Thursday, June 30, 2011

Home 3D Imaging Without The Glasses

There are a variety of ways to view 3D images and videos depending on how the media content was created.
  • A pair of color films, one for the left eye and one for the right eye then optics to direct each of the to each eye. The viewing aparatus is fashioned like a binocular like those View Master toys.
  • 3D glasses where one lens is tinted blue and the other is tinted red. This is common in children's books.
  • Passive polarized 3D glasses like the ones used in SM 3D cinemas, Enchanted Kingdom 4D Theater and the IMAX theater in Mall of Asia.
  • Active shutter 3D glasses like those used in Sony, LG and Samsung LCD and LED backlit LCD TVs.
  • Holograms such as the authentication logo stickers on credit cards of Visa/Mastercard, Nokia batteries and HP ink refills.
  • Lenticular screens with a parallax barrier that splits images for the left and right eye like those used in the Nintendo 3DS and HTC Evo 3D. 
There's another method that you can use and play around with at home. No fancy gadget needed. See the samples below.

This is an old photo taken in the 16th infantry camp in the Philippines a long time ago. It is a good photograph but you can make it even better. Turn it to 3D !

Old Phil - Norm

The photo above is actually a scan of an old stereographic card that was originally taken using a stereoscopic camera (a kind of old camera with two lens separated the same distance as the human eye). A special apparatus was then used to view the two images simultaneously in the stereographic cards similar to what View Master toys do.

Old Phil - Stereo

But there's another way to view these stereoscopic cards without a need for fancy gadgets. It is called wiggle spectroscophy. To demonstrate, I combined the two images above and came up with this image where you can have a feel of the depth of the image and gives more umph to the old photograph.

It resembles that Matrix movie look on the scene when Trinity jumped and made her Karate Kid pose as time slowed down. This effect made my jaw drop the first time I saw it. You can do this at home using an ordinary camera or cellphone by taking multiple photos of the subject at slightly different angles then merging them like what I did with the wiggle 3D images below.

If you happen to see me taking photos while kinda dancing left and right, you may have just caught me framing my next wiggle 3D photo.

This wiggly stuff can be made easier. If current 3D gadgets like the Nintendo 3DS and HTC Evo develop an app that process the 3D image taken by the 3D camera to generate the wiggle image automatically.

A level higher in gadget development would be to combine the motion sensing algorithm of the XBox Kinect and the front facing camera of today's phones plus an app that tracks the user's head then adjusts the wiggle image displayed on the screen correspondingly. With this in place, you can take a slight peek of what's behind an image simply by tilting your head.

Of course for hard core photography, you can buy a Loreo 3D Lens in a Cap that fit popular DSLR cameras. Costs $93 to $150. Or buy a Fuji Finepix Real 3D camera, a Minoru 3D webcam. CD-R King displayed a 3D webcam a few months ago. or any of the soon to be released 3D smartphones and tablets such as the LG Optimus 3D, HTC Evo 3D or LG Optimus Pad 3D.

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