Thursday, July 31, 2003

Anybody need a headache?

Over at J-Walk I found a link to a site (Warning: some arty nudity) that uses animated .gifs to portray 3-D images. Neat, but somewhat nauseous if you look at it too long. But I don't know how original an idea it is because I found this later searching Google.

I've been fascinated by orthostereography since I was a little kid looking at Viewmaster reels. A few years ago I found out I could look at reproductions of 19th century sterographs and see the 3-D image without using any kind of viewer. The downside was a headache and nausea that seemed to last hours.

I read in a book that it's possible to take 3-D photos with any regular camera by simply aiming at your subject, putting your weight on one leg, taking a photo, keeping the subject in the viewfinder, putting your weight on your other leg, and then taking a second picture. Supposedly astronauts used this technique on the moon. I've tried it and it does work, but the end result was the same headache and nausea mentioned above. A similar way to take 3-D photos is described here. Two other 3-D photographic resources are here and here.

Why hasn't some company marketed a consumer-grade 3-D digital camera and stereoscopic viewer? Something like this shouldn't be anymore expensive than a digital snapshot camera. Failing that, you could probably make a decent digital 3-D camera by taking two Pen Cams and duct-taping them together. (My father taught me well.)

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