Sunday, March 21, 2010

Next Gen 3D Photography

I receved a Fujifilm W1 camera for my birthday back in December. So cool! I've always been a fan of stereoscopic 3D. I think the recent adoption of 3D in theatres is fantastic. I'm excited to see it become mainstream enough that I'll be able to get a 3D TV soon.

Back to the camera. I own a Lorex 3d 35mm camera before the digital revelotion. I got it back before the digital revolution, and I barely used it. The quality of the camera wasn't that great, and I could never be bothered to develope film, even thought it was simply the standard 35mm print processing. I probably shot 3 rolls on it. The stereo viewer you used with the split-image prints was pretty cool though.

The W1 is so much better. Not only does it have all the benefits of a digital point and shoot camera, the built-in viewer displays in 3D! People are always amused by the 3D effect on the camera's viewscreen when I show them pictures I've taken of family or scenery. The fact that it doesn't require glasses also raises people's interest.

A great as the viewscreen is, there isn't any other way to share 3D pictures with people. Anaglyph has always sucked. No one you else you know has even heard of cross-eye or parallel viewing (and even if they did, they probably still have trouble with Magic Eye posters).

Fujifilm started shipping lenticular 3d photo processing printers, but the recommended site ( doesn't ship to Canada. Fuji also sells a digital 3d photoframe - but it's way too expensive to buy for each of the people I'd like to share pictures with.

Enter! This is a pretty typical web2.0 photo storing/sharing community site, with twist. Founded by Colin Davidson, a computer vision expert (Academy Award wining in fact), it features a nifty embedded viewer called Piku-Piku. This viewer ( the name apparently means 'twitch' in Japanese) uses a flip-book style display that gives a great impression of the 3d effec.

In addition to sharing via Twitter, Facebook, etc., etc., Start3D also lets you manage your albums with uploaded photos. It lets you upload left/right pairs of 2d images, and supports the ".mpo" format of the W1!

You can also embed your photos in a page like this:

(Katherine and Colin in their fortress!)

I hope to see a lot more from Start3D. It solves a big problem for 3d enthusiasts in a novel way, and once you're in there for photosharing, it's naturally poised to become a one-stop shop for things like lenticular prints (sadly still unavailable as of this post).

Maybe they can keep me in mind when they start up those services ; )

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