Digital 3D Picture Viewer - "The DigiStereopticon"





Introduction: Digital 3D Picture Viewer - "The DigiStereopticon"

Stereoscopic photography has fallen out of favor. This is probably due to the fact that people don't like having to wear special glasses to view family snapshots. Here is a fun little project you can make in less than a day to make your 3D pictures more enjoyable to view.

Warning: 3D pictures are ADDICTIVE. You will find yourself spending a lot more time appreciating the simplest snapshots. Next thing you know you'll be browsing ebay for old stereoscopic equipment, blathering on at dinner parties about how much better 3D pictures are than "flat" photos, and spending your weekends making weird stuff to post on Instructables. Read this at your own peril.

Step 1: Buy the Parts...

If you're savvy with glass and know how to piece together prisms or magnifying glasses to form a stereo viewing lens then you could probably skip this step. The general principle here is that for comfortable viewing, you need to bend the optical path for each of your eyes so that the left image and the right image converge and appear to overlap. This is most easily done with an off-the-shelf stereo viewer by Loreo - a company in Hong Kong that makes 3D lenses and viewers out of plastic.

They cost $24 each (plus $10 shipping) and arrive within a few days.

Step 2: Get a 7" Digital Photo Frame

Okay, this isn't rocket science. What we're doing here is basically re-assembling the off-the-shelf Loreo 3D viewer so that it works with a Digital Photo Frame instead of printed photos.

There are many digital photo frames on the market. Since the Loreo viewer is optimized for 4x6 photos, you'll need a 7" digital photo frame. For some reason the 7 inches are measured diagonally so this is the right size. (Note: Some of the 7" photo frames are 16:9 widescreen. I don't know if those would work as well.)

I chose a digital photo frame from Phillips. After much research, I found the Phillips frame to be the highest resolution and brightness of all the 7" frames. It's 720x480, which is decent for our purposes. I found mine on craigslist for $100 cash.

It comes apart quite easily -- simply remove the four black screws in the corners.

Step 3: Measure & Cut Wood

From here on it is basically a matter of measuring your pieces and assembling a wooden box. I used a $16 piece of oak from Home Depot. It was 1/2" thick, about 6" wide, roughly 3 feet long. You'll find it in the lumber section with the pre-cut project wood.

I did all the cutting with an inexpensive electric jigsaw. For tricky areas, I used a drill to put a hole in the middle of the wood, then inserted the jigsaw bit and started cutting from there.

Feel free to design the box as you like. Mine had 5 pieces:

1) Base. I designed the base with a cut-out to hold the Loreo lens.

2&3) Left & Right sides. I added curves to make it pretty. I used the base of a lamp make the curves clean.

4) Frame. This is what holds the Digital Photo Frame.

5) Foot Rest. A little strip of scrap glued to the bottom to angle the box upwards when resting on a table.

Step 4: Assemble & Stain

Carefully assemble your pieces.

I used carpenters glue (basically just white wood glue) on all the joints, plus #5 brass screws (1 inch long) to hold it together. If you're using oak you'll want to pre-drill all the holes. Truthfully, I'm not sure if the screws are necessary. The glue is strong and you're not going to put a lot of stress on the box. But the brass screws give it a nice touch.

Make sure to keep a wet cloth handy and wipe off any excess glue that seeps out of the joints. This will ensure the stain is absorbed evenly and you don't end up with unstained streaks where the glue touched the wood.

I don't have photos of the staining step, but it's very simple. I bought a $6 can of Miniwax "dark walnut" wood stain at the hardware store. Wearing rubber gloves (it's poisonous) I spread the stain onto the wood with a folded up piece of paper towel. Let it dry for 4-6 hours.

Step 5: Attach the Loreo Lens & Digital Photo Frame

The last step is simply attaching the Loreo lens and digital photo frame.

For the lens, insert it into the hole you cut in the base and use wood glue to fix it in place.

For the frame, make sure it's lined up properly. If any metal parts show through the frame hole you cut, mask them with black electrical tape. I used brass screws to hold the top of the frame in place, then wood glue to bind everything together.

