LeiaCam should use MPO

After years using devices with lots of inconsistencies I arrived to a terrible conclusion, all the mess with formats is caused by brands, every brand use illogical methods to use 3D images when there are good 3D standards that avoid having to learn different things for every 3D device (or to make a different version of our 3D files for each device).

This includes 4V images having to rename files with _2x1 to be recognised, also videos using .h4v extension that you have to rename on your pc, when they actually works directly on the Leia devices with .mp4.

Also storing depth maps in the metadata, that is lost almost every time you copy or share, when there are standards created just for the use that 4V images require, you could store the 4 views on an MPO, and that will also be compatible with other 3D devices, which will read the first two images of the file.

But Leia is not the only device forcing us to learn how to deal and to convert our existing 3D content, almost every new device not being a 3DTV or 3D projector are committing the same mistakes, that were already solved more than 10 years ago (and 3D TVs, projectors, and old cameras already were using them, without inconsistencies).

I made an article explaining it with detail:
Let’s use the existing high quality 3D standards if we want 3D to return. We urgently need to switch to MPO and frame interleaved!

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Does MPO have any licensing fees?

This is not required on Lume Pad, 3D files are automatically detected.

This was a choice RED made for the Hydrogen One which doesn’t apply to Leia products like Lume Pad.

MPO actually has this same issue. Try sharing MPO files through Facebook Messenger or other social platforms and see the results for yourself. MPO is not a backwards compatible format, as many platforms that don’t support 3D do not recognize it as a 2D image, unlike Leia Image Format.

MPO also does not have full compatibility, that’s why we focus on supporting SBS, the most popular 3D format that is effectively supported everywhere.

If you want full support for 3D everywhere, you should push other 3D products to ship with real 3D cameras instead of 2D cameras or no cameras at all, as well as ensure that bigger brands like Sony, Disney, etc. continue to support 3D movies and push for interoperable 3D standards.

One reason we developed the Leia Image Format is so that we could work with other companies to adopt it as a standard in the face of the downsides of both MPO (lack of compatibility in apps, no image preview on most platforms) and SBS (shows a double image on 2D devices).

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I don’t find any licensing about MPO, so I guess is not needed

Depth maps of Leia are constantly lost when opening on some apps, or even simply copying the file.
You talked to social networks to support your format, but is supported because you told them, so you could perfectly talk with them to support mpo which is widely more used.
Anyway, if some website doesn’t accept mpo you can fake them by simply renaming the .mpo to .jpg…
And if the website modifies the image (like the case of facebook) you can upload the image to a image hosting website and publish the link instead (like we publish links to facebook, or imageshark), the preview will show the image in 2d. Yeah, is additional work, but better than losing the depth map when transferring the file while doing usual tasks.

Here I published a MPO file on Facebook:

Sure, any app that compresses images will have this issue, but this is not unique to the LIF format, it will affect any filetype that has metadata, including 3D filetypes that are treated like 2D on such platforms like MPO.

This is not correct. We have not spoken to any other platform to support LIF, and I don’t believe if we did, they would work to support it. LIF was designed from the ground up for maximum compatibility. It works in these places because we designed it to do so, not because others did work to support it.

MPO is a mostly abandoned format. Many enthusiasts have older devices that support it like the FinePix W1/W3 or the Nintendo 3DS, but 3D devices in the last decade that have come out that capture in 3D do not support it even if they have 3D capable cameras. For example, Lenovo Mirage camera does not capture in MPO, nor does Vuze XR, VR headsets with stereo cameras like Valve Index and Vive Pro/Cosmos/Pro 2/Focus 3 don’t capture MPO, etc.

Despite this, we went out of our way to support MPO playback because some of our users have a lot of photos they’ve taken with older cameras.

That is an extra step that is not required for LIF, they simply just work on those websites and apps.

If you’d like pictures that you’ve captures to be in MPO format to use with older legacy 3D devices, you can easily use an app to convert them from SBS to MPO.

The difference is, that LIF can be transferred through many simple methods successfully, including email, and can be shared and previewed visibly in 2D on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. without needing to use an additional image host.

The depth map in the LIF isn’t very important for most users. It can even be instantly recomputed on a Leia device from an SBS export from the original LIF image if it’s lost when sharing to a platform that compresses the image down to 2D. Or of course, you could just use the original LIF file.

For those who do find value in depth maps though, we will have additional creator tools for depth maps coming later this year. Depth map export is already available in LeiaPix Converter.

  • LIF format also need additional work to avoid losing depth information.

  • MPO is not abandoned, today is supported by more Apps and social networks than 5 years ago. In example, the new private social network: MeWe, supports MPO. And precisely is a crime that new cameras still using SBS that is not convenient for 2d users and is that what impede the spread of 3D anywhere. Repeating the same mistakes using solutions from the very beginning of Digital 3D era, instead using 3D standards every time is what causes 3D doesn’t. 3DTVs and 3D projectos (remember new 3D projectors appear every month) use 3D standards, they support MPO. Cameras and other devices, use each one a different file format, why to use each different file format instead using the existing standard? Is their fault. Even more, as I said MPO is more supported today than when 3D was still a big thing.

