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Make 3D Photos w/a Regular Camera - Part 4

Updated on December 6, 2012
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Sam has been a foreign war soldier, a writer of books and articles, an illustrator and a graphic artist. He also reads and plays the piano.

"Desert Tower" by Yours Truly - Painted with PhotoShop
"Desert Tower" by Yours Truly - Painted with PhotoShop

In the last hub of this series, I demonstrated how to make 3D photos of mountains and clouds by snapping two pictures a few feet apart. I warned that this creates jumbled foregrounds, but I also promised I would write another article showing how to remedy that situation, if desired. As I mentioned in that article, it really isn’t necessary to create a compatible foreground in order to see the mountains and clouds in their true 3-dimensional glory. But there may arise situations in which you will want the whole picture to be reasonably free of aberrations.

Watch the illustration that comes with this article as I describe the process (the camera angles are exaggerated due to foreshortening): When you go to take a picture, make a mental note of a spot in the distant background of the area you wish to photograph. Also, you must draw an imaginary horizontal line through that point - to the left if you’re going to move right for the second picture, or to the right if you’re going to move left. As you position your camera, take note of the central area in your foreground that will be in the picture.

After you take the picture, move right just a few inches if the foreground is close, or perhaps a foot or two if the foreground is further away. Now, position your camera horizontally to put the previously noted foreground point at the same center mark of your camera’s view window. Also, adjust the vertical position so that the central point of the view window is at the same elevation as the first picture you took, as aided by remembering where you drew the imaginary horizontal line for the first background picture. Snap your second picture while the camera is in this attitude.

Now, move eight to twenty feet to your right, depending on how far away your background is, and snap your third picture while looking at the same central point of the background you established in your first picture.

This may seem like a lot of things to remember while the clouds are moving, but you’ll get better and faster at doing this with practice. The movement of the clouds won’t matter too much if they’re moving slow; it may just show up as not being where they truly were at the time of your snapshots. If you had two cameras, you could snap the outer two pictures at the same time, then take your time in snapping the second foreground picture. A third alternative (if you have one camera) is to snap the two outer pics first, and then do the second foreground pic, as you won't be needing the top part, as described below (As I mentioned in Part 3, a general rule of thumb in knowing how far to move for the background pic is: move until you see a small separation or shift between two distant mountains or hills that overlap. Also, as I mentioned before, there's no need to use a tripod; most "misfires" can be solved by cropping one pic to fit the other.)

At home, open the three photos. Leave your first photo as is, and work with the second foreground photo. Isolate the foreground along a credible line - that is use the outlines of flowers or trees, or rocks or houses. Cut out that foreground and paste it into the foreground of the third picture. You may need to erase certain mid-range objects in the third picture, but PhotoShop or Corel Photo tend to make that task quite easy these days. Some of the mid-range objects in your first picture can be copied and pasted into the third picture to avoid a “transparent” look, but this tends to make those objects look like they were cut out of a piece of paper. So use this technique sparingly, unless you can widen or make narrower the copied object, which can subdue that illusion.

Flatten the image after you’ve tested it. Discard the original second foreground picture, print the first and last one (the edited one), and view them the way I showed you in my last article. Enjoy!


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    • profile image

      TajSingh 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi! Thanks for sharing your knowledge on how to create 3D photos.

    • Bercton profile image

      Bercton 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      very interesting