3D photography has been around for over 150 years capturing the history in depth! Being able to add depth to flat images is something somewhat magical, although it’s something we are doing all the time with our eyes without even noticing! It could also be very helpful when capturing reference images when you can also capture the volume of the object.The digital age has made a lot of things easier and Stereo Photography has a much bigger fan base now due to the simplicity of producing 3D images, however, for many it’s still an expensive process.
Having two cameras and setting up a rig could also be a little complex, and the 3d stereo digital compact cameras are a little too pricy for what they’ve got to offer! The good news is if you are really interested in taking a few 3D photos and experiment with this technique, for most cases and when shooting static objects, one camera is more than enough! All you need to do is to take two photos with a little offset! It’s better to set the camera to manual control so the photos look as close as possible in terms of the exposure. This works best for landscapes and architecture.
The distance between the lenses (or in this case the lens for each photo) represent the distance between the human eyes. It’s called the inter-pupillar distance or inter-ocular distance. The greater this distance the greater the 3D effect.
After you are happy with the photos taken, import them in Photoshop and copy both in one project.The right eye is sometimes chosen as the primary eye or “hero” eye (The photo taken from the right side*). Make sure this photo is on the top layer; select and go to the Blending Options (right click/double click). Disable the red channel and click ok.
Now you need to line up the photos and choose your convergence point. Wherever the photos are aligned becomes the screen plane, and from there the object/s will appear to come forward or behind, i.e. if the convergence point is on the nose, then the mouth is coming forward and the hands are going inwards from the surface of the screen. There you have it! Your very own 3d photo! All you need is a pair of anaglyph glasses easily available from eBay or Amazon (red & cyan).
*if the 3d image looks a little strange then change your hero eye