About 3D Autostereoscopic Photographic Artist Almont Green


Words that describe Almont Green:  Artist, inventor, entrepeneur, technologist and appreciator of science.

For the last few years I have been immersed in the new art and science of multi-perspective photography. Specifically, 3D autostereoscopic multi-perspective high dynamic range lifesize 252 megapixel (and higher) interlaced image coupled to lenticular lens material art and science.  Now there’s a mouthful!

There is [the potential of] inherent information in a life size autostereoscopic photograph that can give us visual information that can only otherwise be achieved by seeing what is depicted within the photograph in person looking at the real scene. But that 3D photograph contains information from just an instant in time. Something we can’t experience in real life.  This is a truly extraordinary capability because it provides the opportunity to look closely at everything that happened at that moment. To take it all in and examine the moment in detail. With the added depth and multiple perspectives of an autostereoscopic photograph it is possible to engage the full visual processing capabilities of the brain and therefore extract more meaning, emotion, context and accurately impression a memory or sustain a memory to an extent not possible with standard photography.

The potential experience of 3D autostereoscopic photography is in stark contrast to the ever increasing speed of impression-only imagery. We glance at camera phone pictures, often viewing images only for as long as it takes to refresh the screen with the next image. Today, it suffices to only get an impression of what the image is. The quality of photographs has been declining and our attention span decreasing.  With an autostereoscopic photograph, the visual impression is only the beginning and immediately leads to a much deeper engagement by the viewer.  Indeed, it is hard to look away from an autostereoscopic photograph that depicts something of interest to us. The longer we look at the photograph, the more we are rewarded with information that we weren’t expecting. Things like texture, how the content of the photograph reflects light and the very essence of how we determine “stuff” in real life like softness or harness. The light reflecting from objects is three dimensional and occupies multidimensional space. When we flatten that light we take the life out of the picture. It can only be an image reference not considerably different than an illustration.

A big problem is that not all 3D imagery is equal or carries a level of realness equal to seeing in real life. Indeed, almost all 3D imagery to date lacks this ability. I doubt that ANY point and shoot consumer camera for the general public will achieve this capability because 3D imagery is an art that requires knowledge and understanding of the principals and physics in order to achieve results close to a convincing level of “real life-ness”. Perhaps newly discovered technology will solve the complexity problem some day, but currently it does not exist. 

In the meantime, the solution is simple. Let me take your photograph ;^)

17 responses to “About 3D Autostereoscopic Photographic Artist Almont Green

  1. I happened across your comment on how much money you had spent on lenticular R&D. I found this rather astonishing given I had spent only about $5000. I am an artist who was very privilaged to be the senior division manager in the field of multimedia at the National Gallery of Canada most of my working life. I am a pioneer in 3D in respect to its future use in fine art and developed a lot of new techniques in this respect while building one of the first multimedia centers in a museum environment in Canada.

    In respect to lenticular, clearly the biggest issue is the limited depth of field. This one issue limits its use in fine art landscape work. It is a meticulous science requiring a meticulous workflow but no matter how careful or good you are, if you cannot increase the DOF equal to that of classic photography, you are confined to studio work only where you have complete control over your parallax and occlussions. Because of my lifes work, lenticular is now ready for prime time in the field of fine art. I was able to over come all DOF issues. As a result I am launching in my Lunenburg art gallery this season a full lenticular landscape 3D exhibition. The image quality is stunning and the depth of field is just about limitless.

    When I retire I will write a book on my R&D and digital art secrets but for now it remains something I guard for my own use as I am a professional and this is how I make my living. I commend you on your developments. I spent literally 25 years developing fine art 3D and I am now 65. This is the first season that technology has moved to a place where it will finally do what I need allowing an artist to create a full 3D lenticular painting for the first time.
    Your artist always
    Dan

    Daniel Richards
    4952 Hwy 332
    East Lahave
    Nova Scotia
    B4V 0V6

    http://www.danielrichardsgallery.com
    Dan

    • I would argue that cross talk is maybe a more useful description of the problem and not DOF which can be a misleading way to describe the limitations of a lens array. There are many approaches to limiting cross talk and each has its own set of limitations. To say there is a “solution” is interesting. You might have something that mitigates the problem to a greater or lesser extent and I would commend you for your efforts – the proof is always in looking at the final results. But every approach has some amount of weakness or shortcoming which may or may not be important in the overall scheme of things. Sometimes, imperfections are completely masked.

      Lenticular is a stop gap technology, a speed bump if you will on the path to hologram or interference pattern imagery which provides “true” artificial spatial focus points. Ha ha, I love saying “true” artificial ;^) as all display technology is presenting an illusion for the eyes to capture and present to the brain. I can’t wait for the marketers to come up with “beyond hologram”. However, returning back to Lenticular – it can be very good and I think it has been ready for prime time for many years and find it interesting that you don’t. I have seen many very good examples (although there are many more BAD examples). For the most part, people haven’t been very careful in the creation of lenticular images. I find most examples to be quite lacking in terms of technical excellence (including many of my own, by the way.) But many, even with their imperfections, have redeeming qualities that make them quite enjoyable to view.

