Sunday, March 29, 2009

How to Make a 3D Stereo pair in Photoshop

When I was in grade school, my classmate showed me his cool book, "The Magic Eye" where 3D dinosaurs pop out from random bits of colors and shapes. At first, I could hardly see the dinosaurs he was talking about, wondering maybe he was just making a fool out of me. Until I grew up and came across Stereograms. I was so surprised to see the images in 3D, finally.

It is hard to see the effect at first, takes some time to get it right. The technique is slowly crossing your eyes in a relaxed manner. Do not force your eyes into the image if you don't get it right in the beginning. When you've learned the technique, the rest becomes much easier. The visual experience is truly amazing.

A stereo pair is another version of a stereogram, an illusion of three-dimensional depth is created using two identical images but slightly angled differently. The eyes fill up the "empty" spaces to create the illusion using the cross-eyed method. There are many ways of producing the effect, and there are also many pieces of research about the topic on the internet, you can google them if you are interested to read on further.

I made my own version using my recent illustration study for a corporate invite in the photo above.

The steps are simple, follow the steps below to match with the photo above:

a. Select an image that can be viewed in 3D easily. Images that have depth and perspective work best.

b. Duplicate the image by copying into another layer in Photoshop. Make sure the distance between the object is at about 2 inches. Or, if you have mastered the technique of seeing a stereogram, you can adjust the distance by trial and error - moving the second image to the left within the desired 3D depth.

c. Try to cut out each part separately for the first object. In this case, we are separating the chair, then slightly move it to the right, transform or skew it slightly to show it at another angle, or use trial and error using the cross-eyed method until the desired depth is achieved. Clean up and fix missing parts using eraser and stamp tool.

d-e. I want to have the wings and dress depth in 3D, so I cut them out and slightly moved them to the right or left, depends on the order I wanted them to be: to the left when it's closer, to the right if it's farther away to the back.

f. This is a guide on what to expect when viewing 3D using the cross-eye method: while crossing your eye slowly, try to merge the two images together until a single image form in between. The 3D "floating" effect can be viewed this way.

Happy viewing!


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Nebz said...

I so love 'Magic Eye'!

Saw your blog from PBBY. Your artworks are impressive. I mean it.

Serj said...

It's like opening Pandora's box, isn't it? :-)

Thank you for appreciating and dropping by my blog!