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Old 02-21-2013, 01:26 AM   #1
Jsmith82 Jsmith82 is offline
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Default How to (manually) convert 2d images to 3d

Regarding a picture I posted in the 3d Movie section of the forum, I decided to write up a beginner's tutorial on how to convert a 2d image into a 3d image - I'm hoping this will A) bring more traffic to the site and generate a little more interest in 3d and B) maybe reel in a few people to my forum game suggestion (Conversion Friday).

The tutorial covers the following:
- the method used, and the basics behind it
- how 2d to 3d conversion via this method works and common problems that occur
- what to take into consideration when choosing an image to convert
- what software you will need (all share / freeware)
- step by step illustrated instructions walking through creating the layered map
- preparing your finished depth map for conversion
- conversion

I typed this up in an 18 page PDF which can be downloaded -> here <-

Here is a side by side of the example image (randomly found off of the web - I thought it would be funny to take an image that intentionally played off of the fact it was 2d and convert it to 3d thus undoing the photographers original intentions -> cue evil laugh Muh huh Ha Ha haaaaaaa)




Here is the full size original (for running through the tutorial):
[Show spoiler]


Here is the full size completed depth map:
[Show spoiler]


Last, here is the completed conversion from the example:
[Show spoiler]


Hope this helps answer some questions and maybe kick-starts a few at home artists!

To see how far you can take something like this, I urge you to check out local member Gae's conversion of Carnival of Souls to 3D - yes, Gae converted the ENTIRE thing SINGLE handed. It's a spectacular job for a one man army - you can see his depth maps, techniques, and samples of the film at his blog here: click me!

Cheers!
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:41 AM   #2
Gae Gae is offline
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Thanks Jsmith82 and nice conversion too.

Ironically, in this particular image the successful 3D effect exposes the "trick" of the woman holding up the Tower as she can now be clearly seen to be in the foreground. It's one of the few examples where 2D is better than 3D for the optical illusion to work.

In preparation for some possible extra interest in my conversion, I've reduced the downloadable COS 3D price even further.

Gae

Last edited by Gae; 02-21-2013 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:25 PM   #3
Jsmith82 Jsmith82 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gae View Post
Thanks Jsmith82 and nice conversion too.

Ironically, in this particular image the successful 3D effect exposes the "trick" of the woman holding up the Tower as she can now be clearly seen to be in the foreground. It's one of the few examples where 2D is better than 3D for the optical illusion to work.

In preparation for some possible extra interest in my conversion, I've reduced the downloadable COS 3D price even further.

Gae
Very cool that you dropped the price.

Yeah, I purposely chose that photo to convert because the photographer was taking advantage of it being 2d - figured what better way to show what 3d can do by ruining the original intentions lol
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:17 PM   #4
Jsmith82 Jsmith82 is offline
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Want to manually convert 2d to 3d yourself and accurately - not with an automated software? Check out my topic and tutorial here.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:18 AM   #5
tigermoth tigermoth is offline
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I get a warning saying "this type of file can harm your computer"
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:02 PM   #6
Jsmith82 Jsmith82 is offline
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That's no good! :-|

It's just a standard PDF (if that's what is causing your warning), it may be because it's a hosted downloadable file (my beefed up security questions the same, I also get questioned when running Bas-Relief).

Is that where you're receiving the message? Perhaps I just post the whole thing in here......
Want to manually convert 2d to 3d yourself and accurately - not with an automated software? Check out my topic and tutorial here.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:56 PM   #7
Zivouhr Zivouhr is offline
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Good stuff. Thanks for posting the info JSmith82.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:46 AM   #8
tigermoth tigermoth is offline
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Why don't you use 3D combine? It's much cheaper.
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:05 PM   #9
Jsmith82 Jsmith82 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigermoth View Post
Why don't you use 3D combine? It's much cheaper.
Quality reasons, mostly.

