PSSCC 3D Blog

December Meeting Announcement

fairy-tale-frogNext weekend we gather once again to give thanks… I mean… to show off our photos. : )

Next Saturday our club photo contest theme is “Fairy Tales” and I’m sure you all have great photos of Fairies and of Tales, and of the Tails on Fairies, and such… so bring ’em, show ’em and win big, BIG prizes!

I’m going to bring a Google Cardboard Virtual Reality viewer that i got in the mail this week. Sadly, it’s not compatible with my phone, but if anyone with an Android phone wants to give it a try, you can download the Google Cardboard app from the Play store and try my viewer on Saturday.

At the meeting I’d like to take a minute to talk about our publishing policy regarding photos submitted for competition at our club contests. It’s never been stated explicitly that photos submitted for our private viewing are authorized to be published on the web. We should talk about it as a group, and determine an acceptable policy.

You may have noticed that the PSSCC.org website is pretty out of date. I had some trouble with WordPress, but that’s fixed now! Now, if I could just keep up with the content!

And finally, no meeting reminder would be complete without an exhortation to BRING FOOD! Get your tummy in shape for holiday excess by bringing a big bunch of something delicious to share. See the sign-up page to stake your claim on a food category.

See ya soon!

David

By |December 6th, 2014|Club Business|Comments Off on December Meeting Announcement

PSSCC Club Meeting Notes – January, 2014

We had our January Meeting on one of the stormiest days we’ve seen for a while.  Once we all dried out, we covered quite a bit of territory, as usual. Here’s a quick summary for those of you who couldn’t be there.

Club Business

The Senior Center where we meet has informed us that they would like to raise our rental rate from $10/hour to $15/hour. For the four hour rental period we reserved each month, that means a bump from $40 to $60 per meeting.  This is actually a significant discount from the $25/hour they normally charge, but since our dues have only just been covering our expenses, we’ll be most likely be forced to raise our dues next season to (probably) $30/year.  Our Treasurer, Brian Hogan, reported that we have (with the addition of one more club member’s dues that came in during the meeting) a total of $531 in our bank account. We won’t run out of money any time soon, but we’d also like to keep at least a $400 balance in the account, and the higher rental rate will send us down below that threshold unless we increase our dues.

There was also some discussion of finding another location to hold our meetings. A few places were suggested that might (or might not) cost less than we’re paying now. There also might be possible meeting places that would be further north, which would be closer to where most of us live. The process of finding a new place is going to take some time, and we don’t really have to make the move in a hurry, but a plea was made to the members to spend a little time looking around for options.

Show and Tell

Don Munsil brought a few things to show us this month. First he showed a Harry Potter 3D viewer and slide card set which was made by Viewmaster for Disney. The clever design of this viewer and the clever Viewmaster-like slides weren’t enough, so Stuart Turley (who formerly owned the set but traded it to Don for another even more obscure viewer) customized a second Harry Potter 3D view with achromatic lenses. These were shared with everyone during the break so we could make a side-by-side comparison of the identical viewers with different quality lenses.
Don also shared a set of German books with anaglyphic and traditional stereographic card images from Germany pre-WWII.

Photo Contests

Our PSSCC stereo photo contest theme this month was “Action” and our winners were as follows (see the photos on our PSSCC Contests page):

  • 1st – Shannon Milner’s black and white photo of a steam locomotive near Mt. Rainier.
  • 2nd – Shannon Milner’s photo of Mexican dancers in a parade.
  • 3rd – Walter Hughson’s photo of a falcon diorama at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Our competition to select images for the ISCC resulted in six images, with two images each from Shannon Milner, Bob Venezia and Stuart Turley. They’ll be submitted to the ISCC and we’ll announce their success as soon as we know.

Photo/Video Show

Bob Venezia shared some spectacular photos he took on the island of Kauai, and Jim Johnston showed a series of images of amanita mushrooms growing on the wooded grounds of his church. Don shared a few short videos, as usual. We started the round with another incomprehensible sci-fi  demo reel from our favorite producers of Russian sci-fi demo reels, Animatrix. We followed that with a fireworks show from Japan by filmed by Takashi Sekitani,  (more at http://stereoeye.jp/index_e.html,)  some vertigo-inducing footage of Kawai shot from an ultralight aircraft, and a segment of the German TV series “Jewels of the World” about Interlochen, Switzerland.

Don showed a series of 100 late 19th century images of Russia and Finland captured from stereoscopic cards. Our final video “dessert” was a short film by 3D master John Hart called “The Fast Life” that mixed time-lapse photography, still photography and even some abstract-ish photos into a memorable art film.

It was a great meeting as usual and we look forward to our next meeting on February 8th.

