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How I shot an electronics board in 3D!

Dear Friend,
Recently one of my old customer asked me whether I would be able to make the 3D lenticular card with electronic board. He wanted the card where each of electronics elements, such as capacitors, microchips and others, were arranged in depth of 3D lenticular picture and this card has the name of his company on the front and some information on the back.

He wanted to order 100 - 250 cards and then if these cards would be the good promotional products he was going to order several thousands cards at once. His goal was to prepare for exhibition where he wanted to show his electronics products and to give these cards with information about his company away.

I explained to him that I can make up to 500 cards using my technology and if he wanted to make the quantity of cards from one thousand and more we have to use a lithographic lenticular technology where an interlacing picture will be printed directly on the back of lenticular lenses. This technology is the best for big run orders, because the high quality, low price and thin lenses. I have the good relationships with the companies that can make the big run orders with outstanding quality and we can choose a manufacturer that gives us the best options.

Before making the pictures I have to shoot the frames. For that I use my 3D photo equipment:

  1. Camera Sony F-828, 8 megapixel sensor, 1 GB Compact Flash memory and remote wired shutter release Sony RM-DR1.
  2. Strong, steady, aluminium tripod Manfrotto 055CLB. The tripod must be strong enough for not bending when the camera will move along the Tripod Add-on. Otherwise you will have to fix the slopes of each frames in photo editor software, like Ulead PhotoImpact, for example, and spend your time and efforts for that.
  3. Tripod Add-on for multishooting. I do not know any other more useful device for 3D shooting. All my 3D pictures were made with it.
  4. Ball head Manfrotto 486RC2 for attaching the camera to Tripod Add-on.

Before shooting I had to decide what lighting I need. As an electronic board has the high capacitors, any direct lighting will give a strong shadows that I wanted to avoid. Hence I needed an ambient light that would surround all elements with the same brightness. I know I could reach that using the so-called "north light".

In my working room I have two big windows. One window is northward and second is westward directed. The sun is peeping in my room just after 2 p.m. Hence before that time I have the nice ambient light from windows for shooting such small things as flowers, vegetables and that electronic board.

I took the black cloth as background, placed the electronic board to background and organized my working space in such way that the light from both windows fell on the board at the angle of 45 degrees.

At about one meter length from electronic board I disposed the tripod with the Tripod Add-on for multishooting. I attached the camera with the remote wired shutter release Sony RM-DR1. The angle between plane of board and camera I have chosen about 30 degrees. In that position all electronic elements were clearly visible and the scene had the depth (picture 1). The supports under board helped to reach the right angle of view for camera.

Picture 1

In most cases I use the "Parallel stereoshooting with the tripod add-on" method that I described in detail in my book "How to make high quality lenticular 3D photos and Flip pictures for home and business". It is fast, easy to repeat method and gives very good results.

The main question using this method of shooting is what stereobase do I have to use? Before I had to use different stereobases, shot the frame sets, interlaced them and saw how the picture looks like. In other words I had to use the trial-and-error method. Luckily now we have the "MultiStereoBase" software that can calculate the stereobase before multi shooting. That software saves our time, energies and we will get the better result.

In this case I have chosen the 22 cm stereobase. It means that I had to shoot 12 frames with the moving steps of 2 cm. That is easy to do with the Tripod Add-on for multishooting.

I have chosen the aperture as "8", because I wanted that all elements, close and far were sharp and the exposure as 1/10 sec. With such long exposure it is a good idea to use a remote wired shutter release if you want to get the sharp images.

I shot 12 frames with the resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels each. Below you can see the small copies of some frames (pictures 2 - 7).

Picture 2 - First Frame

Picture 3 - Third Frame

Picture 4 - Fifth Frame

Picture 5 - Seventh Frame

Picture 6 - Ninth Frame

Picture 7 - Twelfth Frame

After shooting we have to improve the quality of each frame using photo editing software, like Ulead PhotoImpact, for example. and then interlace the frames using "PhotoProjector" software as described in my book "How to make high quality lenticular 3D photos and Flip pictures for home and business".

The small copy of interlaced picture you can see on picture 8.

Picture 8

If you look at this picture carefully you will see that some objects are blur and some sharp. The reason of that is the sharp objects locate close to "zero-point" plane and the blur objects locate far away from "zero-point" plane. The blur object will be in depth of picture and in front of picture plane.

Let's write an inscription to the picture.

The easiest way for that is to use an interlaced picture.

Let's run Ulead PhotoImpact and our interlaced picture. Using Text Tool and Text Panel we can type the inscription that we need. On that picture I wrote "3D PhotoPro Computers". That is not a real company, of course. :-) I wrote that inscription just for newsletter, because I do not have the rights to use the name of any real company, except mine (picture 9).

Picture 9

This inscription will be on "zero-point" plane of 3D lenticular picture. The best place for inscription is the left-upper corner because in that case the inscription will be above the electronics board on the picture. If you choose the left-lower corner, for example, you will break a correct visual perception of 3D effect, because the capacitor in that corner is in front of "zero-point" plane. So, it will looks like it steps forward of 3D lenticular picture, but the inscription is on "zero-point" plain, hence it must be behind the capacitor, not in front of him. Please, do not make such mistakes.

You can see the finished work on picture 10.

Picture 10

Now we have the good sample of the picture that we need and 12 frames that we can use for making cheap lenticular cards using a lithographic technology.

I hope you received several new ideas for your lenticular business from that newsletter. I will be glad if your business will enlarge using my advises. And, of course, you can use any of my relationships with the companies that use the lithographic lenticular technology for making big run orders. The sizes of lenticular pictures can be from business card size and up to 70 x 100 cm and even bigger.

Sincerely yours,
Igor Kurchavov