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Time for Space Jiggle
July 31, 2003 9:13 PM   Subscribe

Experimenting with images using animated .gifs, Jim Gaspernini presents stereo images on the screen by simply putting the right and left images in an animated .gif. (more inside)
posted by bluedaniel (51 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
...Sort of reminds me of a "lite" version of Pips Labs, which takes Shockwave to another level altogether.
posted by bluedaniel at 9:20 PM on July 31, 2003


Why on earth does this work so well? The images really do look 3D, simply by replacing stero vision in space with stereo vision in time. Place in "why didn't someone think of this before" box...
posted by Jimbob at 9:21 PM on July 31, 2003


Holy shit, that actualy works!

I'm going to have to email my boss, since I work in VR.

Yes, that's right, I'm a programmer at a Virtual Reality Applications Center.

I make $9/hr.
posted by delmoi at 9:24 PM on July 31, 2003


Neato.

Such an elegant integration of existing technologies.

*clap*
posted by Ynoxas at 9:26 PM on July 31, 2003


Now, for true stereoscopic vision you'd need to be looking at these through a pair of glasses with synchronized electronic shutters -- say, LCD based -- such that your left eye was shaded when the GIF is displaying the right-eye image, and vice versa.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:27 PM on July 31, 2003


"Now, for true stereoscopic vision you'd need to be looking at these through a pair of glasses with synchronized electronic shutters -- say, LCD based -- such that your left eye was shaded when the GIF is displaying the right-eye image, and vice versa."

I had to read that a few times over. I swear it read LSD. And here I was, all excited.
posted by bluedaniel at 9:30 PM on July 31, 2003


...although come to think of it, you'd really want such a system to be operating at a much higher frequency than these GIFs are animating at. 10-15 fps would be the minimum I'd guess.

On preview, bluedaniel, I think that would work too.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:30 PM on July 31, 2003 [1 favorite]


I think it works because the brain can extrapolate movement at more than 24 frames per second. Given two frames of anything in close sucession, we can see it (or think that we can) from many more angles than we actually do.
posted by GriffX at 9:30 PM on July 31, 2003


LSD probably would enhance these :P
posted by delmoi at 9:31 PM on July 31, 2003


Griffx, clever you mention that. I imported the layered .gif into Flash, tweened an animation for a 1 second rollover, and exported it at various FPS. Hence, when I moused over the image, the next one faded in, and the results do vary depending on the frame per second.

Good damn point. Cheers.
posted by bluedaniel at 9:34 PM on July 31, 2003


George_Spiggott:

...although come to think of it, you'd really want such a system to be operating at a much higher frequency than these GIFs are animating at. 10-15 fps would be the minimum I'd guess.



No, I don't think so. Normal sterioscopic images work by presenting one image to one eye, and another to another. That way when the brain 'merges' the two images together you pull out the depth data by comparing the two.

In order for this thing to work, your brain needs to be able to process both images independantly. If the frequency was to fast, it would only look like two seperate images overlayed, and the effect would be gone, just like looking at a regular sterioscopic thing without shutter glasses, or whatever

I think the low frame rate is nessisary.
posted by delmoi at 9:36 PM on July 31, 2003 [1 favorite]


> Now, for true stereoscopic vision you'd need to be looking at these through a pair of glasses with synchronized electronic shutters -- say, LCD based

I believe that's exactly how the Sega 3D glasses for the master system worked.
posted by skallas at 9:40 PM on July 31, 2003


I don't care how this works; it's pretty damn cool!
posted by jdroth at 9:41 PM on July 31, 2003


Again, have a gander at the PIPS Labs link I mentioned (could get lost in the comment shuffle).

It's not of course any stereoscopic imagery, but it does reveal a 3 dimensional image, with one hell of a twist.

And it's damn cool.
posted by bluedaniel at 9:43 PM on July 31, 2003


So if you were to run a sequence of stereo pairs at some frame rate < 15 fps would you get moving 3D?

But scale? On a TV or at a cinema? Cue plethora of gimmick commercials...
posted by marvin at 9:44 PM on July 31, 2003


left right left right left right left rightleftrightleftrightlftrghtlftrght

dammit!

must blink faster.
posted by crumbly at 9:51 PM on July 31, 2003


I don't know if it would be useful on a larger scale, marvin (certainly not a whole movie done like this). For a start, the flickering results in a detail. The "rocky mountains" picture is fantastic, but with the constant flickering you can't take in the detail of the flowers in the foreground, for example. This would get frustrating over a long period. However, it's a great little trick to give some depth to images. It's amazing how different photographs are when a third dimension is added. You can't get an impression of what the Old Stone Gate really is without the depth to look down the path.
posted by Jimbob at 10:00 PM on July 31, 2003


I don't care how this works; it's pretty damn cool!

