Stereoscopic Workflows for Premiere Pro CS5

by David Helmly


August 6, 2010

For those of you out there looking to get started with Stereoscopic (S3D) workflows for Premiere Pro CS5, I’ve put together a 60-minute video giving you great way to get started with S3D. This covers most of the basics from building your rig with 2 matching cameras to different 3D displays including using any commercial 3D TV from your local electronics store.

We’ve partnered with Cineform and their new 64 bit plug-in for CS5. As you’ll see, they offer 2 plug-ins : Neo3D for 2,995.00 US and NeoHD for 499.00 US. The main difference is the ability to key frame various controls as well as separate adjustments for Left and Right eye. I find that most people can make do with the 499.00 version.

This video also covers the various ways to view your S3D. The best setup for Editing S3D on your main computer display is by using the NVIDIA 3D Vision glasses matched with a decent NVIDIA card (works excellent with the Mercury certified cards) and a 120Herts display like the Alienware 2310. The video will show you lots of choices for viewing. Commercial 3D TV sets (I’ve tested the Panasonic Viera and the Samsung 3D LED TVs) also work great but only as a 2nd display for output– not your primary editing display. Of course you can still use Anaglyph glasses as well (Red/Blue & more)

I’ve posted the videos on YouTube in HD in 7 parts (for iPad viewers)  as well as AdobeTV for Flash viewers.

YouTube HD links:

Part 1: The Gear

Part 2: The Glasses & Installation

Part 3: Importing Footage & Using the Cineform Plug-In

Part 4: Editing 3D footage in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5

Part 5: Editing 3D footage in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5

Part 6: Editing 3D footage in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5

Part 7: Editing 3D footage on a Mac (Cineform beta)

AdobeTV Link:

More coming……….

I’ll be working on several more S3D workflow video featuring output in Encore CS5 and other tips and tricks.

Encore Users:

For those wanting to get ahead start on Exporting to Encore. The key thing to remember is to set your Cineform output to Side By Side mode before you export to Media Encoder (File>Export>Media  Format H264  Preset H264 Bluray High Quality).

You can add chapter markers in Premiere or Encore. There is NO S3D menu support in CS5. You can use a menu but it will play in 2D not 3D. I normally put a title at the beginning of my timeline telling the viewer to press the 3D button on the remote.

Here’s link to the trial version of Cineform Neo to help you get started:

Quick Setup tips for NVIDIA 3D Vision users

Follow these quick 7 steps to get your NVIDIA 3D Vision system up and running with CS5.

Remember that you are installing 3D Vision drivers for S3D editing, not 3D gaming. Currently, the 3D Vision setup instructions are really  geared towards the gaming market. Installing the full 3D vision driver set just adds problems in getting these drivers to load and work properly for S3D Editing. You only need the Graphics card driver (make sure to pick Quadro if you are a Quadro user) and the correct matching 3D Vision USB driver (again, if you are a Quardo user, pick the 3D Vision for Quadro driver)

I’ve put together a few screen shots to help your setup.

1. Download the correct Quadro or GeForce Driver. Remember to choose 64-bit

2. Download the matching 3D Vision driver for your card (Quadro or Geforce) and 64-bit

3. After you reboot, plug in your IR Emitter Box and both cables (DIN & USB). Depending on you graphics card, you should have a round DIN connector on your card (Quadro cards typically have these)

4.Change your 2 main settings in the NVIDIA control Panel (120 Hz) and Manage 3D settings.

Remember that you need a 3D monitor that offers 120 Hz refresh. Currently the Alienware 2310 is leading the pack in terms of quality (full 1920×1080). NVIDIA has a list of compatible monitors on their website. These monitors typically run between 350.00 to 475.00

5. Under 3D Settings (Top Task) , choose Manage 3D settings. DO NOT go to Stereoscopic 3D settings. Look closely at the screen grabs.

Change Stereo-Display mode to : On-Board Din Connector(With IR Emitter)

Change Stereo Enable to: On

Click Apply


6. Launch First Light and import a 3D file ( you will have needed to convert your Left and Right file to Cineform format and have Muxed them. There are demo files on Cineforms website if you don’t have any 3D files yet)

Goto the View menu and select Open GL Player Player options. Note, you have different setups if you have more than one display.

Suggestion: if you are new to this: Try to keep things simple, just connect the 3D 120 Hz display to your system and get it working first, then add to your 2nd monitor.

For Single monitor setups. Set your Internal Window to NVIDIA PageFlip 3D and then set your Primary Monitor Fullscreen to NVIDIA PageFlip (Press Alt+Enter when playing back video for full screen preview in First Light) Your Secondary monitor make no difference as it’s not connected.

