The following is a brief and
edited summary of on going research at Micro Lens Technology into methods of
producing dimensional images. This paper details the use of your single
lens digital camera to take “record” a succession of images, which can be
down loaded to a computer, interlaced into a single image, printed and
combined with a lenticular lens sheet to produce a 3 dimensional image with
attributes of the original scene.
Early research by Lo, Wu,
myself and others into how far apart lenses can be to take a succession of
images for producing 3 dimensional images revealed a surprising fact on how
close they should be to make good 3 dimensional images. Placement of lenses
on the 4 lens Nimslo and 3 lens Image Tech amateur 3D cameras was a
compromise to fit into the camera box and expose ˝ frame 35 mm film.
With knowledge of the
spacing of the camera lenses and exposure devices, a lenticular sheet was
Research by Dr MacElveen on
projection of 3D images also revealed the same fact. MacElveen, an
optometrist by profession, disclosed that a one eyed man in theory can not
see depth, but in practice does due to movement from blood pulsating thru
the one eye and his brain. It is difficult if not impossible to force
yourself into seeing a flat world with one eye.
Lo and Roberts used this
information to build devices to place cameras on, called Tracks, to take a
succession of photographs of a stationary or fixed scene with a single lens
camera for producing 3D images.
Work was also done on how
many exposures gave good 3D. With the armature camera, four exposures were
found satisfactory and later cameras with 3 lenses also worked. The amateur
camera took all images simultaneously so could be used for portraits and/or
scenes with movement. With the tracks and a single lens camera, it was
conceded that more than four images were better; the actual number was
debatable and was related to the configuration of the lens on the lenticular
sheet. The single lens camera was limited to still and fixed scenery.
distance between each image is still a mostly undefined number as it is
related to distance to the key subject, lens configuration and number of
images to be taken. Most of all, distance the camera moves between each
image is related to what you prefer in your finished 3D image. Large camera
movement gives exaggerated depth and a more "jumpy" finished image, while
closer distances give more natural and smother 3D images. A one degree
movement between images is a typical starting point.
The equipment one needs to
produce 3D images is (1) a digital camera, (2) a computer, (3) photo quality
printer and (4) lenticular lens sheet. It is expected you already posses
items 1, 2, and 3. Item 4, the lenticular lens sheet is available from
Micro Lens Technology, Inc.
For 3D images, pick a
subject to photograph, for example a flower, an automobile, a sleeping pet,
etc. and take four or more digital pictures in rapid succession. Hold your
camera firm and while shifting the camera a slight amount horizontally
between each shot. It is good to experiment and work your technique out.
For a flip image, simply
take two or three shots of different subjects. Again, experiment.
Download these pictures to
your computer and interlace all into one. If you are not familiar with
interlacing, please consult with Micro Lens Technology, Inc.
Next, print this interlaced
image as you would any photograph, and then lay the Micro Lens Technology,
Inc. lenticular sheet over the print to resolve depth. Please note
alignment of the images to the lenticular sheet is necessary.
If you are happy with what
you see, you can permanently laminate the lens sheet to your interlaced
print. Instructions can be found in the
lenticular help section of our web site.
For the perfectionist, a
track to hold the digital camera and control the movement may soon be
We have been amazed at the
image quality, 3D or flip, which can be obtained with a hand held digital
camera. After a few test images, a photographer gets a feel for the amount
of movement between shots which produces good 3D. With practice comes
uniqueness and perfection.
Even portraits can turn out
quite well if the time between shots is rapid. Some digital cameras
automatically take a series of shots which with practice on movement can
turn out very well
With flip images, practice
also makes perfect. One quickly finds what makes easy flips, like a common
background, being able to match the eyes up if two different people or
Please note this reference
to R & D work is placed on this web site to stimulate interest in digital 3D
photography. Please feel free to pass on your results and any comments.
Micro Lens Technology, Inc.
February 12, 2004
articles will address:
(1) How to pick the right Lenticular sheet for the right job.
(2) A comparison of the different common printing techniques used for
producing 3D images.
(3) Techniques of lens design.
Please note, if you have R & D articles to add to this collection, or if you
have questions, please contact KenConley@aol.com.