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cjmaddy 12-23-2010 02:30 PM

Jim, - I genuinely hope you will find some way to produce that 3D Blu-Ray disk that you desire so, and I wish you every success if you can get one to the CES. - I can see how it just might work in the way you describe.
However, not from the MA3 point of view, but mainly for 3DTVs in general, from my experience and the many comments I've read, I've put together the following thoughts....

It isn't just the glasses that are a pain. (Particularly when you have to wear them over your own glasses). But 3D just doesn't add anything worthwhile to the viewing experience. The novelty IMO very soon wears off. Even 3D movies (at the cinema) are best left as an occasional novelty. - What is far more important is a well acted story!
And as for the new 3DTVs... Who is going to spend thousands on something they donít need for 99.9% of their normal viewing?. - Not many people are going to buy another large TV just for 3D, when there is little or no content available. Someday, in the future, when glasses-less displays arrive, maybe!!! - (But not even then if it means sitting in the one-only 'sweet spot'.)

Also, the 3d experience may work up to a point when you have a massive screen, like at a cinema. But at home, the effect of the action coming out at you through a smaller screen, is not that breath-taking, in fact it can soon become an annoyance. Some have reported that after 3 hrs of Avatar they ended up with an headache lasting for days.

I strongly believe that it is not we the viewers who want 3DTV, it is the 3DTV manufactures, (competing with each other for some imaginary 'Holy Grail'), that want us to want, a 3DTV!

patscarr 12-23-2010 02:35 PM

Good luck on your plan, Jim. Sounds promising.

AKcrab 12-23-2010 05:46 PM

Well these guys make it sound easy to get the 3d file.. It appears that the software they use is open-source on sourceforge. From what I've read Toast will burn the 3d Blu Ray.. So you're only looking at $100 investment..

(I could be way off, I don't have any way of testing any of this.) ;)

Jim Sachs 12-23-2010 07:30 PM

All of those sites seem to be talking about getting live footage into an AVI movie format. What I need is a program that will do the same for the output from a program. It would seem to be much easier, since the data is already in the frame buffer, and the drivers know whether it's left eye or right eye.

bozpool 12-24-2010 03:25 AM


Originally Posted by cjmaddy (Post 129174)
Someday, in the future, when glasses-less displays arrive, maybe!!! - (But not even then if it means sitting in the one-only 'sweet spot'.)

I couldn't resist,but Toshiba show 3DTV without glasses.

cjmaddy 12-24-2010 05:49 AM

Yes, that's the system that requires all the viewers to sit on top of each other! ;) :TD:

Quote from that link...

However, the technology requires a person to be sat in an optimal position to see clear 3D images....

....These limitations are why most manufacturers - including Sony, Samsung and Panasonic - use glasses to generate 3D effects.

feldon34 12-24-2010 06:29 AM

You could modify the Aquarium to produce a series of BMP files. I was actually shocked when I found out that the direct digital output of the Aquarium is not what was used to produce the Marine Aquarium DVD.

Like you said, you've got access to the frame buffer, why not write a series of BMP files directly from the program? You'd need to output the left eye and right eye separately. Once you have two stacks of BMP files, you can feed them into that 3DJournal program.

If having 2 cameras/viewpoints simultaneously is impossible, then you could slow down the animation of the Aquarium and have the camera move or "wiggle" to the left and right by an X unit like .15 to the left then .15 to the right 30 times per second and take a snapshot after each camera move. It would have a horrible strobe/shaking effect to watch it, but it would give you two series of BMP files, one for the left eye, one for the right eye.

If you want to record a DirectX application that's running, the gold standard is FRAPS but it's not free, and it won't give you both eyes.

Jim Sachs 12-24-2010 09:37 AM

That would entail a couple of months of programming. No way I'd make it to CES.

A hi-def, 3D version of Fraps is what I'm looking for.

feldon34 12-24-2010 11:27 AM

I'm not sure why it would require "months" of programming to modify the Aquarium to write BMP files, but ok.

If Picasso were alive today, I don't think he'd be weaving his own canvas, milling the wooden frames, or mining the necessary minerals to mix his paints.

Bob 12-24-2010 12:16 PM

I continue to be amazed that no one on this forum has a copy of, or access to Final Cut Pro or Adobe After Effects. I'd think that Prolific would have some contact that would run the conversion for Jim.