 

By |January 12th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on PSSCC Club Meeting Notes – January, 2014

PSSCC Club Meeting Notes – December 2013

Our December meeting was well attended and full of great photos and interesting info. For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a quick summary of what we covered.

Colleen Woolpert gave a presentation on a 3D viewer she’s developing. She wrote up some details which were posted earlier, including a photo of the viewer.

Sadly, the 2012-2013 ISC photo competition didn’t result in any ribbons for PSSCC. We came in 8th overall, which is respectable, but we’ve done better in the past. We’ll need to up our game this year.

Our recreational viewing  included some stunning photos of the Western Maryland Railroad by club member Stuart Turley, a set of 100 vintage stereoscopic cards of India circa 1902, and a couple of short films from the legendary John Hart. The first Hart film was extremely slow motion images of projectiles passing through lightbulbs, fruit and other small objects. The second was a psychedelic voyage through a variety of computer-generated fractal objects. We also enjoyed a film from the European Space Agency on the International Space Station. We also watched a segment of the IMAX film “Hubble 3D”  showing computer generated views of what it would be like to fly through space.

Our contest winners for December’s theme of “Celebrations/Costumes” can be seen on the  contest winners page. They were:

1st – Stuart Turley’s “Bubbly”

2nd  (tie) – Shannon Milner’s “Native” and Shannon Milner’s “Mice”

By |January 3rd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on PSSCC Club Meeting Notes – December 2013

TwinScope Viewer by Colleen Woolpert

TwinScopeThe TwinScope is a unique stereoscope for viewing stereographs or other side-by-side 3D prints (with combined maximum width of 8 inches). In designing the product, the aim was to replicate the viewing experience of the classic Holmes stereoscope, but in a museum-worthy hanging stereoscope for viewing stereographs that are not only hand-held, but also matted and framed, in exhibition cases, or otherwise displayed. Like the Holmes stereoscope, the TwinScope has a lens hood–in this case rubber, and large enough for eyeglass wearers–as well as prismatic lenses to give a clear, magnified view. A hanger incorporated into the wooden lens boards allows the TwinScope to hang on the wall or mount onto a pedestal. Focus is achieved by looking through the TwinScope and adjusting ones distance to the stereograph from 6-8 inches away. Additionally, when the TwinScope is turned upside-down, the hanger becomes a handle for hand-held viewing of loose stereographs (the handle will be lengthened thanks to feedback from a PSSCC member), offering a robust alternative to using fragile historic viewers.

TwinScopes were first used in an exhibition produced on the history of the stereograph for the Onondaga Historical Association earlier this year (http://colleenwoolpert.com/Sight-Unseen) and have been purchased locally by the University of Washington Special Collections, the Henry Art Gallery, the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum…and by one PSSCC member at the December club meeting! For more information, or to purchase a TwinScope ($150 at this writing), contact Colleen Woolpert directly at .img@.img or (315) 412-5890.

By |January 3rd, 2014|Products|Comments Off on TwinScope Viewer by Colleen Woolpert

PSSCC November Meeting Notes

Once again, here’s a quick summary of our November meeting for members and friends who couldn’t make it to the meeting.

Club Business

Club Treasurer, Brian Hogan, reported that we’re in good shape financially, with nearly all the annual dues paid for active members, and roughly $500 in the bank.

The PSA Journal’s recent issue included their selections for the 2012-13 images of the year, featuring one from our very own Bob Venezia!

Bob mentioned the possibility of hosting an exhibition of photos locally for public consumption. More information to come soon!

Club Competition

We judged our November photo club contest, which was centered on the theme “Harvest”. Check out the Competition Winners page for details.

Exploring 3D

Don Munsil took us on another short journey through his eclectic collection of 3D treasures, including his newest acquisition, Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell by Brian May (Amazon.com $42.56). He showed some new iterations of the classic Viewmaster viewers, and attempted to sell, then give away, some “Color Code” viewers, but there were no takers… at any price. He had a little better luck when he auctioned off some CD’s of “Golden Age” stereographs.

Some club members shared their recent work with the group. Bob Venezia showed the movie he’s working on showing time lapse images of carnival rides and David Brown showed some images he’d made using his cell phone.

Don shared some movie excerpts from Monsters University, and a delightful 3D short called “Blue Umbrella,” both from Disney. We also watched an informative and slightly unsettling 3D film made for Imax theaters called “Space Junk 3D” as well as series of Underwood and Underwood still photos of Ireland c.1905.

 

By |November 21st, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on PSSCC November Meeting Notes

PSSCC September Meeting Notes

After our summer break, the PSSCC had a great start to the season at our monthly meeting in Federal Way. For those not able to attend, here’s a (very) brief summary of the discussions and events.

