How to make a 3D vacation video


Professional Photographer, David McLain, explains how easy it is to make a 3D video of your vacation. From 3D shooting tips and avoiding common mistakes, to watching your 3D footage, David makes sure you have all the info and equipment needed to capture your next family vacation in a whole new dimension.

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The recent wave of 3D movies being released in mainstream theaters across the country got a lot of people thinking about 3D. Now using a camera that fits in the palm of your hand, you can shoot your own 3D movies. Hi, I'm David McLain, and today, we're going to talk about how to make a 3D video of your vacation. First I'll give you some tips to keep in mind when shooting 3D video. Then we'll cover things you can avoid to ensure the best quality picture. Finally we'll go over how to enjoy 3D footage on your big screen with family and friends. Let's get started.

Taking lots of pictures and video on your vacation with the people you love is the easiest way to guarantee you'll get the most professional looking results. You should try to bring your camcorder everywhere, but don't feel like you have to shoot everything all the time. And don't forget to participate in your video and activities, as well as observe and document. You are there on vacation after all. You're better off having a little bit of footage of many different activities as opposed to hours of footage of the same thing.

Consider the activities you'll be doing, Maybe you're going to go horseback riding, take surf lessons, or just hang out around the beach. As you go about your vacation, shoot a little bit of footage whenever there's a great morning or afternoon light, peak action, or breathtaking scenery. Also, try to include as many personalities in your footage as possible. Occasional dialogue or interviews are a great way to add a little bit of humor and change it up.

The most important thing to keep in mind when you're shooting 3D is how far away from the camera your main subject is. You want to keep that subject about 7 to 10 feet away from the camera. This'll allow you to have a foreground and a background, which will add depth to your 3D images. Now if there's wide spaces between the foreground and the background, say I'm shooting a person here and in the distance is a mountain, try to add an additional element about 15 feet behind your main subject.

My favorite thing about this camera is the LCD screen. You open it up, boom, instant 3D, and it's pretty amazing. It allows you to see what works and what doesn't work in the footage that you're shooting. In fact, whenever I would shoot with this, there'd always be a crowd of people who would want to look over my shoulder just to look into the screen. Why? Because you don't need 3D glasses with this screen.

Here's a couple other things to remember. To avoid shakiness, you can stabilize the camera against your body, kind of like this. This camera also has an image stabilizer built right into it. With this stabilizer, it'll compensate for camera shake and it'll deliver super smooth video. I have kids and they're always on the run. With the image stabilizer on, I can chase after them wherever they go.

All right, you shot all this amazing footage. Now it's time to enjoy it on the big screen. To do so, all you need to do is connect your camcorder to your 3D HDTV with an HDMI cable. If you don't have a 3D TV yet, don't worry. You can still enjoy all the footage you've shot on this camera in 2D on your current TV.

Now sit back, put on your 3D glasses, and take a trip down memory lane in a whole new dimension. I'm David McLain for Sony with Howdini. For more great tips, visit

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  • David McLain

    David McLain Professional Photographer As professional photographer for National Geographic and a Sony Artisan of Imagery, David McLain has traveled around the world capturing timeless images. His love of adventure and exploration are depicted in the highest quality of photographs. McLain’s work represents all kinds of people in a wide variety of conditions that prove to be real and authentic. In his commercial work he brings brands to life by creating images that not only sell a product, but also inspire consumers. This unique app more about this expert »

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