February 25, 2011
Aside from stereo cards and stereo pairs in books, Brian May’s OWL stereoscope may also be used to view the growing number of 3D videos popping up on YouTube. Watching Wile E. Coyote getting the crap beat out of him by cruel karmic fate is hella fun when it feels like you’re in the video.
For those who don’t have a stereoscope, YouTube provides other 3D viewing options: red-cyan, green-magenta or blue-yellow glasses, interleaved rows, columns or checkerboard, monitor, or (of which I am biased for) stereo pair. No compatibility for the polarized glasses you’ve swiped from the cinema.
I’ve been watching these videos on the YouTube app for iPad, which presents the videos at a more-or-less correct fit for the OWL. Going full-screen is not an option. Now while side-by-side stereo pair viewing does reduce the aspect ratio from widescreen to something close to 4:3, it maintains the true color of the video. When you’re watching a Looney Tunes clip, true color makes all the difference.
If you’re interested in ordering a stereo viewer, you can order an OWL from the London Stereoscopic Company. Alternatively, you could either learn to freeview stereo pairs or construct your own viewer, here and here.
Watching 3D videos with the OWL Stereoscope
February 23, 2011
There are certain books which you just have to have. For some, this could be a dog-eared and doodled-upon copy of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham or a neon-highlighted family Bible or (barf) a hardbound special limited edition of Twilight.
For enthusiasts of 3D or stereo photography – and I count myself among that ilk – there is A Village Lost and Found, written by Brian May and Elena Vidal. Describing itself as “An annotated tour of the 1850s series of stereoscopic photographs ‘Scenes in our Village’ by T.R. Williams,” the book is exactly what it says it is. A collection of stereo images from the dawn of photography is presented here, painstakingly curated and dissected by May and Vidal in a lavish 240 page volume. (more…)
February 4, 2011
So last Sunday I took a walk around the Tahanan Village park to test the Loreo 3D lens. It was a pleasant late afternoon, a bit of a nip in the air with the sun already low in the sky.
The usual groups of parkgoers were there, the Korean football players, the ultimate frisbee fanatics, the dog walkers and the au pairs with their wards, lots of different folks, doing the many different things you can do in a park.
Here are a few shots in both anaglyph and stereo pair formats. To view the anaglyphs in 3D, you will, of course, need red-cyan 3D glasses. For the stereo pairs, you will need a special viewer, or, you can try to free-view them, a la Magic Eye posters.
Headstand / Handstand
Headstand / Handstand Anaglyph
February 2, 2011
As promised, here are the photos from my Loreo 3D Lens in a Cap unboxing. Descriptions to accompany the photos.
A clean white box, nondescript. but packed inside with stereo goodness. The lens comes with a pair of lens caps and a carrying pouch.
February 2, 2011
It must have been 2002 or 2003 when I first tried my hand at stereo photography, using a simple point-and-shoot digital, shooting at left eye:right eye positions then compositing into a stereo pair or anaglyph. I forget now what software I used, a free download for a Mac, but I do remember that first shot: the Summit Publishing office at the basement of the Robinson’s Galleria mall in Ortigas, where I used to work.
Since then, it’s been a love affair with 3D photography, well before the Hollywood hype machine started hailing 3D as the future of cinema, before Fujifilm and Sony started developing 3D digicams and before consumer 3D monitors were commercially available. In the last two years my main gear have been my twin Nishikas, but years before I found those I had already noticed a small manufacturer from Hong Kong called Loreo.
Loreo had made a reputation for itself in its line of xxx-in-a-cap lenses, lo-fi plastic lenses that were inexpensive yet interesting. Among these was the Loreo 3D Lens in a Cap, this strange looking plastic gadget with two rectangular portals with mirrors as its eyes. Essentially a beam splitter, this lens would take stereo pair photos just as your eyes would, left side – right side.
I managed to inspect one during a trip to Hong Kong but wasn’t particularly impressed with it. The build quality seemed a bit too Holga for the price, so despite wanting a 3D lens badly, I decided to pass. I found out soon enough from the Loreo website that a new and improved version of the lens would come out, so I made up my mind to just wait a while.
The wait took about a year, due to manufacturing delays, then the unavailabilty of spare funds (damn you, my vintage Olympus PENs!). Finally, things fell into place. Funds were available and my in-laws were in Hong Kong. After a short email exchange and a Paypal payment, my lens was on its way via courier to the Park Lane Hotel. A day later, my in-laws were back from their vacation and I had my lens, the superior Loreo 3D Lens in a Cap model number 9005A.
A mighty shout out to Andrew Wu of Loreo who facilitated the quick delivery of the lens and kept in constant communication throughout my buying process. Thanks, too, to Connie Pong for seeing that the delivery was made.
I, in the meantime, will be enjoying my new lens. My friends and I have dubbed it Wall-E, which is apropos because a) it kinda looks like the Pixar character, and b) if you stare at a stereogram wall-eyed your brain will register it as 3D even without the viewer.