Torus Media Labs CANVAS STK




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Torus Media Labs CANVAS STK - featured

CANVAS STK meets the stereoscopic requirements of the VR medium allowing users to composite for their cinematic S3D360 films with confidence. Whether you are a creator, producer, stitcher or artist, these tools have the potential to greatly improve your workflow


Canvas STK was developed for users that are serious about working in stereoscopic 360. It’s also the only toolset that gives users the advantage of viewing a traditional stereoscopic ‘Preview’ to confidently manipulate elements in 3D space while verifying the accuracy on a 3D projector, 3D monitor or 3DTV.

Apart from being a perfect QC tool, Canvas STK is made to allow users to create an experience with depth, both technically and emotionally.

Why not simply use the headset to preview?

The human eyes are great performers and will “fuse” any bad stereoscopic footage, you will not be able to notice any misalignment through a headset. When a 3D monitor is used you can see the misalignment (without wearing any glasses) and take action to prevent discomfort (important to avoid hurting your audience). Canvas STK also offers an Anaglyph 3D preview for those without a 3D monitor.

The S3D Settings tab:
These settings affect the entire project and all of the layers. Adjust these settings at the beginning and keep them unchanged after that.

IA Distance controls the camera separation of your After Effects project. This can be considered as the global pixel separation for all the elements added to the project (except the S3D360 media).

Zero Sphere is the point in space where your left and right images overlap perfectly and where the stereoscopic effect disappears. It’s usually quite far from the camera.
If the Zero Sphere is very far back in the scene, you may want to increase this value to something closer to 6000. It all depends on your stitched images.

Selected 3D layers:
When you add a 3D layer in your ‘Working’ composition such as a text or logo, you’ll be able to move it in space with the two sliders: ‘Distance to Camera’ and ‘Scale’.

Some handy buttons are:
All the buttons are quite self explanatory and the ones you’ll be using the most are :

  • Move in front of the camera
  • Orient towards camera
  • Create Text layer
    • Create Solid

Grid Settings:
The Zenith and Nadir are monoscopic on all 360 cameras but the progression from S3D to the monoscopic poles varies from one camera to another and can be modified in the stitching process.

We provide two grids:

  • Zero Sphere
  • S3D Safe

These allow you to place your compositing with precision and within the S3D Safe area (where the image is still stereoscopic). You can also change the grid color for ease of use.

Placing your S3D layer in space:

The most effective and accurate way of properly placing your S3D layer in space is to use the S3D Settings tab “Distance to Camera” and “Scale” values.  Remember to select the layer you want move in space in your ‘Working’ composition timeline.  Using a 3D monitor or a 3DTV for this fundamental task will give you the most accurate results.

From the Project tab, change your ‘Preview’ to Side by Side (squeezed), a common format from the S3D movies compatible with 3DTVs , 3D monitors and 3D projectors.

Placing objects in space in your stereoscopic 360 scene using a 3D monitor is not only the most accurate, but also the fastest and the most comfortable way for your eyes.

A pair of 3D glasses (passive are the best) are like a pair of sunglasses, they are light, you can see your depth in the 3D monitor and don’t need to remove them to see your keyboard and your main screen at the same time. Your second option is to use the Anaglyph 3D preview, it will take a bit longer to get the same depth accuracy than with a 3D monitor and it’s less comfortable for the eyes, you want to lift your anaglyph glasses to look at your keyboard or your computer monitor.

We offer also a quick Cross-eye preview that can be handy to quickly check when no glasses or headset of any kind are next to you. This method is also handy to export and share your progress with your client.

A VR headset is the last option to use as your eyes will attempt to correct the image for you, resulting in eyestrain. The other disadvantages of using the headset for preview are the continuous change of light (VR to room) , the weight of it, the cable being tangled and the frequent need to restart your computer to make it work.

You still want to keep your headset close-by for checking important steps in your work and your final output. If you are working in stereoscopic 360 it’s to create a film that will be watched almost exclusively through a headset, the way the viewer will experience your S3D360 film.

S3D Layers tab:
S3D layers are stereoscopic layers that can be created from the Canvas STK interface. These layers are formed by omni-directional stereoscopic images to be composited with your S3D360 footage. It could be a logo, a green screen subject or a rendered 3D model, as long as it has a Left and Right eye.

Monoscopic media can also be imported by simply selecting the Left eye again in the Right Eye dropdown. Name your layer and click Add, the layer will appear under “Manage S3D layers”

Offset Separation button:
Every S3D layer generated from the S3D Layers tab has an extra parameter available to further adjust its depth in the scene.

Canvas STK is not the ‘new version’ of Canvas 360 which continues to evolve and is specific to monoscopic 360footage. Monoscopic 360 footage can be viewed on a tablet and on your computer screen without a headset while S3D360 footage requires a headset. Stereoscopic 360 can not be comfortably treated in post-production without the use of Canvas STK.

Proper stereoscopic 360 is difficult to make and requires great discipline as well as patience on set and in post. The final results will justify the extra effort.

torus media canvas stk

  • PC or Mac
  • Adobe After Effects CC 2018 Only
  • Optional but recommended is a secondary monitor (preferably a 3D monitor or 3DTV)
  • Headset for final viewing
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Torus Media Labs Canvas STK - Basic Workflow

In this tutorial, Mike Sevigny will show you how to quickly and accurately add a Logo to your 3D 360, footage with Canvas STK.