I've used 3D combine, and I've also exchanged emails with the programmer who is definitely a very smart and intelligent person. Both Bas Relief and 3DC offer the same effect but after doing a convert on a single image using them both, BR looked better to me - each have an algorithm that generates what the program "thinks" is behind the generated perspective, Relief's seemed to be a lot more accurate, or at least a lot more fluent looking and not so rough around the edges, especially when trying to create a heavy depth effect.

It will come down to personal preference, both are fun tools and work towards the same goal.

If you really want an in-depth piece of software for conversion you can also check out Gimpel3D. The fact it's freeware just blows my mind due to how deep that rabbit hole goes, you compare the capabilities next to other rendering software and it stands miles above. The documentation is limited which is a huge downfall IMO. Gimpel is listed in WIKI along with the "big boys" for being a good source for conversion:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2D_to_3...rsion#Software

I found though while trying to move through a large conversion project, it's a bit time consuming. The built in features work well on very particular things, but abroad not so much. Rene did a fantastic job with that software, and we've exchanged emails as well - very very helpful and friendly, always willing to answer questions. I applaud it.

Z.L.I.C.E. 3D is yet another cool piece of software, that actually allows you to hand create and generate depth maps AND do the conversion. I wasn't a huge fan of it but it looked promising. It operates much like a 3D conversion suite would, allowing you to pin and hook in a virtual window.

I will say the bummer of my online expedition looking for conversion software that wasn't automated was the G'MIC plugin for GIMP. I found that tough to use and I wasn't very pleased with my results. This could be user error perhaps, but the rendered perspective did not look very good to me.
Want to manually convert 2d to 3d yourself and accurately - not with an automated software? Check out my topic and tutorial here.

Last edited by Jsmith82; 03-28-2013 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:44 AM   #10
mseeley mseeley is offline
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thanks so much for the tutorial and links :thumbs up:
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:24 PM   #11
Jsmith82 Jsmith82 is offline
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Goofing around with some new map ideas (trying to simplify yet increase accuracy)

2012:


2012 (cross eye):


Here was my map for that conversion:


I've been reading around on different map methods - here was the steps to creating this one:

Desaturate the original image (invert depending on the luminosity)
Create 1 layer gradient filled from white to black in the given direction of the shot
Create 1 layer with an "accurate" map on the fly based off of positions (gray shades) from the gradient filled layer. Roto back to front filling on the fly, little accuracy
Move the original image to the top layer, change the opacity to a thin 2%, pratically see through but allowing some textures to show.
Set the "accurate" layer below this at 50% opacity.
Set the gradient layer below at 100% visible (with the other 2 on top, they will cover the majority of this layer.
Blur - flatten - save.

The entire process took me about 3 minutes.
Want to manually convert 2d to 3d yourself and accurately - not with an automated software? Check out my topic and tutorial here.

Last edited by Jsmith82; 05-09-2013 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:17 PM   #12
Gae Gae is offline
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Good one Jsmith82.

That brings back so many memories of when I did my conversion. One frame is OK but doing it for a whole movie (as I did for Carnival of Souls) is incredibly laborious. There has to be a certain amount of automation for one artist. I devised my own system where I used "actions" in photoshop to repeat each depth map created and then corrected any obvious errors on specific frames that stood out. I also discovered that using a background template really saves time.

I've been thinking of putting up some/all of the depth maps that I created on my COS blog just to remind myself (and others) of how much work went into it. That's why the studios use hundreds of artists for their conversions...of course, at a very high cost.

Here are a few of the depth maps that I did.

Gae

Last edited by Gae; 05-11-2013 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:35 PM   #13
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This is kind of off topic from my original intentions but I don't want to start something new for this.

Out of pure interest (and drive for the challenge), I've started developing an application (right now just an executable program) to convert 2d to 3d based off of a depth map. It's actually been pretty fun! I'm not a very good programmer, my scripts tend to be a little bit messy, but I'm gaining a lot more respect for the authors of Bas Relief, Gimpel, 3DCombine and the complexity around a simple conversion tool.

