Stereoscopy In Photoshop

I posted earlier about my stereoscopic technique for Robots! in 3D which utilized Photoshop, a tcl script and Apple Shake to programatically make a stereoscopic composition. Last night I tried to take shake and tcl out of the picture and do the 3D for the latest page for Robots! in 3D completely in Photoshop. The video above is a time lapse of me doing it (make sure you watch it in 3D to get the most of it) and jump the link for the details.

When we were doing the first concept page for Robots! in 3D, I tried to do the page in Photoshop but it got pretty convoluted pretty quick. Now with close to an issue under my belt I think I figured out a pretty efficient way to do some 3Din'.

In our previous pipeline, we would do the art in Photoshop, create Layer Comps for every element on the page and then export these Layer Comps to tiffs for Shake. I started last night's page with the tiffs that I would normally use with my tcl script.

I used Adobe Bridge to import those files as layers into PS ( Tools > Photoshop > Load Images into Photoshop Layers... ). I know this is a bit silly, considering I had the original psd as well, but I already had the files and having everything flattened is really important. Next time i'll go through the original document and merge layers and start from there.

After I had all my elements in Photoshop, I grouped them by cell. Once grouped by cell, I grouped all the cell groups to create a group for an eye. I then duplicated the eye group to create a Left Eye and Right Eye group. Multiplied the left eye times red; right eye by cyan; added them up and I had a 3D comp.

Nothing is offset so everything appeared on the same plane as the screen. To start placing things in depth it's about offsetting and skewing the right eye layers until they create the desired 3D effect. What was really amazing about this technique is I could work real-time in 3D. I could drag a layer to the proper depth. In Shake it was all about tweaking a node attribute and waiting for the render.

I don't know if I am completely sold on this technique. If we need to make any small changes to the original art we need to reset the entire element in 3D. With the shake method we just re-exported the element and reloaded the Shake node. However the Photoshop method was quick. The video above is about 30 minutes speed up to 1.5 minutes. I think we'll definitely do some more page with Photoshop and see how they go.

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