3D Photos FAQ

Information about 3D photos on my blog:

3D photos are posted on Thursdays. To view past blog posts containing 3D photos, click on the 3D label.

What's the best way to view your 3D photos?

For best results, click on the photo in the blog post to view it in full screen on a black background. Set the brightness of your screen/monitor to high and ideally have a dark backdrop behind your screen. Use standard red-cyan 3D glasses. If you open the photo in a new tab (control+click, or right click and select "open in a new tab"), you can zoom in to see it much larger. For photos of landscapes, items in the background (e.g. buildings/skyline) will pop out more as you zoom in closer (because your eyes can more easily distinguish the relative distances between the objects in the two images).

Where do I get red/cyan 3D anaglyph glasses?

If you don't have a pair kicking around in a childhood comic book, you can get them at the Comic Book Shoppe on Bank at Lisgar. They usually keep a few stocked on the shelves at the cash; they're about $3 or $4 each. Let me know if there are other places in Centretown where you can get them. You can also get fancy plastic-frame wraparound 3D glasses, which I've discovered don't really work if you also need to wear corrective lenses.

Image quality/3D effect:

Keep in mind that I am an amateur photographer who does this in his spare time; the quality of the 3D effect varies from photo to photo. I almost always include the left and right source photos, so if you think you can do it better, go right ahead.

How do you take the 3D photos?

Simple: with two cameras! I have two identical cameras, and I'll take the second one out to take 3D photos. I always hold the secondary camera on the left for consistency, which helps when processing the images. In a pinch, I'll use one camera and take a photo, then move it over a couple of inches to take another photo. (Obviously this only works for stills).

I still haven't quite figured out how best to take 3D photos. There are a few variables (e.g. how far apart to hold the cameras, how much to angle cameras inward) and they need to be applied differently depending on the nature of the subject (e.g. are the objects near or far, or both?). If I exaggerate it too much, the images can be too far apart for the brain to match them up, but if I don't exaggerate it enough, sometimes the photo seems flat.

How do you process the two images into a 3D photo?

I use the GIMP open-source photo editing software. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube to show how to do it. It's really quite easy.

The eyes are remarkably adept at compensating for error (i.e. skew in the wrong direction), so for most photos all I have to do is align them, rotate, adjust the colours, and crop. Because I don't save the GIMP file, I usually encode the rotational value into the filename. For example, "IMGP12345-3D-1_20.jpg" is a photo where I rotated one of the frames by 1.2 degrees in one direction or the other. Sometimes I'll do more elaborate stretching/skewing of the images to get things to line up better vertically.

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