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Make 3D photos with any camera

   Maybe you don't believe it is even possible. But you should. It's possible and it is very easy. It is great to have a professional equipment for making professional 3D pictures, but you will be able to make good 3D photos by an ordinary camera or camcorder. How to do it? We will tell you in this article.

Related themes: 3D glasses , How to create 3D movies

   Don't miss: a short video-tutorial How to create a 3D photo.
   Before talking about making 3D photos, let's talk shortly about what target we want to reach - how exactly will our spatial (3D) picture look like. Everybody knows an ordinary photo - it's flat and it looks flat. 3D photo contains informations about the distance of every object on the photo from the camera. That's the reason why 3D photo doesn't look flat. But the title 3D is a little bit inaccurate - these pictures are stereograms (stereographs). You can see the objects on a stereogram in space, but you can't rotate the stereogram and see them for example from the back. It's not real 3D record, it's 'only' stereogram.
   For taking 3D photos you can use any camera - a digital camera, film camera and even a camcorder or webcam.  3D photo from Mexico taken by an ordinary digital camcorder It's similar to classical photo - if you have better camera (and you are a good photographer) then you have better pictures. In 3D photography it's necessary to transfer the taken pictures to the computer. It's easy if you have a digital camera or a digital camcorder. If you have an ordinary film camera you have to use scanner and with analog camcorder you have to use a special PC card for loading video. The best choice is a digital camera.
   The taken pictures are then modified in a computer with a special software - you can find it on our pages. You can order - and download here - it's full version, but there is limited FREE version as well here, which paints small circles and the text '3DJournal - FREE' to the finished picture. You can see 3D photos through special glasses, which you can buy with one of our subscribers packets. And one more important thing: We talk here about 3D photos which are made with an Anaglyph method (with red/blue glasses) - it's affordable for everybody. Similar procedures you can use for other methods as well. You can read about them in other articles here.
Let's begin
   First steps of making of 3D photos are the same as by taking of standard flat photos. You have to choose (or create) the right scene. To get 3D photo (stereogram) it's necessary to take two pictures - one from the position of your 'left eye' and the second from the position of your 'right eye'. It's easy. Just take a snap and then shift the camera a few inches to the right (or to the left) and take second snap. You can use a tripod, but it can be done without it as well.
   At the time of taking first and second picture the camera should be in the same height and to have the same gradient. If you bend the camera in the time between taking these two snaps, for example in the direction to the ground or to the sky (or in the way that the scene is sloped to the right or to the left), it will be difficult to make final 3D picture (and in the worst case even impossible).
   An useful advice how to shift the camera in the best way you can read in this article, more about taking of really good 3D photos here.
The scene
   Preparing or selection of the scene is a little bit more complicated in 3D photographing than in the case of normal 2D photos. To emphasize the 3D effect we recommend to select a scene, where are objects of different distance from the camera. If you, for example, take a picture of mountains far away, it's good idea to select a scene, where there is a tree or a big stone in foreground. The tree or the stone then emhasizes the 3D effect.
   The situation is simpler in the case you take a picture of a room. There you can usually find some thigs which are closer and some in longer distance. For example a birthday cake on the table before the group of children.
   When we are talking about children - there is one more important thing you shouldn't forget. The scene can't change between taking of the two pictures (the left one and the right one). If it changes then the two pictures don't show the same scene and creating of 3D photo is impossible. It could be easy to manage in many cases - people are used to be still when photographed and they can stay still two or three seconds longer. But it could be a problem for example with animals. In these cases you will need a special stereocamera.
Taking snaps
   After preparing the scene you can take the pictures. If you take a photo of a 'standard scene', you should shift the camera (between the first and second snap) for 3 inches - it's approximately the distance of human eyes.  The possibilities of shifting the camera If you take picture of objects which are in longer distance from the camera, you can shift the camera more, in the case of very near object you have to use shorter distance.
   There are two recommended ways of taking left and right pictures, but the first step is always the same: You choose one point in the scene (a tower far away, a tree nearby, your sister's eye). Then you can take the pictures in this way: The selected point is exactly in the center of the picture for the left and for the right picture. And the second way: On the second photograph you shift the point by the same distance you have shifted the camera. You can see it on the picture here. (First way is A, second is B). Don't forget that if the point is far away and you shifted the camera by 3 inches then the shift on the object far away won't be visible (we believe you can't recognize 3 inches on the tower 10 miles away). So you can direct the camera to the same point.
Tips and tricks
   The easiest way to make a good 3D photo is this:
   1) Select a good scene and then remember one point on the scene (a stone, a man, a tree) and try to get it to the vertical axis of the finder of the camera (look at the picture here).  The scene in the finder of a camera Good idea is to 'attach' it to a sign in the finder - for example to the cross in the center. Some cameras have special signs in the finder - the time, the distance etc. You can use one of them.
   2) Straddle to be stable. Take a first picture.
   3) Don't move your body - only the camera - by 2 - 3 inches.
   4) Check the position of the selected point (the stone, the man, the tree) - it should be in the same height on the vertical axis. Take a second snap.
   One more very useful tip how to shift the camera in the best way you can find in this article.
   If you can, then set the camera in the way it focuses all the scene. Cheap automatic cameras do it usualy in this way. It's unsuitable to focus only the main object of the scene for 3D pictures.
Create a 3D photo
   Transfer your photos to the computer and start the program 3DJournal (you can download it's free version from our pages ). It's easy to use. Just push the buttons at the right edge of the window of 3DJournal - the first button, the second button, the third button...
   First button loads the left photo, second one loads the right photo. Third button makes 3D picture. You should see mixed the original snaps and some red and blue 'ghosts'. Look at it using 3D glasses. Isn't it OK? No problem. Let's make a few corrections.
   Because of possible distortions by taking left and right photos by an usual camera without a tripod we've build software functions to the 3DJournal, which are able to correct most of the problems. You can use arrows to the up, down, left and right to shift one of the images, you can rotate it to get the best possible 3D picture. You can also make it black-and-white. And then... then save it to the disk.
   Detailed informations about how to use the program 3DJournal you can find in this article .
   And that's all. We recommend to try to do a few photos with the same scene and with different scenes. If you don't choose a complicated scene (very near objects, for example in distance shorter than 2 meters) and don't make a basic mistake (a big shift of the camera for example) you should be successful.
   This article is about the basics - and there is lot of thing to be said further. You can read it all in our other articles. Tips for making the best 3D pictures you can read in one of our articles - and one more important hint about how to easily get 3D pictures here .
   You may like: a short video-tutorial How to create a 3D photo.

Related themes: 3D glasses , How to create 3D movies

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