Using Adobe Photoshop to Create Blue/Orange Anaglyphic Stereo Images

These instructions are based on version 3 of Photoshop for Windows. The details will be different for other versions, and of course there are other ways to do this, but the priciple is the same: remove the blue component of the left image and replace it with the blue component of the right image.

Start with a stereo pair of images of the same size and scale, preferably in 24 bit color. To minimize ghosting, avoid images with high contrast in the extreme foreground and background. The color depth of your diplay should be at least 15 bits.

  1. Open the left image in Photoshop.
  2. From the Mode menu choose RGB color.
  3. Open the Layers window (right click in window, click "Show Layers").
  4. Click the Channels tab and drag the Blue thumbnail to the trashcan.
  5. Open the right image, repositioning it if needed to uncover part of the left image.
  6. Choose RGB Color from the Mode menu.
  7. Drage the Blue thumbnail from the Layers window and drop it on the left image.
  8. Close the right image without saving changes.
  9. The left image is now selected and in Multichannel mode.
  10. Choose RGB Color from the Mode menu.
  11. Choose Save As... from the file menu to save the altered left image with a new file name in a 24 bit color format.
  12. Click the Blue thumbnail from the Layers window to select the Blue channel.
  13. Click to the left of the RGB thumbnail in the Layers window to display all three channels.
  14. Click the reposition tool from the standard toolbar.
  15. Put on your SpaceSpex™ and drag the blue channel to align the right and left images. Use the zoom control if needed. Try to get the main subject of the image lined up properly, so that ghosting is minimized and confined to the background and extreme foreground.

These images do not respond well to color reduction techniques. As you might expect, reducing them to 256 colors with any dither at all mixes the color channels enough to destroy the stereoscopic effect.

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