3D is a hot new fad, but the fact that viewing things in 3D often requires special glasses is a huge deterrent to people who would otherwise embrace the technology. Well, a guy named Jonathan Post invented this awesome new way of viewing 3D on 120Hz monitor displays that simulates 3D Active Shutter Glasses. Maybe in the future we’ll be walking around in galleries viewing 3D photographs with blue and red devices attached to our temples.
This technology is obviously not a joke, clearly not creepy, and seems destined to become the next big thing.
The big camera corps are dumping a huge number of new compact cameras at CES 2011. While many are standard upgrades to bring their cameras up to par with what consumers expect nowadays, there are some that stand out for one reason or another. Some of Sony’s new compact cameras (the DSC-TX100V, DSC-TX10, DSC-HX7V, DSC-WX10 and DSC-WX9) are unique in that they can shoot 3D photographs with a single lens and sensor. The trick is that two separate photographs with different focus settings are captured and combined to produce a 3D look. The DSC-WX10 (shown above) is also the world’s first compact camera capable of 1080/60p video recording. These cameras will be available for between $220 and $380 starting in March 2011.
Zebra Imaging is a company that creates amazing 3D holographic prints called ZScapes, allowing viewers to view a scene in 3D without any special eyewear. The above shows a print made of downtown Seattle, with the building in the print appearing to be about 10 inches high. Over 8,000 of these futuristic prints have already been created for the US military, but what excites us more is the possibility of this being a glimpse into the future of photography. Perhaps later generations of photographers will be capturing 3D photographs and displaying their work through 3D holographic prints. We’ll be telling our grandchildren, “when I was your age, prints were in 2D!”
The folks over at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have created a camera modeled after a fly’s eye that provides a 360° view of the world. Packed with the 100 small cameras, what the camera captures is combined on a computer to provide a single 3D view of the world. Read more…
One day, ordinary digital cameras might be able to capture not just the image of a scene, but the depth information of that scene as well, allowing 3D representations to be built afterward. UC Davis visualization researcher Oliver Kreylos took the Microsoft Kinect webcam-style sensor and built such a camera. The video above shows him demonstrating how the scene can be viewed in three dimensions after combining the information from the device’s infrared and color cameras.
Back in September we featured a creative technique that used an iPad to “light paint” 3D objects and text. Now there’s an app called Holographium that allows anyone to light paint words with an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. All you do is provide some text, start taking a long exposure photo, and then drag your iPad (or whatever iDevice) through the photo while the app slowly displays the various slices of the text. The resulting photograph will show the text spelled out in 3D and floating in the air. Read more…
Nikon is a player in the 3D game now, though not by releasing any 3D-capable camera. Instead, they’ve announced my Picturetown 3D, a 3D conversion and sharing service for registered members of their photo sharing and storage service my Picturetown. The service can take your boring old-school 2D photographs and convert them into 3D for you.
Converted images are viewable on a special viewer — the NF-300i — provided to subscribers for the duration of their membership (you can’t buy the viewer). For ¥1,995 per month (~$25) or ¥19,950 per year (~$247) you can borrow the frame from Nikon and have three photographs converted. Converting additional photographs will set you back ¥300 (~$4). It’s only available in Japan for now, with no word on whether it’ll ever be available elsewhere.
Super nerd Doctor Popular recently did a wiggle stereoscopy experiment using two Flip video cameras and $10 in nuts and bolts, filming himself doing yo-yo tricks at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Wiggle stereoscopy is when images from two slightly offset points of view are quickly alternated, resulting in a 3D effect that does not require special glasses to view. A few months ago we shared the world’s first music video that utilized the technique.
Here’s a photograph showing the rig that was used to film this. The footage was combined afterward using Final Cut Pro’s Blink filter.
Be warned — some of you might find watching this kind of thing pretty nauseating.
This morning Japanese toy maker Takara Tomy announced the 3d Shot Camera, a simple toy camera that lets kids shoot 3D stereoscopic photos, print them out, and view them using special fold-up viewer. All that is pretty cool and dandy, but now comes some of the downsides: the camera costs $70, and only weighs in at 0.3 megapixels. Shucks.
A recent fad in advertising is to use 3D projection mapping on buildings at night to create jaw-dropping effects. The above video shows an ad Samsung ran on a historic building in Amsterdam to promote the Samsung 3D LED TV. A perfect representation of the building is first projected onto the actual building, and then mind-blowing things begin to happen.
Have any of you seen one of these demonstrations in real life?