Surely some company would love to have a credit on the DVD just for allowing Jim little time on their computer he would need to produce the 3D MA version.


Ralph 12-24-2010 02:22 PM

I suspect (know) that some folk on this forum have access to Adobe After Effects, I don't think that is the issue. The problem would be to get Jim and that computer in the same room with as much time it takes for Jim to learn the program, iron out any bugs and post it.

I guess I am confused as to what is the end product. I am gathering a 3D movie of a screen saver... would it not be easier (and more fun) to take a camera into the ocean and make a movie of the real thing.. no collision issues, realistic.. everything.

Seems to me we are encouraging the building of something.. just for the sake of saying it can be done. Challenging, but Jim would need the backing of Bill Gates to do it.

Jav400 12-24-2010 03:25 PM

I'm not certain, but I think mentioning Jim's name in the same sentence with Bill Gates is a tactical disaster, and tatamount to treason. :)

feldon34 12-24-2010 04:55 PM

The issue is not After Effects or any other program.

The issue is getting two simultaneous recordings of the Aquarium suitable for the left and right eyeball.

One way is to rig up the Aquarium to output two sets of BMP files, representing two virtual cameras about 3 inches apart. I would have thought this was fairly easy.

Another way is to record all the actions of the Aquarium such as the direction of all the fish and animation of the lighting, then be able to reproduce those exact movements multiple times. Then you make a recording with FRAPS, move the camera to the right 3 inches, and make another recording with FRAPS. Sort of like a motion control camera (invented in the 1970's) where you need the exact same action multiple times.

And I think Ralph forgets Bill Gates rogering Jim Sachs but good on Microsoft Plus.

nicksteel 12-24-2010 05:58 PM

Fraps 3D

Don't know if this is applicable.

Ralph 12-24-2010 07:04 PM


Originally Posted by feldon34 (Post 129195)
And I think Ralph forgets Bill Gates rogering Jim Sachs but good on Microsoft Plus.

Yes.. that was a bad example of a possible sponsor.. Sorry Jim :eek: But now that you remind me.. I do remember the deal.

Jim Sachs 12-24-2010 07:22 PM

nicksteel - That may be exactly what I need!

nicksteel 12-24-2010 07:48 PM


Originally Posted by Jim Sachs (Post 129199)
nicksteel - That may be exactly what I need!

I have no glasses, so can't test. It does seem more logical to capture the screen output rather than the program output.

Merry Christmas, Jim and all.
(We're in Napa with the family for the holidays. Retired to the new house in MS this past Spring.)

Jim Sachs 12-24-2010 09:29 PM

OK, I downloaded the latest FRAPS and it almost works. When used with the nVidia 3D Vision system, it does indeed record in stereovision, and saves a proper file. When that file is loaded and played through the 3D Vision Video Player, the image is indeed still 3D.

The only problem is that while recording, the system is only able to maintain a very jerky 14 fps. This is on my Vista system, which is a fairly powerful computer. When not recording, the fps is at 120.

nicksteel 12-25-2010 12:41 AM


Originally Posted by Jim Sachs (Post 129203)
OK, I downloaded the latest FRAPS and it almost works. When used with the nVidia 3D Vision system, it does indeed record in stereovision, and saves a proper file. When that file is loaded and played through the 3D Vision Video Player, the image is indeed still 3D.

The only problem is that while recording, the system is only able to maintain a very jerky 14 fps. This is on my Vista system, which is a fairly powerful computer. When not recording, the fps is at 120.

I assume you have a fast sata drive. Also, you may find the 1GB file size limit a problem. At least it's a start. We really need someone to test on a a very fast gaming machine.

feldon34 12-25-2010 04:49 AM

FRAPS is a heavy resource drain on a computer.

Jav400 12-25-2010 08:58 AM


Originally Posted by Jim Sachs (Post 129203)
This is on my Vista system, which is a fairly powerful computer.

Jim I hesitate to ask, since you usually program for the least common denominator, what is your system that you are calling a fairly power one. Are we talking a late model quad core at least?

