Last week a reader dropped me an email asking how I create “wiggle 3D” animations from my lenticular camera photos. He’d recently bought a Nishika N8000 package complete with flash, case and Vincent Price video and was eager to try his hand at it. Here, then, for all you Nishika users out there, is my workflow.
Step One: Create Individual Frames
The Nishika N8000 produces four frames simultaneously, each one slightly different from the others due to how its four lenses are angled. I usually get my scans back from the developer like this:
After post-processing (which I won’t go into), select and copy each of the four frames and save them as separate images. Just save them as jpg as these will be for Web use. Organize them into proper folders so you don’t clutter up your directories.
Step Two: Stack Frames
From the FILE menu, select SCRIPTS, then LOAD FILES INTO STACK. This opens your four frames as layers in a single image file. Make sure not to select “Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images.” We’ll be doing that manually in the next step.
Step Three: Align Images
Once the image opens, make sure your stacked layers are in the proper order. Select an anchor point from which to align each layer. I usually choose the subject’s eye or face. Play with the Opacity of each layer to make sure your alignment is correct.
Step Four: Crop Your Image
During the alignment process, you will invariably create gaps at the edges of your image. Make sure to crop your image accordingly.
Step Five: Animate Your Layers
Once your layers are aligned, open up the animation panel from your WINDOW menu. Click on the small pull down menu on the upper right of the animation panel and select “Make Frames from Layers.” This will create a four-frame animation 1-2-3-4. For smoother looping, copy frames 2 and 3 and paste into your timeline in this order: 1-2-3-4-3-2.
Step Six: Save for Web
From the FILE menu, select “Save for Web & Devices,” which allows you to save your image as an animated GIF. You may adjust the size and quality of your image before saving if you wish.
Here’s the finished product.