Chipp Walters has a nice tutorial on how to render objects from packages like Keyshot while preserving transparencies. While Keyshot and many other packages will let you render an object with an alpha channel for replacing the background of the object, the transparency does not extend to any internal transparencies on the object. In Chipp’s example, a glass light bulb is rendered with the white background solid on the inside of the orb.
Chipp outlines how to render the image with a color background, and then replace the color with transparency, just like green-screening is done in video.
This is a great trick to have up your sleeve.
Link: The Perfect Green Screen Key Effect in Photoshop
3D is getting hyped up pretty hard these days. Avatar was buzzed as the best 3D experience ever created for the theater. Many TVs ship with 120hz or 600hz screens, capable of displaying images fast enough to produce 3D for a viewer watching with LCD-based shutter glasses. Nvidia is bringing shutter-based 3D to desktops with their 3D Vision kit. Nintendo has shown off their upcoming 3DS, which promises to deliver a 3D effect through a prismatic filter that diverts even and odd vertical columns of pixels to the right and left eyes of the viewer. There are even consumer digital cameras hitting the market that can record still pictures and video from two lenses, creating 3D content.
You’re not left out of the fun if you lack the equipment just mentioned, though. If your eyes are strong you can see plenty of 3D content by just crossing your eyes. You’re not going to watch a feature length presentation with this method, but it will get you through a few photos of someone’s vacation without too much pain.
I’ve played with cross-eyed 3D before with photography, and most recently with rendering one of my design projects from school. Click on the image below for a larger view. Cross your eyes, trying to make a third image in the middle. I’ve placed a round logo at the bottom of the image to help you line the pictures up. Once you get the hang of it, snapping two images together and bringing them into focus is fast and easy.
The reason I’m writing this post tonight is because I came across the Stereophotography Group on Flickr. The group is full of stunning images that can be viewed with this same cross-eyed technique.
Check out the Stereophotography group, but go easy. You’ll need to be able to look straight again when you can finally afford that new 3D TV and Blu-ray player.