  • If you don’t like MPO you can use this future-proof standard: HEIF. That files don’t lose the additional images, videos, metadata, etc, when you share them. And because is the standard file format for iPhones, you can bet for sure that every day will have more support. It can even store both the 4 views alone and the depth map, and you can do even more things, so your 4V images can have a lot of possibilities to work with it. And you will know there will be supported.

No it doesn’t. In many cases, like sending images in emails or using any platform that doesn’t compress images, all data is retained. In cases where it is compressed, the user is sharing using 2D platforms for viewing on other 2D devices, so the lost additional information doesn’t matter. They also retain the original LIF file too, so nothing is lost at all.

MPO on the other hand has no official support for depth maps at all, all manufacturers would have to simply decide something arbitrary like every 3rd image in a sequence can be a depth map, which would break compatibility with some older 3D devices which expect all images to be part of matched stereo pairs. For example, some older 3D lenses for Samsung cameras capture MPO with two matched stereo pairs within them for a total of 4 images, one low resolution and one high resolution. Should depth maps then be the 5th image?

Depth maps are also not the only kind of data stored in 3D file formats. MPO is not extensible and doesn’t support a variety of features that LIF has or may want to add.

MPO has been abandoned as a capture format. None of the cameras I listed shoot in MPO. Even major platforms that support stereoscopic devices like Meta haven’t added MPO support to their products like Instagram or Facebook. Even Oculus Quest headsets that are natively stereoscopic don’t support MPO in 3D by default in the built-in image viewer, you have to download a 3rd party application and view MPO’s through there.

It is fully supported in LeiaLink and LeiaPlayer, and the depth maps are decoded for high-quality 3D from Apple devices. The main issue today is that it’s not backwards compatible nor is it supported everywhere, so capturing in that format has significantly more downsides than benefits (the only major benefit would be a smaller file size). Here is a list of browser incompatibilities, for example:

If you use first two images for left and right, you can use the other 3rd, 4th and so for whatever you want, stereo 3D devices will open only the first two images

I don’t consider VR headsets as 3D devices, they also won’t support your LIF.

3D Blu-ray is the most standard 3D format and some new monitors doesn’t support it and support the old HALF-SBS (sic…), does it means that because new devices are ignoring the standard should be the 3D blu-ray abandoned and return to half-SBS? NO, just because some brands are doing the wrong things with 3D doesn’t mean that every brand should repeat the same mistake. That brands that use the standards, their devices will have more future than devices not using it.

What newer devices not using standard 3D people are still using it? What old 3D devices using 3D standards people are still using it? Look the Panasonic 3D1 and the Fuji W3 are MUCH OLDER than newer 3D cameras, but they use MPO and even being older people keep using it, and newer 3D cameras are lost in a drawer, people stop using them even if quality is better and allow taking better low light photos than old 3D cameras (some even purchased the newer thinking to replace the older, and still abandoned the newer to continue using the older).

At least you should offer an option in Camera settings to save the photo pair in MPO format, I’m pretty sure a lot of people will activate it.

Once again, someone needs to go convince everyone on an unofficial standard for depth maps, disparity maps, mattes, and other data within the pre-existing MPO standard in a way that doesn’t break backwards compatibility. Maybe you can start by proposing one for enthusiasts to follow, then maybe other manufacturers will follow suit.

With a simple tap in LeiaPlayer, you can share images taken on Lume Pad in a format that’s compatible on every VR headset in circulation.

It is also, unfortunately, an abandoned standard. The Blu-ray Disc Association is no longer licensing the 3D spec to new Blu-Ray player manufacturers. Even when they were, they haven’t allowed supporting 3D on their new disc standard, Ultra HD Blu-Ray.

I don’t believe there’s an objective “good” or “bad”, different people have different customers with different desires. For example, no one has ever asked us to add MPO support to LeiaCam. You are the first. On the other hand, I’ve seen many people online asking for a 3D camera on a competing 3D tablet that shipped with only a 2D camera. From my perspective, that seems like a very bad choice for a 3D product, something no one with any knowledge of the 3D field would support. But they shipped it anyway. Different customers want different things.

Most 3D products today that are released don’t natively play back MPO. For example, a brand new BenQ projector doesn’t have MPO support, but you can easily cast an SBS to it through AirPlay or Chromecast and if you press the 3D button on the remote it will work immediately. The new Acer Spatialabs laptop’s 3D media player doesn’t have MPO support. Looking Glass Portrait doesn’t have MPO support.

The FujiFilm FinePix W1/W3 group on Facebook has ~700 members, but the VR180 Camera Users group has ~2.4K members.

The entire National Stereoscopic Association group has 2.3K members. The 360 VR Video Professionals group has 12.2K members.

These numbers aren’t comprehensive, but it’s very clear that the market is moving on to newer standards. We’d like to support people where their demand is.

I’m not the PM of LeiaCam, but I’m sure if more people ask for it, it will be considered. Today, everyone who cares about MPO support can very easily convert their images to MPO.


“With a simple tap in LeiaPlayer, you can share images taken on Lume Pad in a format that’s compatible on every VR headset in circulation.”

While a bit off topic… I do have Oculus Quest 2: what is the simplest way to see a 3D picture from Lumepad in Oculus?

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You can use any app on their platform that supports 3D like Pigasus, Virtual Desktop, Big Screen, and more and play back SBS content exported from Lume Pad.