The Wild East in 3D

By Phillip Charlier

A Buddhist Ornament Dealer from a stereoview photograph by T. Enami

A Buddhist Ornament Dealer from a stereoview photograph by T. Enami

Following a link from the comment section of One Taiwanese would Kiss all of Paris to One Inch Punch I was mesmerized by these 3D images made by taking each frame of a stereoview photograph and turning them into an animated gif.

These pieces show that great things can happen when we digitize artefacts. The original photographs were taken by T. Enami, known as ‘Japan’s Enigmatic Photographer of the Meiji and Taisho Eras‘.

You can see more in a larger size at this flicker stream.

Stereoscopy was invented as early as 1840 and I remember handling an old stereoscopic camera at my friend Roy Jacques’ camera museum in Herberton north queensland. It had two lenses and would therefore take the same picture from two slightly different perspectives.

The resulting photograph looks like this:

Stereoscopic photograph of the famous Buddha at Kamakura Japan taken by T. Enami

Stereoscopic photograph of the famous Buddha at Kamakura Japan taken by T. Enami

When viewed through an apparatus that can be as simple as a piece of cardboard between the eyes, the 3D perception is enabled by giving the illusion of depth. By scanning each image and turning them into a simple gif animation, the result is this:

stereoview of the daibutsu of Kamakura made by animating both frames of an old stereoscopic photograph

stereoview of the daibutsu of Kamakura made by animating both frames of an old stereoscopic photograph

All pictures are in the Public Domain. Please share.

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2 Responses to The Wild East in 3D

  1. So interesting I would have liked to have been told more, and shown how to do it, step-by-step guide. good stuff.

  2. E. Star says:

    Making these is as simple as cropping each frame and saving/converting them as .gif images. Then use a simple gif animator to put them together.

    If you use the free and open source gimp 2.6, it’s even easier as it has a built in gif animator.




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