True Stereoscopy

Although I don't think it's necessary to have 3D for 360 films, it is something a lot of people have asked for, for obvious reasons. I don't want to go into the technical details explaining what the issues are rendering 3D for 360 it suffices to say that it itsn't a walk in the park. 

I've decided to render a true stereoscopic fractal flythrough - although it isn't 360 degrees. You can't look back, only forward, as it's a 180 degrees render. Still, it's as immersive as the other VR stuff, with the added benefit of being truly stereoscopic. The piece called "From Nothing" was also in stereo, but I faked the effect by offsetting the frame using the Z-Buffer, creating a faux 3d- effect not unlike badly converted 3D movies that were shot in 2D.

Dynamic Fog

It works really well, and the true stereo adds a lot of depth. Also I used dynamic fog to create transparent layers - something that true stereo excels at and cannot be faked or converted. In this picture, the blue glowing energy lines are what I call Dynamic Fog.

Dynamic Fog is a really cool feature of Mandelbulb3D in that it can create a volumetric effect based on the fractal formula. Some parts of the mathematical volume that aren't visible from the geometry can be made visible through the fog.

Most of the time the fog was gathering at the surface of the fractal, like fog hugging a mountain, giving usually an eerie, ghost-like, or electron microscope effect, not always something that I was looking for. Only recently I figured out how to control the location where the fog gathers, and even animate it. (In the 3D navigator, under Drivers, the 'Dyn Fog on its' and 'R Bailout' sliders) Although in this example the fog has overstepping artifacts and doesn't look as good as I hoped it did in 3D, I still believe there's a tremendous coolness to it. 


In a fractal world, you can zoom in infinitely. In order to keep the very large and the very small manageable, MB3D keeps scaling everything all the time, depending on how close you are to an object. This is necessary for fractals, as you want to be able to get closer to the surface while expanding the detail. 

Although I haven't used the effect much in this particular animation, and it sort of just happens, I can imagine how cool it would be to use it more pronounced; and have a fractal the size of a dollhouse just one meter in front of you scale to the size of a city. We would feel like Alice as she shrinks in order to fit through the little door in that famous book. 

As I write this, the stereoscopic film is rendering, and it will be a while until it's done. Also I hope that there aren't too many overstepping artifacts, as this formula isn't very stable. I imagine that this works well for other types of immersive films though, as you don't constantly feel the idea you're missing out on what's happening behind you. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.