Club Business

Don Munsil, club president and host-extraordinaire, started the meeting with show-and-tell. He brought several items from his extensive collection of 3D stuff, including:

  • The Wonders of the Stereoscope, by John Jones (view on Amazon)
  • 3D Grand Trumps Tarot Deck, by Davide Corsi (view on Amazon)
  • An Album of Stereographs, by  William Culp Darrah and Richard Russack (view on Amazon)
  • A cool, high-resolution (1080+) phone by Oppo

Don also re-booted the clubs tradition of distributing prizes for the photo contest winners. (Thanks Don!) Included in the vast treasure-trove are:

Food

We spent a good amount of time discussing our tradition of providing lunch during the meetings, and the logistics, costs and equitable distribution of responsibility. Various ways of encouraging volunteer participation for bringing food were kicked around, and in the end, it was decided that we’d try to move forward with the new online food sign-up list on the website. Even before the conversation was finished, members of the club were seen signing up for next month via their cellphones.

Finances

From food, we moved on to money. Our new Treasurer gave a brief summary of our financial situation, which is actually pretty good. In brief, we have money in the bank and most of our members have paid their dues for this year. We discussed the pros and cons of paying for the room through June of this year, and the possibility that the club might move it’s meeting venue to somewhere closer the bulk our members, in the Seattle or Eastside areas. Moving would require the formation of a committee to investigate and evaluate alternate locations. The idea was tabled for the time-being. In the end, it seemed everyone agreed that reserving the room through June was a good idea, since moving would take a while to sort out.

The idea of a contingency fund to cover wear and tear on the slideshow equipment was also discussed. Most people were surprised to find out that each of the bulbs in our projectors cost about $300, and replacing them would be a significant challenge for our small bank account. That lead to some brainstorming about how to capitalize on the value of the club’s library of 3D artifacts and magazines that have been received as part of our participation in various photography clubs. Don volunteered to begin sorting through the boxes, one by one, and bringing them into the club to sell to help raise funds for our contingency fund.

Photo Competition

After lunch, we sat down to view our “What I Did Last Summer” photo competition. Our winners were:

  1. Bob Venezia’s fireworks image “Majestic Burst”.
  2. David Brown’s “Spider”.
  3. Shannon Milner’s “Boat”

The winning photos and artist statements have been posted on the competition winners page.

Exploring 3D

After our competition, Don shared some 3D demo reels from LG and Samsung created to showcase their 3D TVs. We also examined how photos from a rotating product display can be assembled into stereo images by pairing sequential images as left/right pairs. We also looked at many images taken over the summer by club members, and had an informative mini-workshop about how to reduce ghosting in high-contrast photos by adjusting the horizontal positioning of the pairs.

Looking Ahead

Next month our club competition theme is “Patterns”.

In addition, next month you can bring your entries for the ISC Competition.

By |September 15th, 2013|Club Business|Comments Off on PSSCC September Meeting Notes

The Hostas, by Bob Venezia

We asked Bob Venezia to share some details of how he created the hosta photos he showed at the June 2013 meeting.

As many of you know, my W3 is normally attached to my Cyclopital macro adapter. The adapter with the camera is a really fine combination and opens the door to new possibilities. Besides reducing the interocular spacing the adapter provides a hot shoe, opening the door to off-camera flash. And I love the off-camera flash!

I have a number of slave-able flashes and I was playing in the garden to see what effects I might get from backlighting leaves. The results from the hosta took me totally by surprise (the lesson here is that it’s important to play). The backlighting of the leaves was cool but what amazed me was the depth and texture that was revealed by the close-up 3D.

One of our hostas
One of our hostas as is.

When I shoot close up 3D in the garden I often bring a tripod, a couple of light stands, and a bagful of flashes. I stick a long dowel through the umbrella holder of one light stand and use this to drape some black velvet so I can limit my background. But for the hostas I dispensed with the velvet and filled my frame with layered leaves.

Camera on tripod
The camera on a tripod aimed low at the hosta.

An adapter on the hot shoe is used to connect a flash on a cord.
close up of hot shoe
Hot shoe with adapter and cord

using a leaf as a flash diffuser
Improvised light modifier!

The picture I showed at the meeting looked pretty good right out of the camera. Here it is trimmed for the stereo window.

stereo of hosta in color

To do the Black and White conversion I played with the Photoshop function Image→Calculations.

2013-07-10_the_hostas_B+W

(In this case I’m working on a flattened layer with both left and right images on the same layer.)

The Calculations dialog is set like this for the current image:

2013-07-10_the_hostas_ps_calculations

I chose the Green channel for a couple of reasons. This being a predominantly Green image the Green Channel was the brightest. And the Green channel Often has the best quality information in it.

I set the Result to be a New Document. Note that it will be created in the Multichannel format.

To get it back to RGB, choose ImageModeGrayscale, and then ImageModeRGB.

Now to go a little more crazy, I might duplicate the layer several times and experiment with filters, blend modes, and opacity.

