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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
Hey gang! This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. Now, you may well ask me, "Deke, why are you wearing those 3D glasses? They look ridiculous on you." Thanks for that, by the way. The reason is because I am going to show you how to create a so-called anaglyph, which is a stereoscopic true 3D photograph. I am going to explain how you shoot such an image and how you assemble it inside of Photoshop. Here is what you got to have. In order to see the effect, you need these kinds of 3D glasses, red and cyan. Don't grab some other-colored glasses that came with a 3D DVD movie, or something like that, and don't get the polarized glasses from your local cinema.
You need these right here. But here is the thing: this is an insanely cool technique and nobody but the other people who are watching this movie know how to do it, which means you are going to come away from this one smelling like money. Let me explain exactly how it works. All right, so you don't absolutely need a pair of 3D glasses in order to follow along with this technique; however, you won't be able to preview the technique without them, so you will be working more or less blind. Let's say you scrape up a pair of glasses-- they are easy to find, after all.
What you want is the red lens on the left hand side and the blue lens, really a cyan lens because it's a color compliment, over on right hand side, and that way you will be able to follow along with me. If your glasses are set up the opposite way, just go ahead and flip them around or turn them upside down or what have you. And then just to make sure that everything is working--this is not a stereoscopic image, by the way, this is just a demo file-- go ahead and close your right eye. Leave your left eye open. You should see the words 'right' more or less disappear and 'left' remains onscreen. Then try the opposite: close that left eye and leave the right eye open.
You should see 'left' disappear and 'right' remains onscreen. All right, as I say, this is not a stereoscopic image. This one is, however. So if you have got those glasses on, you should see depth inside of this file. Let me now you show you how I accomplish this. Now I have got a couple of files right ready to go here, Left eye and Right eye; however, I very much encourage you to work with your own images because you are going to be so impressed with the results. This is the lot of fun. I am going to press the spacebar to preview these images inside the Bridge. I want you to see what's going on here. Both of these images were shot by my buddy Jacob Cunningham here at lynda.com, and this is the Left eye image, so we started with the first image, and he shot these images sequentially, so we are not using a two lens camera--this is a single lens camera, just like most cameras are.
Any camera is going to do. So you start by shooting that Left eye image and then you move just slightly to the right, and I don't mean like 6 inches or a foot slightly; I mean like 3 inches maybe, just ever so slightly over to right hand side, because you are trying to mimic the distance between your eyes after all. If you go any farther than that, you will exaggerate the perspective of the scene, which might sound like a great thing; however, it ends up making your image almost impossible to focus on. Another thing to bear in mind is that there can be no movement, no movement whatsoever inside that scene, including the subject of your photo, who not only has to pretty much hold their breath, but they can't let their eyes wonder either.
So in other words they can't look at the camera lens. What I ended up doing was looking at the left side of the lens and then the right side of the lens in order to keep my eyes still. You can also tell, by the way, you need to make sure you recognize which one is the left image, which one is the right, and you can tell that by the movement of the background. So the background moves to the left in the left shot, and the background moves to the right in the right shot. All right, so we have got our images right ready to go. Now because they are Raw images I am going to open them in Camera Raw, by right-clicking on one and choosing Open in Camera Raw. And to make sure that I am making equivalent modifications here, I am going to go ahead and click on Select All to select those two images.
I am also going to zoom in on this image so I can better see what I am doing. Next, I am going to convert the images to grayscale; I am going to get rid of the color. Now you can work with full-color images if you want to, but because you are looking through color-filtered lenses, the color gets pretty wonky. In fact, the only colors that really survive are those colors that aren't filtered out by your lenses. So in another words, greens and yellows will survive, so will purples, but that means your flesh tones are going to look just terrible. So better to convert to black and white, by switching over here to HSL/Grayscale.
And if you are working with JPEG images instead of Raw images, by the way, just use the Black and White command under the Adjustment sub menu. I am going to turn on Convert to Grayscale, and then I am going to dial in some values I came up with. You can go your own way of course, but I am going to change the Reds to +40 as you can see there. Oranges I am changing to -20. Yellows I am changing to +15, Greens to +20. Aquas, we don't really have any so I am going to change that value to 0. Blues, I took that value up very high to +50. And then Purples, also underrepresented, same with Magenta, so we will take those values to 0 as well.
Next, I want to lighten up the dark half of my face there, and I am going to do this as a selective modification. Now when you are applying selective modifications you need to be very careful to apply them equivalently inside of both images. So I am going to scroll this guy down a little bit here, and then I am going to switch over to my adjustment brush and notice that I have Auto Mask turned on-- that's a very important. Also notice that I have dialed in some values in advance, which is to say everything zeroed out except Brightness, which I am taking to +35. All right, now I am going to paint across my face like so, and with any luck I am going to brighten things up.
Now I want to be able to see what my brushstroke looks like, so I will turn on the Show Mask check box, and that tells me okay that's the same brushstroke I need to apply to the other file. To switch to that file, Alt+Click or Option+Click on the Mac on Right eye.dng in this case-- that way you will keep both of the images selected as you work. And then go ahead and paint inside of this image as well, paint across his eyes, make sure you fill in those same details little bit in to the ear as well. And that looks pretty good. All right, I am going to turn off Show Mask so I can see the results of the modification, but it looks like we are good to go.
The next step is to open these images inside of Photoshop, and the best way to work--again, if you are going with a Raw workflow like I am--is to press the Shift key and click Open Objects in order to open those images as Smart Objects inside of Photoshop. And that way you can make modifications to either of these images just by double-clicking on its thumbnail here inside the Layers panel. All right I am going to switch over to the Left eye image and what I am going to do is go ahead and duplicate it into the Right eye image so that they are both available to me inside of a single layered composition, and I will do that by right-clicking on an empty portion of this layer here inside the Layers panel, I will choose Duplicate Layer, and I will change Document to Right eye.
Then click okay. And now that I have duplicated that layer, I can close this image. I will click No because I don't need to save the changes-- that would be Don't Save on the Mac. And now let's go ahead and zoom in so that we can once again better see what we are doing here. And I have got a problem. I need color inside of this image in order to pull off the effect, but if you go over to the Channels panel, you will see it says Gray. There are no color channels. So to reintroduce the color channels, go up to the Image menu, choose Mode, and choose RGB Color. Then you will get these horrible alert messages asking you if you want rasterize. No, you don't, so click Don't Rasterize, and you also don't want to merge, so go ahead and click on both Don't Rasterize and Don't Merge and then Photoshop will take a view moments in order to introduce color into your image.
Now it's just introducing theoretical color at this point of course. The images remain black and white. Here is how to change this image into a stereoscopic anaglyph. This is the coolest thing. Switch over to Layers, double-click in an empty portion of Left eye, and then go ahead and turn off, here inside of the Layer Style dialog box, notice these Channels check boxes there, turn off green and turn off blue, and the deed is done. Click OK, and now if you are wearing those glasses once again, you should see a 3D stereoscopic image on screen.
Now if you are having problems focusing on some of the background details, what I find helps is to close your right eye and then close your left eye so go back and forth--that is closing your eyes--so that you can focus on a single image at a time. And then open both eyes and you should have a better chance of lining them up automatically. All right, I am going to go ahead and fill screen with the image here, go ahead and zoom on in, and that my friends is how you create a 3D stereoscopic anaglyph, viewable with red-blue glasses, here inside Photoshop.
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