Q&A: 3D video support

Q I bought a Panasonic 3D video camera, which works excellently direct with my 3D TV or via SD card transfer. Panasonic gives little help, but I would like to transfer still images and video so that I can use them on my Mac, then burn them to DVD to play through my TV. I have discovered that Toast 11 can transfer 3D video and create movie DVDs that work as well as playing them direct from camera, but cannot find software that handles 3D still images properly. Can you suggest anything?

A Higher-end, which unfortunately means quite expensive, support for 3D video is available in Dashwood’s Stereo3D CAT and related products Sadly GoPro Cineform Studio Pro and OnSight’s OS 3D plug-in for Final Cut Pro have now been discontinued.

More modestly-priced apps listed in the Mac App Store include ATK Player (£2.99), and 3D Converter (£14.99).

Still image support is rather harder to come by at any price, and stalwarts like Adobe Photoshop appear of no help. One basic tool that will allow you to take images from your camera is MPO3DViewer, £9.99 from the App Store, although it not been updated for a long time.

This seems to cater for most 3D still formats, and you can use it to open files on your camera, drilling down through the DCIM folder until you reach images. Select all the photos and then open ‘Combine JPEG’. This can combine the camera files into a folder on your Mac. You can then either continue using MPO3DViewer, ensuring that your 3D images are kept at their correct dimensions of 3264 by 1840, or switch to GraphicConverter (App Store).

graphicconverterIn keeping with its reputation as the most all-encompassing image editing tool, GraphicConverter now has a range of features to work with 3D images. It can open, edit and save formats such as MPO, JPS, and PNS, convert a multipage MPO file to a filmstrip as used by JPS and PNS formats, swap left and right frames, and even create red/cyan and red/blue anaglyph displays.

Once you have downloaded images and combined them using MPO3DViewer, you might then open them to JPEG images in GraphicConverter and manipulate them using its tools. The final step is to burn them to DVD/Video using Toast, taking care to preserve their dimensions. You may find that you can open the MPO files stored on your camera directly in GraphicConverter, which might save you some steps in your workflow.

Updated from the original, which was first published in MacUser volume 29 issue 4, 2013.