      “Full 3D lenticular painting for the first time…” Ouch, those kind of statements always bother me. What the heck does it mean? There is too much hyperbole in this field. “My secret sauce is better than everyone else’s secret sauce…” Yada yada yada. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing something and it doesn’t matter to me if you are compelled to label yourself with a lofty title and it doesn’t matter how much you spend on R&D. What matters is the end result and if somebody enjoys it. Clearly you think a lot of your work and enjoy your work. You are far ahead of me because I find my work lacking and always see room for improvement and ways it could be better. I will never be satisfied with myself as you seem to be with yourself. The thought of writing a book hurts my brain because by the time I got half way through, the first half would be obsolete based upon new things I learned. Heck, this blog is peppered with out dated stuff and I’m always refining my position on things.

      Finally, I am so jealous that you can describe your work as “stunning…” And you have achieved perfection with only a $5,000 investment. I could never imagine that for me. While others have described my work as “stunning” I could never describe it that way because I see all of the imperfections and ways it could be better. To me, it is just a step in the evolutionary process of improvement, which never ends. That you feel you have found a solution is hard for me to wrap my head around. That’s not something I ever see myself saying. For me, there will always be something better to try.

      By the way, 65 is the new 45 given that our life spans are now longer. ;^) I still think of myself as a kid with a lot to learn. My age is not relevant to anything. Indeed, one of the best ideas I ever heard was from a 10 year old girl/artist and one of the worst ideas came from an old PhD professor with pages of credits and patents speaking about optics at a Photonics conference.

      See, this response proves I don’t know much ;^) I am simply on a mission to do the best I can which, thankfully, some people think is stunning even if I don’t.

  2. Well perhaps a better way of looking at the entire lenticular problem is intuitively utilizing some right brain holistic thinking. What we have in our hands is essentially a machine (technology) built buy a human (engineer), nothing more and nothing less. Unfortunately that inherently means limitations usually due to a strong analytical approach to its development and this can only take us so far down the road to perfection. Having said that, I believe there is no such thing as perfection, just perfect compromise and that is my goal. Without engineering though we would not be where we are today so thanks to that remarkable group (my son inclueded, now artist http://www.markrichardsgallery.com) I have found that when technology gets bogged down it usually signifies that a major shift in brain processing is required. Intuitive right pondering of the big picture offers us a chance to move way outside the box. When I find something that has great potential, like lenticular, but falls short, it challenges me intuitively. Its up to use as artists to take what’s engineeringly stalled all the way to completion. Often solutions to these problems are just a different way of thinking away. You have guessed it, I am a right brain guy 😉

    To do this I first need to understand the machine intellectually and technically. I need to be aware of its weaknesses and strengths. I also need to have envisioned my goal clearly and what is expected upon completion of the task at hand. Because a machine was created by a human it will have some of its flaws and personality too. The best machines have the least of these and are as pure a machine as possible. All I have done with lenticular is finish the job the engineers started. When both hemispheres work together well we attain the rarest commodity on this planet. Its called “Common Sense” which at a physiological level is simply two cerebral cortex hemispheres, left and right brain, working together at the speed of light in perfect unison through the corpus collosum. Only this approach to thinking can lead us to the perfect compromise. Unfortunately this is not fostered by a left brain analytical education system. Don’t get me on that topic 😉

    I often ask some of the most educated visitors in my gallery, “HOW MUCH WOULD YOU PAY FOR A WORK OF ART YOU DON’T LOVE”? You would be astonished at how many replay, after some serious thinking, $20! It was a redundant question that intuitive right hemisphere dominant individuals laugh at and reply instantly with “NOTHING!” So unfortunately the world is a left and right brain place and if you know how to bridge the great divide then its often possible to take something that does not quite work that way you think it should over to the other side where it does. That’s who I am and what I really do.

    You are completely correct when you use the term cross talk. This is of course its main weakness as opposed to a classic stereo pair which remain discrete. I apologize if I have given you the impression of an overly confident perhaps somewhat narcissistic artist but this is not who I am. What is seriously wrong with art today is simply caused by swollen heads and inflated egos. Art for me is a business and a passion but a business first these days. My years of passion are now over except for my current pursuit of lenticular science which is my dream come true as an artist.

    Summing it all up I can say that I have always believed that lenticular could emulate a classic stereo pair and I knew that if I made that possible then the door to fine art would fly open. Classic stereo technology has always been ready for fine art were it not for the delivery systems available. Who wants to wear a pair of 3D glasses in their living room to view their art. To left brain for me 😉

    I have spent much of my R&D life investigating the relationships between disparity, parallax and stereo cues. Believe me, it was not wasted.

