SMP supports live stereo viewing and recording from webcams that have RGB24 color space/compression.
You should ensure that your system can open two instances of your favorite webcam viewer and display the output of the two cameras.
Because of the data-rate required, USB1.1 cameras invariably employ data compression for transfer to the computer.
The newer USB2.0 devices are preferred and should giver 'smoother' performance.
In both cases, it is preferable to connect the cameras to two separate USB controllers.
It is unlikely at present, good synchronisation of fast-moving action can be achieved with the average home-computer system.
First of all, select 'Stereo Webcam setting..'
From the list of supported-devices that SMP finds, choose a left and right device.
If the devices have the same name, they may actually be arranged physically swapped-over to your choice.
This will easily be corrected on-viewing by pressing the 'X' key.
You can choose to enable just the left or right camera or both and rotate the left or right camera 180 degrees.
The latter is useful if one camera is upside-down in order to get the cameras closer together.
Choose a resolution and framerate from those supported by the webcam.
These may be displayed by clicking 'Pin Properties' and the values chosen (as shown above)will be applied to both cameras.
Enabling or disabling the filter 'clock' may give improved results.
'Color Space / Compression' mode must be chosen as RGB 24.
To the right of 'Left device/Right device' is a 'Properties' button that will give you access to the cameras settings.
These vary from camera to camera but typically include auto/manual mode, white balance,brightness and contrast.
Very often, with both cameras in 'Auto' mode, there will be obvious differences of color and/or brightness/contrast.
You should try to balance these factors manually instead.
Of course, they can still change from scene-to-scene.
You may now click the 'Webcam View' to display live stereo.
To freeze the stereo display, click the 'stop' icon.
To restart the live video, press the 'start' icon.
All the usual viewing-modes are supported :-
- Side-by-side (including mirroring options)
- Monochrome anaglyph (red/cyan, red/green, red/blue
- Color and Half-color anaglyph
- Page-flipping with shutter-glasses using Winx3D, NVidia or stereo OpenGL drivers.
If the side-by-side view does not look quite-right, press 'X' to swap views.
Anaglyph mode is useful when checking and adjusting the alignment of the cameras.
To record live stereo video in side-by-side format, choose menu option 'Stereo Webcam Save as ...' to display the dialog-box above.
The dialog-box sections Webcam, Rotation and Resolution/Frame Rate have already been discussed.
Choose a compressor of your choice, bearing in mind that even with the efficient DivX/XVid codec the files will be large.
Codecs with less compression can produce 'huge' files.
Depending on your chosen codec, another dialog-box (as shown above) may be displayed.
You may accept the default settings or enter your own required values.
As soon as the codec dialog-box is closed, SMP will start recording to your chosen file.
Press the 'Stop' icon to end recording.