How to Make 3d Halo 3 Screenshots


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    How to Make 3d Halo 3 Screenshots

    Post by MoRa on Fri May 15, 2009 3:15 am

    In this tutorial we will basically be using the Halo 3 theater to save two screenshots (a left-eye view and a right-eye view) which we will then download and make into a more convenient red/cyan stereo image (I will also show how to make one for crossed-eye viewing if you don't have 3D glasses, though you could always try Googling "free 3D glasses"). The only piece of software needed for this project (other than Halo 3 on the Xbox 360, obviously) is the excellent StereoPhoto Maker. It is a free tool for Windows-based PC's that will assist us in making and tweaking our final 3D image. You can follow the previous link to the homepage or download version 3.10a directly here.

    Getting Started

    1. Start up Halo 3 and resist the temptation to play a match online. On the main menu choose Theater.
    2. In the Theater Lobby, choose Film: and from the Select Film page choose the film you will want to take a screenshot from.
    3. Back in the Theater Lobby, choose Start Film when it is ready.
    4. Once the film has started find something you are interested in making a 3D screenshot of. It is assumed you know most of the ins and outs of the Theater, but when in doubt consult the manual, or the Bungie How To: Saved Films page, or hit Start to see the control layout.

    Taking The Shot

    1. When setting up your shot for 3D you should take into consideration a few things that you wouldn't necessarily be concerned about otherwise. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
    * You will have to be in the third person detached view in order to make the appropriate camera movements for the shot (so, no first-person 3D views). To do this you'll need to hit the Y Button to Change Camera Type until the camera is no longer locked on to a player and can fly about the world. If you move the camera and it's rotating around the player you're not in the right mode.
    * The directions given here assume you are not in the "zoomed in" mode available by clicking the Right Stick. This mode changes the field of view and could be used for making stereo shots, but these directions were not written with that view in mind (but feel free to experiment--I suspect you will find you don't need to move the camera as much).
    * Assuming you are focusing on something that isn't right against the camera, be mindful of objects (terrain, foliage, parts of buildings, explosions, shell-casings, etc.) that are very close to the camera. They may look cool in a regular screenshot, but if you are taking a stereo screenshot and they are not the focus, they may be too close and cause eye strain. That is not to say you can't have anything close to the camera, but remember that they'll be right in your face when you put together the final 3D version.
    * Note that many explosions and other weapon effects in the game aren't actually geometry but rather flat polygons with textures applied. When viewing in 3D they may seem a little odd or "flat". In my experience this hasn't really detracted from any of the 3D screenshots I've made, and I encourage you to take shots that include explosions (because, hey, they look really cool) just keep this mind if you notice them looking funny.
    2. Once you've chosen a subject you're ready to actually take the screenshots. At this point it is helpful to reduce the sensitivity of the camera to make the process easier. Hit the Start button to bring up the Film menu, then push right on the Left Stick to move over to the Settings Tab. There choose Game Controls, Flying Camera, Speed and set it to Slow. Back out of the menus to get back to the game/theater.
    3. Frame your subject(s) for the first shot, keeping in mind which way you're going to have to move the camera for the second shot (so that it too is framed correctly). Let's arbitrarily say that you are going to take a shot where your subject is closer to the right side of the screen first. Line it up and hit the X Button to bring up the film controls, then with the Directional Pad (NOT the left stick) move over and choose the Camera Icon ("Take Screenshot"). After it scans the screen choose Save as... and give it a name. I suggest labeling it with the subject and the letter "L" for "Left Eye".
    4. Now we make the big decision that makes or breaks this 3D screenshot: how far to move the camera for the second shot. We will be moving the camera to the RIGHTonce the Theater is done saving/uploading your first shot. You will be pushing only right on the Left Stick and not touching the Right Stick at all. Try not to move forward or backward or point the camera elsewhere. You don't want to swivel the camera, you just want to pan slightly, constricting your motion to only left/right. The amount you move determines the "eye separation" and to an extent the "Wow, 3D!" factor of the resulting shot. In the real world, you would move the camera the average distance between your eyes to get a "realistic" stereoscopic picture, but it's nearly impossible to determine how that would translate into in-game units, and we have no way of judging how many of those units we are moving our camera. Instead, with a little experimenting and some number crunching, I came up with an amount of movement that delivers pretty good stereo results. You'll want to move the camera such that the closest object of interest in the scene--perhaps a rocket coming from a launcher, or the tip of a sniper rifle, or just a Spartan himself--moves no more than about 2.95% of the width of your television/monitor (in this case by pushing LEFT on the Left Stick. So, if you've got a big honkin' 60" widescreen TV which is around 52.3" in width, you are going to move the camera such that the closest object of interest moves about 1.54" across the screen (52.3 * 0.0295). If you're playing on a 16" wide monitor, that would be more like 0.47 inches. These are numbers that work well for me but by all means experiment and see what separation distances provide the most pleasing results for you.
    5. Save this screenshot by hitting the X Button to bring up the film controls (if you closed them), then with the Directional Pad move over and choose the Camera Icon ("Take Screenshot"). After it scans the screen choose Save as... and give it a name. I suggest labeling it with the subject and the letter "R" for "Right Eye"

    Uploading the Screenshots

    1. Every screenshot you take is automatically uploaded to Bungie. However, sometimes they don't successfully transfer, do to network or server issues at one end or the other. Also, sometimes it takes awhile for the screenshots to appear on If you are in a hurry, I recommend adding your newly taken stereo shots to your File Share.
    2. From most menus, hit the Start Button to bring up the Media menu and choose File Share. Select an open slot (or remove some shares to free one up) and choose Screenshot then pick the appropriate shot to upload. Don't forget to share both your left and right pictures.