For Dual monitor setups, with your 3D 120 Hz Display set as your 2nd display. Set your Internal Window to “3D Playback Disabled” and Check the “Use OpenGL for 2D Playback”. Set your Primary Monitor Fullscreen to Enable Standard 2D playback.The Secondary Monitor Fullscreen should be set to “NVIDIA PageFlip 3D”

You should see your screens “blank out” for a few seconds and your IR Emitter should change from a Dim Green light to a very bright Green Light. Make sure to Press the Power Button on the Top Left side of your NVIDIA 3D Vision Glasses to view content in 3D.

Premiere Pro

7. In Premiere Pro, select your Sequence and then goto to the Sequence Settings Menu and select Playback Settings….

For Dual Monitor settings, I usually put my 3D Display as my External Monitor (Full Screen) and set it to Full Screen 3D  – NVIDIA PageFlip and I set my Internal display to Standard 2D OpenGL.

Make sure to check the Fast 3D option to increase playback performance. You can also turn this off if you see odd artifacts during playback which can be caused by your graphics driver.

Tip: if your system is running solid – Do not change your graphics driver. Newer graphics drivers are not always better….

For Single Monitor settings . Again, your External setting makes no difference.


  • By Bobby The Sul - 1:32 AM on August 11, 2010  

    Dave TV…You are the man…slightly reminiscent from my MTV days in the Early 80’s …Looks like you encapsulated this process really well…reminds me of a little of a phone call I had with you Friday morning..Thanks a million. …New build today 268 for FL from CF today as well…leaps and bounds…rfs

  • By Alain Baril - 2:53 AM on August 17, 2010  

    On tab# 5: On Manage 3D setting, the version that I use have not Stereo-Display mode and Stereo Enable mode on global setting menu. Is the GForce GTX 295 qualified ? Should be. The settings for the 2310 are good and the IR Emitter Box green light is on with FirstLight and P-Pro … but not stereo… bizzarrrrrrd….

    • By David Helmly - 2:29 PM on August 17, 2010  

      You are correct that the GTX 285 does not have the extra Stereo port on the card but it may still work. I have tested laptops before and they work fine.

      • By Alain Baril - 3:07 PM on August 17, 2010  

        It is a GTX 295 card with a dual DVi port and the computer is an Alienware A-51. Because I have a Trial version of Neo3D and PPro, some “options” are “locked”… may be …

        • By David Helmly - 5:13 PM on August 17, 2010  


          I asked my contacts in the NVIDIA 3D Visio group about it and their answer was that GeForce cards will not work with the Neo stereo imaging pipeline. This is due to the fact that GeForce cards don’t support OpenGL Quadbuffered stereo. GeForce cards use NVIDIA’s consumer stereo drivers which hook off DX and only work full-screen; however, even though GeForce cards can drive some stereo full-screen in this fashion, as mentioned – they don’t do it via Quadbuffered OpenGL, which is what is used in the Neo stereo pipeline.

          • By Alain Baril - 6:59 PM on August 17, 2010  

            Wow! Thanks a lot for your investigations Dave ! I realy appreciated!
            What is your best “Nvidia card” recommendation for Stereo 3D?

            And, by the way, if it’s possible to know, if the card could be work with
            auto-stereo 3D Media-Fab software from french 3DTVsolutions compagny.

  • By David Helmly - 7:19 PM on August 17, 2010  

    All of the Mercury hardware supported cards will work fine. The new FX 4000 card will work great(will need our soon to be released 5.02 update). The FX 5000 card will works as well but is more costly as it has more memory and cores. I you need a lot of layers and do a lot of AfterEffects , get a card with more memory. You can also find Web deals on the older FX3800 & FX4800 cards now.

  • By Alain Baril - 1:31 PM on August 31, 2010  

    Which one is the best to run CS5 + Ne03D + Red ; Quadro FX 5800 or Quadro 5000?

    • By David Helmly - 2:04 PM on August 31, 2010  


      The 5800 still has a bunch of advantages for various connections. For the $$ and speed the 5000 gets my vote. The 6000 will actually the replacement for 5800 – Again, the 5000 is a killer card.

      For those on a budget, the new 4000 kicks @ss as well.

      Lastly – for those that just need the basics with just a few layers, the new 470 card is worth every penny.