As I progress I'll talk about it here, right now I can successfully produce a second perspective in side by side format. It's definitely not as clean as the conversion software we're familiar with around the net, definitely not as fast (a single image takes about 30 seconds to convert) but then again I would call this project a "just to see if I can do it", not a "write pro software and try to profit".
Want to manually convert 2d to 3d yourself and accurately - not with an automated software? Check out my topic and tutorial here.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:50 PM   #14
FREYMAX 3D FREYMAX 3D is offline
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Hey Guys - I've been following this thread and am really interested in trying some of this out sometime... whenever I can find the time to start getting involved, that is... hopefully soon. I keep a few better-quality red-blue anaglyph glasses handy by my computers - I even carry a pair in my laptop bag when I travel - always looking for any kind of 3D content to look at. And if I can make my own, from my own photos, that would be even better!

So, just wanted to let you all know I'm
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:37 PM   #15
Jsmith82 Jsmith82 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FREYMAX 3D View Post
Hey Guys - I've been following this thread and am really interested in trying some of this out sometime... whenever I can find the time to start getting involved, that is... hopefully soon. I keep a few better-quality red-blue anaglyph glasses handy by my computers - I even carry a pair in my laptop bag when I travel - always looking for any kind of 3D content to look at. And if I can make my own, from my own photos, that would be even better!

So, just wanted to let you all know I'm


I have a blast doing these conversions and I love converting my own family and friend's pictures, in fact I'm converting around 20-30 photographs of my nieces for their Christmas present this year (Wife and I are having a book made of anaglyph 3d pictures of them, for them - ever since Cars 2 3D is "the coolest" heh..)

Here's a conversion I did for my buddy Dave when he got married:


A lot of the quality lies in your depth map creation. My tutorial above is a very simplistic approach but the point I can't stress hard enough is the more you put into your map, the better your results will be - especially in our seats not having access to the big full studio suites that your typical business will.

Here's another one that I did today, somebody posted this photo on Facebook and I immediately saw it and HAD to take the time to convert it:

Original:


My Depth Map:


Side by Side (cross eye):


Anaglyph:


I'd have to totally agree with you Gae - multiple times I've attempted to get into a movie project but I don't have the patience you had when you converted Carnival of Souls. At my rate I may finish my "big" project in 5 years haha. The problem is how tedious the work gets. When you convert a frame, or something just for fun, then you look at it and get that satisfaction, it feels great - Cool, I made this 3D. However when you still have 2000 more frames that are close to matching that first one to convert for that sequence before moving to the next one, you can imagine where the fun level goes. By frame 50 it's no longer fun, but a job. By frame 200, your eyes hurt. By frame 1000, you've opened your 4th beer and you're starting to search the web for whatever is on your mind and not convert frames.. lol. Only 65,000 more to go! Yahoo..
Want to manually convert 2d to 3d yourself and accurately - not with an automated software? Check out my topic and tutorial here.

Last edited by Jsmith82; 05-15-2013 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:09 PM   #16
Jsmith82 Jsmith82 is offline
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Software Update!

First I've taken to calling this (for the time being) "Turn Me 3D".

The program is a simple .exe file, no attachments or dynamics included, limited to Windows only at the moment, however anything XP SP3 or later can run it (a few other specs on running but they are minimal and usually are trumped with what comes "standard" on a computer now days)

Here's the skinny of it:
1. Load an image (either BMP or JPG)
2. Load a depth map
3. Choose a resolution
- Original Size
- 360 x 270 (landscape resized)
- 480 x 360(landscape resized)
- 600 x 450 (landscape resized)
- 270 x 360 (Portrait resized)
- 360 x 480 Portrait resized)
- 450 x 600(Portrait resized)
4. Hit Convert - which it that time locks the resolution down until you clear
5. Export your image in 1 of the following 6 visual formats (exported image will be in the resolution size you had chosen, SbS and CrossEye double width to not alter the image quality):
- side by side
- cross eye
- over / under
- red / cyan anaglyph
- green / magenta anaglyph
- yellow / blue anaglyph
** image save types are limited to JPG and BMP
6. Clear out your current project to begin a new conversion

Here's a couple shots of the interface:






The resulting export of converting "The Scream":


You can see the redraw is clean, and the original paste fill worked for this conversion - the only errors really noticeable are around the second silhouette's arm and the far right portion of the redraw, where the original image is visible.

