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YouTube gets serious about 3D

YouTube is going 3D in a big way. The world’s most popular video-sharing site has added automatic 3D conversion for short-form videos uploaded in 1080p.

The new service follows on from a beta feature it launched last year that let creators convert YouTube videos into 3D with a click.

Anyone wanting to watch videos in 3D simply has to select 3D viewing in the Quality settings (click on the gear icon) on the YouTube player, and pop on their 3D glasses.

The company says it uses a number of techniques to render the videos in 3D, including:

  • 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

  • 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

YouTube claims that a broader knowledge of 3D conversion, and cloud computing scalability, it will be able to make conversion possible across even more videos.

Breaking up a video into tiny chunks of data and processing them in parallel on Google’s cloud infrastructure lets it process these videos, while still producing the quality you expect.

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