The Dos and Don’ts of 3D Photography

These tips apply to any 3D photo. (We’re just telling the story with flowers because, well, why not?)

Photographing flowers in 3D is a fun new trend amongst home gardeners and nature lovers all over the world. These 3D photos can take already beautiful flowers and make them extraordinary. Before you go and make you own 3D masterpieces, there are a few Dos and Don’ts to understand.

Jump to a section: Get CloseDon’t Trick The AIPhotograph MoundsAvoid Abrupt Depth ChangesChoose a SubjectShoot HorizontallyTry Different Sharing SettingsAdd FiltersUse PerspectiveTry Something NewAdd 3D Text Download LucidPix

Do: Get In Close To The Subject

As shown in the video above, created with LucidPix, you can see that close up, almost macro-style shots can result in great 3D photos. These tightly-cropped photos, can really add to the viewing experience.

In order to get the best looking results possible, you can try taking the photo with your phone in portrait mode, which should help blur out the background while keeping the subject in sharp focus.

Alternatively, you could pull out your DSLR with a fast lens and large aperture to create pleasing bokeh the natural way. This strong bokeh, or blurring of the background, will allow the flower to move more independently of the background, enhancing the 3D effect.

Don’t: Accidentally Trick The 3D Photography AI

As Much As We’d Like To Say We’re Perfect, We’re Not

Sometimes the Artificial Intelligence contained within LucidPix doesn’t quite understand what it’s looking at. In the video above, you can see that the AI was confused by the flower’s anther at the tip of the stamen. The AI did not realize they were connected, making that sharp bend you see in the 3D video above.

Similar results may be seen when converting photos with many thin, straight lines, such as the supports on a bridge, the thin stem of a flower, bare tree branches, or a metal fence.

We’re hard at work improving these areas, stay tuned for more information about upcoming LucidPix 3D conversion upgrades.

Do: Photograph Flowers That Grow In Mounds

The gradual depth changes inherent to mounding flowers or other similarly-shaped objects tend to create great 3D photo conversions. (By “depth” we mean the distance different parts of the scene are from the camera.) These smooth changes in distance can make for a more pleasing 3D display. It also helps that these types of scenes don’t require the app to take a wild guess as to what’s behind things.

Mounding Plants Look Great in 3D

The Coleus in the video above converted quite nicely to 3D, allowing you to really feel like you’re seeing the plant with your own eyes. the gradual change in depth from the subject of the photo to the far away greenery in the background really enhances the 3D effect.

Don’t: Capture Abrupt Changes in 3D Depth

Abrupt changes in depth often result in poor 3D photos. (Remember, “depth” is the distance different parts of the scene are from the camera.) This is a side effect of how 3D depth is displayed in a Facebook 3D photo or in LucidPix.

When viewing 3D photos, objects in the foreground tend to move a lot less than objects in the background. For this reason, smaller changes in depth between the subject of the photo and the background often make for a better 3D photo.

It’s not until these changes become drastic that problems start popping up. Sometimes the 3D effect is diminished when the artificial intelligence program must guess what is behind objects in the foreground.

Try Not To Make The AI Guess What’s Behind An Object

When the system that determines depth in the photo “guesses” at what is behind an object in the photo, sometimes it misses. In the video above, you can see that the AI did not do a great job guessing at what was hidden by the Zinnia flower. Avoiding abrupt depth changes can minimize these problems.

We’re hard at work improving these guesses, stay tuned for more information about upcoming LucidPix 3D conversion upgrades.

Do: Choose A Subject For Your Photo

Photos tend to look their best when there is a clear subject for your eye to be drawn towards. Great photographers leave little to interpretation. Rather, they make the viewer see what the photographer wants them to see by carefully crafting the subject.

Take, for example, the 3D video below. Here, there is no clear subject. All you see is a large Coneflower plant. You don’t know where to place you eye, leaving you wanting more from the photo.