    I enjoyed talking to you as there are so few on this planet who are doing what we are at the level we are.

    Dan

    • You hit on one of my pet peeves “swollen heads and inflated egos”. Glad to hear you are sensitive to that. I am always amazed at the number of folks who have recently “invented” proprietary lenticular 3D and have “for the first time in history” achieved the impossible. So far, looking at the results leads me to a certain level of disappointment in every case. There was a group at SIGGRAPH with an autostereoscopic display they promoted as “perfection”, “amazing”, “unbelievable”. Years of genius research with pages of mathematical formulas to create “blah blah blah”. The display was interesting and unique and a step towards improvement. I told them it would be nice if their brochure headline was “We have made some improvements to Lenticular autostereoscopic display tech”. They looked at me like I was a space alien when I told them that at the sweet spot it did have fewer artifacts than what is typical but to promote it as a theater screen replacement was a bit of a reach given that off axis cross talk could use improvement before adding a lot of seats to the theater. I told them to check out the patents from “Optics for hire” in Cambridge where they invented years ago a beam steering display to align with lenticular lenses to up the number of perspectives to a few hundred. This smooths out noticeable cross talk to a greater extent for off axis viewing (but still not “perfect”).

      I doubt that ever happened.

      I took a little bit of a different path. Rather than get too bogged down with analyzing the mechanics, I turned to an investigation of the brain and the human vision processing systems. It would appear that it is much more adaptive and plastic than the current dogma would have you believe. Indeed, the brain uses a lot more data than what comes in from the optic nerves and, what is even more amazing, the brain adds its own data that it creates from somewhere?! I first started thinking about this when reading about what blind people see. YES, blind people SEE, and not with their eyes.

      Fascinating stuff. So much to learn and explore. I now have a fifty camera array (yes, I am crazy) and am learning new things constantly that surprise me in the most astounding ways. Next week, I’m taking my 200 megapixel Hasselblad out to shoot multi perspectives of some amazing sculpture by Alex Grey. “Ultra” high resolution (200 megapixels) is quite fascinating when you add multiple perspectives and align them to a precision cast lenticular lens. I’ll be doing 72 perspectives at 2800 interlaced lines per inch coupled to a 39LPI lens with the source image vector scaled to 30″x30″ from the 200 megapixel source perspectives and interlacing and printing with no interpolation beyond the precision vector scaling. For fun, I will be interlacing individual inks for high dot integrity ;^) Yes, it takes a powerful computer to do that which is an area of expense that was very costly to achieve.

      I suspect the image will look pretty good. But I’m sure I’ll see something I don’t like. I’ve been told people will want to buy them, so that’s a plus.

      -best!

  3. Well I opted for a very different approach. I had considered camera arrays which are nice because of their ability to stop motion in its tracks but I needed portability and freedom to create as an artist and technology like this ends up driving the creative process due to its size and complexity which is for me counter productive. We end up so distracted by the technology that it becomes the ends rather than the means. If I was ever to achieve the delicate artistic nuances that are synonymous with fine art, I knew technology could not drive the venture to the magnitude you are working with. I needed a technique that would allow for multiple parallax extractions from a single scan. I ended up building a custom motorized glider that is precision calibrated to my needs. I then developed a way of working in 3D in real time on my computer without any mechanical aids. This meant interfacing my visual cortex directly to the graphic system. No I do not have wires coming out of my head but sometimes if feels like that. Next came the development of a depth measuring scenario where I could accurately measure the depth of any lenticular array accurate to one pixel. Now I had control over the Z axis and was painting in real time on the Z axis as well as X and Y. I live in a virtual world.

    Its hard to share things like this without giving away what you have worked for all your life. If I had already made my fortune I would be gladly sharing my secrets with you today. Over the next 5 years this just might happen and then I will be free to divulge details. For now I will outline generally what my approach has been. I think the raw difference between what we are trying to achieve is that you are using this technology to capture art while I am using it to create it. There is a huge difference but I respect both approaches.

    Any how as long as we are having fun that’s all that matters.

    Where are you situated?
    Dan

    • Actually, I enjoy collaborating with artists immensely because it helps to compensate for the technology distraction. Well, some artists more than others ;^)

      I am not as concerned or fearful of somebody finding out how I do things. It is all so F’ing hard that if somebody wants to try what I’m doing I get a great chuckle. It isn’t about the tools as much as it is about the content that is created with those tools. Also, it is VERY unlikely that something proprietary lenticular can be monetized to a great source of wealth. Who is going to buy or license the technology? It is a tiny niche market limited to a few nut jobs like me who see enormous value in the potential for the content that might be created. Plus, it is the G.D. lawyers that end up with the money regarding patents and all of that proprietary poop.

