Yes, this comic actually went up a week ago, but since I was afflicted with blindness and making little-girl noises for a week I didn’t get around to linking it until now. Heads up: If you’ve got an old set of red / blue 3D glasses, you might want to hunt them down now. (Although the comic is perfectly intelligible without them and was made with the expectation that most people wouldn’t have them.)
And yes, I am aware of how silly it was to be making stereoscopic images when I was nearly blind in one eye.
I love anaglyph images. I remember in the 90’s I would take screenshots from adventure games like Space Quest and cut the image into its component pieces. Then I’d reconstruct the thing as an anaglyph. A couple of people asked about how these are made. So here is the short version, inasmuch as anything on this site could be counted as “short”:
The trick to these images – what makes them seem 3D – is that they trick your eyes into looking at two different images. It takes advantage of the fact that your brain assumes that when your eyes are looking roughly parallel you’re seeing something far away, and if your eyes have to cross a bit to look at the thing then it must be close.
So step one is to get two different images from slightly different points of view. Take a picture, then take a step to the right and snap another.
Now we want to trick our eyes so that each eye will look at a different image and assume they’re looking at the same thing. The easiest way is with a color filter. Red / green are usually used when dealing with images in print, and red / blue are usually used when dealing with television or theater.
Now, it’s possible to do this without obliterating the colors. For example, this one on Wikipedia is a pretty good color photograph:
But I’ve never been terribly successful at making color work. (I’ve never read a how-to guide on this stuff and everything I know is what I’ve discovered through experimentation.) When I try to make color images, often I’ll end up with a good deal of double-image problems where one eye can see both images and the effect is diminished or fails entirely. So the safest thing to do when making something like this comic (where visual grandeur and robust color use aren’t exactly high on the priority list) is to turn the images into greyscale.
Take the greyscale image intended for the right eye and tint it fully blue. If done right, the image should be clear when looking through the blue side and black when looking through the red side.
Then do the same for the other image, turning it red. Then blend the two images together in Gimp or Photoshop or whatever you got. (Additive blend. The effect is usually called “Screen”.) This produces the simplest and crudest anaglyph.
And even this is likely to fail in a lot of cases. If the two images are further apart than the viewer’s eyes, then the effect might not work. It’s pretty hard to prevent this when you can’t control how big their monitor is, how close they sit, or how much the viewer might zoom in on the image. Then there are all sorts of color problems. Not all monitors produce the exact same colors and not all glasses have the exact same colors (the shade of blue seems to vary quite a bit) and these discrepancies can lead to double-image problems.
The inspiration for the joke came from this:
I was casting about for joke ideas and I stumbled across that image and thought, “Fair enough. I can make 3D. Heck, I can make terrible 3D!”
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