PS. Merry Christmas to all. :)

Jim Sachs 12-25-2010 09:26 AM

It's my rarely-used Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core 4600+ 2.41 GHZ. It ran MA3 at 300 fps before I put in the 120 fps limit.

nicksteel 12-25-2010 09:46 AM

Jim, take a look at this:

It evidently takes a bit of tweaking to get everything right.

Also, some recommend quad cores with 2 cores dedicated to fraps, 2 cores to the program.

Will experiment on my quad-core and re-encoding avi to mpeg/vob with Avisynth (Fraps is uncompressed) when I return home from Xmas vacation.

Asus M2N68-AM SE2 motherboard, AMD Phenom X4 9600 Quad Core 2.3GHz CPU, 2GB of DDR2-667 ULTRA memory, NVIDIA Geforce7025/nForce 630a integrated chipset.

What are the least expensive 3d glasses that will work with this?

Jim Sachs 12-25-2010 01:20 PM

I had seen a different site which recommended the same things, and I tried them all yesterday (lower res, half-height, lower speed, etc.). I gained a few FPS (up to a blazing 19 now!), but lost a lot of resolution.

The goal is to have a file which plays exactly like the original - Glorious Hi-definition 3D at a silky-smooth 60 fps per eye.

It's possible that the main bottleneck could be my hard drive. When I hit Record in FRAPS, the frame rate stays up for about a second, then begins its jerking and hesitation. I can see how the hard drive might not be able to keep up with the data rate. One interesting thing is that after each pause, the fish do not jump to a new location - they resume from where they were. This means that FRAPS is stopping my program clock, but continuing to record frames during the pause. If it simply did not record frames during the pauses, the final movie would play smoothly.

nicksteel 12-25-2010 02:21 PM

Also, Fraps has a 4GB max avi file size and creates many files you have to merge. No real problem.

Time Crystal Pilot 12-27-2010 12:51 PM

Sad to hear about the decreasing sales and the implications.
Jim, did you test your hard-disk-is-bottleneck conjecture by saving to a RAM disk instead?

jleslie 12-27-2010 02:59 PM

It's a tough one without stellar hardware. You need a lot of the CPU available to render the 3D. hence you can't really compress the video much if at all.This means you need a really fast disk system and ideally for it not to interfere with the system operation either. Also FRAPS needs to get the graphics out of the frame buffer, so you need graphics capacity available to do that too. My suggestion would be to add a pause key to freeze the aquarium, then capture it in small chunks (have something on screen during the pause so you can see the frames where it starts/stops). It would be better if you could slow its clock and frame rate by a factor on N. It's the simplest answer I can come up with - in case it helps.

There are free RAMDISKs for Windows, but really need a 64 bit o/s and lots of RAM as otherwise the slow-down from losing the RAM might make things worse, example:
or non-free, but trial lasts until next April:


Jim Sachs 12-27-2010 03:18 PM

The system I'm attempting to use for this only has 1 gig of ram, and most of that is taken up by (32-bit) Vista.

Morgan's suggestion of re-writing FRAPS within MA3, and saving to an output file may be the only way of getting a quality video. But there's no way that could happen before CES, even if I understood the algorithms needed.

nicksteel 12-27-2010 03:20 PM

Ram disks are questionable, as Fraps can consume 1GB for each 20 seconds. Only solution I can see is to somehow slow down the program's output to 60 frames per 2 seconds, then double the avi file playback to 60fps. There can also be problems with the end and start of the 4GB avi files created, with the aquarium slowing down, then speeding up - especially with high fps captures.

Playclaw users claim 60fps without lost frames, but, who knows?

Time Crystal Pilot 12-27-2010 05:45 PM

My suggestion to employ a RAM disk was meant merely as a way to test Jim's hypothesis, not as a viable solution to the problem.

I have virtually no experience in DirectX/Direct3D programming, nor in BluRay authoring, and thus can't be of much help. But it's certainly not necessary to understand the algorithms involved in canvas capturing if the code used won't be part of any published product. It has to do the job, so any patch of code copied&pasted from an online coding help forum is ok if it works.

I got some basic understanding of what is possible with BD-3D and what isn't from this site:

For example, it seems that you can't have stereoscopic video at 60 fps and full HD at the same time.

Nicki 12-28-2010 03:53 PM

Would it help to use Vista's Readyboost feature with a really fast USB drive or SD card?

