Making 3D Slides


Bruce Goren, CIS's resident stereoscopic maven, contributed these tips on what to do with your 3D images (Bruce inspired and prodded us so much we automated much of what follows, allowing both this and actual on screen stereo viewing, but we included it here for reference and a brief tutorial.)

I use a Targa 32 video card and TOPAS graphic software, moving the viewport or imaginary camera left and right to create two separate views of the stationary object in x,y,z, space. The distance between the two views, known as the inter-ocular distance, toe-in or convergence angle, is critical. It makes the difference between good 3-D and headache- generating bad 3-D.

For a 3D fractal landscape, I created and photographed the left and right eye views as if flying by in an imaginary airplane and mounted the film chips for stereo viewing. To make my image, first I generated a plasma cloud based on a color map I calculated to resemble a geological survey map (available on CIS as TARGA.MAP). In the 3D reconstruction, I used a perspective value of 150 and shifted the camera -15 and +15 on the X-axis for the left and right views. All other values were left to the defaults.

The images are captured on a Matrix 3000 film recorder -- basically a box with a high-resolution (1400 lines) black and white TV and a 35mm camera (Konica FS-1) looking at the TV screen through a filter wheel. The Matrix 3000 can be calibrated for 8 different film types, but so far I have only used Kodak Ektachrome 64 daylight for slides and a few print films. I glass mount the film chips myself.

Each frame is exposed three times, once through each of the red, blue, and green filters to create a color image from computer video without the scan-lines which normally result from photographing television screens. The aspect ratio of the resulting images led me to mount the chips using the 7-sprocket Busch-European Emde masks. The best source of Stereo mounting and viewing supplies I know of is an outfit called Reel 3-D Enterprises, Inc. at P.O. Box 2368, Culver City, CA 90231, tel. 213- 837-2368. My platform is an IBM PC/AT crystal-swapped up to 9 MHz. The math co-processor runs on a separate 8-MHz accessory sub-board. The system currently has 6.5 MB of RAM.


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Noel Giffin,
noel@triumf.ca