  • By Michael - 12:00 PM on September 24, 2010  

    Thanks Dave for all the tutorials and info. It’s quite a shame that my GTX285 although Mercury compliant in Premiere CS5 , not able to quadbuffer in FirstLight, any chance for an update with support for it in any forseeable future ? Also can you list all differences between Neo3D and NeoHD with relation to stereoscopic workflow in Premiere and FirstLight ? What about exporting 3D in 3840×1080 or 2560×720 side by side format to enjoy the Full HD 3D quality on my Nvidia 3D Vision with Alienware AW2310 ? Any workflow for that using just NeoHD for example ?

    • By David Helmly - 1:19 PM on September 24, 2010  


      The issue on the Geforce cards really is in Cineforms hands. The extra port you need (DIN Connector) on the NVIDIA card helps with the accuracy of the 3D image. Cineform is pretty good about replying to emails. I would ping them and reply back here.

    • By David Helmly - 1:58 PM on September 24, 2010  


      sorry about only answering part of your question.

      Cineform has a page that shows the differences in detail. Basically you don’t get keyframing controls and advaanced convergence (3D) correction like skew and so on. I usually tell most people to get the 499.00 to start.

      If you export the files at higher than 1920×1080 then you are just using the hardware scaling in the 2310 back down to 1920×1200

      I would advise keeping projects at 1920×1080

  • By Michael - 3:13 PM on September 27, 2010  


    Ok, but these corrections are pretty important, as IMO they cause 90% of headaches when eyes have to vertically drift for example, when only the 10% is caused by going into negative parallex to far. So NeoHD is not for me.
    About a 3840×1080 project i meant placing two 1080p views next to each other for the full 1080p 3D playback using Nvidia 3D Vision Player or ‘s Stereoscopic Player ? I would never want to scale a already half resolution horizontally squeezed 1080p 3D ( broadcast 3D frame packaging ) to 3840x1080p. What I am after is the real 1080p 3D at the moment only possible as either official 3D Blu-Rays, Nvidia 3D Vision on a up to 24″ monitor like the Alienware AW2310 or soon Nvidia 3DTV play tha will let you play full hd 3D files through your PC onto the 3DTV, but also I heard that some people were already able to send full 1080p 3D signals with the use of ‘s paid software versions, but that’s off the topic anyway.
    All in all, the question was, how would you be able to import the LEFT 1080p and RIGHT 1080p into a 3840x1080p project and just position them side by side, and still have the options to live correct them in FirstLight ?

    • By David Helmly - 4:26 PM on September 27, 2010  


      I pinged the lead engineer at Cineform on your behalf and here’s his general comment:

      I don’t see any advantage in formatting the image 3840×1080, other
      than exporting to (which is something we at Cineforn need to
      simplify.) Am I missing something here? The whole point of NeoHD/3D
      is that you don’t have to view 2D representations of 3D. His point
      about vertical alignment, while somewhat true is hardest to correct
      with 3840×1080 presentation.

      Maybe we should have add a 3840×1080 preset? While a clunky on the
      workflow, it will help youtube exports.

  • By Michael - 11:13 AM on September 28, 2010  

    Thanks David,
    That’s a fast response you got there. What I meant was I would only correct verticaly for a final 3840×1080 output if I had Red 3D footage. I myself work with DSLR footage so what I do is I align everithing and then only export the matching ( covered by both views ) part of the image scaled down to 720p to produce 2560×720, as I am not a fan of floating windows to keep let’s say only the 1000 lines view out of 1080p after alignment.
    I would like to still do all alignments on a standard 1920x1080p frame in either anaglyph mode or onion, but after that I would like to have the option to output to separate views in 3840x1080p, but still in the project window to have it in nvidia 3D Vision 1080p preview.
    Yes with Youtube’s up to 4K res this is one reason why I asking this, but really the main one is for Nvidia’s 3D Vision Video Player that supports 3840×1080 for Full HD 3D as this is going to be the only cheap option to play user generated Full HD 3D content on a 3DTV through Nvidia’s 3DTV Play.
    Again, thanks David for your support, and great tutorials, if you could send this one too to that him and post his response I would really appreciate it.
    Kind regards

  • By Alain Baril - 3:09 PM on January 4, 2011  

    Hi Dave.
    I actualy use a Acer H5360 as 2nd monitor (projector) and there is a big 360º color shift (between green, red and blue). Without the glasses, on the screen, the color is perfect, like in Premier Pro. The depth is there but somethings strange here.
    (Window 7 + CS5 + Nvidia Quadro 5000)

  • By Alain Baril - 6:37 PM on January 8, 2011  

    If I use the DVI port of the Quadro 5000 with the Acer, it’s work and it’s very nice to see the stereoscopic editing on big screen. But the Alienware 2310 in the DisplayPort don’t work in S3D. In the Nvidia controls panel, I can’t switch this monitor to 120Hz freq. Is the Quadro 5000 support 2 monitors in S3D?

