Eric Maslowski, Technical Creative Consultant

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Converting a Sculpture to Stereoscopic 3D

A local artist wanted to take his various "relief" sculptures and present them in 3D using classic ViewFinders (cool!). He needed to convert his sculptures to stereoscopic 3d images and that's where I and the UM3D Lab helped out. The artist (Sean Darby) wanted to exaggerate the depth of the scene since his sculptures were relatively flat. Since the proper depth wasn't known and needed to be discovered in an easy/organic way we opted for a method that allowed for total control of the stereo effect so Sean could tweak it as much as he wanted. For this we needed a simple color image of the sculptures and a "depth" image. For the depth image we ended up scanning the pieces using the 3d lab's laser scanner. I then rendered the digital scan to obtain proper depth information for the piece. From there stereo pairs were generated using the same method shown in my tutorials.

After doing one in this way, which was time consuming, the artist opted to create his depth images manually by painting over the photograph with different greyscale/depth values. You can see the effect of this process in slides 3 & 4. The 3D effect is quite good but noticeably in "planes." The final sculptures were displayed along side the ViewFinders with the various stereoscopic images as well as a screen showing the stereoscopic images in a loop.

Very cool work from a cool artist!