Smartphones have now become an omniscient device, able to do almost anything that we can imagine. So, it’s about time that we expect to capture 3D images with our iPhone cameras. But, smartphone cameras are still not equipped with sufficient hardware required for 3D image capturing. However, some iPhone accessories can help to create a 3D rendering of a 2D image. Regarding this, advancements have also been made in the software front.
Here, we’ll talk about a hardware device and a few mobile apps that will give you a fair chance of capturing 3D images with your iPhone.
Hardware based solution
The general idea of using a hardware accessory for 3D viewing or capturing of photos and videos is to take two different photos of the same scene. The photos are then combined to render a single picture with acute depth perception, much similar to how the brain combines the images formed on our retinae.
Poppy 3D is a device which uses the basic concept of capturing two stereographic images and then combining them to produce a virtual 3D image. The design has been inspired by that of Google Cardboard; although Google Cardboard is only a viewing device, whereas Poppy 3D acts both as a viewing and a capturing device.
Poppy 3D has two mirrors in front. These mirrors capture the views from both left and right eyepieces, with a single shot of the camera. When you look through the viewfinder at the other end, the left and right images are combined and you see a single picture in 3D view.
The product does not include any batteries, and comes with a price tag of around $50.
If you are not really into buying a separate device for 3D viewing and capturing, you might want to try some of the 3rd party apps as an alternative solution. Here are three such apps that allow your phone camera to take 3D pictures.
Fyuse- 3D photos
This app basically works for any smartphone to capture 3D photos. This app captures space from different angles and joins the different moments into a single 3D picture. You can see the image by tilting your phone or by simply swiping the picture on your phone screen. Fyuse also has inbuilt stickers and different effects which you can apply to your 3D photo to give it the extra modification; although you will need iPhone 6 or higher for those extra effects. Fyuse itself is a sharing platform through which you can post your captured 3D photos or can even share them externally in other popular social media platforms.
Slide – 3D GIF Camera
With this app, you will simply need to focus on your subject and then move the phone camera horizontally around the subject to capture it from all directions. It will then combine all the angles and turn it into one single picture. The picture actually turns into a GIF rather than a JPG or PNG. The GIF will give you a pretty good depth perception of the subject and make the photo a 3D picture. This app works best if the subject of the subject is in a well lit background and in a contrast colored environment. This app will work on iPhone 5 or higher versions. You can share your captured 3D photos directly to various social network platforms by Slide.
With Seene, you will need to point your iPhone camera to the subject and move the phone smoothly in one particular direction. The app will calculate the depth acuity of the subject with that movement and create a 3D image. With this app, you can also refocus or blur particular areas of the captured photo to adjust the 3D picture to your likings. This app also saves the original photo in your phone and provides you 3D pictures in the formats of GIF as well as JPEG. This app works for iPhone 4S and above models. Like Slide, Seene also provides you the provision of sharing those captured 3D photos to your preferred social media platforms through the app.
If you are willing to give your iPhone a shot in capturing 3D photos, then you should try a hardware device like Poppy 3D. This is definitely the closest thing you will get of a 3D picture with your normal camera phone.
But if you just want to have a perception of 3D photo capturing with your iPhone, then you can try the 3rd party apps mentioned above which will provide the option of capturing 3D simulation images. Both hardware and software alternatives are pretty easy to use, and you can start capturing 3D images and share them with your friends right away!