Monday, April 6, 2009

An Experiment with the Third Dimension

You know what just occurred to me?

In Photoshop, I often compose images in layers. I also often nudge those layers a little to the left or to the right, to get them to line up correctly.

The difference between left-eye perspective and right-eye perspective, in three-dimensional vision, is a shifting of elements in various "layers" to the left or the right.

It should be easy, then, to use Photoshop to compose rudimentary stereoscopic images.

I'm sure this has occurred to many, many people before me, but it felt like such an interesting idea that I decided to try it out.

This is obviously a clumsy doodle, but if you click to enlarge it, then sit back from your computer screen and relax (or diverge) your eyes, as if you were looking at something more distant, you ought to get a 3-D "composite" image between the two "ghost" pictures. You may actually have an easier time getting the images to overlap if you don't click to enlarge: less overlapping work for your eyes.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. It didn't take long to make that image (less than half an hour, from doodle to post). A better one wouldn't take a whole lot longer.

If you think it works, I can try to post a "step-by-step how-to" later this week.

6 comments: said...

In fact, I attended a 3D comic slideshow at the New York Stereoscopic Society where a speaker said that nudging the channels to make 3D comics was one of the first really good uses of the earliest versions of Photoshop. Look at Jason Little's blog for 3D examples. He has an eye-crossing 3D comic on his website, too.

Damien Jay said...

I was going to mention Jason also. Since Tom beat me to it, I will simply report that it was difficult for me to make the two images meet, but when they finally did, the 3D was working pretty good.

Isaac said...

I think I might have made the images too wide -- or maybe I need to put in some guidelines or something, to make it easier to match them up.

I've seen Jason's "Abduction Announcement," and I'm sure that's part of the inspiration here. Do you think he did that with Photoshop, or did he redraw the separate panels with a lightbox? His work is so precise that I'm almost willing to believe that he just redrew and adjusted as he drew...

Unknown said...

Worked well for me in only a few seconds (maybe the muscle relaxers helped). Very cool.

Mark Wenthe said...

Melikes. It worked perfectly almost instantly. I say, "Do more!" (please?). Also, seeing how there seems to be a fair amount of cartooning challenges (or exercises, if you prefer) between you and Mike, are you gonna urge him to do one too? Is there any chance of a short (say one page) 3-D comic in a future issue of Satisfactory Comics? I think it would be cool.

Isaac said...

Okay, new 3-D cartoon is up.

As for a 3-D comic in a new issue of Satisfactory, I'll have to give it some thought ... If we have a good reason to take the images into 3-D, though, we know how to do it now.