And if you have the Topaz filters, you could use them to create an effect like this:

stereo of the hostas, with Topaz filters applied

And it’s just that easy!

By |August 10th, 2013|3D Education|Comments Off on The Hostas, by Bob Venezia

Museum Macros with a Cellphone

On my last visit to the Seattle Art Museum I decided to try to make some macro cha-cha photos with my cellphone. It was fun to put them together and it was  a good learning experience. I’ll explain what I did here, and what didn’t work very well.

The cha-cha technique, briefly, is to take two successive photos with the same camera from different positions, then later assemble the images side-by-side into a proper stereo pair.

For this experiment, I set my cellphone camera to it’s macro setting, held the camera up flat to the museum exhibit glass (when no one was looking), took a photo, then slid the camera slightly to the right to take another photo. The closer the subject, the less I moved the camera. In most cases I slid the camera horizontally only about 1-2 inches. Some subjects were a little further away so I slid the camera slightly more. It wasn’t very scientific, but that was part of the fun. One or two have a slightly hyper-stereo look to them and I sort of like the result.

These images are in cross-eye mode.

I tried another technique that didn’t work well. That was to set the camera to the “multi-shot” setting so that it would take 5 shots in quick succession (within about one second) and while it was shooting, I slid the camera to the right. In theory, I’d be able to pair the first image with each of the subsequent images to get stronger and stronger stereo effects, and I would pick the best pair. In fact what happened was that I got one clear image (the first one) and four blurry ones. Shooting separate images gave much crisper results. Next time, I may just shoot 5 separate images with the camera held still each time, THEN try to assemble the best pair.

Another thing that didn’t work too well was shooting at some distance, particularly without the support of the glass case to keep the camera still. That’s when the noisy CCD in my camera and my unstable hand-held shots become particularly noticeable, as with the Pacific Northwest mask. The museum environment is kept intentionally dark, so it really helps to get close and be still.

And, by the way, shooting photos of art in the Seattle Art Museum is expressly allowed for most of the art objects in the museum.

By |July 28th, 2013|3D Education|Comments Off on Museum Macros with a Cellphone

Poppy turns your iPhone into a 3D camera

Poppy, a sleek and somewhat retro black and orange gizmo, transforms an iPhone into a camera capable of capturing, viewing and sharing photos and video in 3D. Put your phone in the device (which supports iPhone 4, 4S, 5 and iPod Touch) and give the box a twist to begin recording.

So how does it work? Poppy uses mirrors to capture two stereographic images using the iPhone’s single camera. When seen through the viewfinder, Poppy’s lenses combine the two video streams into a single, crisp, 3D video.

“As kids, we loved those old toy Viewmasters, and how they gave you the feeling of stepping into another world. We wanted to let anyone create and share their own immersive 3D scenes too. That’s why we made Poppy,” says Joe Heitzeberg, one of Poppy’s creators.

Another great thing about Poppy is that it works with 3D content that’s already online. Most people aren’t aware, but YouTube supports 3D and has amassed a huge library of 3D movie trailers, music videos, sports clips and user-generated content — and all of it looks beautiful on Poppy. The viewing experience is immersive and natural — much higher fidelity than using red/blue 3D glasses.

Poppy is launching on Kickstarter at under $50 — putting Poppy in the sweet spot for gifts and casual gadget purchases. It also sets Poppy apart from other 3D cameras that have come on the market in recent years, which are more expensive and don’t typically include 3D viewing or sharing functionality.

“iPhone is the world’s most popular camera, and Poppy is the first product that lets the iPhone capture, view and share the world as it is actually experienced — in 3D. We can’t wait to get it in people’s hands and see what they do with it,” says Poppy co-creator, Ethan Lowry.

Please check out Poppy on Kickstarter today.

By |July 4th, 2013|Products, Technology|Comments Off on Poppy turns your iPhone into a 3D camera

Phereo 3D Plugin for WordPress

The 3D image sharing site, Phereo.com, created a plugin module for WordPress that allows the user to select the preferred viewing method by clicking the buttons beneath the image.
(Note: parallel + swap = crossview).
[3dpix id=”512aca565ec346855f000012″]

By |June 16th, 2013|Technology|Comments Off on Phereo 3D Plugin for WordPress

Dues Are Due!

PSSCC Membership Dues

With the beginning of the 2013-2014 season, it’s time to remind everyone to pay up. Annual membership to PSSCC is only $20 (what a bargain!)

 

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Last Year 🙁

In the 2012-2013 season, we came up short on membership dues. Only about half our active members remembered to contribute. If you failed to contribute last year, and you want to catch up, you can slip a Twenty to our new Treasurer, Brian Hogan at our next meeting.

By |June 16th, 2013|Club Business|Comments Off on Dues Are Due!