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Stereo 3D Video Production with GoPro

Using the GoPro HD Hero2 and the 3D Hero System with CineForm Software

By Jeff Foster | January 29, 2012

Whether you love it or hate it, 3D Stereography is here for awhile. And if you're totally into it like I am, you quickly realize that there are few turnkey workflows out there to capture and process 3D Stereo video that's easy to setup, shoot and edit Stereo pairs. Sure, there are a lot of high-end (expensive to rent) systems for two cameras to shoot, software to sync/mux the footage and rigs you can build to edit it, but GoPro has brought it together with a fun and easy-to-use system that anyone can use.

GoPro 3D Hero System Concept

The 3D HERO System allows you to combine two HD HERO cameras, or two HD HERO2 cameras into a single housing to record 3D video and photos while simultaneously recording in 2D. A synchronization cable plugs into the rear HERO Port on both cameras to join them together, enabling both cameras to record video and photos in perfect synchronization.

What's Included in the Kit?

3D Waterproof Housing • 3D Waterproof Door + Skeleton Door • 3D Hero Sync Cable • 3D Anaglyph Glasses (3 pairs) • Helmet Front Mount • 2 Flat + 2 Curved Adhesive Mounts • Assorted Mounting Hardware
FREE GoPro CineForm Studio software (download)

The GoPro 3D Hero System - just add 2 identical cameras!

The 3D Hero system works with both the original Hero camera and the new Hero2, but you may need to check for a current firmware upgrade to be sure your cameras will function properly. Check the GoPro site for update announcements. (The system is not compatible with the Hero 960 or standard definition cameras.)

I used two HD Hero2 cameras for my tests, you can also use two of the original HD Hero cameras

The cameras must be set to the exact same frame rate and scale but the "Left" camera is inverted into the 3D housing as shown above. You don't need to set the Left cam to "up-side-down" viewing mode as it will automatically be switched when attaching the sync cable.

Correctly synced cameras.

If your sync cable isn't connected correctly (you have L&R switched) or the camera settings don't match, then at least one of the camera LCD screens will be blank after you've turned them on. When it's connected properly and both cameras are set identically, then you will see that the LCD screen will match and the Left cam will be automatically re-oriented.

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Jim Nicholls: | January, 30, 2012

Thanks for this article and the great effort you have gone too preparing these examples!

I was wondering about your opinion of the effect of the rolling shutter on stereo alignment and the possibility of mismatches between left and right view.

From my experience of Go-Pros handling fast action, they do seem to suffer fairly badly from the “Jello Effect”.

With two camera that need to be perfectly synced with no disparity bewteen left and right view, have you noticed wether the rolling shutter detracts from this process?


Jeff Foster: | January, 30, 2012

Hi Jim - thanks for your comments!

I haven’t noticed any disparity between the two cameras with the rolling shutter effect while editing/viewing. The sync between the two cameras seems to accommodate everything - at least in my tests so far.

I’ll be doing further testing and will post my results in the following months.

Thanks again,

SparkxFx: | January, 31, 2012

Hi Jeff,

How did you manage to get the hero 2 working with the 3d system.

Did you update to v.58 on your Hero 2 or you are on a beta testing because they are a lots of people that are waiting for an actual working firmware with the 3d system on the hero 2.  We got told that Go Pro engineer are working on it since november 2011 and they don’t know when they will release it.

We thank you

Jeff Foster: | February, 02, 2012

Hi - thanks for your comments.

I didn’t update the firmware, I just plugged it in. According to their info on the web site, there is no firmware updates for the H2 yet, but only the original HD Hero. I just plugged in the sync cable and it worked. No problems at all.


alexg: | February, 11, 2012

I was wondering if by chance you tried connected a Hero HD 1 and Hero 2 together in the 3d kit?  I have both 1080p models but really want 3d.  GoPro says no but wasn’t sure if it was ever tried.

Jeff Foster: | February, 16, 2012

Hi Alex -

No you cannot mix GpPro camera models in the kit - only two identical cameras (2xHD Heros or 2xHD Hero2s).


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