Arts, Crafts and Photographs in 3-D
If you read Arts, Crafts and Photographs then be comforted in knowing that you have most of what you will need for this second part of the project. And you will not need any special glasses or anything else to render it in "3-D" because it is based on naturally occurring properties of light with some help from you and an open mind.
Arts, Crafts and Photographs in 3-D is nothing more than assembling glass pebbles in different ways and using the light bending and magnifying properties of water to create the 3-D effect or as it is actually a better term, an optical illusion.
Part I: Arts, Crafts and Photographs, had you glue some glass pebbles or marbles to one glass panel, then placing another glass panel on top of the first one and sealing the edges with the exception of the top with clear silicone and then filling this very thin "tank" with water.
This second project or part II will require that with the aid of a sharp utility knife, you cut away the silicone bond so that you can separate the two glass panels from each other. You should then add and glue more glass pebbles to fill in the gaps so that the panel onto which the glass pebbles are glued is completely covered with the glass beads.
You can alternatively avoid cutting the silicone and leave the two panels together and just add small colored gravel like the one used for fish tanks so that most of the gaps are filled in. Then re-fill this "tank" with water.
The second part involves getting artistically creative and get more glass pebbles but in a contrasting color as that of the ones that are inside of the tank and glue them to the outside of the front facing part of the "tank" in a design resembling a work of art such as a flower, a ball or anything else that captures your fancy.
Unlike the first project which had you place a dark to black background material on the outside and back portion of the "tank", you should use a white material on the back of the finished "tank" and shine a light source at it from behind and slightly below.
Because glass pebbles are translucent the light will give them an unusual luminescent quality. The water will bend the light and will create a magnifying effect upon the pebbles at the same time. This is what gives the illusion of being in 3-D.
The art work or design which you will glue onto the outside of the front facing panel: the panel that faces the camera, has no such magnification but it benefits from receiving some of the luminosity from the light source as the light passes through the glass pebbles or beads.
Because of the difference in magnification and illumination, it stands out. When photographed it gives the impression of "coming" out of the tank, thus 3-D.
Remember to use a light source in front of the "tank" that is weaker than the back placed light since you do not want to overpower one or the other, in fact having a weaker light helps the effect.
One of the two parts; the inside tank with the pebbles or the pebbles art work has to be substantially less brighter than the other in order to create the illusion of 3-D so decide this ahead of time or practice to see which set up works best for you.
Keep in mind that the best effect is achieved if the pebbles on the inside of the water filled tank have less light than the art work.
That is why you should use a diffusing white cloth material as a backdrop and you should use a narrow beam of light such as the one created by a photographic snoot on the front element or the art work.
Some other tips; use just enough clear silicone to glue the pebbles and not too much of it. Avoid drips. Use a zoom lens to crop the frame/edges of the "tank" out of the final image.
Another variation is to use a third glass panel and glue the art work to it. Place this third panel behind the one with the solid "wall" of glass beads and illuminate the art work from behind with a narrow beam of light placed rather close to it.
This gives a stronger illumination to the art work than the rest of the subject yet it still creates the 3-D illusion although not as pronounced.
Something else to consider is that the effect is more pronounced if the glass beads inside of the 'tank" are lighter in color than the beads used to make the art work.
Off course, all of these illusions can be digitally manipulated if your are so inclined and have the proper digital editing software such as Photoshop.
© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez
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