are implemented in Stream to 3D to enhance the effect and eliminate discomfort. These are described here and here. The Algorithm settings in Stream to 3D allow fine tuning of the algorithm.

The "Detect Scenes" checkbox enables or disables scene detection. The base algorithm breaks down at scene transitions and causes discomfort to the viewer. As discussed here, enabling this setting effectively eliminates the impact of scene transitions.

The base algorithm can also introduce discomfort when there is large scale rapid movement, characterised by large scale visual changes between frames. This is similar to a scene transition. The same enhancement introduced to eliminate the impact of scene transitions also addresses large scale rapid motion  between frames. The "Threshold" setting determines the percentage of the frame that needs to change before it is treated as a large scale rapid motion change. The 10% default has been determined as effective for a wide range of videos, but it can be tuned if necessary using the "Threshold" drop-down percentage value.

The "Show Detected" checkbox is provided to assist tuning of the "Threshold" value. When the "Show Detected" checkbox is checked, the 2D to 3D conversion process will turn the right eye view pink at detected scene transitions and when large scale rapid motion is detected. Viewing the video with this enabled will allow you to increase of decrease the threshold to your tastes. However, the default value works well for most cases.

The "Stabilize Frames" checkbox, enables or disables the algorithmic enhancement described here, in terms of Motion and Alignment.

The "Frame Rate" setting allows you to set the output frame rate following 2D to 3D conversion. The default frame rate is 24 Frames Per Second (FPS). The available values are 24, 30, 48, 60 and 120 frames per second.

Note that frame interpolation is used to generate intermediate frames for all but the default 24 FPS. Frame rate interpolation is a very resource intensive process and it is unlikely that you will be able to achieve real-time conversion for the higher frame rates, particularly for full frame 3D output on high-resolution videos. However, these rates can be successfully applied for off-line conversion.

The default frame rate is obtained by sampling the source video at 24 FPS rather than performing interpolation, so there is no frame interpolation overhead at 24 FPS.

Note also that these selectable FPS values are shorthand approximations for the actual industry standard frame rates applied which are; 23.976, 29.97, 47.952, 59.94 and 119.88 frames per second respectively.

Configuration - Settings - Saving Configurations

You can save Stream to 3D configurations settings for distinct purposes in different config files, using the Settings/Save Setttings menu option as shown in the screen shot below and reload them again with the Load Settings option:

You can edit the name of the settings save file to suit your purposes.