Illustrations/Digital Models: Making 3D Images

Discussion in 'Tutorials and How Tos' started by tikgnat, Jan 25, 2013.

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  1. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong. TFW2005 Supporter

    Jul 2, 2002
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    Beneath the Loft, London, UK
    Hi! As an old man and a child of the 80’s, I have a fascination with 3D Anaglyph photos. You know, the red/blue photos that give you a headache the more you stare at them. Well, stare at them enough and it won’t hurt anymore! Either that, or I’ve broken something in my brain . . . .

    Once upon a time, I used to slave over Photoshop making 3D pictures, but a while ago I discovered a program called Stereo Photo Maker, and it’s made what I spent years learning to do a piece of cake.

    You can download it from here:

    Stereo Photo Maker

    Once you’ve downloaded it, next make sure you have a pair of 3D glasses to hand. As you tinker with your photos, you’ll want to have the glasses close by so you can see what your changes are actually doing.

    Ready? Off we go!

    In a nutshell, you take two pictures, one representing the view from your left eye, and one from your right just looking straight ahead. Before you start think about what you’re photographing, make sure there’s not too much ‘pop’; if there’s too much difference in depth perception, no matter what you do, it’ll always strain your eyes.

    Start off with objects/shots with mild depth and work your way up. When you’re ready to take the first picture (left), frame the object in the center, toward the right. Try not to have it too close to the edge.

    Left Eye:


    Take the shot, and then move the camera to the right a few centimeters. You’ll find the object in your frame should have moved to the left, if you framed the first picture correctly, you should still have all the object visible; , if the object was too close to the left it might be out of shot now. Ideally, you want all the object in frame in both shots.

    Right Eye:


    If in doubt, take multiple pictures for the right eye. With the first ‘Left’ image as a base point, move the camera toward the right a bit, take a picture, then move it a little more, take another picture and so on. Once you have practice, you probably won’t have to take multiples, but starting out it’s a useful habit.

    Once you have your pictures we can move to the program. Open it and you’re presented with a black screen.

    Go to >File>Open Left/Right images.

    Open your first Left picture, then the right picture. You should now have both pictures side by side on your screen.

    Go to >Stereo>Gray Anaglyph>whatever setting best represents your glasses (red/cyan in my case)

    You should get something like this.


    Now that image is absolutely not ready for viewing, just looking at it through glasses will strain your eyes. Now, here’s the bit I spent years learning to do in Photoshop magically done for you.

    Go to>Adjust>Auto Alignment

    Wait for your computer to do it’s magic and then, BOOM! Instant 3D picture. If the picture isn't what you expected, try using another one of the Right pictures and see if that works. Early on with 3D pictures, trial and error is inevitable. If no combination works, you might have your Left and Right images mixed up. Handily the program has a swap L/R button.


    For something a little more advanced, try and rotate around your subject. To do this means you have to decide what your Focus point is, and rotate around that. For this example, my focus is the Scarlet Witch's left shoulder. Note as I move the camera toward the right, I keep that one part as close to the origin point as possible.



    Right 1:


    Right 2:


    Right 3:


    [Here it is] animated so you can see what I mean:


    For this process, taking multiples is pretty much essential, because when you add the pivot to the photos the likelihood of the 3D messing up increases. Run the Photos through the Stereo Photo Maker:

    Left and Right 1:


    Left and Right 2

    Left and Right 3:


    As you can see, the pictures using Right 2 and Right 3 aren't usable. The field of depth is just too great but looking at the pictures there appears to be very little difference. The Right 1 picture only used a slight amount of movement, but the added pivot is all it needed, adding the angle difference can give you the best results but its very easy to get wrong. The Auto Alignment feature will try its best to cope, and if it can’t there is a manual alignment page, but generally if Auto alignment can’t cope, the picture isn't usable.

    Now then, onto something I’ve only recently been playing with - color. Generally I steer clear of color in my 3D pictures as pictures with red/blue or green tend to mess up spectacularly.

    Now these two pictures feature left to right movement and a little bit of pivot:

    Warthog Left:


    Warthog Right:


    Warthog Anaglyph:


    However, this time I’m using color:

    Go to>Stereo>ColorAnaglyph>Setting

    From here you can fiddle with gamma, contrast, color settings to get what you want. In this case, I fiddled gamma up, contrast up, and selected ‘optimized anaglyph’ to give me this:

    Warthog Colour Anaglyph:


    Mess around with the program. It really is the best way to learn fast. I hope this tutorial was somewhat informative and you have fun messing up your eyes!


    I take no responsibility if you do mess up your eyes.

    (More of some of tigknat's examples are posted below here. ~Superquad7)

    Halo Cyberverse weapons:


    3D pictures in Photoshop:



    [One] I'm proud of.


    And here's one . . . done with the same program, but I fiddled more with the program and it came out really well.



    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2013
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