Introduction: Making a Real 3D Videocamera System With Adjustable Holder

About: watch my own made 3D movies on yourtube. need red/blue glasses. search on my name: EDWINXXL

I am shooting 3D video's for a few months now, and it was going very well. But there was a big problem: the video camera holder. It was a piece of aluminum with some holes in it  (6mm and 8mm 2.36" and 3.15"). I made some nice 3D video's with it, but it looked so very crap. And it was not easy to move the camera around. Now you think why should you move the camera? Well there is a good reason for it. Our eyes are able to see a 3D image, but look around you, your eyes only have a nice 3D view if the distance to the object is 1, 2 or maybe 3 meter(39.4", 78,7" or 118". Our eyes have a distance of  about 6 or 7 cm (between 2.36" and 2.8").
That's the same problem with the normal 3D camera's you can buy in the shop for a lot of money. It works nice till 3 meters distance to the object. But then its over without zooming in.
To have the best 3D view you can have, you have to increase the distance between "your eyes" or the "camera lenses" .
Calculating the distance between them is very easy. For every 30 cm there should be one cm distance between the lenses. So 180cm (70") means the distance is 6 cm(2.36"). For 6 meter (236") it should be 20 cm (7.9") , for 9 meter (354")  it should be 30 cm (11.8"). 
increasing the space between your eyes is a little bit difficult. But the for the camera's its also not easy. I searched all shops on the internet, there is no place to find a adjustable 3D video camera or photo camera for sale. Worst of all, believe it or not, it was even not on So there was only one solution, make one (good and cheap) and put it on instructables. 
It is made for the little video camera from Kodak. of course you can use other ones, but be sure that you can control it with a remote. And these ones are even full HD. Without remote control it will be more difficult to have identical pictures or starting the movie at the same time. I am using the program "steromovie maker" its freeware on the internet. It supports all kind of colored glasses (red/blue, yellow/blue), interlaced and side-by-side.
Of course there are many solutions, but this program is so easy, freeware and works perfect, so why should you try something else. So are you ready to make your own perfect 3D movies or pictures? Lets start.

Step 1:

Of course the back and front with the homemade letters look very shitty. There is of course one solution for it!! That is the EPILOG LASER to make a nice and accured front. Thats why i sent this instructable in for winning a Epilog Laser cutter. A special instructable like this of course needs a nice front and back.
Thats why i hope to have a change on winning the compation.
Now on with the instructable.....

Step 2:

Let's start with the end picture first. Only to give you the feeling how it's looks.
You see that the right camera is on 100. This means it is optimized for 10.0 meter (394 inches). Of course you can make the holder longer or shorter. But remember if you make it twice as big, then it is no fun anymore to carry it around. Believe me 50 cm is big enough for a first 3D start.
The left camera is fixed. The left camera is the one that saves the red images if you will use 3D with the cheap red/blue glasses. So put the camera that makes the best video's on the right. Believe me, with this cheap camera's there will always be a difference. I have chosen to move the right camera. Why? I am right handed, so if you are a left handed person, then you can consider to swap the hole thing. Of course both side have a handle. It is much easier to keep everything stable. You must keep it horizontal for the best video's and pictures. I am going to buy two bubble level. one for each at the end of the side. Shooting with two handles is so much easier. How does the camera glide?

Step 3:

I remove the strip with the distance on it. now you can see the inside. You see that the left camera is fixed on the left handle. This was the easiest and cheapest way. The right camera can move around. It is basically two rope bearings on a aluminum plate. But instead of ropes there are two studs. In Europe it is size M6. The bearings are made for a cable of 25mm (one inch).The two studs are exactly fixed in the holder with a distance of 25 mm (one inch). So this means that the camera sled can not fall out. It can only go left or right. The aluminum plate on the front and back is there for a few reasons.
-you can put the distances on it for the best adjustment.
-makes the structure more stable.
-let the sled not go forwards or backwards.
-prevent the two studs from bending.
Of course if you use bigger camera's you maybe need a little bigger sled, but I wanted to keep everything as little and stable as possible.

Step 4:

Lets have a better look on the rope bearings.

Step 5:

These pictures showing how the left camera is attached to the handle. The third photo is the inside of the handle on the right. The fourth photo are the nice ending bolts, so you not damaging your clothes. Of course feel free to do it another way.
I am not completely happy with the little sled because both camera's are not easy to remove or placed. But i wanted to make it as tiny as possible . The nuts can just be reached with a screwdriver, but difficult. It doesn't matter for me because i never go back to 2D movies!!! 3D is the future, and I don't have to take off the camera's.
Don't forget that you must be able to access the batteries, usb connector and memory card from the video camera's even on the 3D holder.

