3D Camera

Any chance of getting stereo 3D capability in future versions?

At the moment there is no commitment to implement this feature. It will be added to the list of feature requests.

Toon Boom Support

I saw your question on Stereo 3D output. In a sense, this is very easy to do. The only thing holding us back are 3D televisions not yet on the market and inadequate video editing solutions for 3D. When these come to market, the existing versions of Animate and Studio will work. It is not officially recognized, but I even did a blog post on this:

Thanks for the info!

Theoretically, this can be done with Harmony without too much difficulty. The limitation in Animate is that you can’t have more than one camera and more than one write node. Using Harmony you could output to two different write nodes and you could have more than one camera.

This will not be something that will be available to Animate users, it will be limited to Harmony only.

In terms of actually having tvs through which you can watch 3D stereoscopic, there are several different kinds of stereoscopic 3D output that can be done. The most primitive, I’m sure everyone knows about, it’s the red-green or red-blue glasses-type. This kind of stereoscopic can be viewed by any television or computer screen with the use of the proper glasses. In the cases of doing something that requires a polarised screen (for example the way that Avatar was done) and polarised glasses, then you need to purchase a polarising filter to apply to your screen and you need the appropriate glasses. The last kind of 3D that’s available is a new technology whereby you have a set of special 3D glasses that actually strobe on in different times in each eye. These are very expensive to buy, but do not require a special screen as far as I understand it.

Toon Boom Support

when you say this will be limited to Harmony, does that mean it will not be available in Animate Pro or are they the same thing?


Sorry you’re absolutely right, you would be able to do this with Animate Pro as well. We haven’t tested it in Animate Pro, but theoretically you should be able to. As long as you have two write nodes, and two cameras, then it should work.

Toon Boom Support


The video that I posted on the blog referenced above is actually done with two cameras placed side be side to approximate eyes. When you add a PEG to “tie the two cameras together,” you create your 3D camera. Yes, you must render each camera separately, but you can reunite the files in a video editing program. In the video at:


About midway through this video, the video goes “double vision.” In reality, you are now seeing the output from each of the two eyes. If I could do 3D output and you had the necessary monitor and glasses, this scene would look 3D.

In reality, I simply took each each video output for each eye and combined them in Adobe Premiere. In the future, I could feed the video into an editing program that allowed 3D output.

The mechanics to create a 3D world are present in Animate Pro with some improvisation. It’s not “Toy Story” style, but it resembles the old ViewMaster slides that used to be made of Looney Toons characters.

There’s more to it than a simple two camera setup isn’t there. For example the Stereo 3D camera in Maya has quite a few settings:

Interaxial separation
Zero Parallax Plane
Toe in Adjust
Film Offset Right Camera
Film Offset Left Camera

Are these relevant in Toon Boom?

Unfortunately, no. It’s an undocumented idea from this user which is not supported officially by Toon Boom.

I have to confess, as a 2D animation guy who works in pen and paper (or pen and Cintiq), I have no idea what any of those terms you used mean. You have officially overwhelmed me…

Animate Pro is NOT Maya. It’s not even close. It was never meant to be. It is built totally different. There is simply nothing to compare.

Animate Pro is fundamentally a program that deals with flat characters that move around other flat objects. You can place the flat characters and props in a 3D space, but it is still always fundamentally dealing with a world of non-3D objects. You can flip flat drawings and create a sort of 3D region, but it is very simple. The animation I posted kind of demonstrates this. The potential 3D effects are very stylistic, but it is never going to be any sort of rendered universe.

It will never be a Pixar production. This is a program for creating the old traditional Disney style of animation with far less effort.

On the other hand, Harmony, which is a way bigger deal, allows bigger stuff and cooler effects and I defer to the Toon Boom staff to elaborate.

True, but just like the Viewmaster example, the 2D can be presented in 3D stereo very effectively. A lot of Stereo 3D live action you see is shot in 2D and then separated out later in post to create the stereo effect. When you get into the whole Stereo thing, some of the parameters I mentioned are important to create a comfortable stereo experience for the viewer. Is the image projected in front of the screen or behind? How much depth do we want? Do we want the cameras to be parallel or convergent etc. Yes, you can create stereo images w/ just a simple two camera setup, but is it good stereo?

In terms of workflow you’d want to see realtime anaglyphic feedback in the viewport as you’re working so you can see the effect you’re creating prior to rendering (doable in both Maya(automatic) and After Effects(need to set up manually)Nuke and Fusion)

There are some decent tutorials on Digital Tutors about creating
stereo images in a 2D app: http://www.digitaltutors.com/09/training.php?cid=26&pid=3612

Here is a good article on stereo3D from FXguide:

Almost all the 2D compositing apps as well as 3D programs have stereo capability these days, for Toon Boom not to do that would be surprising and I’m sure their big studio clients have already been asking for it.

There is no intention at the moment to create one stereo camera setup that’s built-in automatically. The reason is that it is relatively simple to build a 3D stereoscopic setup - and one can argue that it would take just as much time to analyse what the correct values for the settings of a single camera could be as it would to actually set up a real setup.

I took a look at Maya’s built-in stereo camera’s attributes, as can be viewed in the list here: http://download.autodesk.com/us/maya/2010help/Nodes/stereoRigCamera.html

A lot of the settings that they have you set are things that would be set up manually by creating the setup. For example, film offset right/left is something that would be achieved by placing your cameras a certain distance apart. The parallel vs. converging debate is also something that can be implemented extremely easily in Animate Pro/Harmony - this is simply where you would have the cameras angle in towards each other at a certain focal point instead of simply both pointing forwards. The idea of projecting the image behind or in front of the viewer is dependent, once again, on the position of your cameras. When you rotate the cameras towards each other you create a focal point at which everything will be perfectly in focus. There will also be an associated focal point in the audience where the image will look the best when projected.

As you say, at the moment there’s no realtime feedback. This is not supported by us at the moment, you would need an external program to do so - whether it’s a compositing software like Fusion or whether you simply hash the images together with a free stereo converter and preview them with your red-green glasses on.

We have had studios that have been experimenting with exporting 3D stereo from Harmony, and so far they have been pleased with the results.

Toon Boom Support

I know I am late to the party here, but I think this is a good thing to explore.
Even if you experimented with the right side cyan and left side magenta filters and matching 3D glasses, you could make some headway into exploring the possibilities of doing stereoscopic 3D in Animate Pro or Harmony. I am right now working full time on Maya, but I am curious to see test results. Maybe if Toon Boom would put a special section in “showcase” for users’ stereoscopic experiments in Toon Boom, people should submit their tests for show and tell.
I am going to try and commit to making a test myself and see where that leads to and hopefully submit it to showcase. :slight_smile: