Editing a 3D documentary: where to find high-quality stereoscopic stock footage

Yet another sign that 3D entertainment is gaining momentum – an expanding library of high-quality stereoscopic stock footage is available online.

This is great news for 3D production houses like ours.

We can only include a certain amount of 2D footage in the 3D shows we’re delivering. It can range from as little as 2-3 per cent per show, depending on the broadcaster.

For our visual effects, this isn’t an issue – we can convert 2D VFX shots into 3D. However, stock footage is a completely different matter.

Where to find it:

Our editor, Brian Mann, recently came across Artbeats, an online source for royalty-free stock footage in high quality stereoscopic 3D. This type of footage could allow us to fill visual gaps and transition between scenes while keeping the show as 3D as possible.

We tested Artbeats free download of a waterfall in S3D. It looked fantastic and lived up to their promise of high quality 3D stock footage.

File 166
Still image of Artbeats waterfall download. View with Red/Cyan glasses for full 3D effect.

3D stock options:

Artbeats’ clips are available in S3D HD and S3D 4K formats. Predominantly, their footage has been shot on RED ONE or RED MS using a stereo rig. There is not an extensive range of categories… yet. Mostly they feature aerials, animals and nature.

On the upside, new content is added monthly and will soon include pyrotechnic, new city scene, establishment, winter scene and additional aerial collections shot on RED Epic cameras using a beam splitter rig.

Metadata provided by Artbeats:

– positive parallax percentage (the customer has the option to position and crop to set convergence)

– interocular separation measurements

– maximum screen display size (anywhere from 42” televisions to 42’ movie screens)

– frame rate (24p, 25p and most in 30p)

– clip length (5-60+ seconds)

What it will cost you:

Prices range from $449-$799 USD for left/right and side-by-side formats. Some rights managed clips have a higher sticker price, so be sure to check the fine print. They also sell the RAW (.R3D) file of a RED clip for an extra $100.

Artbeats is right on the pulse of 3D accessibility. We haven’t purchased anything yet, but we will certainly keep them in mind as we move forward.

Ian Herring, President