No, the LSD thing was just an aside.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:12 PM on July 31, 2003


Check out the unit on Sigfried, eh? I'm not sure I want to watch it wiggle anymore.
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:17 PM on July 31, 2003


Instead of blinking left-right-left-right at 15fps, try alternately covering each eye with a hand in rapid succession.

This turns into an awkwardly slapping yourself in the face, but it seems to work now and again.

Regardless, this is amazing stuff.
posted by themadjuggler at 10:33 PM on July 31, 2003


Freaking amazing. I think we should flood this thread with small animated gifs of our own making (hosted from own servers, natch). Anyone who has a digital cameral can do this effect, no? I'm looking at you, quonsar.

Also: right, bluedaniel... pips... we got it the first time. Lame.
posted by squirrel at 10:38 PM on July 31, 2003


Isn't this a parallax effect? The images appear to pivot around a point; the more rapidly a particular section of image moves, the farther from the point it appears to be.
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:39 PM on July 31, 2003


It is Mars - the point is that usually parallax effects are achieved by showing different images (with sections therefore different "distances" apart) to different eyes. Here, both eyes are seeing the same image at the same time, but the brain is somehow automatically working out which eye each image "belongs" to.

Another thing: notice how you never get an "inverse" 3D effect with these pictures? You know how if you look at a "Magic Eye" picture by going cross-eyed instead of...ummm.anti-cross-eyed, all the "in" sections appear as "out" sections? Balls appear as dimples etc.? This never seems to happen with these "flicking" images. The brain's doing all the work, because you can't trust the eye.
posted by Jimbob at 10:47 PM on July 31, 2003


Which came first, the blort or the pancakes?
posted by notsnot at 10:48 PM on July 31, 2003


bluedaniel, I second your endorsement of pips lab, it is one of my all time favorite sites for cool visuals. I'm glad you posted this Gaspernini site - I came across it recently too, found it quite striking, thought about posting it here, but certainly couldn't have done the technical discussion justice. Here are some fun Burning Man images done in the same technique (I think), along with the same images presented in traditional 3-d format.
(btw, your site has some neat things going on in the studio, too!)
posted by madamjujujive at 10:50 PM on July 31, 2003 [1 favorite]


Also: right, bluedaniel... pips... we got it the first time. Lame.

Now, now--it's one of a pair in a strobing 3D comment.
posted by y2karl at 10:58 PM on July 31, 2003


Try looking at it with one eye covered.

Maybe I'm just a mutant superman or something, but I still get a distinct -- if lessened -- 3d effect *WITH ONE EYE!!!!!!!*
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:59 PM on July 31, 2003


Now, now--it's one of a pair in a strobing 3D comment.

LOL! And if I scroll them both onto the page, I can see a flickering image of mathowie deleting them both!
posted by squirrel at 11:20 PM on July 31, 2003


Wow, it kind of works for me and I don't have stereoscopic vision. But do you have to be naked for it to work?
posted by mathowie at 11:42 PM on July 31, 2003


Yes. Take off your clothes and it will look even better.
posted by homunculus at 12:08 AM on August 1, 2003


Wow, it kind of works for me and I don't have stereoscopic vision

Eh?
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:23 AM on August 1, 2003


I still get a distinct -- if lessened -- 3d effect *WITH ONE EYE!!!!!!!*

Two eyes with overlapping fields of vision aren't necessary to discern 3D information. They're just necessary if you want "instant" 3D information that does not require movement. These pictures are providing the movement, hence 3D information is available no matter how many eyes are being used.

Rabbits and other animals with side-mounted eyes utilize a similar technique whenever they inspect an area. Side-mounted eyes do not overlap their fields of vision, so instead rabbits will glean 3D information from a scene by bobbing their heads up and down.
posted by PsychoKick at 1:45 AM on August 1, 2003


So when are we going to see porn in this format?
posted by Blue Stone at 2:41 AM on August 1, 2003


pips labs doesn't seem any where near as 3d to me....
posted by Espoo2 at 2:50 AM on August 1, 2003


The one that was on Geisha Asobi this week had a faster frame rate, and seemed to work better for me. (scroll down a bit)
posted by planetkyoto at 3:19 AM on August 1, 2003


the point is that usually parallax effects are achieved by showing different images (with sections therefore different "distances" apart) to different eyes.