Bectile 12-28-2010 08:34 PM

Marketing ideas
Hello, I haven't been around in a while, but I got a nice new widescreen hd monitor for Christmas so I thought I'd check for an update, and downloaded 3.1! So beautiful!

Anyway, I can think of three marketing areas which have given me success, and they aren't very expensive.

First I suggest craigslist. It is free, except for certain job listings and a few other miscellaneous stuff. Once your ad is on there, with the right keywords it will also show up on search engines for free. There is some tediousness of having to renew the ad once it expires each week, but.. free!

Second, make a facebook page! I just looked for you (Mr Sachs) or Marine Aquarium 3 on there and found nothing. I would "Like" it in a heartbeat. And then it would be suggested to all my friends... etc. Free as well! And millions of people, worldwide, are on there every day.

Third, advertise through facebook! They have a very competitive pricing program and a wonderful ability to target specific people based on their interests, hobbies, job, location, age, etc. I've done some advertising with them and I liked it more than google adwords.

As a disclaimer, I do not work for facebook, or craigslist. I simply understand what your going through (my husband has his own small handyman business) with this economy and I think these options will help.

Take care,

patscarr 12-28-2010 09:36 PM

We have a small Facebook presence.

Jim Sachs 12-28-2010 10:23 PM

Nicki - I'll look up ReadyBoost.

Rebecca - There are already Facebook pages for myself (James D Sachs) and SereneScreen. The SereneScreen page belongs to Patrick, so I can't make changes in it.

I'll try to research advertising on Facebook. Not sure if Craigslist is a good fit.

nicksteel 12-29-2010 03:04 PM

"Blu-ray Disc video specification only allows encoding of 1080p24 signal, and not 1080p50 or 1080p60".

Also, a 1920x1080 resolution display would be required, unless one stretches from a smaller resolution, say 1600x900, which is doable.

Is 1080p24 adequate for the 3d capture? ( I think Avatar is 24fps ). And you have to end up with something that will fit on a blu-ray dvd after compression to be usable.

Jim Sachs 12-29-2010 04:19 PM

The actual display equipment is beyond my control - I just need to burn a standard 3D Blu-Ray disk. Whatever Samsung will be using in their CES booth to display 3D should be more than adequate.

feldon34 12-29-2010 05:16 PM

Blu-Ray 3D Standard is 24fps. Left and right eye are each stored at 24fps.

nicksteel 12-29-2010 05:57 PM

My confusion is how to capture the thing. I have made HD captures of the aquarium in the past, in non-standard mpeg files that are played from a WDHD box or HDMI output from my computer. I see from the articles that each eye sees 24 fps, but basically, Marine Aquarium already generates screen frames that are seen as 3D. Jim has recorded, at low fps, 3D segments from screen captures with Fraps.

What we need to figure out is how to capture a 3D DVD compatible sequence with an adequate fps for smooth replay. I currently think the capture will have to be scaled to about half and "stretched" with AVS script to full 1080p.

This is going to be trial and error to find adequate fps, capture resolution and effective Avisynth scripting.

I wish I could get a few minutes of a Samsung sample file.

Which of these could be used as a "go by"?

Jim Sachs 12-29-2010 06:00 PM

Most of the info I'm finding has changed in the last few months, so I'm ignoring any articles written before say, September.

Jim Sachs 12-29-2010 06:46 PM

I use nVidia 3D Vision glasses, which I got on eBay for about $100. It took me quite a while to put together the whole system to view MA3 in 3D. Besides the glasses, a 120hz monitor with a dual-DVI input jack is required, like the Samsung 2230rz. A 3D-capable video card is needed, like the nVidia 9800GT (which I also got used on eBay). And finally, a dual-DVI cable is required. Almost nobody talks about this part, but this cable was hard to find, at least around here. You need to look at the cable-ends, which have ALL the pins for dual-DVI, not two separate blocks of pins with a blank space in between.

Also, the "rz" in the Samsung 2233rz is vital in getting the right monitor. The other 2233 models (like the 2233hd which I got first) do not do 120hz. The 3D capabilities of the 2233rz are a bit weak, with quite a bit of "ghosting". It does a fair job on some 3D videos from YouTube 3D, but a high-contrast image like MA3 really points out its weaknesses.

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