Be Sure to Select a Subject

Don’t: Shoot Your Photo Horizontally

3D photos are made to be enjoyed on your smartphone. Because of this, unless you have a really good reason not to, you should always shoot your photos vertically, or portrait-style, rather than horizontal/landscape. This way you’re able to better fill your phone’s screen with the 3D photo you just made.

Shoot in Vertical Mode

Do: Try Different Sharing Settings In LucidPix

You’ve created the perfect 3D flower photo and you’re ready to share it with your friends and family. The best way to share it is within LucidPix, which ensures that your viewers see the best possible, most interactive 3D photo. Facebook also has great 3D photo sharing that will display 3D photos made in LucidPix.

Sharing your 3D creations outside of LucidPix and Facebook requires you to export as a looping animated GIF or MP4 video. Each file type will create a short video showcasing the 3D photo you made. LucidPix currently offers 4 camera movements you may choose from when exporting: Orbit, Zoom, Slide, and Square.

Export Setting: Orbit

Orbit Export Mode

The Orbit setting moves the camera around in a circle, displaying all sides of your 3D flower. This often is a great option, as it mimics how we tend to move our own phones when interacting with a 3D photo.

Export Setting: Zoom

The Zoom export setting is one of those hit or miss situations. When you find an image that works with this export option, it often looks absolutely amazing. On the other hand, if the image doesn’t look good, it usually jumps past OK, straight to bad.

Zoom Export Mode

Above, you can see that, for the most part, the Zoom export of these Lily flowers looks great. Unfortunately, you can see that that AI got a little confused on the bottom left orange petal and the middle right pink/peach flower petal.

Export Setting: Slide

The Slide export setting is another favorite. It’s similar to a traditional 3D wigglegram, but better! Rather that abruptly jumping from the far left view to the far right view, the slide uses our advanced artificial intelligence to create smooth movement between these two extremes.

Slide Export Mode

Be careful when exporting with the Slide option if there are lots of lines in your 3D photo. When the camera moves from side to side, straight lines like the the stem above can get a bent, which looks a bit off. In this instance, the bend is small enough that it is not a big deal, but it is worth noting nonetheless.

Export Setting: Square

The Square export setting is similar to the Orbit setting, except it moves in a clockwise direction and creates a “sharp corner” when moving around the image. This setting really gives you the ability to look around an image on all five sides.

Square Export Mode

Do: Add Filters to Your 3D Flower Photos

Sometimes Mother Nature needs a little help. Maybe the light wasn’t right or the colors on the screen just don’t do the flower justice. With LucidPix, you can improve the looks of your 3D photo with Instagram-style photo filters.

Add Filters To Enhance Your 3D Photo

Here, you can see that the original photo looked good and converted to 3D nicely, but the colors captured by the camera were way too subdued. In the real world, the flower was much more saturated and colorful. In order to fix this issue, we added a filter to the photo, making it look like we made this 3D photo of a flower on a bright, sunny day.

Do: Use Natural Perspective

Through the use of perspective, you can really enhance your 3D photos. Finding and photographing garden paths that shrink away to a single point really shows off the 3D nature of LucidPix.

Other strong perspective photo opportunities include street photography and tight canyons. Next time you see a long, straight path, get out your phone and capture it for the world with LucidPix!

Don’t: Do The Same Old Shot

All too often we fall back to the tried and true. We know it looks good most of the time, and it’s easier than trying something new. Next time you’re out taking photos, we suggest you take the extra time to see how framing your shot in a new way can make all the difference.

Take, for example, this photo of green tomatoes. By getting down to their level, and close enough to make them fill most of the frame, you can really enhance the 3D effect.

Do: Add 3D Text To Your Photo

LucidPix does more than just make 3D photos, it also edits them. You can add any text you want to your 3D creations, and customize it by changing the font style and text color.

With a little practice and the guidance above, you’ll be making amazing 3D photos with LucidPix in no time! Don’t forget to share your creations with the LucidPix Community. We can’t wait to see what you create!

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