Motion parallax isn't stereoscopic and has been used to suggest depth in sideways scrolling games - I've never seen it used like this though with the rapid alternation and it does produce something much closer to stereoscopy.
posted by jamespake at 3:56 AM on August 1, 2003


Ok... how does one go about doing this? Can it be done without a bunch of fancy equipment? I have to try.
posted by Witty at 4:13 AM on August 1, 2003


Get some Gif animator software and two pictures taken from slightly different positions (about the same distance as between your eyes). Load them into the animator software, set a short delay and that seems to be it. You'll have to play with the timings, and it would help if you had a stereoscopic camera. The choice of pictures is pretty important too.

Some years ago, the BBC showed a '3D' episode of Dr Who that didn't require special glasses - I missed it but I was told that it was quite effective although it was strange because the camera kept moving - maybe it's a similar concept. This could be good with video.
posted by jamespake at 4:34 AM on August 1, 2003


A little research on my part would help too.
posted by Witty at 5:12 AM on August 1, 2003


The Dr Who episode, I recall, used the method where you shade one eye with a sunglass lens; with the cameria rotating, you get a 3D effect (something to do with perception lag between shaded and unshaded eyes). As to the original post, I've seen this described elsewhere as "wobble stereo". Nice implementation here, which uses a mouseover so that the viewer controls the flick rate.
posted by raygirvan at 5:23 AM on August 1, 2003


I've run into this accidentally when browsing through my own photos. If I take two photos from approximately the same vantage point, then I get this effect when flipping through them in my image browser.

*Flip-forward* "Yup" *Flip-forward* "Uh-huh." *Flip-forward* "Whoa..." *Flip-back* "Wait a min..." *Flip-forward-flip-back-flip-forward-flip-back......*

Any browser that caches images and has a simple next/prev keybinding (I use ACDSee) works fine, and you don't even have to make a GIF.
posted by whatnotever at 7:49 AM on August 1, 2003


here's a stereoscopic image I made of my room mate, fighting robot. to look at it, you just have to cross your eyes a bit until the red dots on his chests combine.

and here's an unrelated image.
posted by mcsweetie at 7:53 AM on August 1, 2003


Seems like wiggle-stereo is what lomos were invented for. If only there were a digi-lomo...
posted by adamrice at 8:41 AM on August 1, 2003


Wow. This is a great find, bluedaniel. Apparently some other people have been doing it and it's not new to everybody, but to me this is simply revolutionary, swapping time for space. Great.

I love how the Burning Man photos, especially, make it look like it's really windy.

Oh, and Blue Stone, what, that third one's not enough for you? I don't know how much more I could handle in this format.
posted by soyjoy at 9:32 AM on August 1, 2003


In the early eighties someone tried to adopt this system for television. They made quite a splash and for a while it was the next big thing - the holy grail of convincing stereo images on a regular TV. The picture involved gently wobbling the camera between left and right eye positions so the camera was always in motion (albeit very small and predictable). The stereo effect was quite convincing but the wobble was fatally offputting. The whole idea seems to have been lost without trace. Shame really - it was half way there.
posted by grahamwell at 10:00 AM on August 1, 2003


Just for kicks, I made one of these (here) out of an old Nasa Mars Pathfinder stereo set. Looks cool, though the offset is larger than the ones mentioned earlier in this thread.
posted by kokogiak at 10:58 AM on August 1, 2003


I heard from Jim Gaspernini (I wrote him after I'd posted this). I discovered that Burning Man is also his website.

Well, at least I didn't know it was.

I also see I'm not original in pointing out the works, madamjujujive was way ahead of me. Sorry about that!

(but damn, thanks for the compliments on the Studio. Ya humbled me.)
posted by bluedaniel at 3:27 PM on August 1, 2003


kokogiak, did you just make that, or had you done so at an earlier time?
posted by bluedaniel at 3:35 PM on August 1, 2003


Bluedaniel, I just made it - it wasn't hard - two images I found on NASA's site, layered on top of each other in Adobe ImageReady - saved as animated gif.
posted by kokogiak at 4:00 PM on August 1, 2003


Blue Stone, I actually have a book of Stereoscopic porn, old school pin-ups so it's good stuff...

I wonder how long it'll be before we see annoying Livejournal icons of this...
posted by davros42 at 4:43 PM on August 1, 2003


weird, they don't look particularly 3D to me, just really wiggly (which gives me a bit of a headache). I normally have looping off anyway, so I wouldn't have known there was anything special going on if not for the thread...
posted by mdn at 6:27 PM on August 1, 2003


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