YouTube Rolls Out On-Demand 3D For 1080p Videos

Brad Chacos

Good news for 3D monitor owners: now, you can watch Gabriel Iglesias and the Epic Meal Time guys shove a Bacon-weave and McNugget-covered cake in their faces and feel like you are right in the room with them ! How, you ask? With a little love from Google! Starting today, any short-form 1080p video found on YouTube can be converted to 3D on the fly.

If you've got a compatible setup, transmogrifying high-def YouTube content into 3D is as easy as can be: just select the quality settings icon in the video's control bar -- it looks like a gear -- and select 3D Viewing. Presto change-o!

Googlers Deb Mukherjee and Chen Wu explain the magic behind the curtain on the YouTube blo g. The process uses the following steps, combined with a dash of "cloud computing scalability:"

  • We use a combination of video characteristics such as color, spatial layout and motion to estimate a depth map for each frame of a monoscopic video sequence
  • We use machine learning from the growing number of true 3D videos on YouTube to learn video depth characteristics and apply them in depth estimation
  • The generated depth map and the original monoscopic frame create a stereo 3D left-right pair, that a stereo display system needs to display a video as 3D


It's a nifty feature to be sure, but we're not sure how many people it will reach. How many people even have a 3D-capable setup? Do you?

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