That's it! (I'm thinking of adding a brass plate on the top with the word "Digi-Stereopticon" engraved into it, but my wife thinks that's overkill...)

Leave it somewhere conspicuous. Amaze your friends. Be the coolest person on your block.

Step 6: Taking Photos in 3D...

Okay, the last step is taking a bunch of pics in 3D. There are TONS of great websites describing how to do this. I've sampled many techniques but the easiest and most satisfying option (in my opinion) would be to buy a 3D lens in a cap from Loreo at the same time as you order the viewer lens. They cost about $75.



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    JayDub, here is a link to a 3D viewer which can be made very easily, to view Cross eye side by side photos on any regular TV, LCD, LED or Computer monitor.

    This simple viewer is for those of us who find it difficult to cross our eyes to view such cross eye photos and videos. Make one and see how easily you can now view such 3D images and videos. Here is the link to the instructable :-

    Happy viewing! :-)

    Tool's Ten thousand days album has a stereoscope built right into it. the catch is you have to buy the album, you cant bootleg it off the internet

     This CD is actually what I use to view my 3D photos because the little lenses on the case are easier on the eyes that the ones he's used in this instructable.

    What would be good is if you could find a little lenticular overlay for the photoframe. Then you wouldn't need so much paraphernalia. You would need to purchase a lenticular sheet that matches the dot pitch of your screen, but that shouldn't be too difficult. I thought about doing it for my monitor. I may give it a go.

    "That shouldn't be too difficult".

    Adding a lenticular sheet to an existing photo frame is completely impossible. There aren't enough pixels to make this work.

    Please do not post supposed facts when you don't know what you're talking about.

    "What would be good..." "...that shouldn't be too difficult." Perhaps you're correct on this being 'impossible'. I'm not exactly an expert on the topic. Still, your response was awfully harsh due to your assumption that Steve was professing fact. His words are not hard set to say that you can do this and this is how you would. He said it would be good if you could, and that if so it shouldn't be too difficult. He also stated how you would go about it, if you could. If he had said, you need to find an overly, and it wouldn't be difficult, then you might be justified in stating that he was professing facts. Even if he had, though, you could have been nicer about your rebuttal. Still, I have considerable doubt as too the impossibility of anything, however difficult it might be to do, or what adaptations may need to be made. That's just my view on things though.

    Great job! I would have never thought of that.

    Hello again, folks. I was going to ignore slim jim's directed non-constructive (and really not very mean or abusive at all, which is why I was going to ignore them) comments to/ about me and my input, but I was browsing unrelated stuff, and strangely wound up here, so I'm guessing that the stereo gods actually would appreciate it if I did give him a response. He called me an "expert," with lots of haughty oomph on the quotation marks, and to fuel his rhetoric gave the statement: "bzzzt... the grooves are vertical in both cases." Firstly, I don't believe I did call myself an expert. True I was stoned, and I don't feel like rereading everything I wrote, but I don't think that I did. But, well, I sort of am. ....actually. And, for enlightenment purposes, let me argue your statement that the grooves are vertical both ways, for stereo and for "moving pictures." No. They can be, but you will not find many professional, serious pieces of "moving pictures" using vertical grooves, as lenticular moving pictures were historically, traditionally, artistically, and sensibly modelled after flip books, and the viewee would flip the media toward and away from them, creating the apparent motion in the media. Obviously lenticular stereo HAS to use vertical grooves, as the grooves (lenses) work in the same way as the lenses on a stereo-optic device, allowing each eye to see the information meant for each eye. With lenticular movement, you do not have to worry about each eye seeing only its designated information, which allows the grooves to be much tighter, and so as not to create misinformation from your eyes to your brain, (and this is where I really want you, non-expert, to pay attention and maybe some thought...just let it brew and settle a little bit...), it is only sensible to have the grooves horizontal so your brain is not losing appreciation of the media due to the fact that its trying to turn a "moving picture" into stereo. I hope that wasn't overly rude, but you, slim, really put your foot in your mouth.

    Yeah! What he said, about being stoned. I also agree with whatever else he said. I forget now though. Do my eyes look red?