    Retrieving Your Screenshots

    1. On your PC, browse to Click Sign In in the upper right corner to sign in with your Windows Live ID. Once you're signed in, click on Halo 3 in the upper right corner. (If you don't know your Live ID or don't feel like bothering, you can choose Find a Player from the My Stats dropdown and search on your Gamertag to find your Halo 3 stats page).
    2. Click on Hi-Res Screenshots and check to see if the pictures you snapped are there. If so, click on the thumbnail of the screenshots and, in the new window that opens, click on the image to download it. Save it someplace meaningful and preferably with a name that makes sense (i.e. whatever you named it when you took the shot in the first place). Don't forget to download them both.
    3. If you don't see them there and were forward thinking enough to save them in your file share, click on Return to Service Record Main and there click on File Share. Find your screenshots, click on the thumbnail, and in the new window that opens click on the image to download, naming it appropriately. Don't forget to download both your left and right image.

    Making It 3D

    1. The final step in the process is to create a 3D image. If you haven't already, download the free StereoPhoto Maker tool (web site | 3.10a direct download) to your PC and unzip it someplace useful. Mac/Linux folks, you might want to check out the Engadget story on how to make 3D photos or Google how to do it with Photoshop or The Gimp.
    2. Start up StereoPhoto Maker (there's no installer, just run the app that came in the zip). Choose File->Open Left/Right Images and browse for your left-eye picture. Assuming you consistently named them (i.e. one ending in "L" and one ending in "R") StereoPhoto Maker will find the other file automatically and ask if you want to load it (hit Ok). Otherwise, browse for the other file.
    3. You will see your images side by side. To view it as a Red/Cyan stereo image, go to Stereo->ColorAnaglyph->color (red/cyan). Put on your glasses and admire your handiwork. You might want to compare and contrast this with a half-color anaglyph by choosing Stereo->ColorAnaglyph->half-color (red/cyan). You may find that through the glasses one looks better than the other (perhaps its the tint of the armor or the colors in the scene or reflections on a nearby surface that make the difference). If it doesn't look 3D or looks off somehow, you might have the left and right images reversed. Choose View->Swap Left/Right (or just hit the X hotkey) to swap the left and right images and see if that looks better.
    4. If the eye separation--the is, the distance you originally moved the camera--is too great you may have a hard time resolving the image or it may strain your eyes. You can fix this a bit by moving the images closer together simply using the arrow keys. More than likely you will be using the right arrow key to move them closer together (the x number after Position Alignment at the bottom of the screen will go up and the red and blue images on the screen will get closer together). Doing this doesn't really change the 3-dimensionality of the picture (you set that when you took the snapshots) but putting them closer together may help eliminate eye strain (at least for the main subjects or close up object--objects in the background may become harder to resolve). The true effect of moving the screenshots closer together/further apart after you've taken them is to change where the 3D objects appear with respect to the "window" on the scene (either in front of, or behind) which is a topic beyond this discussion.
    5. When you're satisfied with your Red/Cyan Anaglyph, you can save it by going to File->Save Stereo Image. It's important to note that compression artifacts are a huge detriment to the stereo effect and as such you will want to save in a loseless format. BMP and particularly PNG are good choices ("Full colors"). You can also save it as a JPG, just be certain you set the Image Quality to 99 and tick the No Compression Ghosting option to avoid compression artifacts inherent in saving it as a jpeg. (Additional note: If you plan on putting these up on flickr, be advised to save them as PNGs or JPGs. I found that if you save as a BMP and upload to flickr, they convert the file to a jpeg and it introduces a fair number of compression artifacts.)
    6. If you don't have 3D glasses you can easily create a 3D image for cross-eyed viewing. If you're in one of the Red/Cyan modes you can choose Stereo->Side-by-side->Side-by-side to get back to the side-by-side view. Now, you'll want to swap the left and right views (assuming they were correct to begin with). Do this by choosing View->Swap Left/Right or by hitting the X hotkey once. Now the left image is on the right and the right image is on the left. Since the original images are pretty large (1920x1080, which is 3840 pixels wide side-by-side) you'll likely want to resize it to something more easily viewable before saving. This is a matter of preference, but 500 pixels per image works pretty well for me. Choose Edit->Resize and enter 500 for X (make sure Keep Aspect-ratio is ticked as well as Resample). Hit Ok and the image is resized. Finally you can save this out just like the Red/Cyan was saved by choosing File->Save Stereo Image and choosing an appropriate format (as mentioned above, something losless like BMP, PNG, or JPG at 99 image quality).
    7. You can even make a "Wiggle Stereo" version (an animated GIF that goes back and forth between images) by choosing File->Make Animation GIF in StereoPhoto Maker.

    Congratulations, you can now show the world how you teabagged some poor noob... in glorious 3D!


      Current date/time is Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:26 am