      Don’t get me wrong, patents have their place and money can be made. But if it is lenticular related, I have serious doubts about anyone making piles of dough on something “new”. As to divulging details – you already said it… There just aren’t that many of us out there and the “state-of-the-art” is pretty much crap from the mainstream printing companies. If I broke into your house and stole all of your ideas, guess what? You would probably never know it and I doubt that I’d get so rich that it would be worth you taking legal action against me. I’m just not that worried about it and if you never let the cat out of the bag, you limit the chances to learn something new, sometimes. I guess I’m just reacting to the 20 or so people I’ve spoken with who all have some “original” idea regarding how to do lenticular that they think nobody has ever thought of. I tell them that their mother must be very proud. Then I tell them a couple of things I learned and their eyes pop out of their heads like I just gave away the secret formula for Coke.

      There is a German guy who bought a Raytrix plenoptic camera doing lenticular and having the prints done at Big3D. He is a very good traditional photographer, but not so good as a multi perspecitve photographer because he doesn’t understand the difference between presenting depth on a flat image for interpretation and presenting an image with depth to be experienced. The brain doesn’t work the same way for each kind of image. He is probably wondering why people don’t want to buy more of his Super Duper 3D images. I reached out to him to have a discussion, but he probably wasn’t interested in telling anyone his secrets ;^) and he never returned my calls.

      I had a discussion with an engineer at Pixar and the next thing I knew they were using some of my ideas on their Cars movie. They didn’t send me any money, and I wasn’t expecting any. I’m happy to know that they made the movie a bit better when they didn’t have to invest in a way to introduce binocular rivalry in a way that helps the brain to process texture. They did it purely to make the movie better without any possibility of adding revenue as a result. Nice to see somebody care about the work they are doing independently of financial gain.

      All this is blah blah blah anyway ;^) I am having enormous fun and I’m situated in Boston. I also have a studio out in Los Angeles but it is currently not active as the person I had out there decided to do something else and moved to Wichita, Kansas to pursue a film career.

      By the way, is it your opinion that Ansel Adams used technology to capture art as opposed to creating it? If so, there are some people that you might want to set straight about that because they are under a different impression. ;^)

  4. BTW, Welcome to the left brain world. There is a huge difference between knowing and thinking you know. I have often said that if you do not possess common sense you will never know what it is because it takes common sense to understand, recognize and to utilize it. LOL. People who possess this rare trait never make such claims or grand stand because they are constantly aware of everything relevant.

    The secret to true success lies in awareness.

    Genius is the man who sees ten things while the ordinary man sees only one. Ingenious is the man who sees only two or three but has the where with all to incorporate them into the material of his art.

    Dan

  5. Well if I may with your permission ask one question. I wanted to get to know you a little before feeling I could ask it. Of course you do not have to answer. You have said several times that when called to assess or view the latest greatest most unique wonderful discovery in lenticular technology you are most often left disappointed because clearly the hype has built your expectations much higher than the results. I have heard you describe to me some of what you are doing and my response is nothing short of astonishment. It sound absolutely marvelous and very superior in every way. So now its my turn to see if I will end up as disappointed or remain as astonished as you have been in the past.

    Can you, with your configuration, take a lenticular photograph of any landscape scene that stretches from your feet to the horizon having a measured parallax reading, based on the disparity between both ends of the array (stereo base), a parallax of not less than 10 and as high as 15% measured on the closest object to the lens that when viewed under a 60 LPI lens at 24 inches the scene remains razor sharp with no blur from front to back and with no noticeable artifacts?

    If the answer is yes then you have equated my life’s work and congratulations to you.

    Dan

  6. Forgot to mention two things. I am aware that any parallax greater than 3.33 is beyond what the human brain can comfortably process and the lens I am refering to is 36 inches wide.

    • I’m happy to answer any questions to the best of my ability. For me, the big compromise with lenticular is the trade off between viewing angle and the sweet spot in terms of distance to the image and position left/right as it relates to the alignment of the interlaced images to the lens and the eye’s alignment to the lens in terms of left/right positioning. I have experimented with extremely narrow viewing angles and have a 100 line per inch lens that when pitched for a viewing distance of 20 inches can present a single unique perspective to each eye with zero cross talk. The problem with it is that the sweet spot is far to critical and for this reason I abandoned that approach. There is someone in Israel I believe that is actually making a business out of narrow viewing angle + barrier combinations to achieve single perspective viewing to each eye. In my view it isn’t practicable but it is interesting.

      Another approach I tried used a compound lens but again my goal has been to mirror the viewing of a painting or photograph and moving around is part of the experience of a multi perspective image – so the idea of a fixed viewing location is counter intuitive to me. Eye tracking devices have been developed in Europe (a group out of Norway) to interactively change the content through a high resolution projection device through a lens array but with the amount of complexity I don’t see a workable price effective product there.

      I’ve played with many types of lenses to foreshorten the background and create mattes and modify layering using Maya to project the mattes in 3D space.

