How-To: Old-School Red-Blue 3D Photos and Videos on the Cheap

Photography & Video


Good old red-blue anaglyphic 3D works on ordinary screens, can be printed using any color printer, and requires only super-cheap glasses for viewing. Steve White wanted to see how cheaply he could build a digital camera rig for creating red-blue 3D stills and video. His goals included real-time preview ability, focus and parallax control, and most importantly, compatibility with his daughter’s Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus 3D glasses. What he came up with is the Frankencam3D, which is basically two Logitech QuickCam Deluxe webcams that he bought refurbished for $15 each mounted on brackets on a mini tripod. For software, to make videos Steve uses Stereoscopic Multiplexer and Stereoscopic Player software (free trial version available). To shoot stills, he recommends the free Onuprova 3D Camera.

Steve shared his build instructions with us in the new upcoming MAKE School’s Out special issue, which features many 3D shots (including the cover) and comes with 3D glasses. The issue is jam-packed with fun summer projects for kids (big and small), and officially hits newsstands next week, on May 29. His how-to is also available for you now on Make: Projects.


From the pages of MAKE’s School’s Out special issue:

MAKE's School's Out special issue

MAKE’s School’s Out! special issue gives kids an endless summer’s worth of inspiring do-it-yourself projects. Jam-packed with original (and thrilling!) activities photographed in 3D, you’ll enjoy it all year long. Featuring our first 3D magazine cover and your own pair of 3D glasses in every issue, this special issue brings you tips, tools, and toys for young makers, and 50+ projects to make, including electronics, music, 3D printing, toys, snacks, weird science, outdoors, robots, and much more.

  • Build a zipline and zoom through the trees
  • Make your own guitars, amplifiers, and silk-screened T-shirts for a backyard rock concert
  • Launch rockets from a compressed air launcher
  • Rig two webcams to create your own 3D movies
  • Do battle with easy-to-make Marshmallow Shooters
  • Build electronic pranks and spy gadgets to torment your frenemies
  • Visit a hackerspace and 3D-print your head!
  • Meet young makers like DIY video star Super Awesome Sylvia (on the cover) and Joey Hudy (Extreme Marshmallow Cannon) and Ben Hylak (MAYA Telepresence Robot), whose winning projects took them all the way to the White House Science Fair

On newsstands May 29! Get it at the Maker Shed, or at a RadioShack or newsstand near you!

10 thoughts on “How-To: Old-School Red-Blue 3D Photos and Videos on the Cheap

  1. PAPPP says:

    No need for two cameras or fancy post-processing to capture anaglyphs, you can just impose a suitable filtered (double) aperture over the lens with a piece of paper and a sacrificial set of 3d glasses to pull the filter material out of. The link is an instructable that includes a form for automatically designing a filter based on lens parameters.

  2. Timothy Gray says:

    for photos the app called stphmkre.exe (stereo Photo Maker) is a LOT better than that app and is 100% free (no registration junk) In fact it’s really the ONLY choice out there for serious 3D photography.

  3. Rob Cruickshank (@robcruickshank) says:

    Ditto what Timothy Gray says. Stereo Photo maker is awesome.

  4. Rob Cruickshank (@robcruickshank) says:

    Also, when doing this, watch the vertical alignment. That’s the single worst cause of 3D headaches. Your eyes really, really, don’t want to do the one-up one-down thing.

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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