Step 6:

this picture shows how wide the lenses of the camera are in the smallest position. As you can see i have put some rubber under the camera. just to prevent it from breaking because i have to put the camera up a little, otherwise i could never change the batteries.

Step 7:

The first picture is just a bottom view.
The front plate is an "L" shaped plate of aluminum. This is for better glyding. It is also possible to make a little fixing hole on the sled. In the plate on the back you also can make holes. with a little bolt you then can fixed the adjustable plate to the distance you want. But becaurse of the fact that it was so stable i dicided not to make them, but if you want to have fixed distance, then you can make some holes.
 It is also possible to put the 3D holder on a steady ground. The backplate (with the distance) is just a straight plate.
Make sure that the handles are the same lenght and flat. Of course with a little wind it falls over, so be careful. But it will work, like in the last picture.

Step 8:

These two picture is what the people that you are filming will see. one picture if the are 2 meters away, the other one when the are far away. 

Step 9:

The Kodak ZX1 is not chosen by accident. There are a few reasons.
first reason: i want to shoot in HD quality.
second reson:  it doesn't do something automatically. If a camera has a image stabilizer it is nice, but do they all do the same. no of course not. So you never get two identical images, so not a good 3D picture. Or get a camera where you can put it off.
Third reason: you need a (infrared) remote. Because if you take a 3D picture it will be do it at exactly the same time. When you start a video it will also be at exactly the same time. This is so much easier with the 3D software.
Fourth reason: the remote control (for several Kodak camera's) costs only 10 euro (about 13 American dollars). So that's cheap. The camera's i bought for 49 euro each. (including two AA bateries with loader). They both needed a SDHC memory card. i bought two 8GB ones for 16 euro. This 3D holder did cost about 30 euro. So it cost me in total  160 euro to have a perfect 3D video and photo system. Perfect 3D till at least 10 meter with is much better then all the prefab 3D camera's that you can buy for under the 1000 euro. Those are made for 3 meters. And of course the 3D view doesn't end at 10 meters, it will much more, but the effect will be less equal to the distance of the object. So with this system you can see 3D in objects far away, something that you never can see with your own eyes.
I am using "StereoMovie Maker" to make 3D Anaglyph movies (with the red/cyan glasses for 1 euro/ 1dollar). But this program also make side by site movies with you must by able to convert or play on the real 3D TV's. Of course also with some virtual screen mobile cinema glasses with can handle side-by-side. And of course if you have a 3D monitor with shutterglasses.
PLEASE remember to keep the original left and right files on your hard drive. Maybe you can only afford the cheap red/cyan color glasses, but maybe in 5 years you can buy a 3D TV for a lot less. Then you can always renew your old files. 
The program can also make interlaced movies. But don't ask me how the program works. I had my first 3D movie in 3 hours and i am not a genius. So find out by yourself or look on the internet. If you have build this adjustable 3D videoholder i hope to see your results on youtube or so. Please let me know. I have put some movies on youtube. in a few days i put some long distance examples on youtube. Watch my 3D video's on youtube under my name : edwinxxl. (start with this one:  ) ( and try :   ). If you like it look under EDWINXXL and can see them all.  Skip the movies with Sint in it, it was a evening movie premiere. No fun if you can not understand Dutch. So let me see your video's (and comments) with your 3D holder . have fun building it.

Step 10:

Today i made the first 3D video's and photo's with the new holder. I only used the biggest distance for the videocamera's (30 cm/ 12 inch)  Working great. I put on this page a few of the same pictures. But they are not the same. The focuspoint is different. you have to take a object to fixed the best 3D vieuw. If you take a object in front, then that object will be perfect. But the background isn't. Of course if you optimized the background, then you don't have a good 3D vieuw of the object in front. So these pictures are to learn something. These picture's are taken with a videocamera, so the quality is not ferfect. It schould be 1.2M pixels, but i think it is less.
First:  that you can see 3D with this cameraholder better then your own eyes.
Second:  Try to film of fotograph all objects at the same distance. And optimise your 3D effect with this 3D camera holder.
I made also a movie on yourtube, find under the name :   EDWINXXL 3D demonstration.
But of course here are some pages with the photo's. try to spot the difference. 

Step 11:

some more examples. spot the 3D difference.

Step 12:

for the ones that really liked the foto's with the difference here are the last.
I hoped you liked them.