      To get to the answer to your question, I’ve kind of danced around a few approaches but never found anything that didn’t have a drawback somewhere. Everything so far I have tested and done presents a series of compromises and a single measurement or specification can be impressive by itself, but within a larger context you give up something when you gain something. So, when somebody lays down a certain specification I’m generally skeptical and wonder what was lost when the gain was made.

      If you are having luck with 36″ wide material then I find that impressive because that is not easy to do and not for the faint of heart. I wonder if you might be using Ken’s cast 60LPI lens material from MicroLens? I would find it hard to believe that you have luck with an extruded plastic lens material. The largest piece I have done successfully is a 36″w x 48″h 100LPI piece. That was tough.

      If you have a lenticular that doesn’t exhibit crosstalk at a viewing distance range of between 2 and 5 feet then that would impress me. Also, what impresses me is the apparent depth the image has. How far away does the farthest object depicted in the scene appear? This can be a tricky question and about the best I’ve been able to achieve is approximately 14″ in front of the surface of the lens and 12″ into it. Funny how crosstalk seems to be more forgiving of objects coming out. Of course, this is subjective but that is typical for a “normal” image with a focal point (not parallel). It is possible to infer more depth and there are many caveats to anything that I have done.

      I have noticed that precision in the printing process makes a huge difference and, using a microscope to look at the dots of ink, I have thought about creating a 256 ink, ink jet head system and laying down single dots of color with no dot overlap to have a more precise line of dots to align to the vertical lens. Increasing the number of perspectives and increasing the integrity of each perspective helps a lot with crosstalk as does manipulating the refresh point where the last perspective transitions to the first perspective (I did some consulting with Corning on this with some interesting results).

      So, my answer is not yes and not no but like so many things with lenticular, sort of a grey area where some things are good and some things not so much. If you have been fussing over something for several years, I’m sure you have achieved much better results than most people.

      Ah, there is another thing I want to mention. I have played around with multiple convergence points within an image with fascinating results – to mimic the way the eye changes convergence when looking at something close and farther away and when looking at something left and then to the right. The perception conflict is something the brain doesn’t seem to care about, well at least my brain anyway. And that really captured my attention. I hope to spend more time experimenting with that – plus when moving left and right the movement is very interesting to see within the picture – kind of surreal but normal at the same time.

      I think you are safe to not worry that I have equated your life’s work! We are going down very different paths and I think there is plenty of room in the world for a lot more of us to be creative with multi perspective imagery. I’ve looked at your website and your son’s website and there is no question you both have considerable talent that I for one can appreciate. Praise from me and five bucks can get you a coffee at Starbucks. ;^)

      By the way, thanks for reaching out and writing. Lots of people read my blog and this kind of banter at least shows there are people trying to elevate the art of multi perspective imagery. If you want a great read, check out Sue Barry’s book “Fixing My Gaze”. I like to plug her book whenever I can because it is chock full of amazing insight that nobody thinks about. She’s awesome!

      • Almont, that was an excellent answer that was completely void of ego and that was what I was hoping for. Now I know you much better and so I will try to address each section of your replay so that my replay has some kind of meaning to you. These exchanges my one day lead to some kind of collaboration. You never know 😉

        FUNDAMENTALS

        Fundamentally there is one large issue that needs some clarification in respect to what I am doing. Any need for lateral movement by the viewer in front of a lenticular lens flies in the face of classic fine art. For me, as an artist who is creating a work of art THAT WILL SELL, I need a lenticular image to emulate classic art in every way outside of the 3D element and that means NOT HAVING TO MOVE IN FRONT OF IT. Needed viewer motion is very undesirable. If its effect you want, maybe but that’s not what fine art needs right now. If a person has to move laterally at all to see or heighten the 3D experience then this technology will never make it in the field of classic fine art. You see paintings or photographs in the classic 2D sense do not require anything on the part of the viewer other than just standing their quietly. Contemporary art, well that’s a whole different ball game. I am a contemporary artist. The moment anything else enters the equation means its becoming technology driven. Art is never technology driven because art comes from the soul. When people view a work 95% of the time they stand directly in front of it which minimizes the need for a wide viewing angle. So I just wanted to point out how fundamentally different our approach is to developing this technology.

        “For me, the big compromise with lenticular is the trade off ”

        We are taking about several things in your first paragraph that needs to be separated and dealt with differently. Lets deal with the word compromise. If you buy into the concept that there is no such thing as perfection within a universe of chaos, and that perfect compromise is part of the solution, then we have taken our first stop towards any solution. The real question is can we vector that compromise in a direction that has little effect on what we are trying to achieve. If you can do that then you are getting somewhere without fighting the laws of nature. Kind of like, I DON’T LIKE WHERE THAT IS GOING BUT IF I DO THIS THEN ITS GOING IN A WAY THAT DOES NOT MATTER. That is at the heart of my success. Always trying to steer negative compromise away from effecting what I want to achieve. Its not always possible and its at that point I start looking for new ways of working or looking at the problem in a different light.

