August 19, 2022

How to Take 3D Photos With Your Phone

Happy World Photography Day!

Everybody has the ability to enjoy 3D photos with only a smartphone and our 2D → 3D conversion software. If you love the idea of capturing 3D depth and dimension on your phone, but don’t know where to start - we’ve got some great 3D photography tips to make your photos come alive. 

This is the first part in a larger 3D photography series and to get you off to the right track, we’re starting with the camera most of us use all day long: the one in our pocket. Whether you use an iPhone or Android-based device, we’ve got you covered.

Tip #1 - What’s your subject - and where is it?

Artistic intent aside, getting a great 3D photo is about breaking out of a 2D box and seeing an image beautifully suspended in space. General rule of thumb is to try centering the subject of your image so that you’re getting maximum bang for your 3D image. Images that have a protruding object such as a flower, or well angled coffee cup definitely get the wow effect when looking at them through any device #LitByLeia. 

Tip #2  - Find the right distance.

You want to be able to capture the foreground well enough for software to be able to detect it from the background. To do this, make sure there is distance between you and your subject and your subject from other objects. Make sure there is enough space between subjects you want prominently shown in the foreground from the background. Inadvertently putting your subject in front of large flat background such as a wall will have less of a 3D effect.

Tip #3 - Take a picture with layers to it.

Think of the picture you’re about to take like a pop-up book. There are elements up front in the foreground that jump out at you. There’s little bits in the middle that help convey the depth of what you’re looking at. That stuff in the distance? It sets the stage. It all helps tell that story better! So, make sure that the “story” you're telling has a central part that demands the viewer’s attention. What do you want them to focus upon first? 

As you continue exploring with 3D, subject placement can be a fun thing to experiment with in unique ways. What if you want to convey that the viewer is peeking through a hole in a rusted-out door to what lays beyond? Or maybe a stealthy creature is creeping up from the front, side of the image. 

Tip # 4 - Focus on static images.

Start with zeroing in on a well-composed static shot. This will make it easier for you to capture a clean shot that makes it easy for viewing in 3D. Once you’ve got your 3D sea legs, experiment with motion. Someone shuffling a deck of cards, for example.

Tip # 5 - Use 3D Image Capabilities on the phone you’ve already got.

There are already a couple options out there to get depth from the images on your phone right now.  iPhone and any Android phone give you the ability to take photos in “Portrait” mode. These modes allow you to record the data you need to easily change depth of focus.

Tip #6 - Go a step further with photo imaging apps

On iOS, there’s apps like i3Dsteroid while the aptly-named 3D Camera is available for Android. Our Lume Pad also offers apps that allow you to quickly take – and edit – 3D images while on-the-go. What about all those perfectly captured 2D moments you’ve taken over the years on your phone? For Lume Pad owners, it’s as simple as pressing a button and the tablet converts any 2D image you have into a 3D image.  However, if you go to the LeiaPix Converter site right now, you can take it a step further using our tools to render 3D formats for viewing on 3D Lightfield displays or 3D animation tools for sharing with your friends in 2D.

Best part: LeiaPix Converter is completely free!

LeiaPix and Leia’s DLB display technology (like the 3D Lightfield display on our recently-revealed Monitor 15.6 platform) are all about giving you new ways to share your artistry and tell stories. 

Tip # 8 - Why stop at 3D photos when you can capture 3D models?

If you have some of the more recent iPhone models - namely the iPhone 12 Pro and up - you likely already know that the LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) sensor opens up a whole lot of other possibilities. Sure, some open up cool AR functions, but did you know that you can convert a live image into a 3D model? All you need to do is capture that information using an app capable of 3D scanning with either LiDAR or photogrammetry, upload the model to Sketchfab and you can easily view that image in true 3D on a Leia 3D Lightfield display! We'll walk through this in a future post!

 If you have some of your own 3D photography tips that you’d love to share, let us know! Tag us on Twitter, Insta! We love to amplify community posts!