3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

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First Impressions from Snapily’s Lenticular 3D Photo Prints

September 17th, 2012 · 13 Comments · Shooting in 3D

Taking 3D photos is not that hard anymore, but sharing them with people that don’t have a 3D-capable display device is still a bit of a problem and the easiest ways to ensure that they can see the photo in 3D is to have them printed. Of course printing a 3D photo is not as easy as with a 2D photo and is more expensive, but the results can also be more impressive and it certainly makes a nice gift for someone, especially if the photos are from some kind of an event like a birthday, wedding, anniversary etc. The question here is where and how to get your 3D photos printed as it turns out that there are not that many places where you can easily have your pictures printed in 3D. One of these places is Snapily, and I’ve already mentioned their Snapily3D app for iOS devices as well as their lenticular 3D printing services here on the blog. Now it is time to share my personal experience printing some 3D photos with Snapily them and having them delivered outside of the USA.

Snapily’s order process is very simple and easy, you just register at their website and start uploading the 3D photos, no need to edit them prior to uploading them, unless you want to do some adjustment of course. YOu upload one photo at a time, then you see a wiggle preview, select the photo size (4″x6″, 5″x7″ or 6″x9″) and the number of copies you want from each photo. Snapily is based in the USA, but they deliver prints in the whole world, it just takes a bit more time for them to be delivered, so if you want to make a present with 3D photo prints don’t wait for the last moment to order them. It took about to weeks for the printing and delivery of my 3D photos from UsA to Europe, though you may get them faster. The 3D photo prints were very well packed in a special package to keep them from bending and arrived in perfect condition with an extra paper envelope for each photo contained in the package in order to have them stored properly to keep them from being damaged. Lenticular prints are ticker than normal photos and you need to be careful not to scratch the plastic lenses on top of the actual print that are creating the 3D effect without the need to wear special glasses as this can make them unusable. Now regarding the print and the 3D effect, the resolution you get is a lower than that of a 2D photo, so very fine details may not be very clear and the photos may not be very sharp, seeming blurrier than what you see when reviewing the photos on a 3D monitor for example. The light and distance you view the 3D photo prints from are also very important for getting the best possible experience – you need to look at them in a well lit environment and not put them in your face, but instead hold them at a distance similar to the one you hold a book when you are reading. Also have in mind that not all 3D photos may look as good as on a 3D display when printed in 3D, though some might look more impressive on lenticular print. Just a piece of advice, don’t print multiple copies of a 3D photo you are not sure will look as you expect it printed in 3D, start with a single copy and if it is Ok then you can order more copies for it.

For more information about Snapily’s lenticular 3D photo printing services…

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SnapilyPro is an Online 3D Digital Lenticular Printing Service

May 1st, 2012 · 5 Comments · Shooting in 3D

SnapilyPro is an online lenticular 3D digital printing service for professionals that allows you to print all sorts of products showing 3D depth or movement/animation on a print – this includes things like invitations, name cards, big posters, lanyards, business cards, event promotions, displays, entry tickets and much more. I’ve already mentioned Snapily’s 3D application and photo printing service here on the blog, but SnapilyPro is a more advanced service offering much more options.

Lenticular printing is a process where a lenticular lens is used to produce images with an illusion of depth, change of image or movement. When viewed from different angles, different areas under the lens are shown to the viewer, and since these views are specially arranged under the lens – each eye gets to see a different view and the brain then processes these views to a single coherent 3D, Flip or animated images. This is pretty much the easiest way to make 3D prints that don’t require the viewer to use any kind of glasses to get a sense of depth or movement and it doesn’t cost that much at least for smaller size prints.

Lenticular technology actually dates back to the 1690s when Gois-Clair, a French painter, discovered that he could achieve a dimensional effect on canvas by interposing a grid between a viewer and a painting. Modern lenticular began in the 1930’s with the development of the modern lenticular lens and since then lenticular has been used on and off in various applications. Nowadays the technology allows you to get single prints for a very reasonable price, so that everyone can afford use lenticular prints. And with more 3D cameras also becoming available to consumers, printing lenticular 3D photos is something that interests more and more people, but getting depth printed on a photo is not the only way to use this technology. You can also create Flip images where the image switches between two different photos creating an interesting effect as well as to create prints that represent movement by using a sequence of photos, so you can be creative.

SnapilyPro supports prints with a size from 1.9 x 1.9 inches up to 47.2 x 35.2 inches on prints wth either flexible and inflexible lens with the bigger size available only with inflexible lens great for printing posters in 3D. Using flexible lens and smaller size prints of up to 11×17 (17×11) inches is not that expensive, but going for prints with inflexible lens and similar or even bigger size prints costs quite a lot more, but also brings real attention grabbing effect. There is an easy to use calculator available that you can use to find how much will a print of specific size cost you and there is also a PDF guide with more information about the lenticular printing, what are the requirements and supported formats for prints at SnapilyPro.