        “between viewing angle and the sweet spot”

        Its very difficult to take a pure graphic medium and work with it in a written language like we are attempting to do here. Our chance of success is good though because of our understudying of the technology. We do not have visual examples at this point from which to draw upon as references within our conversation so forgive me for assuming a few things. The first of which is your use of the word SWEET SPOT. This for me eludes to the zero parallax point at which there is zero cross talk, zero 3D, zero disparity and maximum clarity. It is the point at which the lenticular technology is neutralized for the most part and is the central rotational point of the entire array as each image overlaps one another.

        “in terms of distance to the image and position left/right as it relates to the alignment of the interlaced images to the lens and the eye’s alignment to the lens in terms of left/right positioning.”

        I see this as two completely separate issues. The latter simply being phasing while the other a much more complex issue that needs to be addressed in a more profound way which this is not the forum for right now. Phasing. Clearly you understand the kind of meticulous workflow required when just trying to pitch a lens and then aligning it properly during the laminating process within a 36 inch wide format. Achieving perfect compromise in this is a bloody science in itself. If you cannot achieve this to a point of neutrality and vector off the compromises in directions that do not matter, then you are wasting your time no matter how well the rest turns out. In fact if you cannot neutralize this to a transparent level you will never really know if anything before ever really turned out properly with any level of consistency. That’s how critical this stage is. This is your window into your won achievements.

        “The problem with it is that the sweet spot is far to critical and for this reason I abandoned that approach.”

        Yes this is he big problem but no more. At this point in my development I will share this one piece of vital information with you. Its all about the DM. Depth Mapping is the solution to all that ails lenticular. If you have not mastered DMing then that’s something like taking up electronic theory but never really building a circuit. Depth mapping is course one o one in learning to manage disparity, parallax etc. Without this foundation you cannot develop anything new. You can refine what’s there, have more of it and even improve some working methods but you are left with the same old same old. My sweet spot extends from the base of my frame to the horizon on every shot.

        “the idea of a fixed viewing location is counter intuitive to me.”

        I do not understand this approach. Everything you look at that is printed is from one viewing angle from magazines, movies and television as well as fine art. Its so ironic but I cannot really enjoy 3D movies. I find it distracting from the real content which is the art. I can only prey others do not find this with lenticular art. I do not care how good the special effects are or how good the stereo is, if the story line is weak, it falls on its face and if its strong, I don’t need all the rest. Same with fine art. Its all about the composition, shape and form. Colour does not even matter. Some of the greatest works of art have just been drawn with a pencil. Again a fixed viewing angle is a must for fine art. If lateral motion is required as part of the experience then we are at the science museum. We need to avoid any technical distractions as they will have use analytically dwell on the object when what we want is to intuitive ponder the scene. Anything other than just standing there will move us from our right intuitive hemisphere over to the dominant analytical left and I have never sold a work of art to a left brain person. Bad move.

        “If you have a lenticular that doesn’t exhibit crosstalk at a viewing distance range of between 2 and 5 feet then that would impress me.”

        Zero cross talk and zero blur out to 8 feet away if I want it from my frame base to the horizon at 60 LPI 36 wide full colour razor sharp.

        “This can be a tricky question and about the best I’ve been able to achieve is approximately 14″ in front of the surface of the lens and 12″ into it.”

        If its art it need to feel natural. Maintaining a perception of depth is key to success. I think if you are working in a studio set up then we are talking apples and oranges. I have been forced to deal with mother nature at her worst and this has forced me not to be complacent on any issue. Everything is no the table for renewal and as a result the perceived depth in my lenticular images is that of any well designed stereo pair.

        “I have noticed that precision in the printing process makes a huge difference and, using a microscope to look at the dots of ink, I have thought about creating a 256 ink, ink jet head system and laying down single dots of color with no dot overlap to have a more precise line of dots to align to the vertical lens. Increasing the number of perspectives and increasing the integrity of each perspective helps a lot with crosstalk as does manipulating the refresh point where the last perspective transitions to the first perspective (I did some consulting with Corning on this with some interesting results).”

        I hate to say this but your barking up the wrong tree. The problem is not this, its disparity and the lenses limitations in handling it. You need to learn how to limit disparity without effecting parallax. This is where a very deep theoretical and practical understanding of depth mapping comes in.

        “So, my answer is not yes and not no but like so many things with lenticular, sort of a grey area where some things are good and some things not so much. If you have been fussing over something for several years, I’m sure you have achieved much better results than most people.”

