Take 3D photos on a mobile device it is not as complicated as you think. This format traditionally requires multiple cameras to capture the data and reconstruct the depth of the scene, but thanks to artificial intelligence, you can now take 3D photos from single-lens smartphones; you can even generate them from 2D photos. This means that you do not need to buy or bring any additional equipment to take one.
To take a 3D photo from a smartphone, you will need to download an application or use one you have, such as Facebook, and practice some photography tricks. Read on, and follow these tips to take 3D photos.
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There are a fair amount of 3D photography apps dotting the app stores, but they’re not all the same. Some do not create a true 3D photo, but rather a parallax video in this format, or a short video showing depth, rather than interacting with the user’s scrolling or the position of the display device.
Other programs are a bit clunky and difficult to use or haven’t been updated recently. Of the apps we tested, PopPic and LucidPix offered the smoothest experience. You can also create 3D photos using an application already used by more than 2 billion people: Facebook.
PopPic is an iOS-only app that, along with creating 3D photos, allows users to play with depth in other ways, such as adjusting the background blur even from a single lens device. The app is as simple to use as any basic native camera app. Just tap the shutter to take a photo and wait for the app to render it into a 3D image. Once taken, a menu at the bottom offers different filters, effects, and sharpening tools.
LucidPix use AI to generate a 3D image from your camera, or from an existing 2D image, from an Android or iOS device. The results are pretty good depending on the scene, although the 3D face option creates some downright terrifying selfies. It lacks the ability to use that kind of 3D capability to adjust background blur, but it does offer 3D frames and filters.
Facebook You don’t need an introduction, but your hidden 3D tools may need to be pointed out. Facebook will convert the existing photos into a 3D image. For that to happen, start a post as you normally would, then add a photo and, in the upper left corner, tap on the icon that says “Make 3D”, and wait for the photo to fully render.
Without multiple lenses, artificial intelligence (AI) can only guess at the angles that the camera cannot see. In a busy and cluttered background, the AI often guesses horribly, filling in the gaps with blurred colors that seem wildly out of place.
To help the application get better results, take the photo on a plain background. The AI should have an easier time filling in a few colors rather than a few dozen.
Of course, 3D is not at all interesting when there is no depth in the image. While the background shouldn’t be cluttered, the photo should still have some depth. Avoid photographing people or objects pushed against a wall.
Objects towards the edge of the image, particularly in computer generated 3D, tend to become more distorted and, in some cases, to be completely blurred. Keep the most important aspects of the image towards the center of the frame.
Applications may be able to take 3D photos, but those files may not be compatible with your operating system. In other words, if you save them to your camera gallery, you will get a flat 2D image. Most 3D photo applications will allow you to send the image directly to a compatible social network, including Facebook. For networks that are not compatible or to compete with your smart device, a video or GIF will keep the 3D effect intact but will not interact with the movement of the viewer’s phone. Saving as a 2D image is still an option for creating a blurred background with a 3D application.