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YouTube turns 1080p HD into 3D

YouTube just took its 2D-to-stereoscopic-3D conversion out of beta test and rolled it out in time for Easter 2012. With the click of a button, short-form high-definition videos uploaded in 1080p now offer the three-dimensional flavor as well.

"In the same way we made editing features available ... we want a way to give editors and users more tools," said YouTube spokesman Matt McLernon. Over the past year of beta testing, YouTube has fine-tuned back-end 2D-to-3D conversion, using a number of video characteristics such as color, spatial layout and motion for estimating a depth map for each from a monoscopic video sequence. From that depth map and the original frame, a stereo 3D left and right pair is created -- 3D magic!

If that's confusing, just know that you don't have to do anything but click a button to see a 3D version of an HD video on the site.

User's guide

  • Select a Full HD video on YouTube (10% of YouTube videos are in HD). Select the 1080p resolution in the "gear" menu on the botton rigth of the video window.

      Note: this do NOT work with 720p or 4K ('original') qualities and it doesn't work either for videos with ANNOTATIONS.

  • A '3D' button appears on the left of the 'gear' button. Click it (the 'Converted 3D' tip appears).
  • Choose your 3D vision mode (i.e. red/cyan anaglyph glasses)

      Note : you can NOT use the 'HTML5' mode znd your Nvidia 3D Vision glasses. A pity his works only for 'true' 3D videos...

You may try the new conversion option with the 'Beautiful Nature Scenery' here under. You will notice that the 2D-to-stereoscopic-3D conversion looks OK when the camera moves and becomes rather flat when it stops.

Nature-Scenes-3D 250px

True 3D videos

While YouTube is watched on almost any kind of monitor from a huge-screen TV to small smartphone screens, "the core experience is on the desktop version," McLernon said. YouTube claims bragging rights for having the most HD content online, with 10% of its videos available in HD. Now, it may just be able to claim the most 3D video as well if we include the converted ones; but there are hundreds of thousands of 3D videos up now on Youtube (just hunt for 'YT3D' on YouTube; you will find more than 11.000 of them, including our 3D Movie Trailers and our 3D Games Trailers.

Where and When YouTube 2D-to-3D conversion Fails

HTML5 Unavailable

Try to choose the "HTML5" mode on the above video : Fail !

Try to 3D convert the flute video here under (It has annotations): Fail !

Try the 'Life in the Garden' 4K video (either in 1080p or in 'original' 4K resolution: Fail !