        Your answer based on what I have just read is NO! Secondly there are no gray ears with lenticular. Its a pure science that if understood properly, and I think even the engineers who developed it do not clearly understand it themselves, is as malleable as electronics and as clean a science. What happened is that people built the need around a specific vision and that was its use in the advertising industry where its still lodged. The vision has not changed. People add more cameras, build bigger and better systems but its all based on the same vision which is restrictive and driven by technology first.

        “plus when moving left and right the movement is very interesting to see within the picture – kind of surreal but normal at the same time.”

        Surreal is correct. Don’t get me wrong, I am a modern contemporary artist at heart and surreal does appeal to me but that’s not where the money is in lenticular. The real money is in a classic landscape that is as normal a work of art as anyone can possibly produce at an extremely high level of artistic competence BUT this time rendered in 3D. Anything outside of this slowly leads away from any profitability. My market is very specific and any venture out side of this will lead to a hobby.

        “I think you are safe to not worry that I have equated your life’s work! We are going down very different paths and I think there is plenty of room in the world for a lot more of us to be creative with multi perspective imagery.”

        Yes we are going down different paths but we both need exactly the same solutions. You suffer all the same problems I did 25 years ago.

        MY SUGGESTION

        If you are really serious about conquering lenticular then drop what you are doing, do not spend another dime, and start hands on learning through the building of depth maps. If you can take an ordinary 2D photo and convert it by hand into a full 3D image and place that under a lenticular array utilizing pixel shifting this will teach you how to vector every compromise in directions that do not effect your vision, then you will solve all your problems. The solutions are not in the cameras, the lenses or custom this or that. The problems that plague lenticular are deep rooted in the lack of basics that if not understood soundly first, leave you screwed.

        In my past I was quite a hard core computer programmer at the NGC and this coupled with a very sound understanding of 3D Depth Mapping procedures and manipulations as well as having access to remarkable technology at the National Gallery of Canada and being an extremely eccentric artist is my solution to my problems. You are different and will find your way using all of your own arsenal of experience.

        I wish you well on your adventure and I will keep in touch. Anytime you have a question or if I have one I will not hesitate to talk. You are the most knowledgeable I have met so far.

        Your fellow odd ball
        Dan

      • While some might bristle at what you wrote and think “how dare that guy tell me I’m barking up the wrong tree…” Actually, I smiled because you’ve made me think that I should look at depth mapping a bit more and reconsider my initial negative reaction to the things that I found objectionable on first pass.

        The reason I dismissed diving into depth mapping is the destruction of binocular rivalry that this approach has. Many people have a knee jerk reaction thinking that eliminating binocular rivalry is GOOD!!! And I think quite the opposite. This happened to me one day when I was looking at a snow bank on a bright sunny day. Tons of binocular rivalry! And it was amazing because that facilitated a way of looking at the snow that told me about its texture and crystal like properties that a single view simply would not have. That subtle difference in the way light bounces off into the left eye vs. the right eye is processed in the brain in a very complex way that I don’t think anybody fully understands. Certainly I don’t. But I know something is going on BIG. Depth mapping eliminates these subtle nuanced (or in the case of snow DRAMATIC) binocular rivalry that can’t be defined within a depth map approach. There are many types of binocular rivalry and I submit that to dismiss them out of hand for a “solution” is not a party that I’m anxious to jump into.

        The brain itself interjects an area of interpretation that one misses when evaluating only the empirical data and I think you might revisit this in terms of what your images might be losing as a result of a depth map approach. There is a story within the data that can be obfuscated.

        Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it is impossible to take a single perspective photograph and “convert it by hand into a full 3D image” that equals reality. You can convert it into an image that can be perceived with depth – but it is absolutely not the equivalent of acquiring separate photons arriving at two disparate locations on the rods and cones of the eyes as a “real” scene would present. Our brain is wired to interpret disparity and I’ve found this quite fascinating as something to understand and utilize and not throw the baby out with the bathwater because of its initial negative impression (too much disparity is a BAD thing so get rid of all of it!) There is content fundamentally missing and lacking in single perspective to multi perspective conversion. Whether anyone cares besides me is a subject for debate. Certainly, Hollywood doesn’t care.

        “The real money is in a classic landscape”… Hmm, where is the empirical evidence of that? I think the evidence is far more in favor of people wanting to look at imagery of people. Last I checked, there were a lot more portraits than landscapes. Clearly you love landscapes and that is your passion – but I think that has clouded your view of reality. Plus, photographing landscapes doesn’t interest me that much. Now I’ve really convinced you that I’m a dope! ;^)

        MY SUGGESTION
        If you are really serious then drop what you are doing and start studying how the brain processes imagery in the trillions of complex and mind blowing ways. ;^) I’m not going to drop what I’m doing anymore than you are, but perhaps we might open our minds up a bit more to some things that we might be too dismissive of. I certainly will.

