Tip: Grayscale Sometimes Better Than Color in 3D Anaglyph Photos

The Fujifilm W3 3D camera provides striking glasses-free 3D images on its lenticular display (though some people can’t see 3D for a variety of reasons). There is the problem of sharing 3D images to a wider audience on web pages since I can’t expect most people to have special and generally expensive displays or 3D glasses. My solution is to create red/cyan(blue) anaglyph photos that can be viewed with inexpensive (less than $5) red/cyan filter glasses. Anaglyph glasses are often provided free for 3D promotions of 3D TV events (those not requiring 3D TV sets), DVDs, or books.

How To: Turn a Fujifilm W3 3D MPO Image Into a Red-Cyan Anaglyph Using Freeware

The freeware Anaglyph Maker (for Microsoft Windows) software I use to create the anaglyph photos can create them in a variety of formats including one that attempts to maintain some of the color from the original stereo photos. Sometimes, however, it is not a good idea to do this. This illustrated in the set of photos to the left. I noticed a classic Pepsi Cola vending machine in an restaurant the other day and took a photo of it using the Fujifilm W3 3D camera. It looked fine in full color on the W3’s lenticular display. However, the red/cyan anaglyph color photo did not look good. A moment of reflection seemed to point to the Pepsi vending machine itself which is red and (mostly) blue. A grayscale version of the photo, however, looked great. And, since the vending machine is quite retro, it complemented the image itself with a 1950s look.

You can find the full-size 10 megapixel anaglyph photos for closer inspection here:

Anaglyph 3D photos (color & grayscale) of old Pepsi Cola vending machine