We’ve added support for a new image format in vTime. You can now upload your side-by-side stereo images to share with friends!

vTime Stereo Images
The vTime QA team - always on hand for an impromptu demo on just about anything.

More immersive than a regular 2D images, this format uses the same technology as 3D TVs to create a three-dimensional parallax effect – in laymen’s terms, the image appears to change perspective if you move your head to a different position. 

There are a wealth of side-by-side stereo images available to download for free online, but we wanted to show you how to make your own. While there are many ways of getting the same effect, our tried and tested method involves crafting a stable frame –any chance to relive our childhood always wins!

While picking a subject to demonstrate the new file format, we realized we’ve never properly introduced our hardworking and long-suffering QA team, who vTime more than anyone ever to make sure it’s as bug free as humanly possible. So killing two birds with one stone, we proudly present ‘vTime QA Go Stereoscopic’!

If you head to your vTime library, you’ll see the fruits of our labor are ready and waiting for you to view in vTime, in either The Archive or The Boardroom. 

V Time Stereo Image Qa

How we took our stereo side-by-side image

1.       Side-by-side images work by tricking the eye into seeing two almost identical images as one. The images themselves are taken a short distance apart, so the viewpoint is slightly different. It is this that creates the 3D effect. To make our images, our art director OB made a rather great contraption from some packaging, blue tack, a pen, and some elastic bands. We needed to create a frame that held the phone placed horizontally twice, and a 6.5cm (the average distance between pupils) piece of blue tack. The blue tack length is important to creating a good stereo image. Looking at this image gives you a pretty good idea of how we made it. The only thing we’d alter, is cutting away a bit more of the frame at the back, just below the camera lens, as occasionally you can see it. 

Frame

2.       As you can imagine, we have more than our fair share of phones, so we had two on hand to capture the same subject twice. We placed two phones into either side of the frame, camera controls to the frame edge on both sides to make it easier to hit capture at the same time. Make sure your phone or phones are secured by the elastic bands. We take no responsibility for your cracked screen.

Vtime Phone In Frames
Having your phone positioned this way makes it easier to capture your subject
Thumbs
Hold the phone steady while hitting capture with each of your thumbs.

3.       We took ¾ of the QA team up to our roof top, asked them to pose, and snapped an abundance of images, using both thumbs to press capture on the right and left cameras at the same time.

4.       If you have two phones, great. If you don’t you’ll need a tripod and a quick hand. The blue tack and frame are your guides, just flip the phone over as quickly as you can and snap again.

5.       We then chose our image(s), and uploaded both to our computer. It’s good to keep track of which is the left and which is the right eye.

6.       To create this image, we used a pretty old piece of software called StereoPhoto Maker. It’s free and also really good, but there are plenty of other solutions out there to do the same thing. When we took our pictures, the second was slightly unaligned, but the handy Align tool, allowed us to sort that in an instant. They need to be almost exactly the same, it’s just the effect of that pesky 6.5 cm gap that’s different.

7.       To use your image in vTime, you need to output the file in 'side-by-side' mode, meaning quite literally that the left and right eye images are next to each other, and you’re left with one image.

8.       You then upload your file to vTime and tag it as a ‘Stereo’ image.


Stereo Menu

9.       Head into vTime and enjoy! If your image looks very wrong at this point, it’s because it’s either artistically terrible, or you have the left and right the wrong way around. In that eventuality, head back in and swap them around.

So that’s how we made our image. The image of ¾ of the QA team, is obviously lacking it’s vital fourth quadrant. Louisa, Jacob and Lee all felt very strongly that we should Photoshop the absent Tom into the pictures. We didn’t have time to do that, so it only seems fair to add a normal flat image of Tom to our guide. This is our favorite picture of Tom, enjoy.

Tom