        Finally, I totally totally disagree with your assertion that “NOT HAVING TO MOVE IN FRONT OF IT” is somehow a virtue. That argument just has no weight with me. Why have sculpture, when a painting provides everything! Really? You might want to rethink that. An image with depth is more akin to a sculpture than it is to a painting. Last I went to a museum and watched people looking at sculpture they moved around it in dramatic fashion. The desire to see around an object is primal. Lets agree to disagree on that point.

        Finally, I have done a 24″ wide by 36″ lenticular that was 50% derived from a depth map approach. It has clarity and resolves with fewer artifacts than the version processed without a depth map. Many people have been drawn to it and expressed a lot of praise about how good it looks. My initial reaction to it was also very positive. But now that the novelty has warn off, I see many things about the image that I find lacking. The texture information does not pop and speak to me like other images I have done that don’t have as much clarity. This is where I get the mindset of trade-offs with lenticular. However, you have inspired me to take another look and to not be dismissive of something that somebody has been working on for 25 years. Lenticular might be pure science, but how the brain sees and interprets what hits the rods and cones of the eyes… that science is quite primitive with a lot of inaccurate dogma. Ask yourself this – how similar is the experience of looking at one of your images to viewing the real thing? Take one of your images to the location that it depicts and look at each side by side. If you think your image looks better than the real thing – I suggest you revisit that mindset. It is going to be different, and for me it is about understanding those differences and how those differences manifest in terms of the artistic expression. And, of course, what someone is willing to pay for it. ;^) In the final analysis, I’m prepared to conclude that you might be right. I sure as heck don’t have all of the answers.

        Oh, we are odd balls alright ;^) We can sure agree on that one! I love collaboration because I always learn so much.
        -Almont

  7. Well clearly I did not express myself well. I always shoot optical arrays for all the exact reasons you have sighted and you are very correct. I do not use nor was I suggesting using DM as a solution to any problem. What I was suggesting was that understanding the delicate nuances of the DM process will clarify everything in a very different way causing you to look at what’s really at play. It forms the foundation of the solution through hands on knowledge in a practical way that forces you to deal with parallax, disparity, visual cuing and much more. That was my point. Using depth maps to analyze rather than construct is its true virtue. Understanding this has more power than 80 or 800 cameras believe me. It is rediculous to create a compitent DM that can emulate a photograph unless you are willing to sit there for ever. Attempting to do this though will change your view on the entire subject believe me.

    In respect to anything to do with art, a life time seeped in it at a professional level backs what I am saying. The answer to what is the most popular genre you will find at the link below. The one you are suggesting is 6th on the list. Landscapes, you guessed it. #1 😉

    http://www.squidoo.com/popular-art-that-sells

    Having clarified all this I think now puts us on a very similar page.

    Thanks
    Dan

    • I don’t take much stock in statistics that originate out of the UK ;^) and that was specific to paintings. I was referring to subject matter that interests people the most. You don’t have to peruse social media sites or photo sites to see that the subject matter is overwhelmingly people based. But I don’t want to argue semantics and the definition of “art” vs. pop culture vs. anything else for that matter. Lets just agree that there is a sizable market for landscapes and leave it at that. Not my favorite cup of tea (to use a UK reference) but I appreciate a quality thoughtful image no matter the subject matter.

      I will consider your suggestions. Heck, I might even go out and take a couple of camera array landscape photographs for good measure ;^) Maybe I’m missing something? One thing is for sure, I still have a lot to learn. The problem is that the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know. I guess that is why the less somebody knows, the smarter they think they are ;^)

      Good luck! And I hope you find tremendous success, or at least a lot of fun trying. Art keeps you young and as a friend of mine says: Earth without art is “eh”.

  8. I couldn’t read all of that gentlemen – but I can assure you that the cost of lenticular research to myself is beyond count, and a failed marriage as well! So $5000 is a bargain. And I can say, hand on heart, after nearly 20 years, I still don’t know what I am doing half the time. (i.e. I am still learning). There isn’t a project that comes my way that doesn’t seem to present a unique set of challenges that have to be over come. But that is part of the fun I find. I think one needs to be somewhat mental to even consider a career in Lenticular 3D imaging. But then I have this quality. Kind regards from the UK. Jake Purches.

    • Hi Jake, those posts are from over 3 years ago. I’ve been on a “lenticular sabbatical” since writing here and I’ve been working on interactive displays and investigating other forms of 3D imaging. Nothing to report yet on the 3D front but a lot is happening with digital signage. Over the years, my opinion has shifted a bit in that I think the subtle use of lenticular 3D might yield superior results. Perhaps it isn’t how far you can get something to appear to stick out of the image, but what a subtle amount of 3D can add to the appreciation of what the image is about and the story it tells.

  9. Hi Almont – As time goes by, after much effort to optimise the 3D experience – I am finding ‘less is more’ with many of my artist clients. I just did a lenticular print for a Canadian artist that was so subtle I was wondering if the end result would be worth the effort. It turned out pretty good.

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