It seems that just about everyone recognizes those fuzzy red and blue pictures as 3D images. What most people do not realize, however, is the ease with which these images can be produced at home. While you do need a camera and some basic photo-editing software, you won’t need to purchase any costly professional 3D image-creation tools. The following steps can help you make 3D images using modern technology that you already have access to or likely even own.
1. Choose a suitable subject for a 3D image. Though you can turn any scene into a 3D image, some subjects will be much better suited to 3D viewing. A photograph of your hand resting flat on a table, for example, can be rendered in 3D, but the final image will be unimpressive because there is little in the image that actually stands out. Alternatively, a picture of a finger pointing directly into the camera lens would make an excellent 3D image.
2. When taking your pictures, you will need to keep your subject motionless in one spot for several minutes. Using a camera tripod, take a normal picture of the subject, then move the camera and tripod slightly to the right and take another shot of the subject from this different angle.
3. Edit the pictures. The two images will now need to be slightly edited. Using a photo-editing computer program, such as Adobe’s Photoshop, convert both images to black and white. Once the pictures have been converted, work with the brightness and contrast options in the program to draw out the highlights and details of your subject. You should perform the same editing procedures on both images, avoiding mismatched tone and shading qualities between the two. See the instructions pertaining to your photo-editing software for all of these operations.
4. Prepare the photographs for the 3D rendering process. Using your photo-editing software, color the “left” image a light shade of blue (the color cyan, specifically), and the “right” image a light shade of red. While you can perform this procedure in a variety of ways, it is most easily done by applying a colored filter over the entire image. See your photo editor’s instructions for performing this operation.
5. Merge the two images into a single picture as instructed by your photo-editing software. You may need to experiment with transparency levels in the two images to make a perfect 3D image, but you should now be able to view the new image with a pair of 3D glasses.