Stereo PhotoMaker

Stereo Photomaker or just SPM is a very powerful tool for creating stereo images. And it’s totally free. You can get the latest version here:

It has a long history and maybe not so user friendly interface. Make sure to download version with help file, since you’ll really need it. Whole application is packed into one little exe. No installation, just run it. After that you’ll see this black window.

The idea of Stereo Photomaker is to help you adjust your images from left and right camera, align them perfectly together and produce a final stereo image. It understands pretty much all stereo formats for output and input. Including Fuji 3D pocket camera.

Click File -> Open left and right images. Open your stereo pair.

Here is a stereo pair loaded. It may look good, but it will likely look terrible if you try to see this image in stereo righ away. The problem is that physical cameras are never aligned perfectly. Especially on a self-made amateur rig. There are vertical differences, probably some rotation, lens distortion. No good. Fixing all this things manually is a true pain in the ass. That’s where you start appreciating power of Stereo Photomaker.

Select Adjust -> Auto adjustment. Or just press Alt-A. Few moments of crunching pixels, and you are presented with a result window.

This window tells you how different images in stereopair were, and what has been done. It also tells you disparity of the infinity points – in practice this means how deep your picture is. Numbers around 1/30 are ok, numbers bigger that that can indicate potentially tricky stereo image for the brain.

Stereo photomaker supports lots of ways to view your stereo image. It includes all sort of anaglyphes, side-by-side, interlace, and NVidia 3D Vision.

They have nice keyboard shortcuts – F5 for side-by-side, F6 for bw anaglyph, F7 for color anaglyph and F8 for 3D Vision. Choose the one you like.

Black and white anaglyph is perfect for stereo adjustments. And for quick check of the stereo quality. You can clearly see all the disparities. Now when in stereo mode you can press keyboard left and right arrow buttons for adjusting screen plane position. You can get closer to the scene, or you can push whole scene further away.

One good thing to do is to crop image. On the previous screenshot you can see regions on the edges which are overlayed and doesn’t look good. They won’t look good also after exporting the image to final format. SPM has a tool for this.

Click it, move the cursor to the top left corner. Press left button, move the cursor to the right bottom corner. Release the button. Now click on the image. Nice.

Using NVidia 3D Vision mode might require some adjustments before it actually works. You can do those adjustments in a page flip setup dialog.

Check the resolution to be set correctly. This often causes 3D Vision to fail if the screen size is not detected right.

When everything is good, put your NVidia glasses on and press F8.

If the image feels weird, the reason might be because of incorrect assignment of eyes. SPM has a button for this too.

Try it, and it might help. Also this can be useful when you are editing already existing stereo images.

Now is the time for exporting stereo image. I use anaglyph and side-by-side. The last one when saved with JPS extension is compatible with NVidia 3D Photo Viewer. Important notice. SPM will save image directly from the current stereo viewing mode. This means that if you have black and white anaglyph mode active, SPM will save BW anaglyph image. Switch to color side-by-side by pressing F5 if you want to save image into 3D Vision compatible format.

That’s all for today. Hope it was useful reading.

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