Currently SnapilyPro runs a promotion allowing you to get 20% off from any order made between May 1st until 7th by using the promo code PRO20, so you you want to test out the service you can take advantage from that and then don’t forget to also share your feedback in the comments below.

For more information about SnapilyPro’s lenticular printing services…

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Snapily3D Application for Taking 3D Photos With iPhone and iPad

December 13th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Shooting in 3D

Snapily3Dicon is an interesting application for the Apple iPhone and iPad devices that allows you to take 3D photos with the 2D camera that these devices have. The way it works is similar to how Sony does it with their 2D digital cameras using the 3D Sweep Panorama function to generate 3D images from a single sensor/lens digital camera, so essentially you move the device like you are shooting a panorama swiping it around the object you want captured in stereoscopic 3D. The application itself offers a quick and simple visual guide on how you need to shoot in order to get the 3D photo generated and be able to view it in 3D mode, but I can say that I’ve had some trouble at first in actually getting a useable image. Snappily3D records a burst of few hundred photos in a time interval of up to 15 seconds, the time you have available so to move your iDevice, then analyzes if the captured footage is Ok for generating a 3D image or not. If it is not enough you get an annoying message and I saw it a lot at first (it is worse on the iPad, better on the iPhone as it has a better camera), if it is Ok the program starts to generate the 3D image that apparently consists of 10 different views.

After your 3D photo is processed and saved you can view the result in pseudo stereo 3D mode or as it is called Gyroscope 4D Mode in the application, this uses the built-in accelerometer in the device so that when you move it to the sides it switches between the different views for the 3D photo it has generated. The Gyroscope 4D Mode looks quite Ok, but if the movement between the different views can be made a bit smoother it would’ve been even nicer. The other option available to view the photo in stereo 3D mode is to use a pair of anaglyph 3D glasses (multiple color filters are supported besides the traditional red-cyan), use the cross-eyed viewing method or the Hasbro My3D adapter for viewing. You can also easily share the photo on popular social media websites, send it by email or just save it in the Photos folder of your device… if saving mind what is the currently selected 3D viewing format as is is the one you get the image saved in. Saving the photo also leaves a watermark on it “Created with Snapily 3D” which in the case of the using cross-eye viewing method for example misplaced the position of the watermark in the two photos making it unusable. On the Hasbro My3D adapter viewing method for example the watermark is only placed in the right eye view, and another possible issue is the fact that even in the modes where you see the left/right views of the image you still get the accelerometer movement of the image, so there is some more to be desired from this application, but these things should be easily fixable anyway.

Another interesting feature that the Snappily3D application offers is the ability to print the 3D photos you have taken with the application on paper in 3D using Snapily 3D photo printing services (lenticular prints). This will cost you $3.99 per photo print and thanks to the fact that the software already creates the multiple views if the photos are looking good in 3D on the device you shot them with, they should also be very nice on print… at least regarding the stereoscopic 3D effect. The resolution of the 3D images is unfortunately a bit low, especially for print, with Snapily3D you get two options available – SD quality (480×320) or HD quality (960×640), these are pretty much OK for viewing on iPhone or iPad, but won’t be that great on print. Still it is worth trying out what will be the end result with a few photos printed in 3D.

The website Snapily also offers the ability for printing out larger 3D photos using lenticular prints, from photos in JPS or MPO file format taken with 3D-capable devices such as Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W1, Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W3, Panasonic DMC 3D1, HTC Evo3D, LG Optimus3D, Sharp Aquos3D or LG Thrill 4D. But you should also be able to print stereoscopic 3D game screenshots for example or something that you have edited in stereo 3D format. Snapily supports 3D photo prints with the following sizes: 4×6″, 5×7″, 6×9″ and the prices for single photos in these sizes are respectively $4.32, $6.30 and $9.72 USD, although for multiple 3D prints you may get a better price. Have in mind that since we are talking about lenticular prints for 3D photos not all real stereo 3D photos may look that great when printed due to the fact that lenticular printing requires multiple views per 3D photo and normally 3D cameras shoot only two views. This means that the extra views required for the lenticular 3D print need to be extrapolated from the two views that you already have and that not always produce the best end results. You are of course welcome to share your feedback from Snapily if you have already used their services…

For more information about the Snapily3D application for iOS devices…
For more information about Snapily’s lenticular 3D photo printing services…

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