  • By Jay Welling - 12:38 PM on May 4, 2011  

    Hi, when I try to export the file to use in Encore (side by side, H264 Bluray High Quality) I notice all the titles that have the parallax filter applied do not export (just the video exports but none of the titles)

    Tried this on multiple computers, by just creating a simple title sequence with the parallax filter using cs5 and cs5.5 with no luck

    Do I have to use the cineform avi codec rather than the H264?

    thank you in advance

    • By David Helmly - 2:37 AM on May 5, 2011  


      Yes, you have to use the Cineform codec for your first export whenever you use the Parallax filter. Once you do this, you can drag the exported Cineform file directly into Adobe Media Encoder and then choose H264 and the settings. The good news about the Cineform codec is that it really does an amazing job of keeping the quality of the video intact. I spoke to Cineform about this workflow and there are reasons it works this way that involve how they display the parallax on the timeline in Premiere & the active DB.

      Hope this helps.

  • By pat - 1:19 PM on August 31, 2011  

    Hi Dave!
    I have a quadro fx 1700 and a Acer H5360. But i dont get a working stereo pictiure with my nvidia 3d vision glasses? … i think the hardware should handle it? … i set my Acer H5360 as primiary Monitor … set in the Nvidia”Manage 3D Settings” stereo to “on” and the stereo displaymode to “gerneric aktive stereo (with nvidia 3D vision)” becaus my card dont support DIN conector. In FirstLight i tried evers setting (Internal Window = “nvidia page flip 3D” and Primary Monitor = “nvidia page flip 3D” but without susess

    • By David Helmly - 3:40 PM on August 31, 2011  


      I believe Cineform supports most Quadro cards. I’d ping Cineform and double check. I believe it should support the Generic Mode. I only use the Din option. I thought there was an extra cable that you connect to most Quadro cards to give you the DIN port. I’d check that first.

      • By pat - 7:52 PM on August 31, 2011  

        I think the DIN port is only supported by the newer cards like the FX 3800 and above…

  • By Karen S - 3:04 PM on February 14, 2013  

    Hi David,
    Thanks for posting this info about 3D. I’m new to DVD production and I have to produce a double sided 3D DVD.
    One side will be using side by side .avi files. The other side of the disc will use red/blue anaglyph .avi files.

    Can you comment on what I need to know about assembling these two projects in Encore? I’ve never worked with 3D content before so I’m unsure as to Encore workflow. As far as I know, I don’t have to touch the video files, just create the Encore menu and link the buttons to the videos, correct?

    I’ve been supplied .avi files of side by side video and anaglyph video. They appear to vary in sizes though. For example some are 2560×720, 2560×1024, 2560×972. Does this matter??? I’m not sure what screen size to start with so I can build the DVD menu in Photoshop. (menu is not 3D)

    Can you lead me in the right direction please?
    Do I need to export to any particular format from Encore to ensure the TV recognizes this is a 3D disc and acts accordingly ( i.e. mixes the side by side images into a single 3D image on-screen)
    Since I’m not editing the 3D video, I don’t need any special computer hardware, correct?

    I need to know if I can handle this project in-house, using Encore CS6, or if I need to outsource it.

    Thanks so much for any advice!!

    • By David Helmly - 3:57 PM on February 14, 2013  

      As with many DVD/BDR authoring SW packages like Encore, the fact is they don’t look 3D material any differently than it would regular 2D material. With that said, the process should be easy. If you are planning a DVD , then you need to start in Premiere and import the files and create a new sequence by right clicking on the clip and selecting [New Sequence from Clip] and this will create a matching sequence in HD (2560×720 etc…) The next step is tricky but easy. YOu need to squeeze the 2 images by 50% in the Effects Control Panel>Motion by selecting the Scale (uncheck Uniform) and adjust with by 50% and use the horizontal postion to move all the way to the left side. Add the right eye clip to Video2 and do the same steps expect move all the to the right side. What you should see is a perfect side by side image. This will work for your side by side video. The anaglyph is bit more work as you need a plug-in to do this. Cineform Neo3D works for Cs5 & 5.5 but not that great for Cs6. I do know of another plug-in in the works that I’ve been testing that will do both side by side and anaglyph but it won;t be ready for a few months. I will do a video on the new plug-in. It’s pretty cool.Once you get your video created (Export from Premiere MPEG2 DVD or one of the BlueRay options, you can follow the same steps for Encore and burn it. O