2D to 3D Conversion - 2012 vs 2023
Updated: Oct 23
One of the 3D blu-rays I've had in my collection for many years in the Legend3D 2D to 3D conversion of four of The Three Stooges short films in a collection called... "The Three Stooges in 3D". Legend3D evolved from Legend Films which was created originally as a colorization studio by Barry Sandrew Phd, which then went on to work on major 3D conversions from Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" in 2010 through to a vast number of high profile conversions including "The Walk", "Life of Pi" and "Avengers: Endgame". Based on the Legend3D WikiPedia entry Legend3D filed for bankruptcy in 2021, although there are still conversions listed after that date but these appear to be focussed on their Asian operation.
What I found really surprising was seeing the scale of the team it took to convert just one of the short films with something like 70+ individuals named as part of the 3D conversion team. This number may be marginally off as certain roles aren't specific to 3D, but I think I'm in the right ballpark.
And to me, this is where it becomes interesting. In 2012 it took around 70 - 100 individuals to convert a 17 minute short film, in 2023 with the advent of AI and presumably improved computer processing power it has become possible for 1 person using AIPOP-3D Techniques & Technology to convert a feature length film, of course not forgetting input from Alex and Phil helping with feedback for Quality Control. The techniques are much the same, as my tutorials from 2012 prove, the same if somewhat more refined.
In terms of quality, I may be biased, and seriously no disrespect to Legend3D who were pioneering in using this technology, but I would say the solo-converted "Nightmare Castle 3D" stands up well against the team-converted "Three Stooges in 3D". In terms of depth achieved I think NC has more natural rounded 3D, and I believe the level of 3D details is superior. The major difference of course is with "The Three Stooges in 3D" all the depth maps would have been made by hand so you would not get the random errors that an AI will make - however as the AI depth maps were manually repaired where necessary I believe we caught certainly most of the egregious depth errors. It's unclear how much time the team spent converting The Three Stooges 3D but it's a fairly safe assumption that it likely took as least as long as the time spent on Nightmare Castle, probably a lot longer.
If you've seen the 3D conversion of The Three Stooges shorts I'd be interested to hear what you think of it?
Andrew Murchie is an award winning Stereoscopic 3D filmmaker and creative technologist based in Edinburgh, Scotland where he specialises in virtual reality, augmented reality, stereoscopic 3d and a range of more traditional digital filmmaking skills. He has produced & directed independent stereoscopic 3-D films &Virtual Reality 360 3D films.