The good, the bad, the ugly:

Good: I achieve 3d through pixel shifting and not stretching - currently not changeable. Max shift is 10 pixels (black on the map), minimum is 0 pixels (white on the map). The program currently does a complete redraw of the supplied image when rendering the second perspective, which helps get rid of that stretched look. However that leaves gaps, places where there is no data. My current solution to get around that is to paint the original image on the virtual canvas, then drawing the shifts over it - that way if there are any blanks, you'll see pixel color from the original image filling said blanks. It works well in some cases, not so well in others .

Bad: The quality works via the pixel shift method above, but that quality comes at a price of time. Every pixel is examined 11 times (you can see the image being drawn in the preview screen as a conversion is taking place) as the program draws the new image based on depth (to not draw over anything in the foreground). So it goes through and draws the furthest part, then the next part (shift of 9), then the next (shift of 8), all the way until 0. A large image takes upwards of 5 minutes to convert this way.

Ugly: 5 minutes to convert a large image SUCKS. Trying to fill the blanks of a pixel shift by guessing SUCKS.


My current focus and goals: I had the idea last night, instead of going through the image 11 times, searching for each depth level, perhaps I could use an array to store the gray shade of the map with the color shade of its equal pixel location from the original image, then somehow manipulate that information into a single draw through. It would cut the speed by 75% which would be great.

Back filling missing data after the shift, I think I'm going to work towards a user choice of 3 methods: pixel stretching, painting the original map before the draw, or leaving the information blank (filling the blanks with a lime green color) so you could take the exported image and fill the blanks yourself with GIMP or Photoshop, etc.

Auto crop - an on off feature to trim the sides of the image so any heavy back fill is not seen.

A lot more ahead to get this working well............ But it's worth it, been a ton of fun trying to figure out how to auto-convert something.
Want to manually convert 2d to 3d yourself and accurately - not with an automated software? Check out my topic and tutorial here.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:18 PM   #17
Big3dfan Big3dfan is offline
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Can someone enlighten me about how this depth map is derived? Is it automatically done from the image or is this where one needs to become created on defining the layers and their separation?

Also how is the "missing info" between two views generated? for example if a foreground object occludes part of a background object?
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big3dfan View Post
Can someone enlighten me about how this depth map is derived? Is it automatically done from the image or is this where one needs to become created on defining the layers and their separation?

Also how is the "missing info" between two views generated? for example if a foreground object occludes part of a background object?
Depthmaps are generally hand drawn - the lighter the shade, the closer the object / darker the shade the further. It takes practice an getting used to before you gain a good sense of what should be where. Best way I've found to do it is with GIMP or a photo editing software that allows you to create and utilize layers, that way you can start with the furthest layer first, then work your way towards the front. Once completed, flatten your image, give it a little blur, and export your jpeg.

Heres a GIF I created of my depth map for the skeleton image in my post above:



Backfilling what spaces are created by shifting the images around is definitely the toughest part for these conversion softwares, and has been the largest thorn in my side trying to write my own.

The general way is by stretching the layer behind the adjusted layer to fill in the gap - some programs have a better algorithm that others - some may just stretch the pixel, some will take a chunk of background and guess in general what should be in the blank. Either or it will definitely never be perfect without a proper touch up.
Want to manually convert 2d to 3d yourself and accurately - not with an automated software? Check out my topic and tutorial here.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:16 PM   #19
lulu251777 lulu251777 is offline
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I tried to convert a few pictures to 3D using depth maps and other techniques.
here they are:

2.jpg

RIVERi.jpg

1.jpg

Walking.jpg
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:21 PM   #20
Big3dfan Big3dfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lulu251777 View Post
I tried to convert a few pictures to 3D using depth maps and other techniques.
here they are:
very interesting, please post cross-eyed format
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